Saturday, April 23, 2011

Terrariums & Assorted Glass Gardens

It's Saturday night, and I'm feeling sort of social.  Probably will go out and mingle with the rest of sun-dazed Portland, but it's only 9.  While the lights come on around town, I want to share with you my 2 minutes of t.v. fame.  

When I've watched this clip and heard my voice, I've heard my sister Becca.  We sound almost identical on tape, and I'd like to say we're equals, but she trumps me in many ways.  She's a professional illustrator who, when not tied-up with project deadlines, busks at the warm-weather markets for practice and social interaction.  She's been getting into edible home gardening, which is a treat to watch.  

Our Dad has always had a fruitful garden, and put us to work as kids, planting rows, weeding, picking and cleaning the harvest for canning.  We were kids in North Carolina, my own blue ribbon of the south, the heart of my youth, helping our Dad grow us potatoes, grapes, fruit trees, spinach, tomatoes, peas, and beans.  Our Mom has always been the cook and the canner, which work I was late to pick up on.  And even though our parents have long been at home with no children, they keep at it.  It's in their blood.  It's in our blood, and we admire them, so we follow in their path....

Back in 2007, while doing Black Swan designs, I was also working a second season at Portland Nursery, and was recruited for a job at Urban Flora.  The indoor gardening specialty shop was looking to expand into the world of cut flowers, houseplants, and other botanicals.  So we embarked on a journey called Urban Flora Plant Oasis, which, sadly, was short-lived.  It was a remarkable adventure for me, and it was hard to watch the owners fold on it when it was still so new.  We were selling lots of unusual cacti, Hawaiian-grown orchids, bonsai trees, terrariums, and terrarium kits.  

Terrariums are everywhere.  That is, if you believe that everything that has happened and everything that is ever going to happen is occurring simultaneously in the present.  Then, they really are everywhere.  Twin Peaks's Agent Cooper is both in and out of the Black Lodge, the 1970's are happening in the 1930's, hurricanes are also calm seas, black is the new black is the new black, the garden is the first seed, and the collision of all our peaks and valleys in the same "everymoment" fills us to the brim, so that all the empty moments are no longer empty, and our lives are lived in every second.

If the garden is the first seed, then terrariums are a botanical oasis of an infinite scale.  Wanting to fill our home with the infinite garden, I put together some terrariums this week, making use of some empty bottles from (our neighbors') last year's parties, to help the local salvage stores move some merchandise, and to give a long-ago gifted "Junk Girl" a home.  Sitting in the upstairs dormer, they're absorbing fractal light.  

All Dressed Up....

Next weekend, there will be a good opportunity to see an amazing terrarium display in person at the 2011 Oregon Orchid Show & Sale.  It may look something like this...For two dollars off the admission price, pick up a show flier at Portland Nursery and other retail garden locations.

I would love for my office to have one of these, courtesy of  They're located in Brooklyn, NY.  So I'll probably have to make my own.  A project I wouldn't shy away from.  For now, I'm putting it in my mind's list of rad botanical projects I'm going to work on, right next to the polytunnel and others remaining secret, time and money and more time permitting.  One day.....

If you're interested in having one built for you in Portland, call me up.  

Last but not least, an easy how-to link for the Hands-on to make their own:  
Have a great week!

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