Back in July, I had the great pleasure of going on a tour of the beautiful Ruppert Nurseries in Laytonsville, MD. The highlight of the tour was a tree spade demonstration with their shiny, new, extra-large tree spade. Before that day, I’d seen tree spades, and I’d seen large balled & burlapped trees, but I’d never seen how the one made the other happen. Neat stuff. Follow this link to an album of photos and short video clips to see for yourself!
Did you see the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics? I really enjoyed the conceptual framework and quirky design aesthetic that Boyle brought to the spectacle. For example, I loved the Marry Poppins umbrellas with the lightbulbs at the tips. And how about the illuminated doves on bikes? I would REALLY love a pair of illuminated dove wings to wear when I ride my bike. BUT my FAVORITE part was the tree at the top of the tor. Here he has millions of pounds to spend and a brilliant imagination and what symbolic element does he choose to anchor the set, draw the eyes of billions, and hold the flags of nations? That’s right, a mound with a tree on top of it! There is a lot of ancient symbolism bound up in the tor/mound/ziggurat and the tree/axis mundi/source of knowledge and I will refrain from lecturing about it here but suffice it to say, I was pleased to see something so humble yet powerful presented as the focus of a multi-million dollar international spectacle.
Check out this fantastic WPA poster found in the American Memory Collection hosted online by the Library of Congress. Like many people, I’ve always been fond of WPA posters because of their collaboration between quality artistry and common sense practicality. We could use a little more of that these days, don’t you think?
Though I’ve perused the offerings on the LoC website before, this poster was brought to my attention because of a book review for American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow. The review was good and the book, just like the poster, seems right up the Plants Are Not Optional alley.
Back to the poster: don’t miss the great line at the bottom, “Trees Prevent Wind Erosion, Save Moisture, Protect Crops, Contribute to Human Comfort and Happiness.” That’s right folks, trees make you happy!
One could read and write tomes on the ecological, economic and social importance of plants. At the most basic level, we need plants to produce oxygen to breathe and food to eat, but you know that already, and still you forget about the importance of plants in daily life. And so, I’m opting to use beauty, and unabashed geeky plant-lover curiosity and knowledge, to sway you to care, to advocate for and to make places large and small where plants, and people, can thrive.