British actress Helen Mirren cracks me up.
Pictured: Nepenthes ‘Helen,’ a carnivorous plant named after her, on press day at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2011
As we all know, tomatoes like it HOT. It really hit me just how hot when I saw the plant in its native south america growing rampant as a weed. Most of us in the cooler temperate climes are trained to prune tomatoes, forcing the plant to put all of its energy into one crop of fruit arriving in the middle summer. However, naturally, tomatoes like to sprawl and branch, flowering and fruiting sporadically throughout the summer. They look more like a clambering vine than the upright well-staked poster child of summer eating.
It’s the tomato’s tendency to branch that led me to my ‘Eureka!’ moment and current tomato planting method, which I’ve seen echoed in numerous gardens since. Tomatoes, like willows, or dogwoods, hydrangea, or hen and chicks, root along the stem. To prevent that late summer wobble owing to a pruned tomato’s top-heaviness, plant tomatoes deeply, at least 6″ down, or to the first set of leaves. Fill the hole with your best compost- tomatoes love the richest most fecund soil or composted manure- and water in well. Slide a stake in next to the plant’s root ball when you first put it in the ground. This will ensure you don’t disturb developing roots later in the summer when your tomatoes are going gangbusters.
Photographer and writer Morgen Van Vorst has been traveling the world for the last year and documenting every bit of her journey on her site Blue and Yellow. These photos of The Salkantay trail and the five day trek to Machu Picchu
caught my eye this morning. The writing make me think I need to get out of New York for awhile:
“Under bright sun, we wander for a few hours, blissfully alone. Dozens of oil-blue swallows chitter along the stone walls, swooping overhead. We find stairs that lead to the end of the line, all the way down to a big boulder at the jungle’s edge, where we sit, undisturbed, in a shady spot. Hummingbirds are buzzing each other in and out of a trumpet vine.”
Van Vorst says on her about page: “Blue And Yellow documents places and people, traditions, food, nature, beauty, and the odd dog on travels far from home. I like to look.”
I want to go look, too.
Established shortly after the end of the civil war, memorial day was created to give remembrance to fallen veterans. Determining the holiday’s timing were the late spring flowers used to adorn churches and graves. Originally the North and South had two separately appointed holiday dates to allow for best floral foraging when lilacs, poppies, and dogwood (to name just a few) would be at their peak.
‘Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choice flowers of spring time’ – Commander in Chief James Logan, 1868
I’m not a birder, but last night this doc had me enthralled after just the first few frames.
Remedy Quarterly is a food magazine based in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve become a huge fan of its themed issues and content based on people’s food memories and the recipes that they love. It’s a little bit This American Life and a little bit old school cookbook. The new issue, Escape, is out now and it’s the first time the publication is in color. It looks terrific. I’m really looking forward to reading the crabbing in Louisiana story. And also… there’s also a section of the Remedy website where people offer up their own remedies for the common cold to a hangover and broken heart. Pretty cute.
Wilder Quarterly’s fantastic Art Director, Monica Nelson, was recently featured on W-O-W. She deserves it. From the interview:
Was it easy to shift from art direction in the fashion world to a magazine dealing with nature and gardening? What did inspire you?
I think it is an easy transition. I don’t think that I’ve ever been interested in Fashion in a frivolous way. Not to say that fashion is entirely frivolous, but I am interested in the culture and the presence of the people in fashion–the person wearing the clothes, the way the body moves, the shape. All qualities that translate to gardening as well. Wilder is about the person in the garden and the culture that surrounds it, the dirty hands, the colors, beautiful shapes, sunlight. (In the same way that Apartamento is interested in the mess and personality of a personal space — not the perfect alignment of the coffee table and the picture frame).
I’m headed to Las Vegas soon and I wanted to find some interesting sights-to-see in Nevada other than the casino lights. That’s how I came across Michael Heizer’s Double Negative (1969), which is located in the Moapa Valley near Overton- a little more than an hour from Vegas. Double Negative was among the first “earthworks,” artworks created as part of a movement known as “land art” or “earth art.”
“The work consists of a long trench in the earth, 30 feet (9 m) wide, 50 feet (15 m) deep, and 1500 feet (457 m) long, created by the displacement of 240,000 tons of rock Two trenches straddle either side of a natural canyon. The work essentially consists of what is not there, what has been displaced.”
The photos I’ve found don’t seem to do it justice. The aren’t great photos capturing the double trenches from above, which is one reason I’m interested in standing in the crevasse. If you don’t have time to get out to Nevada, Heizer most recent work Levitated Mass is currently traveling around the country.
In case you’re near New York, you might want to put this talk on your calendar for tonight: NASA astrobiologist Lynn Rothschild is going to be at Studio-X to discuss the “nature of biology, the possibilities for synthetic life, unexpected alternatives to DNA, and other mind-bending experiments that ask, in Rothschild’s words, “Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone?”
Sounds pretty awesome.
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