Breaking Through – Outside My Window

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“Breaking Through” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

Posted on the Vernal Equinox – 3/20/2014 at 12:57 PM EST….

Snow is falling on my dreams of spring…
Falling on the tips of my green tulips…
Falling on daffodils and hyacinth breeze…
Hiding under the leaves from the naked trees…

Spring is right around this next corner…
The fresh scent is rising through the air…
Like my bulbs growing under the leaves…
In the blue sky and under brown trees…

Right outside my broken window…
Frozen tears fall from the winter sky…
Spring will soon flow from the melting snow…
Slowly flowing to the seeds I sow…

Spring winds right outside my old door…
Whistling past my open window…
Blowing away the grey winter leaves….
Making way for the mighty trees…

Making way for my gardens in green…
Making way for you and me…
To turn this landscape of brown and grey…
Into a magnificent flower-filled display…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – First Day of Spring – Snowdrops

Snowdrop1

“First Flower – First Photo” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – So here it is… The first Snowdrop I found blooming this year… In fact… This is the first flower of 2013… At least in my neck of the woods… This is also the first flower photograph with my new camera…
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I took a bunch of photographs of this patch of Snowdrops… But none of them compared to the first shot… None of the other shots could touch the way I feel about this single photograph…

A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Today is the first day of spring!

There’s something about the warmth of the spring sun… Coupled with the chill of the fleeting winter winds… To me… This is the first sign of spring… This is the first sign of life…

Spring calls to me… Another cold snap away… Yet… She is right beneath my feet… Right before my eyes… The sun emanates… Spiritual solar display… Warm radiating glow… Melting snow flows…

The spring sun shines on my face… Cold winter winds on my back… Searching for color… Searching… Searching for signs of another season… Another reason…

Another reason to get out of bed… A reason to rationalize why I’m not dead… When we have nothing… We have everything… When we have everything… We have nothing…

Essentially… None of this matters… Who cares what we can buy… It’s all garbage… It’s all fake… What really matters is what you can make…

Or what makes you…

Are you nothing more than a cause?.. Or are you the effect?.. Are you the building blocks that they use to erect?..

I personally… I am the builder… I can tear them down… And I can build them up… Give me a vineyard and I’ll put wine in your cup… I’ll put life in your cup…

I have come across another spring… Another day… Another moment on this earth… Another heartbeat… With you…

Today we celebrate… Celebrate the sun… Celebrate the land… Celebrate life… Celebrate the simple little fact that today… We as gardeners get another shot… Another opportunity to sculpt life… Another opportunity to turn our garden dreams into reality…

It all starts today… March 20… 12:57 PM Today… We all have something in common… Today… We all dream of gardens… We all dream of spring…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

This is the end of the series… From this point forward I will return to my regular random format… A big thank you to everyone who has been following along throughout the winter… Without your regular comments I never could have finished this series… So thank you…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address- 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj
PayPal – Email me for details

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 90 – Heuchera

Heuchera

“Heuchera and Snowdrops” – Spring 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Today is the last day of Winter! Tomorrow will be the last post…

I made it all the way to the end of winter… I wasn’t sure if I would be able to stay focused through all 90 posts… But I did it… And I learned so much while doing this series that I would suggest doing something similar to any gardener looking to boost their knowledge of plants…

I have already started planning for next year… Except next time I am going to invite people to join me… I took some inspiration from WordPress and tagged each post with #postaday… I also added my own #plantaday to make searching for my posts easy… May I suggest you start taking photographs now if you have any interest at all in participating next winter… The way I see it… If enough people participate we could create a pretty massive wealth of plant-based knowledge…

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“Heucherella” – Summer 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

Heuchera happens to be my favorite ornamental perennial… My girlfriend and I have created quite the collection… I like it because it comes in every color imaginable… Plus it will survive in a wide variety of conditions…

Heuchera is often labeled as a full-sun plant… In my experiences I find that it is equally at home in the shade… As you can tell from the photographs above… These plants are in full-shade… I have also noticed only the plants with light-colored leaves can handle extreme sunlight… The purple and red-leaved varieties absorb too much sunlight…

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Tomorrow will be my last post of this series… I thought the first day of spring would be a perfect ending… Plus… The Snowdrops are in full bloom right now and the photographs taken with my new camera are top-notch… Today the temperature is supposed to near 60F… I will be outside from the moment I finish this post till the afternoon thunder showers arrive… Until tomorrow…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symplocarpus_foetidus

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is…1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 89 – Skunk Cabbage

SkunkCabbage

“Symplocarpus foetidus – Skunk Cabbage” – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Blooming right now in my neck of the woods…

A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Tomorrow is the last day of Winter!

I know what your thinking… Skunk Cabbage? Not exactly a plant you would expect with only two posts left in this series… Symplocarpus foetidus is not exactly what most people would consider an interesting plant… Well… I intend to change that with this post…

Symplocarpus foetidus… Commonly known as “Eastern Skunk Cabbage”… Or simply “Skunk Cabbage” is one of the nastiest smelling plants I have ever come in contact with… The leaves when broken emit a foul smell similar to the smell of rotting meat… A few years back I decided to test this… I stomped a clump with my shoe and put my nose near it… It burnt so bad I had to go home… It was probably 4 hours before my sense of smell came back…

Skunk Cabbage is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring… Its flowers are produced on a long spadix contained within a spathe… 4-6″ tall and purple in color… The nasty odor of this plant is used to attract pollinating flies that are also active this early in the season…

Skunk Cabbage is one of the few plants that exhibits thermogenesis… Because this plant blooms so early in the year it is not uncommon for this blooming period to occur when the ground is still frozen solid… SC has developed the ability to generate heat… Often reaching temperatures 95 degrees F above air temperature… This helps melt the ground around the rhizome and allows the plant to flower whenever it is ready… It is also thought that this area of warmth also helps attract pollinators…

Believe it or not… Skunk Cabbage is also edible… Kinda… The leaves can be dried and then cooked… Raw they will apparently burn your mouth… SC was commonly used in medicine in the 19th century… Today it is common in water gardens… Though I have to caution… The rhizomes often attain a thickness of 12″ or more… Removal can be difficult…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symplocarpus_foetidus

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is…1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 75 – Siberian Squill

Sqwill

“Squill on Nine Mile Run” – Spring 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

Scilla… Also known as “Squill”… Squill is one of those words that sounds like it should be followed with a “MWOMP, MWOMP, mwoooomp” anytime the word is spoken…

Squill are tiny plants… Rarely taller than 4″… They are a member of the Asparagacea family… And despite the inclusion of the word “Siberian” in the common name… This plant is not native to Siberia… But is in fact is native to Southwestern Russia and Turkey…

Scilla bulbs can get expensive… Almost shockingly expensive when you consider the fact that this perennial really only blooms for a handful of days per year…

Scilla is most common in the color blue… Whit is the next most common… Then there is what I consider to the “Holy Grail” of Squill… Pink to light-pink…

Scilla is considered an invasive plant in much of the world… The bulb reproduces via offsets… But it also reproduces with highly viable seeds… This reproductive duo can apparently create a shit-storm of plants… So many that they can thickly colonize when planted in perfect soil and conditions…

I recommend naturalizing Squill in your lawn… It will finish blooming and die long before the first lawn cutting…

Sometimes you feel like a Squill… Sometimes you don’t…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scilla_siberica

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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Borders and Ice – Equality

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“Garden Border Through Ice” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

It’s just another fact of life…
We all want to be equal…
Oftentimes it is at the expense…
Of the other teams people…

Equality can not be won…
It is not domination…
It will be a product…
Of peaceful motivation…

Equality is not an excuse…
To bash enemy faces…
Surely not the occupation…
Of our public places…

Equality is the combination…
Of our dreams and ideas…
Equality will be a chapter…
In future encyclopedias…

We will all read and laugh…
And realize we were wrong…
We all dream the same dreams…
We all sing freedom songs…

The only thing that’s different…
Our attitudes towards others…
I’d still be willing to bet…
We all love our mothers…

We are all brothers…
We are all sisters…
We are all just little people…
In a big world of misters…

It’s time to be complimentary…
Agree we are on the same land…
Red… Green… Blue… Nor black…
Has the right to oppress a man…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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Green Collar

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“Blueberry Ice” – Whitney Avenue/Hamnett Way – Wilkinsburg, PA – This photograph doesn’t have a damn thing to do with this poem… I left the camera inside tonight… My purpose was to write… A camera would just distract me…

Watching people on streets come and go…
Abandoned houses remain capped in snow…
Occupied homes emanate clouds of smoke…
When the wind blows the stream is broke…

Neighborhood cats normally skittish and mean…
Using my warmth to get the energy to clean…
After a few minutes he is on his way…
Chasing a lost leaf across a frozen display…

After a few moments an old car rolls past…
The smell of exhaust and discount gas…
The car slowly rolls to a screeching stop…
Lights turn off and bass lines drop…

A few minutes pass into the crunch of ice…
A stranger slithers past staring not so nice…
There’s a guy on that porch we gotta roll…
Drop me on the corner and I’ll grab your toll…

Another night observing the urban streets…
Another drug deal by a kid packing heat…
Realizing we are all slaves to the dollar…
Blue collar… White collar…
And then there’s me… The green collar…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello
The Green Thumbed Vagabond

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is… 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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Underneath the Snow

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“Snow Showers” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

Underneath the snow lies cold and frozen ground… Soon the robins will sing their early spring song… The tulips will stretch with the crocus blossoms… The sun will cry tears through the cloudy bottom… Because… Spring is almost here… Pleasant weather is near… Prepare our gardens for a bountiful year… Life’s daily delivery in the morning dew… If you grow your own you essentially grow you… The dew in your garden is the dew in mine… When my garden is healthy you’ll know I am fine… You’ll know that I am whole… When I’m working on my garden I’m working on my soul… The water you put on your garden… Is my future rain… To share your seeds… Is to share your gain… To plant a tree… Is to share the air… To plant a garden… Is to show you care…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 45 – Rose

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“White to Pink” – Summer 2013 – Choderwood – Chicks in the Hood – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

We have made it to the halfway point… Only 45 more days to go… So far this winter has been crazy… We have seen temperatures reach twenty-year lows… Lots of snow… And of course… It’s in the mid 40s today… And Punxsutawney Phil just saw his shadow… Six more weeks of winter… Because a groundhog (my garden enemy) said so… Let that groundhog come near my veggie patch… I don’t care how famous he is… He will be compost…

Today I chose the Rose… I am a fan… I realized something while gathering these photos… For a guy who listens to heavy metal… I have way too many “pink” flowers in my garden… I’m going to have to work on that this year… Anyway,,,

My grandmother had a few roses in her front garden… I remember because they looked like a bunch of thorny sticks most of the year… But occasionally… Those sticks would put out a massive flower… We also had Roses at the house I grew up in… We have a split rail fence that runs along part of the street… A long time ago… Each post had a Rose growing next to it… If I remember right… The Willow tree that fell in our yard took out the Roses… Maybe my mom or dad will chime in on this…

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Roses are something I actually have a lot of practice with… The community I live in is very old… Many… Many people have grown old here… Through the years a whole bunch of Roses have been planted throughout my community… I regularly find “old-world” roses growing in the front and backyards of abandoned houses… I was looking for my photos of a massive “Moss Rose” I found last Summer… It had taken over an entire backyard… I will be transplanting parts of it this Summer… The house is on the demo-list and from experience… Nothing survives the demolition crew… They will even cut the trees down…

Roses require regular pruning… No one wants to do this… Because people are afraid of the thorns… Most roses I come in contact with are severely neglected… The first thing I typically do is cut that thing down to 20 – 24″ sticks… You have to get it under control… Rose bushes are bred to bloom profusely… They will never accomplish this if they are busy supporting massive amounts of stems and leaves…

Roses are Potassium hogs… That is why the old-timers threw their banana peals under them… I still do this… Except I bury them under a shallow amount of compost… A bloom-boosting fertilizer will also work… But why waste money at the store on something you can’t eat… When you can buy something both you and your plant can eat…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

Get your own wallet at CoinBase.com

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 41 – Swamp Mallow

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“Swamp Mallow” – Summer 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

It’s the dead of winter and I woke up this morning thinking about sunshine and the local park… You could almost say I woke up with wildflowers on my mind…

Wildflowers on my mind… Wildflowers in my soul… Wildflowers quickly become an obsession… When you start to learn about them… Then even more importantly start to notice them… You realize they are everywhere… Eventually… You will want to grow them… And soon you have got them coming out of your ass… That’s just how it goes… Don’t be all judgy… I have had worse addictions than flower hoarding…

When I took the photograph above… A young girl ran up to me with her mother and asked if this plant was Hibiscus… She said her daughter wanted to know… I explained that it was… But told them the differences between our native variety and the tropical variety they had at home… I was even able to get them a few seeds off the plant… I explained how to grow them… And they left… I hope I see them again this year to see if they got them to grow…

Short but sweet… Hope you have a great day… As always…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/c_moscheutos

New To writing and never had to cite sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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