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Showing posts from October, 2014

Harper Ferry rock wall art (...discern/ upon the rough gray wall a rare wall fern. Pale Fire, Canto 3 line 605/5)

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I doubt that a woodsia qualifies as rare--in reference to the quote above from Vladimir Nabokov's stunning Pale Fire. But this was the first time I'd seen it in the wild ten days ago at Harper's Ferry (hence the first part of this blog's title--you see it all makes sense!)

I was astonished to see the parking locked jammed with cars on a weekday in the off season, and the busses ferrying the people to the town gave its name fresh meaning. I had no idea it was such a tourist destination--and these were all American tourists--not like Washington where most are Chinese nationals nowadays! Oh yes, there were walls: I gravitate to walls to see what's growing on them, and wasn't disappointed at Harper's Ferry--these were old walls for the train along the Shenandoah river--and they were full of goodies. This must be about as far East as the Greater Celandine grows--and here it was on a wall! Wish it were still blooming...

 This would have been a better candidate …

A Fusion Garden...Italy + Japan = gorgeous!

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The modest fellow in the center of the picture above is the Fusion artist: lifelong gardener and manager of a magnificent nursery filled with treasures, Mike has a secret garden at home that represents a lifetime of love and plantsmanship. My wretched pictures, taken in late fall, hardly do justice to Mike's remarkable fusion of Japanese-style garden techniques with his Italian sensibility (he was born and reared in Calabria before coming to America). Mike is one of the most sophisticated (speaks English, Italian, French and Spanish fluently), erudite (reads and thinks voraciously) and gentle, kind souls I have ever met. I know he will squirm at my pictures and putting his garden on display (he does have a lot of visitors, so it's not TOO much an imposition). I've visited twice now--in late winter and fall. I yearn to see the garden in high spring and summer next (and yes, in winter too!). It's a gem.

If you persevere through my mediocre pix to the end, I think you wi…