Exotic

Nigh onto 10 years ago I had just finished 25 years building gardens and landscapes in the Arabian Sands. The Sands were my life. 

But be sure about this…the Sands are more than sand. 

To reflect the huge unknowns of the Sands, my blog banner became part of the enigma of the Sands. Exotic for a Midwestern American, you bet. But exotic is a 25cent tourism marketing adjective. The Sands are not.

Ten years have passed. I live in another exotic landscape, this time a mountain landscape. Ten years of explorations in this new landscape have enthralled me, so I am updating the blog banner.

Exotic? Borders on magic realism, neo-romanticism and eco-gothic. They are all alive and well in exotic landscapes. as are rarely predictable and always inspiring plants and gardens. Just take a walk, open your eyes and ears. Listen, feel, see, discover.

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Old banner–the sands–always an enigma–sun but no soil or water.

flahertylandscape2021Update

New banner–the plentitude of soil and water.

Want to take a walk?

Some days it is hard to get up from the computer.

Other days it is hard to take my eyes off my mobile.

Well, today it is time to take a walk for walk’s sake.

Take a walk?

Uphill? I’ll give it a try. But how far?

Do it!

My saddest post

Tree of Freedpm

The tree of freedom needs refreshing. We all do.

I have always stayed away from the politics of my home country, the United States of America. A place that grew me and educated me. I am proud of my past.

These days I find my freedom walking the landscapes of my previous posts. It is my physical and emotional thought balm.

The USA, for all its faults, has been a beacon of freedom and hope for people world wide.

No longer.

After this past 2020 presidential election, everything has finally been turned upside down. Conclusively. Those professing freedom are totalitarian fascists closing down free speech and free discussion of thoughts. I can’t believe it. There are tears and tears in my heart.

Following is a thick paragraph I read from an anonymous poster. It summarizes the unbearable conditions in the USA on 8Jan2021.

For those who don’t get it! Now you understand why there was never any action against the Clintons or Obama, how they destroyed emails and evidence and phones and servers, how they spied and wiretapped, how they lied to FISA, had conversations on the tarmac, sent emails to cover their rears after key meetings, how Comey and Brennan and Clapper never were brought to any justice, how the FBI and CIA lied, how the Steele Dossier was passed along, how phones got factory reset, how leak after leak to an accomplice media went unchecked, why George Soros is always in the shadows, why Romney and Paul and Bush and McCain were all involved, why they screamed Russia and pushed a sham impeachment, why no one ever goes to jail, why no one is ever charged, why nothing ever happens. Why there was no wrongdoing in the FISA warrants, why the Durham report was delayed. Why Hunter will walk scot free. Why the FBI sat on the laptop. Why the Biden’s connection to China was overlooked as was unleashed the perfect weapon, a virus that could be weaponized politically to bring down the greatest ever economy and usher in unverifiable mail in voting. Why the media is 24/7 propaganda and lies, why up is down and down is up, right is wrong and wrong is right. Why social media silences the First Amendment and speaks over the President of the United States. This has been the plan by the Deep State all along. They didn’t expect Trump to win in 2016. He messed up their plans. Delayed it a little. They weren’t about to let it happen again. Covid was weaponized, Governors helped shut down their states, the media helped shame and kill the economy, and the super lucky unverifiable mail in ballots were just the trick to make sure the career politician allegedly with hands in Chinese payrolls that couldn’t finish a sentence or collect a crowd, miraculously became the most popular vote recipient of all time. You have just witnessed a coup, the overthrow of the US free election system, the end of our constitutional republic, and the merge of capitalism into the slide toward socialism. What will happen next? Expect the borders to open up. Increased immigration. Expect agencies like CBP and INS and Homeland Security to be muzzled or even deleted. Law enforcement will see continued defunding. The electoral college will be gone. History erased. Two Supreme Court Justices might be removed. The Supreme Court will be packed. Your 2nd Amendment will be attacked. If you have a manufacturing job or oil industry job, get ready. If you run a business, brace for impact. Maybe you’ll be on the hook for slavery reparations, or have your suburbs turned into Section 8 housing. Your taxes are gonna go up, and businesses will pay more. I could go on and on. There is no real recovery from this. The elections from here on will be decided by New York City, Chicago, and California. The Republic will be dead. Mob rule and appeasement will run rampant. The candidate who offers the most from the Treasury will get the most votes. But the votes voted won’t matter, just the ones received and counted. That precedent has been set. “Benjamin Franklin was walking out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, when someone shouted out, ‘Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?’” Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Ladies and gentlemen, you will now lose your Republic. You turned from God. You turned from family. You turned from country. You embraced degeneracy culture. You celebrated and looked to fools. You worshipped yourselves selfishly as you took for granted what men died to give you. You disregarded history and all it teaches. On your watch, America just died a little. It’s likely she’ll never be the same again. Some of you have no idea what you’ve done. Sadly, some of you did.

Thick paragraphs are hard to read. This one above is the hardest.

I am going out for a walk.

Needs refreshing

Reaching for hope

A dream of death

We have all been there…but few talk about it…

Zenrinji

mushroom_cloud

He’d never been close to death until then.

Yes, he’d seen dead bodies – his grandma, his father, a body in a road. True, this was death, but death as it had happened to others, deaths already tainted by premonitions of their passing or tinged with the innocent curiosity that characterises the young. This was not imminent death as it might apply to him: a moment of reckoning, a brief interval pointlessly proffered to put his house in order.

For those who’ve lived through it, even if memories have faded, the Cold War was a time of surviving on a precipice. Sometimes its edge visibly crumbled at one’s feet, as it did during the Cuba crisis. Sometimes there was just a feeling of vertiginous malaise watching grainy news footage of CND marchers, whether or not they were really cranks or communist stooges.

But one day death really came knocking at his…

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Surprisingly Blue Roundhead Mushrooms

This post is about discovery–such a joy, is it not?! I like to think of discovering clusters of mushrooms as ‘pop-up villages’.

Barn House Garden

Over the last week or so I’ve been dismantling thirty odd patio pots at the south end of the house. Partly, to clear the decks for the painters who need access to the windows and, partly, in preparation for loading the containers into the greenhouse for the winter. As it marks the end of the season for this bit of the garden, it’s not a job I relish, especially when it still looks good. However, little did I know : this year I was in for a pleasant surprise.

Patio pots mid October 2016

On Thursday, with all the cutting back done well ahead of time, I took a deep breath and armed myself with the optimistic floor plan with which to brief the two strapping young men who were going to haul the pots of tender and borderline hardy exotics into the greenhouse.

Greenhouse floor plan

This is not a job for the faint-hearted, the pot sizes…

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Histoire de jardins en Arabie Saoudite

Christophe Descroix describes the realities of landscape work influenced by the Empty Quarter in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If this intrigues you, read about the landscape architect who built a project deep in the Empty Quarter in the UAE:
https://flahertylandscape.wordpress.com/the-23-club-2/the-23-club-2015/

LA PASSION DES JARDINS ET DE LA NATURE

carte-arabie-saoudite

Je ne pouvais pas créer un blog sur la passion des jardins sans parler de l’Arabie Saoudite où j’y ai vécu quatre années , par ailleurs j’ai eu l’opportunité durant ce temps, de pouvoir réaliser de somptueux jardins dans des palais royaux et princiers  à Djeddah et Riyad . Ce fût pour moi une expérience très riche d’un point de vue aménagements paysagers et humainement.

L’ampleur des réalisations et la qualité de la mise en oeuvre ont été pharaonique, et les budgets  illimités avaient pour finalité de satisfaire les besoins de la clientèle. Cette richesse personnelle le fût tout autant d’un point de vue humain et culturel puisque cela me donnait l’occasion de travailler et manager  du personnel de nationalités différentes (indiens, pakistanais, philippins, srilankais, libanais, syriens, égyptiens, marocains) et de rencontrer des autochtones formidables dans le désert m’apprenant des techniques de survie ainsi que la découverte de paysages superbes.

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