Wednesday Vignette – straws, shadows and similes

The past few days have been a whirl of hort-heavy adventures, culminating in Hortlandia – the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon’s annual Spring Extravaganza. I also had one small install completed, and made a flash visit to another larger project that is finally being built. Leading up to all this, on Thursday, I joined a group of fellow plant enthusiasts, and visited two fabulous nurseries that had been on my list for a while (Secret Garden Growers and Sebright). On our way there, we also stopped at a private greenhouse, the content of which is being liquidated, so the owners can sell their home, and settle into a far less labor intensive retirement community.

Since I had been there before (and already managed to kill one of the tiny ferns I bought), I used our time there to call my dear mother, while the others perused the fabulous tropical inventory, and shopped to their hearts’ content. As we were chatting, I noticed the shadows of a few grassy inflorescences, silhouetted on the concrete block base of the greenhouse. Interestingly, at first look, the composition looked a lot fuller than it actually was. Turns out, there were these vertically running striations in the concrete, that amplified the shadows, and made it all look like so much more than what was actually there. I pondered this for a while, drawing parallels between actuality and perception, between substance and fluff.


Maybe mastering the ‘art of perception’- part of existence, and projecting the perceived over the actual, is the key to success? Or at least to help you get more noticed? A close second to paperwork, marketing/business development is my least favorite part of being a small business owner. The entire idea of social media is to amp up the fluff. I think there might be a lesson to be had in this vignette…


About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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28 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – straws, shadows and similes

  1. Tina says:

    Fluff aside, it’s a great photo and interesting perspective. Isn’t art what you see, or experience. I’d say the view that you caught is artful–”nuff said! Here’s my garden vignette: Thanks for hosting!

  2. linda says:

    Don’t give up on that tiny fern ! I thought mine was dead too…sprayed it with water several times a day . It’s made a recovery !!!

    • annamadeit says:

      I’ll give you mine too, to see if you can revive it. I moved it down to the kitchen so I wouldn’t forget. It got several showers per day, but kept getting worse and worse. I just put it hanging off the edge of the new frog nursery. Which means that it gets to fend for itself… It’s yours if you want to try your magic to revive it!

  3. Kris P says:

    Some people would see only a dirty wall but your mind is always seeking abstract connections – I think you’d make a great marketing specialist, Anna! My WV concerns an upcoming event consuming more and more of my attention with each passing day:

  4. It sounds like you have been very busy. Me, too. I need to take time to observe, even during the busiest days. Thanks for hosting!

  5. “amp up the fluff”… my new credo! There’s such a fine line between getting the amping just right and over doing it. I struggle with that.

    Such willpower to stay outside of the greenhouse! No WV from me today, instead I’m sharing my Hortlandia haul…

  6. mmwm says:

    “amp up the fluff” — I like the turn of phrase. And it’s something I just can’t manage, if it means trying to make something less appear to be something more. But looking at your photo, I feel that the vertically running striations in the concrete do constitute actuality; i.e., they don’t make it seem like more is there than there actually is, because they actually ARE there, and they’re a significant aspect of what drew your eye to the composition in the first place, no?

    • annamadeit says:

      Indeed… In this you’re right. I’m fretting over business development right now. I guess that’s why my mind reacted the way it did. Not my favorite thing… 🙂

  7. Pingback: Wednesday Vignette – A Moveable Garden

  8. hb says:

    Yes entirely too much “fluff” everywhere–or maybe it should be called “bs”?

    • annamadeit says:

      Haha – bs is certainly as true assessment as it comes… 😂 So tired of both it, and of seeing how effective it often seems to be on so many of us.

  9. Love the photo. As for social media, I always feel like I am missing the bus.

  10. tonytomeo says:

    That is saddening about the private greenhouse being liquidated. One can not help but wonder what is being lost in the process. When I lost my collection of yuccas, some that were discarded might have been the only ones of their kind in California.

    • annamadeit says:

      That’s very sad about your yuccas, but I don’t know how sad this one is… he knows exactly what he has, and is making sure most of it goes to other plant/gesneriad/orchid nerds who will cherish what they buy. So far, I’ve managed to keep everything I bought alive, except that tiny fern, which need very humid conditions to survive. I failed in that regard, but luckily, the other things I bought are still growing strong!

  11. Kris P says:

    I don’t see the comments section on your most recent post, Anna. Sadly, news has to be consumed in measured doses these days – an overdose is almost guaranteed to make you ill.

    • annamadeit says:

      This is so weird, Kris… Loree told me she couldn’t see the comment section either. Not sure what is going on… How were YOU able to comment???

  12. mmwm says:

    I want to comment on the peahen post but there’s no place to do it on that posting? I thought the peahen looked placid and content! But I’m with you on the state of the world at large and the daily news.

    • annamadeit says:

      I have no idea what happened. You are not the only one who were having trouble. I know I didn’t knowingly change any settings. So weird… Hopefully it has straightened itself out by now. Fingers crossed!

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