What’s popping up at the Labyrinth

Labyrinth in Early AprilThe labyrinth is clear for walking, if you don’t mind that some bricks are slightly askew. We’ll get those reset in the next couple weeks or so. As you can see from this image, the garden is pretty barren. We’re still doing cleanup, but what you don’t see are all the perennials just below the surface. We’re waiting on hostas, bleeding hearts, and Lilly of the Valley. Some of the perennials are starting to shoot up, though. There are daylillies galore on the sunny side of the garden. It even looks like they’ve spread a bit, some we will have to move, because they are at the labyrinth’s edge.

But the bit we’re really excited about are those tiny show-offs, the crocus. We put those in a year ago last fall, but nothing came of them last spring other than shoots. Crocus Buds Early AprilSo I had low expectations. But I guess they decided to settle in, because we’re already getting a couple of buds.

I’m thrilled, because these guys are supposed to naturalize, and we’ll keep getting more each year. There are only a couple of tiny buds so far (about 1″ or so), but for those of us aching for blooms (and not the hothouse variety), they are huge. I expect we’ll see some blooming in the next week or so, and hopefully, they’ll be joined by many, many more.

We also see the beginnings of Daffodils coming up, but I didn’t get a picture, it’s just a few tufts of green, and I want to wait until there’s something more substantial.

Wildflower Tulip ShootsWe’ve got tulips starting to break ground as well. Here’s a shot of some wildflower tulips starting to shoot up. These are not like the tall-stemmed hybrids most people think of when talking tulips. These guys stay pretty close to the ground, and the blooms don’t stay closed. They’ll open up in the sun. I’m looking forward to getting pictures of these when they come out. They are incredibly lovely. I’m also pleased to see how well they are multiplying. The labyrinth is mostly a perennial garden, and last year was our first time trying out any bulbs. I’d heard stories of how difficult they could be, and how they are often more annuals than perennials, but we got lucky. The walls around the garden tend to stabilize things and create a bit of a micro-climate.

Minnesota HollyIn Minneapolis, we are a Zone 4, but this hardy Zone 5 Holly has weathered three winters so far. We got this at Tangletown Gardens, and it included both the male and female in one pot for planting, so there are berries. At the time, they recommended a treatment for the leaves to help it weather the winter, but I never picked it up.  It weathered the last two seasons just fine.  But this last winter was much more of the traditional Minnesota sub-zero variety, so we lost some leaves, and had to prune back a few branches so the plant could focus on new growth. But despite this, the holly looks in pretty good shape.  We’ll plan ahead next fall and pamper it a bit more with the leaf treatment and extra mulching.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’ll post again when we have blooms.

Labyrinth Thawing Slowly

When you walk down Lyndale Avenue, it seems like the snow is all gone and we’re just waiting for the plants to wake up that it’s spring. But snow and ice continue to linger in the shady half of the labyrinth garden, but that didn’t stop me from going out and getting a couple of pictures… [Read more…]

Cultural Creatives Reach Beyond the New Age

Do you fit into a labelled box or do you resent it when people try to stuff you into a category like New Age?

Maybe you have never considered yourself a New Ager, but prefer to think of yourself as a Free Spirit who does not run after every guru or enlightenment fad packaged under a new label.

Maybe you are down-to-earth, inquisitive, open, and you’ve simply had your fill of plastic shamans and others who have discovered the ultimate truth-of-the-year, revealed only through them and they will gladly share it with you for a price.

If you are like at least 50 million adults in the U.S., you find you don’t quite fit neatly into the pollsters demographics. Take New Agers, for example. Some people might put you into that box if you have a private spiritual practice which respects the earth, but just aren’t into crystals. Or maybe you do “tune in” to crystal and gemstone energies but don’t get your wisdom from “channelled” beings from another plan or another planet.

Remember when the New Age was actually new? Individuals and small self-forming groups, influenced by modern physics or the ecology movement and/or the civil rights and womens rights movements pushed beyond the boundaries of cultural and racial stereo-types to ask some important questions. If there is a God, can we really limit his, or more revolutionarily, HER, to a single name, culture or book of wisdom?  Exploration was the norm, but somehow, the marketing engine started to run the show, and it all became about putting on a new label and selling to the “New Age” market.

So why amd I talking about a new label anyway?

When I first heard of this new label “Cultural Creatives” being coined by a book of the same name, I was skeptical. It sounded like yet another guru gimick, but I was intrigued by the description of this new group on the website about the book:


“The Cultural Creatives care deeply about ecology and saving the planet, about relationships, peace, social justice, and about self actualization, spirituality and self-expression. Surprisingly, they are both inner-directed and socially concerned, they’re activists, volunteers and contributors to good causes more than other Americans. However, because they’ve been so invisible in American life, Cultural Creatives themselves are astonished to find out how many share both their values and their way of life. Once they realize their numbers, their impact on American life promises to be enormous, shaping a new agenda for the twenty-first century.”

[Read more…]