…always looking for HOPE?

Where to find it?

Today I was lucky.

I discovered hope in a simple home made courtyard.

IMG_0758

When looking for hope…it can always be found…don’t give up…expand your search…change the scale of observation…works for me. Primula vulgaris and flagstone paving.

 

Wood

…dream or old school or sustainable?

IMG_0688

From the forest to the town.

IMG_0685

In the town.

IMG_0672

Duplex?

IMG_0674

Neighbors in the duplex make the shared balconies their own. Note finishing details–they are rough but they stand the test of time. Century? Two centuries? Older?

IMG_0673

Not everyone keeps them in museum quality. It is expensive; and believe it or not, it is not in compliance with current energy standards. And how much to upgrade in order to meet those standards?

Short story about a strange…

…garden and its even stranger keepers…in Tangier.

The Story

Click the orange circle above to listen. This story is 30 minutes about Moroccan landscape, a strange garden, absinthe, chocolate and its plants.

DSC05246

Date palms and mimosa in Morocco (Phoenix dactylifera and Acacia dealbata). Ever wonder about the magic of fragrance? Try mimosa, in its natural habitat, in the winter.

The Background

Anyone who has worked in a garden–suffered blisters and callouses in a garden for fruit, vegetables, flowers, medicine–knows there is something more in those gardens. This is for you.

Gardens? Chocolate? Yes, definitely…but I never thought to combine them until the email I received quite recently from an almost forgotten friend. Donkeys’ years ago when I was in Tangier, we worked together on the Baie de Tanger–it was a tourist destination development project.

Now, my friend’s still in Tangier, but as an antique dealer, using as an income cover, a store of second hand furniture. This story is a found antique.

In ‘Christopher and the Hibiscus House’, Christopher tells the story of a Tangier, Morocco garden. In order to visit the garden he was required by the garden’s keepers, a Brit and a Ruskie, to undergo a special ordeal of chocolate and absinthe before walking at sunset in the garden. Christopher first had to visit the land of the green fairies before he could enter their Oval Garden. This is that story.

Readers…by now you know that my blog, flahertylandscape, is all about plants and people–landscape journeys. Sounds fair and safe enough; but what I  share with you in the above story goes beyond ethnobotany, beyond strange.

 

DSC05800

The Moroccan dream.

TangierMap

…for millennia…Tangier has been a nexus of Mediterranean, African and European cultures…a classic melting pot that is still on the boil.

This is in part a freshly edited re-post of  a 2015 post I made, entitled Chocolate, Gardens and Magic, which, if I might say so, was a too long read; but it is fortunately well illustrated with Art Nouveau graphics.

5 Landscape Architecture Things

…I wish they had taught me at university. Maybe you can suggest others?

  1. All the places where underground utilities are accessed through the landscape surface with requirements and flexibility for placement.
  2. The line items most likely to be big profit items for contractors in unit price landscape construction contracts.
  3. How to write measurement and payment clauses for landscape construction contracts.
  4. Financial positioning and leveraging variables for landscape development in the domains of real estate and architecture.
  5. Advancement pros, cons and how-tos for landscape architecture careers in private sector versus government.

Vegan World

Here is a collection of images I have taken of plants and landscapes the past days as winter descends and the first frost arrives.

IMG_0481

Winter descends. Previously we had snow only 2000 meters elevation and above. Last night, I fell asleep listening to the slow and peaceful pitter patter of rain falling softly on the roof. I woke up this morning to find the snow had snuck down to 700 meters elevation.

IMG_0492

After this tree’s branches and trunk have built barns, built and heated homes, the remnants have become the nourishment for how many other living entities? Everything gets eaten in the end.

IMG_0503

Frost bite, frost burn, yet there is some beauty in this image. Is there a lesson to be learned?

IMG_0509

The frost is not the end but a tell that the end is near. In the background, the babbling brook runs away from that truth.

Free Beer

Most of the time I take photos of plants, gardens or landscapes where I attempt to share something beyond sense perception. That is my fun.

The other day, not far away, I found this sign. Tomorrow is when? Tomorrow never comes. Now isn’t that the funny truth?

And after all, it is not a stretch to say beer is the ideal people and plants linkage. Ethnobotany at its finest.

IMG_0373

See you there tomorrow for free beer.

Sneaking In

It happened last night.

Woke up this morning and winter had snuck in. Winter! And I had not yet even finished the requisite autumnal post.

WinterArrives (1)

Snow down to 3,000 meters. Above image shows in the foreground two valleys at 600 meters. The valleys drain the north side of the Jungfrau Massif, part of the Berner Oberland in the Swiss Alps. If you magnify, you can see Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger in the left center background.