Minns Garden gate by Durand Van Doren

To get to my car after work, there are four ways out of the building where I work that are six of one, half dozen of the other. I usually take the conservatory route for the glimpse of the plants there. But I think I’ll be taking the west exit more often now so I can see the new gate installed today at the west entrance to Minn’s garden:

Minn's garden gate

To appreciate this gate, you’ve got to move in close (more detail shots below):

Minn's garden gate

The gate was designed by Landscape Architecture student Hannah Carlson, and created by artist/blacksmith Durand Van Doren. (See also his Ithaca Art Trail site.) Here’s Durand all spiffed up for today’s dedication.

Minn's garden gate

I barely recognized him from the day I spent with him with my buddies Scott and Marc two years ago, where I learned quickly just how easy an artist like Durand makes it look. (I did manage to make some S-hooks to hang pots.) I borrowed this image from Marc’s website. Go check out his bowls. They make great gifts.

Me, Scott and Durand from Marc's blog

The gate features a dozen garden plants rendered in iron. (Click on images for larger views.) They are actually much blacker than they appear here. I adjusted the images to provide more detail.

What really makes these great is the inclusion of the roots below ground level.

Minns gate detail Minns gate detail Minns gate detail

Minns gate detail Minns gate detail Minns gate detail

Minns gate detail Minns gate detail Minns gate detail

Minns gate detail Minns gate detail Minns gate detail

And a few more close-ups:

Minns gate detail

Minns gate detail

Minns gate detail

Minns gate detail

Minns gate detail

Minns gate detail

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New and improved May bloom day scan

Some folks have commented that they like the old-timey effect of my bloom day scans. That’s not intentional, I assure you. It’s due to using a crummy hand-me-down scanner and not having good imaging software on my home machine.

I took yesterday’s scan to work with me today and adjusted it with PhotoShop to try to get the colors closer to what the flowers actually looked like.

This is an improvement, but the bleeding heart still isn’t near as vibrant as it is in real life.

may bloom day scan redo
Extra large version.

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Turfwork!: Earth art from the air

Last month, I posted about a group of Cornell students putting together an art installation so large that it’s best viewed from the air. Thursday, one of the students, Peter Cadieux, with the help of a local pilot flew over and provided me with these aerial images. I had high expectations for their efforts. But the results came out even better than I expected, even better than the simulation they created.

Turfwork! from the air. Photo by Peter Cadieux

The materials include different colored mulches, overturned sod, straw bales, and grass bleached yellow by covering with plastic mulch. Students from a local Montessori assembled the ribbon pinwheel in the center of the blossom.

This shot provides some perspective, with the golf fairway to the left. If you click on the image above to see the larger view, you can make out the Canada geese foraging between the straw bales.

Turfwork! from the air. Photo by Peter Cadieux

Here’s a ground level view. If you are in the neighborhood on Mothers Day, the students will be on site to answer questions from noon to 2 p.m. More details and directions here.
Turfwork! from the air. Photo by Peter Cadieux

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Canna quilt by Lisa Ellis

Last winter, I wrote a post about quilter Lisa Ellis. Her quilts blow me away, and I was flattered that she wanted to use one of my images as for a quilt. I really didn’t think my image was all that inspirational. But what Lisa did with it is just spectacular.

canna quilt
Original image.

She saw things in that image that escaped me entirely. What’s even more heartwarming is the way that Lisa uses her talents to raise money for various healing causes. She is donating this quilt to University of Michigan Hospital cancer wing.

Lisa posts about this quilt here. Would love it if you’d stop by and thank her for her generosity.

canna quilt

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