In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, this week Cultivating Place is in conversation about a person who committed their career to the idea, design, and championing of 'Parks for the Nature of Everyone'. April 26th is the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted – in celebration and recognition, the National Association for Olmsted Parks is joining with celebration partner locations around the US to host Olmsted200 events reminding us of the long and valuable legacy of Olmsted – which remains highly relevant for us today.
To hear more about Frederick Law Olmsted and his influence on our green spaces to this day, Cultivating Place is joined by Dede Petri, Executive Director of the National Association for Olmsted Parks and John Rowden Senior Director of Bird-Friendly Communities with the Audubon Society.
A big thank you to David Jeffrey Ringer of Green Jay Strategies for facilitation help with this interview, and to Nina Veteto of the beautiful Blue Ridge Botanic studios for encouraging me to cover this celebration of Olmsted.
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JOIN US again next week, when we get ready for May Day and Mother’s Day with colorful joy in conversation with gardener, cook, and artist Lorene Edwards Forkner. Her new book – Color In and Out of the Garden is a collection of daily color studies of botanical (flowers, leaves, seeds, stems) and botanically adjacent (think time worn stones, beach bleached shells) treasure seasoned with the science of biology, light, color and of sight encouraging us to practice being present, paying attention, really seeing, and taking good care in and of the natural world. It is also a much needed (longed for?) reminder born of both joy and deep grief to live your own days (and thus life) in full color, in and out of the garden. Join us.
Cultivating Place is made possible in part by listeners like you and by generous support from the California Native Plant Society, on a mission to save California’s native plants and places using both head and heart. CNPS brings together science, education, conservation, and gardening to power the native plant movement. California is a biodiversity hotspot and CNPS is working to save the plants that make it so.
For more information on their programs and membership, please visit https://www.cnps.org/
For more information on SAGING THE WORLD: cnps.org/conservation/white-sage
Thinking out loud this week:
As you listen to this it is California Native Plant Week, in National Native Plant Month and we are in the week heralding Earth Day 2022. I know the news is generally not good – but as promised I wanted to share with you some of the good news from gardeners around the country growing their own natural places back together with their own gardens:
Emily Bretl of the Marram Collaborative wrote in from the shores of Lake Michigan to share more about her native plant love and her work with schools, organizations, and families to co-create transformative educational experiences at the intersection of artistry, ecology, and sustainability..
Joan Brandwein is the steward Comohabitat her .16 acre urban residential lot in Saint Paul, Minnesota to which she has added more than 60 species of Minnesota Native plants in the last 10 years. Anthony Wayne McPherson wrote in about his interest in the native status of aconitum also known as monkshood – a favorite of bumble bees - from the Northeast; Lydia Kornasiewicz wrote from South Western Pennsylvania (exurbs of Pittsburgh). Where she has roughly 2,100 native plants. It's extremely difficult to pick a favorite but I've always adored our native spring ephemerals, particularly Erythronium americanum, yellow trout lily. If you ever find yourself in Pennsylvania in mid-April, a woodland would be a great place to visit.
Here in Northern Ca at North State Public Radio, Sarah Bohannon and her husband Kirk are planting native grasses and many native sages around their urban home; while Matt Fidler and his wife Jill, have been overhauling their city lot into a permaculture haven for wildlife and food forestry.
From Peggy Dlugos in Manitou Springs, CO: "I started listening to your podcast during the first summer of Covid. In the evenings, when the temperatures cooled, I would turn on Cultivating Place and weed a large area of my garden that was overrun with invasives. It was during this time that I began to look more closely at my garden. It was an effort to find more of the "good stuff" instead of always focusing on the areas that needed intense restorative work. So here is my list of native plants on the 1/4 acre of land I call home. They were either planted by the first owners when the house was built, blew in on a windy day or were gifts from the birds:
Colorado Blue Spruce
Birchleaf Mountain Mahogany
Prickly Pear Cactus
Rocky Mountain Penstemon
There are so many native plants already here. All I had to do was look!"
Happy Native Plant Month gardeners – may we all be ecological gardeners of contribution as well as gardeners of food, comfort, and great beauty.
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