New Cornell blogs, podcasts

hort blog screenshotThe last few months, my blogging hobby has started to spill over into my work life. We’ve started several blogs in Cornell’s Department of Horticulture to serve some of our many audiences.

Cornell Horticulture is our flagship blog. You’ll find posts that are of interest to department students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the greater Cornell and horticulture communities. Occasionally, I’ll cross post some items. But to stay in touch with all the interesting stuff we do, add it to your RSS feeds.

We have two blogs that we are using primarily to distribute podcasts by our resident turf guy, Frank Rossi. Sustainable lawn care is for folks who want to manage their lawns in more ecologically sound ways. Cornell turfgrass is for professionals who manage golf courses, sports turf and other grounds. The podcasts are also available through iTunes. (Keep in mind that Frank’s advice is targeted primarily for the New York and the Northeast. Your mileagemay vary.)

For educators working with children and youth, we have our Garden-based learning blog. For famers looking to extend their harvest season for vegetables, fruit and cutflowers with unheated greenhouses, we have a high tunnels blog.

All of these blogs have associated websites that provide the ‘reference book’ resource on these topics. But the blogs provide us with an easy way of keeping our audiences up to date on the latest happenings.

What I think will be my favorite of our Department blogs is slated to launch soon: What’s blooming in Minn’s Garden (and more). It will be spearheaded by the students who are maintaining this historic garden and the other gardens around the Ag Quad, many designed and installed by Cornell students. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s open for buisness.

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French fans

still life via art monieToday I stumbled across two postings on French blogs based on posts I’ve made:

My good friend Delphine at Paradise Express posted pix of the new gate at Minns Garden in Doran Van Doren chez Craig
And Marie-Monique posted about her favorite bloom day scans at Art-Monie. (Still life by Gerard Fally at right is from one of her recent posts.)

Both blogs are visually stunning and inspirational. Check them out when you are in the mood for some eye candy.

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Web round-up

Effective web video – Professionally produced video is going to cost you $1,000 a minute or more. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do throughtful, well-scripted, entertaining video with a point for much less. This video was pointed out to me as an example of just that. And with almost 700K hits, who am I to argue?

Our Lady of the Bottles – Julie over at the Human Flower Project features the best example of blue-bottle yard art I’ve ever seen. I argue that blue bottles are popular because the alternative is pretty much clear, brown and green.

gardening mamaGardening Mama – New game from Nintendo “allows players to nurture 37 pixelated varieties of fruits, flowers and vegetables” through Japanese anime-like characters. Seemed like their was a pretty heavy emphasis on controlling pests and mixing up serums. Looks like it’s about as satisfying as Cooking Mama, its predecessor where you cook up pixellated meals. If you can figure out how to make this plant grow past the line, let me know. Better idea: Take the grandchildren outside and actually garden, then come back into the kitchen and actually cook.

Making Mosaic Garden Art – A great little tutorial from the fine folks at Find Gardening. I’ve got boxes of shards from expensive pots blown off the plant stand and an old high school buddy who owns a tiling company who has issued a standing invitation for me to come rummage through his voluminous leftovers. So when will I find time to do this?

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A sucker for old pictures

When I’m tired of reading, I like to peruse image-laden sites, including:

Vintagraph is heavy on WWI, WPA and WWII posters. Some have gardening themes:

Pooster via vintagraph

The same folks (I think) also put out Shorpy, which features mostly black and white photos, mostly Civil War to ’50s, mostly from the Library of Congress, like the one below from the USDA amaryllis show in 1927. (Garden-related photos are few and far between, but I like this tilt-shifty girl with a crow, this opera singer with greenhouse cukes and hoeing beets.)

amaryllis show via Shorpy

Studio g is a relatively recent discovery for me. Anyone into design will find something to like here. The picture below of an early school garden isn’t typical of Rocelle’s content, which more closely resembles Garden Design than Shorpy. I’m just a sucker for old pictures.

old school garden

If you want really old stuff, check out the ‘Visual Materia Obscura‘ and more at BiblioOdyssey. Again, the topics are a wide-ranging blend, focusing mostly on science, history and eclectic bookart. But if you want to go right to the good stuff, visit the posts helpfully tagged flora. Below is Ornithogolum fibriatum from a post about illustrations from a series of early 19th century botanical monographs.

Ornithogolum fibriatum

octopus topiaryBut my favorite eye candy is still to be found at Delphine’s ParadisExpresss. My French is no longer strong enough to translate the words. But who needs to when there’s this much to look at.

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Plume poppy (with allium)

plume poppy and allium

Steve Silk’s post on plume poppies at Gardening Gone Wild made me realize how much I take this great plant for granted. Evidence of that: I had to search high and low on my hard drive to find even one picture, the PhotoShop filtered image above of an allium with the plume poppy foliage in the background.

Echoing Steve, I love the leaves with their cut edges. My main patch is across the living room from my desk, where that foliage is framed in a window and helps block the busy road out front.

On the north side of the house, it’s maybe not as aggressive as it might be in a spot with better sun and soil. I pluck a few stray runners early in the season to keep it in bounds. It’s not the rampant hog some told me it would be when I first planted it. (I like a plant that can hold its own.) But the plumes do rise up about 7 feet.

I’ve got a real hell strip about 2 feet wide between the driveway and house with the worst soil on the place where it tops off at about 4 feet. It has a totally different character there.

If anyone wants a start, stop by.

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