Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-05-27
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

The fairy gardener
by Jim Edminster
2013-03-05

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Driving to Kansas for Xmas I got to sample different public radio stations in four states, much to the detriment of my opinion of Chicago's NPR—a station that has taken Terry Gross off in the afternoon and replaced her with some goofus with permanent laryngitis and a format for analyzing local newspaper headlines with C-team celebs.

I bring up this personal distaste only because it allowed me to glean some garden column items. An ancient but incredibly intelligent interviewer in Iowa, Diane Rehm, talked with the author of American Canopy: Trees, Forest & the Making of a Nation: Eric Rutkow. His book relates the relationship of trees to American history from our forests' abundance which probably led to our famous wastefulness to the strange saga of pro-slavery, anti-native-American J. Sterling Morton who established Arbor Day to John Muir, Johnny Appleseed & Paul Bunyan.

A bright young interviewer, also in Iowa, talked with Evelyn Birkby, a newspaper columnist and radio-show host who has been doing a farm, garden and food weekly column for 63 years without any missed deadlines. Miz Birkby is hilarious; in her upper 90s, she has written 10 books, the latest of which is Always Put in a Recipe and Other Tips for Living from Iowa's Best-Known Homemaker. In her honor I'm including a recipe I picked up from somewhere that people lined up at my workplace to get to:

Quick trifle

Ingredients: (already made) angel food cake, milk, instant vanilla pudding, Cool Whip, three kinds of fruit (fresh, frozen or canned; if canned, drain).

Rip up the cake in big chunks. Put in a bowl. Put in a layer of fruit. (Possible combos: sliced peaches, strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, cherries and pineapple chunks.) Put in a big glop or four of Cool Whip. More fruit layers & more Cool Whip to top of bowl. Do not mix! Make instant pudding in separate bowl (with milk) and before it sets pour it over first bowl. That's all.

Let us now rant

Some of you may have read or heard of a report that cats eat—OMG!—birds. That many birds are going extinct because of domesticated tabbies and that feral wild cats need to be, it was more than hinted, absolutely wiped out. I like birds just fine. I feed them all winter.

Guess what? Birds eat birds—as my (indoor) cats and I watched out the windows on my upper deck, what to our wondering eyes should appear (five blocks from Wrigley Field in Chicago) but a large red-tailed hawk. He wasn't eating grain at the feeder, either. Further that report glossed over something else it said cats eat: small mammals—moles, voles, mice, rats, rabbits and squirrels. All these critters, I might point out, are anathema to gardeners. Other predators used to eat these "vermin": weasels, martins, lynxes, bobcats, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, wolves, badgers, etc.

Hardly any of these predators live in cities—they've either been hunted out or their habitat destroyed by modern people. This same habitat destruction has also heavily influenced wild birds. Cats are not so responsible; people are. Birds, for thousands of year,s have dealt with other (better, by the way) hunters. Leave the cats alone. Support the trap, neuter and release programs for feral cats if you want. Keep your own feline darlings indoors. Adopt a stray or two. That'll be enough without a cat holocaust.

Some garden books to check out:

—Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard by Amanda Thompson. A book after my own eccentric heart—if you want to put something odd or colorful or individual in your yard Amanda shows you how.

—Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart. Lots of info on, apparently, most of the poison and/or obnoxious plants in the world (e.g. oleander, water hyacinth, ergot, coyotillo, et. al.). Also plants that you thought were awful but are not quite so bad.

—Any Size, Anywhere Edible Gardening: The No Yard, No Time, No Problem Way to Grow Your Own Food by William Moss. Yes, window boxes and tiny containers and probably window ledges and fire escapes too.

A friend was kind enough to slip me a newspaper clipping illustrating a catch-22 situation to which I am very liable. A certain Kathy Cummings, here in Chicago, grew a natural garden—no lawn, and all wild flowers such as milkweed (which feeds monarch butterflies, Illinois' state insect). For this, Cummings got a first-place award and plaque citywide in naturalized gardens. She even had her picture taken with then-Mayor Daley.

This past October the city ticketed Cummings for having weeds taller than 10 inches. Officials insisted her wild flowers were weeds. The only thing I could advise her to do, should she ask, is plant lots of obviously blooming plants or at least have ones with colorful foliage. And she could do as I do—slip lots of big pots of cannas, geraniums, daisies, zinnias and coreopsis around. (And bribe the neighbors not to turn you in.)


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

BENT NIGHTS Walk off the Earth; Cathy Richardson, Katie Todd 2015-05-26
In theater: ATC artistic director dies; Barrel of Monkeys ED steps down 2015-05-26
American Library Association designated June GLBT Book Month 2015-05-26
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame party is community event 2015-05-23
ROOF on theWit unveils menu, hosts runway show 2015-05-22
Chicago couple builds arts-enpowerment program for girls 2015-05-20
Grunt dating app to be redesigned for watch 2015-05-20
'Taste for the Arts' gala draws hundreds 2015-05-19
Fairy gardener 2015-05-19
Upcoming: Anne Steele; CGMC honors Sondheim; Chicago Artists Chorale goes Brit 2015-05-13
MBC opens advertising icons exhibit 2015-05-13
MOVIES Thomas Miller creates an unforgettable 'Limited Partnership' 2015-05-12
MBC to exhibit icons of advertising 2015-05-08
Steppenwolf's Martha Lavey hospitalized, recovering from stroke 2015-05-07
Woman Made Gallery studies gender representation in major galleries 2015-05-07
New gay manga anthology gives art form legitimacy 2015-05-06
Upcoming: Mom kisses, Wright Plus, Pride Fest, Madonna, PianoForte 2015-05-05
Designs for Dignity helps give LGBTQ spaces new looks 2015-05-05
Earthquake relief effort for Nepal's LGBTIs seeks help 2015-05-04
THEATER REVIEW Lips Together, Teeth Apart 2015-04-29
Kirk takes part in rally outside Supreme Court hearing 2015-04-29
"Guernica"-sized art honors Armenian genocide 100 years later 2015-04-29
Heroes assemble at comics convention 2015-04-28
Food news: Art Smith; Rockit relaunch 2015-04-28
Noel Coward's Design for Living part of Pride Films & Plays season 2015-04-28
Chicago couple part of Hillary Clinton announcement 2015-04-22
Chicago Red Dress Party readdresses HIV/AIDS awareness 2015-04-21
First apartment for youth adopted by 750 Club 2015-04-21
750 Club donors adopt first apartment 2015-04-21
Gerber/Hart celebrates Sandfield Exhibition Gallery 2015-04-20
Vicci Martinez releases new EP "I Am" 2015-04-17
Exhibit shows history of UChicago LGBTQ life 2015-04-14
'Dancer as Insurgent' part of queer-themed Hull House event 2015-04-14
Artist-activists talk '50 Shades of Gay,' other projects 2015-04-14
Store opening is a 'Torrid' affair 2015-04-14
Limited Partnership on Independent Lens, PBS, June 15 2015-04-13
Openly gay Chicagoan promoted to law firm partner 2015-04-08
The fairy gardener 2015-04-07
Blue and view: Wade Elkins part of famed troupe 2015-04-07
PASSAGES Jim Oleson, partner of historian John D'Emilio, dies 2015-04-05
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.