Archives for December 2020

Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti Provides New Year Message

As we enter the new year, Pope Francis offers some wonderful guidance.

The Pope writes in his new encyclical Fratelli Tutti “No one can possess the whole truth or satisfy his or her every desire, since that pretension would lead to nullifying others by denying their rights.”

So how can we go forward with a richer and fuller life?

By an openness to encountering others, not how we see them, but as they are.

He writes, “Life, for all its confrontations, is the art of encounter.”

Francis takes a stab against social media, or a view of social media that says it’s more than it is.

He writes, “Digital connectivity is not enough to build bridges. It is not capable of uniting humanity.”

He writes near the end, “Kindness facilitates the quest for consensus; it opens new paths where hostility and conflict would burn all bridges.”

He offers great advice and encouragment, especially as we see outselves on the threshold of a new year.

Happy New Year!

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A Victorian Christmas Tree

It’s that time of year again.

Time to welcome the Holidays.

I hope the Holidays provide you a sense of an all-embracing tradition of love and understanding.

May the Holiday tree inspire you to see the best in each and every person.

Images of the Season

Here is the greenhouse at the University of New Hampshire, Durham.

This is how it looked a couple of years ago at this time of the winter during the annual Holiday display.

UNH Greenhouse new poinsettia display

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.

Hope you enjoy this wonderful Victorian Christmas tree.

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How about a Talk on My New Book?

Right now I am looking for opportunities to talk about my new book All about Flowers: James Vick’s Nineteenth-Century Seed Company.

The book will be out in late April.

Ohio University Press will publish the book just in time for spring gardening.

Here is a flyer on my talk “Favorite Victorian Flowers.” [below]

James Vick

Rochester, New York seed company owner James Vick (1818-1882) sold the garden flowers that we still grow today. He truly filled the role of a Victorian horticulturist.

His great passion was his love for flowers. He spent his life helping people garden and develop a love for floriculture.

The flowers for the garden, many annuals, that he sold we still grow and love today.

The Talk

Do you have a group that would like to hear a garden talk called “Favorite Victorian Flowers?” The talk is based on my new book, and filled with flowers from Vick’s catalogs and magazine.

If you want me to give a talk, on Zoom if you prefer, please let me know.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

   

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Can’t We Just Enjoy Gardening

Lately I have been reading about gardening in the nineteenth century.

By the 1870s the garden Industry witnessed more seed companies and nurseries spreading across the country.

Every homeowner wanted a landscape with a garden.

The seed houses and nurseries, however, had as their goal the ‘selling of the garden.’

They felt it was their job to sell the consumer ways to make money off the garden. Therefore they wrote about ways one could succeed in harvesting a crop, selling flowers, and joining an outside market to peddle your goods.

We are talking about gardening, and love of gardening, or are we?

Garden Writing

Cheryl Lyon-Jenness, author of For Shade and For Comfort, wrote an article called “Planting a Seed: The Nineteenth-Century Horticultural Boom in America.”

She points out the heavy commercializing of gardening in the nineteenth century.

Lyon-Jenness then adds that there was not a surge to profit from gardening from every voice, though.

In 1872 the Pomological Society of Michigan cautioned against the onrush in garden writing about the financial gain found in gardening .

The Society published an article called “Floriculture for the Million.”

It said, “It is time that some improvement should be taking place in our horticultural literature; we have, I think, enough books like some recently published: ‘Money in the Garden,’ ‘Gardening for Profit.’ ‘Practical Floriculture,’ teaching mainly how to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers to sell.

“Let us have something like ‘The delight of Horticulture,’ ‘The moral use of flowers,’ and books of that character, and it will be the commencement of better times in horticulture.”

I never thought of it that way.

We don’t always have to make money from gardening, or see gardening in dollar signs.

Sometimes, can’t we just enjoy gardening?

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