The Coming of Spring

coming spring
The Coming of Spring: Constance Smedley, writer, suffragist, social activist, founder of the Lyceum Club 
by Maxwell Ashby Armfield  (1881 – 1972)



Boys In A Pasture

winslow homWinslow Homer (1836 – 1910)

Forest Die-Off Detail

Lucas Cranach the Elder (Lucas Cranach der Ältere, c. 1472 – 16 October 1553), Lucas Cranach the Elder (c. 1472 – 16 October 1553)


peace-fort-hamiltonPeace Fort Hamilton
William Merritt Chase (1849 – 1916)

Landscape with Dog

Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25, 1844 – June 25, 1916)

Thomas Cowperthwait Eakins (July 25,  1844 – June 25, 1916)

Paradise Valley

John La Farge, Paradise Valley

John La Farge (1835 – 1910)  –This is a link to the blog of the very kind person who nominated the Secret Gardener for the Versatile Blogger Award.
I don’t fully understand what it is, but I was incredibly encouraged and sort of proud to be mentioned in lists made by other nominees whose blogs are wonderful, so it’s exciting to be included in such a worthy group. Also a bit excruciating because–as the form my blog takes probably makes clear–I avoid using my own words whenever possible. I have put off responding publicly as long as I could by entreating my correspondent to lay out the rules, the requirements, the whys & wherefores, the intentions, the history–and whatever else I could think might guide me narrowly & directly into the correct approach to my responsibilities as a nominee—but was left to the basics I’d already come across, and the common sense that I ought to have tucked away somewhere. I’ll reveal to ‘intergenerational’  seven probably pretty unamusing things about my unremarkable self – but what I really wish I knew how to do effectively is present 15 deserving blogs to SG readers, and I’m afraid I will simply emphasize the circular nature of this process, because the blogs I read are the ones which have appeared somewhere along the line (my links, for instance) already;  because we have interests in common, because I admire them, and because they have been recognized more widely. However:

I have to begin with one -having to do with gardening only if you want to get mired in metaphors about cultivating the soul, and I am not accustomed to discussing the soul. But if I believed I had one–I’d want to learn to cultivate it so that it bloomed like hers:

For the beauty I need, but here applied in service of the scholarship I envy (but am too undisciplined to acquire)– a really exhilarating combination– and for their ability to clarify & put into context the accumulated information; enormously edifying & satisfying:

For the thrilling sense of somehow being in the midst of the art-creation process:

To tell the truth -it isn’t the blog at all, but the radio show that I love. But as a doorway:

Interiors–the paintings I always want to enter. And the books I found by chance in libraries and reveled in all alone–wondering why I’d never heard the authors’ names.
Turns out there’s someone in London who’s been putting them together for years now:

Pictures. Color: Delicious. – Lovely talk about it: More delicious:

How to really, truly get things done in the garden–the right way.

And what bliss is this? Thanks to Streets of Salem blogroll I was introduced to someone whose studies encompass current passions– the 17th century, early science, philosophy–and the original and enduring love- literature:

The miracle &  marvels of the brain:

A geologist/ environmental scientist/ teacher, and someone clever enough to live in a spectacularly beautiful spot on this earth,
unpacks, unfolds, and spreads in front of us each day of the voyage of The Beagle as recorded by Darwin–in real time:

And, because if you are a woman –or even a half-decent human being– she is on your side:

This has been hard. And I’m not much out and about–not even virtually.
So I am going to reserve one spot for another discovery; perhaps it will prompt one.

Thanks to all of you for existing – in such a realm as this might be,
and for acknowledging the existence of the Secret Gardener–such as it is.

Roelandt Savery (1576 – buried 25 February 1639)



Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Secret Gardener

Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (c. 1533–1588)
French artist and member of Jean Ribault‘s expedition to the New World

Just as language has no longer anything in common with the thing it names, so the movements of most of the people who live in cities have lost their connexion with the earth; they hang, as it were, in the air, hover in all directions, and find no place where they can settle.

Rainer Maria Rilke  (1875 –  1926)

Mount Monadnock

Abbott Handerson Thayer
  1849 – 1921, was an American artist, naturalist and teacher.  During the last third of his life, he worked together with his son, Gerald Handerson Thayer, on a major book about protective coloration in nature, titled Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom: An Exposition of the Laws of Disguise Through Color and Pattern; Being a Summary of Abbott H. Thayer’s Disclosures.  In particular, beginning in 1892, he wrote about the function of countershading in nature, by which forms appear less round and less solid through inverted shading, by which he accounted for the white undersides of animals. This finding is still accepted widely, and is sometimes now called Thayer’s Law.
First published by Macmillan in 1909, then reissued in 1918, the book had an effect on the use of military camouflage during World War I.
As he aged, he suffered increasingly from panic attacks (which he termed “fright-fits”), nervous exhaustion, and suicidal thoughts, so much so that he was no longer allowed to go out in his boat alone on Dublin Pond.

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