Spring Beauty and Abandoned Blight

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Red branches reaching… The sky is sleeping… Gray skies and thunder rolling… The clouds are weeping… Saturday evening darkness leads to sunny Sunday mornings… Float away to greener lands away from city warnings… The trees reach out to me… Waving tiny branches… Always be alert to step away from shady glances… Understand empathy… Practice individuality… […]

Waiting for… Finding a Home…

"Waiting for a Home" - Soergel Orchards - Wexford, PA

“Waiting for a Home” – Soergel Orchards – Wexford, PA

I haven’t posted in a while… A life consumed… A life confirmed… For me…

In the meantime… I was interviewed for Ignite… Check it out right here

Red sky mourning… Red sky and the mourning doves…
Yellow leaves grace trees rising above…
Spring is a whimper… Summer is a reply…
Autumn is the way the seasons try to say goodbye…

Summer is falling… Fruit is rotting on the frozen ground…
Mourning doves fly through the winds winter bound…
Frozen time lost in the name of sleep…
When we wake the spring clouds will thunder and weep…

Winter is of the night… Winter is a time of passing…
Winds send the naked trees suddenly crashing…
Darkness lasts longer than the winter sun…
I am of the daylight… Together we are one…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Seasons Melting

"Bumblebee on Wingstem" - Whitney Avenue - Wilkinsburg, PA

“Bumblebee on Wingstem” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

Sunset melts into mighty rivers…
Oceans evaporate in the steady wind…
Rivers flow into the fluctuating sea…
The rain will eventually set us free…

The rain will wash away our sins…
Falling like hail from the gray sky…
Cloudy days into sunshine blinding…
Found yet wandering… Lost reminding…

Remind us of the woodland trees…
Smell of leaves before the freeze…
Air is crisp and cold surrounds…
In the spring the weather rebounds…

In the spring our spirits will rise…
Flowers bloom and youth surprise…
Snow delays are but a splinter…
Spring into summer and fall into winter…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Composition in Scraps – Primary

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“Composition in Scraps – Primary” – Bricks from my garden… River stones from the alley… Dandelions and Buttercups… Blue Flag Iris… Bamboo… Red Twig Dogwood… Apple…

A collaboration of a few of the things I find beautiful… Mere scraps to most… But to me… To me these things all posses as much individual beauty as they do as one composition… They were collected for a reason… They were collected to define a season… They were collected to define me…

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plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Shelter from the Storm

AlderSunset

“Sunset through the Alder” – Keystone State Park – Westmoreland County, PA

Seeking shelter from the relentless rain…
Hiding my soul to alleviate the pain…
Salvation lies in the pure forest green…
Seeking silence… Seek the serene…

In the near distance… Audible from afar…
The sound of gravel under a creeping car…
Distant highways relentless thunder…
The sky is dark and turning under…

Gray clouds crumble… Light shows through…
Jet liners rumble obscured from view…
Train whistles blowing across the land…
My light is shining and always grand…

My flame is but a candle to the sun…
You and I together will burn as one…
Our minds combined can move the moon…
We sing off-key but we think in tune…

Clouds are about to clear the horizon…
Blue sky fades to the orange sun rising…
Morning is just a few moments away…
Together as one we take on this day…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Complementary Gardening – Gardening Without Borders

PurpliWhiteTip

“Tulip Behind Borders” – The Garden Table – Wilkinsburg, PA – This garden is a vacant lot that happens to be located in a rather high traffic location… I am actually planning on installing a fence and gate this summer… Something I said I would never do…

It is a long-standing practice in gardening to use a border to define the edges of our gardens. My preferred border material is bricks, they are plentiful in my neighborhood, have historical value, and help me keep my personal gardens neat and orderly. Borders are basically a line used to define where the lawn maintenance ends, and where the meticulous garden maintenance begins. Without borders, the neighborhood children would not know where my garden started… They also wouldn’t know the point at which I start yelling… Though… The kids are very good about not stepping in my garden…

As a garden installer, I spend a great deal of time thinking about garden borders… But as an artist/environmentalist… I also spend a great deal of time thinking outside my garden borders… To start this article off, I want to answer a simple question… What is a garden? A garden is typically defined as a collection of plants… In most cultures… To dream of paradise… Equates to dreaming of a garden… Or a lush landscape at the very least… This collection is typically contained within the confines of ones own yard… It just makes sense… Plants cost money… Why would you put them someplace you don’t own?

As my journey through the gardening world has progressed… I have found myself constantly looking to nature for inspiration… Over the last few years, I have left the borders of my garden… And gone in search of other gardens… My search has taken me into the forest in search of spring ephemerals… Into the fields to look for Echinacea… And up into the mountains to look for ginseng…

I have spent a great deal of time seeking out, and observing plants in their natural settings. Over time, my hobby has blossomed into an obsession. Now that I have been doing this for a few years, I have developed a bond with many of the plant patches I find… I have actually developed an emotional attachment to them… Oddly… I recently realized that I feel the same way about the woodland wildflowers I regularly seek out, as I feel about the plants in my garden…

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“300 Acre Garden” – Keystone State Park – Westmoreland County, PA – Can an entire state park be considered a garden… I believe it can be… A sunset photo of my newest garden…

Walking through trillium along the side of a mountain… I stopped to pick up some litter… It was at this exact moment that I realized my garden no longer had a border… Standing on the side of this mountain… I realized I was the only person who would ever pick up these plastic bottles… The Trillium certainly couldn’t do it… Not the jack-in-the-pulpit’s… Not the tasty Morels… Without me stopping to pick up those bottles… They would have been there for a really long time…

In order to garden, an individual must have an affection for plants… In my own experience, this rarely dies, in most cases it blossoms into an addiction and before you know it… You have more plants than you know what to do with… Some see this as a bad thing… But I personally see it as a good thing… It is at this point most people start looking outside of their own garden to scratch the gardening itch… When a gardeners mind finally steps outside of their own property… Only then does nature truly see a benefit… This is when the journey really begins…

Our gardens are a direct connection between ourselves, and the environment that surrounds us. Bees for example, collect pollen from the flowers blooming in your garden, although this pollen is then transferred among the other plants in your own garden, it is also spread to the plants surrounding your garden. This everyday transfer of genetic material is just one way plants communicate… The plants you plant in your own garden, affect the next generation of plants that will grow in your surroundings…

TroutLily

“Trout Lily” – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Frick Park is a place I have been spending a lot of time in… I consider it an urban garden… And I will care for it as such…

Although we will go to great lengths to keep animals and birds out of our gardens, nature always wins. Many seeds have evolved to survive digestion, after consumption, these seeds are then spread through “natural processes”. I have followed plant-covered deer trails through the woods, these trails can be hotspots for finding early spring wildflowers… I have followed trillium trails for miles… Likewise… The old ginseng hunters used to follow deer trails when foraging for medicine…

Humans have been pushing nature away for hundreds of years… We cap the earth in cement… Trap and kill anything we consider “wild”… We eliminate ecosystems… Then replace them ad-hoc in the places we deem suitable… We create gardens full of food in the middle of exotic monocultures of chemically dependent monocots… Organic vegetables growing among a sea of garbage… Food labeled as organic… Hiding behind a ten-foot fence… Taunting the deer… Torturing the rabbits… But in desperation… Will not stop a single one of them…

Man and nature can live in harmony… In fact… Nature only requires a small amount of compensation… I laugh when I hear stories of people living in these new plans of McMansions… Entire ecosystems have been destroyed to put these plans in… Yet the inhabitants still cry foul when their cheap landscaping shrubs get devoured almost immediately… If you tore my hundred-year old house down… And built a fire-hazard on top of it… You better believe… I am going to do more than eat your shrubs…

Living in western Pennsylvania, I am asked more questions regarding deer… Than any other garden pest you can think of… Everybody wants a magic bullet… When I answer by saying feed them… Most people scoff… But I stand by my word… The goal to keeping nature from eating your share… Is to compensate… More simply put… You need to make other food sources easier to acquire than your own… Depending on your situation… This is often as easy as a simple fence around your vegetables… And a feeder and salt block somewhere else… This isn’t really a secret either… Any old-time farmer will tell you this…

I guess what I am trying to say is this… Gardening is a skill that requires us to learn how to work with nature… In order to do this properly… We must think outside the borders of our gardens… We must allow our minds to seek out answers beyond the confines of our own property… The insects and animals surrounding you have no respect for the borders in your gardens… They do not see property lines… They do not know where nature ends… And where the garden begins… And that is my point… Nature doesn’t see where the wild ends… Animals don’t know where the garden begins… And neither should we… The entire earth is a garden… A paradise… Every square inch of it deserves protection… As gardeners… Our gardens have no borders… And Nature… Well that Is in fact… What we do…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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Gray Skies and Green

SneakPeak

“Sneak Peak” – Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – Minimalist Maple leaf in Food Coloring – A sneak peak of a series I am working on…

Gray skies lead to green…
Grass growing under my feet…
Sunshine on my mind…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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