Gardens in Strange Places

My friend and garden dynamo at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (that's right, she has to make things grow and look lovely there among exhaust, heat, cigarettes...and lots more I don't want to think about) is interested in finding new ways to bring gardens to populations and places in which gardening is generally underrepresented (we've talked gardens from southwest Atlanta to Ghana).  She's one of several new voices devoted not only to bringing gardening to such settings, but learning from the gardeners is such places.  These gardeners may not have ever heard of Penelope Hobhouse, but they have a genuine vernacular that is borne from local materials, traditions, and singular experience.  See Vaughn Sills book Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Folk Gardens for a look at the heritage of some such folk gardens.

Anyway, I thought I'd steal Abra's theme of "Gardens in Strange Places" and show some pics from mine and David's foray to the Mendocino coast--certainly a strange place per se and and strange place for a garden to grow.  It reminded me a little of Arabia Mountain in South Dekalb Co, GA--not in form, but in spirit:  this stark, stirring place--lonely, yet not.  It's amazing that plants will grow there, let alone eek out a specific ecology.  It's also amazing that with no human intervention to speak of, it still feels as though there is a garden of sorts--perhaps because the plants have to "try" so hard.  Out of exacting "strange" surroundings a  unique vernacular emerges.  Limitation and boundary leading to creative expression --thank you Abra!

Where the water drips into the sand from a crevice

That Nature...She's amazing...


...And foggier

Erigeron sp.

There She goes again being amazing...

Erigeron & Delosperma

Eriogonum sp.

Diamorpha smallii in solution pits at Arabia Mountain

Stone Mountain Daisies at Arabia Mountain--Don Saunders Photography


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