Saturday, April 19, 2008

Is anybody listening?

I'm curious. Am I the only person in the United States who listens to the Vista lecture series podcasts? I find them stimulating, even exciting. They are a window onto another world for me, and they continue to give more even on a second, third, fourth listening. Do Americans think about their gardens; I mean think about more than how to do this, how to do that, how to make a stunning outdoor garden room. Has gardening been ruined by our garden industry, our "design/build" garden contractors, the big nurseries that offer "garden design" as a sideline service to sell more plants and more hardscaping, the general striving after big bucks?

Do we have any gardens like Veddw House, where Anne Wareham and Charles Hawes ask visitors to criticize their garden, invite writers such as Noel Kingsbury to critically assess and publish their opinions? (The Veddw site has links to critical writing on a number of other gardens. If you've been admiring the stunning photos of the prairie and steppe gardens at Lady Farm in Somerset, read about Anne's and Stephen Anderton's visit on the Veddw site. You'll be surprised.)

Yes, all of us are excited watching the snow drops and crocuses bloom after a long, dreary winter, but do we need 20 million closeup digital photos of them on blogs around the world? Surely there's more to be written about than that.


  1. You've only counted 20 mil? I think you've missed a few mil. Interesting commentary to ponder. --Curmudgeon

  2. You wanna blame something?

    Blame 60" plasma TV's, swimming pools more affordable to middle class.
    outdoor kitchens; hell, outdoor living rooms.

    folks who work all week do not want to weed-there are too many other far more fascinating things to do with their time.

  3. Call me curmudgeon too. Just checked your post on Andrew Jackson Downing, a man who I agree may be the godfather of American gardening. Unfortunately much else, like the cancer of the American lawn. But a good idea is a good idea. Thanks

  4. Hello James;

    I have enjoyed the link to Veddw House. The Hosta Walk is something I am planning for our new nursery. I probably will not use the dynamic blues pictured on that site as the area I need to develop first will be in open sun. Still, I like the concept.

    In Norwich, Vermont, at an old inn, the 12 foot wide pathway from the front gate to the porch is lined with mature Krossa Regals and when they reach upward 5 feet in full bloom, they are special!

    George Africa
    The Vermont Gardener

  5. That hosta pathway in Norwich sounds beautiful. I hope to get to your nursery someday when I visit friends in New Hampshire.



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