Campbell Soup Flower Arrangement for Thanksgiving

Campbell Soup Flower Arrangement by
Campbell Soup Flower Arrangement by
Rarely when discussed the line-up for Thanksgiving dinner is there mention of soup. Pumpkin pies, sweet potato casseroles, onion dip and roasted turkey might translate into creative ingredients for post-game festivities but the in-between football games dinner certainly would never include a bowl of tomato soup.  So when I arrived at the relatives for our turkey dinner with this Campbell soup can full of flowers, a woman stopped in her tracks.  "A bowl of soup," she said.  "No, it's Andy Wharhol!" The ingredients for our tomato soup include:  mums, roses, sunflowers, carns, eucalyptus, and sunset safari.  The caloric intake, sodium content and how many servings this can contains will have to be referred to Safeway, Towson, MD. Now, back to the game. "Oh, can I interrupt for one more second? Serve these ingredients cool."    

Suckling Pig, Versilia and Amsterdam Roses in Autumnal Colors

Image 1 A suckingly pig from Tio Pepe's, the best Spanish restaurant in Baltimore, Md.  This pig arrived seemingly well educated although the one lens of his glasses was a bit singed.  What can you say to a guest at your party?  "Go home and get some clear glasses before we clear you away!"  Frankly Mr. Suckling Pig came to the party with just the right colors, golden and crisp, a burnt autumnal leaf brown.  He just knew how to wow the guests with red carnations and Granny Smith apples to say, "I'm here."  His coat was as good as his lining, tender, moist and for those who don't like pork, he wowed them.   Image"Mr. Suckling Pig," I asked him after everyone had gone.  "How did you know that your coat of golden brown would match so well with the Amsterdam Rose and Versilia Rose arrangements for the party? Your complimentary colors were just like our sugar maple tree, its tips a pink and salmon  yellow rose.  The race is now on.  We are writing invitations now for next year's party.  We have your head and the rose petals to bioengineer this delicious combination for 2014.

A Spring, Metasequoia and Under a Maple Tree, To Drink a Garden

56 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of water from a fresh spring in Baltimore County, Md. Fresh water from a limestone base that we drank today. Can you imagine having fresh water scooped with a ladle by the spring for us to drink. To drink a garden, to see a garden, to smell a garden, to drink a garden from a spring within two to three hundred feet of a major intersection with water runoff that plummets ten feet below. Perhaps it is a testament to those metasequoia and dawn redwood trees that grow twenty-five feet higher than the surface of the spring. Their feet stick up like thumbs. The deer are drawn to their bark and then follow their path through the pipe under the road. And while contemplating the stand of 100 trees in a micro-clime that becomes awash with sand, ferns are discussed. Hundreds of ferns to plant as a backdrop to the bluestone bench far to the left, a path to be made of wood and stone, a destination there. While sitting on Greenspring stone and steps, the three of us are shaded by maple trees. Looking up to the filtered sun, the underside of the maple leaves are beautiful. Why had I never thought the leaves could be looked at from the underside and be so lovely. They were.

St. Elmo’s Light, James Turrell Exhibit at the Academy Art Museum, Easton, MD

Turrell at Roden Crater, Copyright: James Turrell, Photo By: Florian Holzherr.
Turrell at Roden Crater, Copyright: James Turrell, Photo By: Florian Holzherr.

James Turrell Perspectives, a new exhibit featuring the premier of a new installation entitled St. Elmo’s Light, is now on view at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD. James Turrell is an internationally-acclaimed light and space artist whose work can be found in collections worldwide. Over more than six decades he has pursued his fascination with the phenomena of light to create striking works that play with the perception and the effect of light within a created space.  Since 1974, Turrell has been converting a dormant volcano in Arizona, Roden Crater, into a monumental work of art. James Turrell Perspectives is concurrent with the artist’s retrospectives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

James Turrell Perspectives will emphasize the issues and ideas that have been at the core of Turrell’s work. The artist, who resides part time on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and his team are collaborating fully on the project. The exhibition consists of four components, installed in four ground floor galleries in the Academy Art Museum, including a room of holograms, the site-specific light installation, a selection of photographs and plans and a set of bronze and plaster models related to the Roden Crater project in Arizona. Together these four parts will focus on Turrell’s fascination with both the room of holograms, the site-specific light installation, a selection of photographs and plans and a set of bronze and plaster models related to the Roden Crater project in Arizona. They will also introduce recurring themes in Turrell’s oeuvre related to geologic time and his efforts to give viewers a direct experience with the cosmos.  
Photo #1: James Turrell, St. Elmo’s Breath, 1992, Private Collection, Copyright James Turrell, Photograph by Florian Holzherr.
Photo #1: James Turrell, St. Elmo’s Breath, 1992, Private Collection, Copyright James Turrell, Photograph by Florian Holzherr.
The first part of the exhibition will be an “Aperture Installation” entitled “St. Elmo’s Light,” constructed ex-novo in the Museum’s Lederer Gallery. This new installation belongs to a category Turrell calls “Space Division Works” and is the third in a series that began in 1992 to examine the quality of light. Viewers will experience an interplay of space, forms and tone in a carefully crafted projection of light. The projections work on visual perceptions and the sense of light as a real physical material. Turrell comments about his installations, “I love making spaces that change as your looking changes, it’s not quite as if something’s looking back at you, but it’s about something that has a presence equal to yours, because the light inhabiting that space has a ‘thingness’ of its own.”  

In addition to the direct visual experience, this installation has a strong conceptual component.  Although often associated with the minimalist and land art movements that have been prominent since the 1960s, James Turrell also has an affinity with artists like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Caspar David Friedrich and J. M. W. Turner who were compelled to represent light in a way that also implied a greater meaning and conveyed something transcendent.

  The second part of the exhibition will be the premier of eight holograms of abstract forms. The holograms will occupy the Healy Gallery that has been specially adjusted to enhance the visual experience.  These holographic images will introduce visitors to ideas that have engaged Turrell for decades: the duality of light, visual perception, dematerialization, the physical property of light, as well as the spiritual quality of light. Viewers may learn more about how Turrell tries to encode light with meaning.
James Turrell, Roden Crater Aerial Photograph. 1979 Photograph (carbon print), with Wild RC8 camera image 23” x 23 ¾”
James Turrell, Roden Crater Aerial Photograph. 1979 Photograph (carbon print), with Wild RC8 camera image 23” x 23 ¾”

The third and fourth components of the exhibition, a group of photographs and plans from Turrell’s personal collection and a set of recently constructed bronze and plaster models relate to the ongoing development of Roden Crater.  Although rarely tagged as a traditional photographer, Turrell was once an assistant to Ansel Adams. The photographs relate to Turrell’s interest in aviation, technology, landscape and time. They may be considered both within the context of the representation of landscape in America and as documentation of the Roden Crater project. The models will help viewers understand the spaces that Turrell has constructed within Roden Crater to facilitate celestial observation. They have been displayed on a limited basis in Munich and New York.

The exhibition, organized by Museum Director Erik Neil and Curator Anke Van Wagenberg, will be on display at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, from April 20 through July 7, 2013, and is underwritten in part by the Dedalus Foundation, the Talbot County Arts Council and the MD State Arts Council, Ilex Construction, Inc., The Ravenal Foundation, as well as Thomas and Robin Clarke, Tim Kagan, Frank and Joan Kittredge, and Robert and Marsha Lonergan.  The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated checklist.

Van Wagenberg will provide curator-led tours on Friday, May 10; Thursday, May 23; and Friday, June 7, 2013 at 12 noon.  Admission to the Museum is $3 for non–members, children under 12 admitted free. The Museum is open Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The First Friday of each month, the Museum is open until 7 p.m.  The Museum is located at 106 South St., Easton, MD, 21601. For further information, call 410-822-ARTS (2787) or visit

Sacred Lily, Rohdea japonica

Sacred Lily, Rohdea japonica, Courtesy CarlisleFlowers
Sacred Lily, Rohdea japonica, Courtesy CarlisleFlowers
October at the Farmer's market in Easton, MD,  this little gem was for sale.  "I have to have this," a common gardener's refrain, was compelling enough.  Somewhere in the back of my little brain was stored an image of this Sacred Lily, although I could never have told you a thing about it.  Tolerates droughty soil and prefers shade, I learned.  Good alternative to hosta said the paper hand-out from the grower. And it's an evergreen!  I stuck it right next to my kitchen door and the cluster of orange berries are still visible more than two months later.  This Sacred Lily intrigues me and I watch each day to see if the berries are still there.

Coleus Sunshine

Sunshine Coleus, CarlisleFlowers permission
Sunshine Coleus, credit:CarlisleFlowers
It's Mother's Day weekend and the gardening mother is taken by the non-gardening father to Cylburn Arboretum's Annual Market Day.  We went directly to the hothouse where it was single file down the line of annuals propagated by the City of Baltimore's citizens, friends and staff.  The choice of coleuses was overwhelming.  My husband stood tall and guarded our picks because swooping hands were flying low.  I asked for his advice trying to arrange a tall center plant, a medium size spreading plant and a trailer for my containers.  Yet my dear one spied the hot lick of the day, the Sunshine Coleus.  Going against all the rules I bought three for each planter and will have only a mounded grouping.  They are so gorgeous I'm not sure anything could pair with them.
Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD, Courtesy: Cylburn Arboretum Association
Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD, Courtesy: Cylburn Arboretum Association
Upon leaving (with dollars to spare!), I happily told hubby that these coleuses, brassy bold, were favorites of the Victorians.  He asked if they were annuals.  "Yes," I said.  "Can we get them back?" he wanted to know.  "Only if we come to Cylburn next year.  And hon, (so Baltimorese) I'm so glad you picked them out."  "See," as people admired our cache on the way out, "all gardeners smile at each other.  They don't need to talk about anything else but flowers and trees.
1870 English Victorian Garden, Courtesy, The Flower Museum, London, England
1870 English Victorian Garden, Courtesy, The Flower Museum, London, England
St. Louis Victorian Garden, Courtesy: Missouri Botanical Garden
Victorian Garden, Courtesy: Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO

Plants of the 18th Century in The William Paca Garden, Annapolis, Maryland

Summerhouse with Tulip Keizerskroon, Courtesy Historic Annapolis
Summerhouse with Tulip Keizerskroon, Courtesy Historic Annapolis Foundation
This two acre oasis of natural beauty was laid out by William Paca when he built his house. Although many colonial Annapolitans had gardens, only Paca’s has been returned to its original splendor and opened to the public. Archaeologists found remnants of the original brick garden wall, three outbuildings, the pond and the canal.  The background of Paca’s portrait documented the architectural details of the two-story summerhouse, the Chinese-style bridge over the pond and the brick bath house. Eighteenth century garden manuals and plant lists provided more clues from the period. Garden historians and horticulturists used all this information to recreate an 18th-century landscape.
William Paca Garden, Courtesy of Historic Annapolis
William Paca Garden, Courtesy of Historic Annapolis Foundation
The Garden Wall and Terraces define the spaces and views of this elegant garden. Terraces or “falls” were a characteristic of colonial gardens in the Chesapeake region. Slopes in the stone foundation of the garden wall told archaeologists where the falls were located so that terraces could be reconstructed.  The upper level serves as a platform for entertaining and viewing the garden. The vertical slits in the wall, based on the Paca portrait, are thought to encourage air circulation in hot humid weather. The Parterres, precise geometric designs that demonstrate human control over nature, occupy the middle terraces. The rose parterre is filled with heirloom varieties, while the flower parterre provides three seasons of colorful bloom.  The holly and boxwood parterres exhibit the art of sculpting living plants into topiary. Plants of the 18th Century are known from books and letters.  Roses, perennials and annuals in the parterres are authentic to the colonial period. The vegetable garden provides fresh delicacies such as salad greens, peas and asparagus.  In the fruit garden heirloom varieties of apples, pears, plums, cherries and figs are carefully trained into espaliers and cordons to take advantage of limited space in an urban garden.  Some of these include:
Roses:  Pre-1800 varieties of roses, including 'Rosamundi', Moss Rose, 'Maiden's Blush,' Sweet Briar.
Bulbs: Narcissus 'Pheasant's Eye' ,  Florentine Tulip, 'Keizerscroom' Tulip, 'Lady Jane' Tulip
Perennials:  Columbine (Aquilegia),  Baptisia, Phlox, Verbena 'Bonariensis', Torch Lily, Blue Lobelia
Annuals: Balsam, Globeflower, Marigold
Vegetables: Cardoon, Okra, Good King Henry, Walking Onion
Fruit: 'Old Non-Pareil' Apples espaliered into cordons; Figs; Pear Arbor, 'Belle of Georgia' Peaches
Shrubs:  Boxwood, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Bottlebrush Buckeye
Trees:  in the Wilderness, Fringe Tree, Franklinia, PawPaw, Washington's Buckeye.
Rosamundi, William Pace Garden, Courtesy Historic Annapolis
Rosamundi, William Paca Garden, Courtesy Historic Annapolis Foundation
Water in the garden has always been a problem.  Paca designed a system of drains to divert excess water into charming garden features.  The brick canal carries runoff across the garden.  The spring house captured water for household use and provided cool storage for milk and butter.  Uncovered beneath the hotel parking lot, the same spring feeds the spring house today and flows through a brick channel to fill the fish-shaped pond.  Wooden baffles diverted water through another underground passage to the bath house. The Summer House, reconstructed from Paca’s portrait, serves as a focal point in the garden. On its upper floor the Paca family could view the garden, entertain guests and catch cool summer breezes.  The Chinese-style bridge provides a path over the pond to this inviting garden retreat. The Wilderness reflects the picturesque style of gardening that was fashionable in England after 1740. Serpentine pathways meander between beds of mixed plantings.  The emphasis is on native plants of North America that had been brought into cultivation by Paca’s time. For more information: