A Few Things on My Mind

\Some odds and ends I have been wanting to share, and a few comments about them.

Adding a Blog

It’s been awhile. Quite awhile actually, I can’t even remember the last time I added a Blog to the list over on the WCI Links page.

Well then, I guess it’s time. the blog is Daisy Design and as best I can figure the blog author is in Newfoundland, Canada. Daisy D is well written, with a lot of talk on issues that effect designers everywhere. Some of the recent posts have been about doing the local Home Show.

Those of us in the trade know what a hassle(necessary evil) the Home Show is, and I was enjoying following along and taking in the pics of the booth(s) and all the other stuff that goes with being involved in this PITA deal.

Be sure to check out the rendering/conceptuals through the link on the top left. That is some nice skill using watercolor(colour-Canada?).

Good luck with the Blog and I look forward to following along. I hope you guys do some case studies like some of those I have shared here. That’s if you are reading this and care to share.

A good article in the NYTimes

Moss, any moss lovers out there? Well David Benner is and I love his philosophy:

“I really don’t water,” . . . “I work with nature, and my philosophy is that things have to tough it out.”

And this other great tidbit from the Times article:

“I can still hardly believe it. Moss produces spores, and they just blew in from the air. Now I have 25 kinds, none of which I planted.”

This magic occurred after he covered his yard with sulfur powder and aluminum sulfate, this combination killed all his existing grass and created the acidic soil, which allowed the magic to happen.

So is moss the next great thing in sustainability? I don’t know, but I do know this you better have some shade, and your soil should be acidic and nutrient-poor.

Let me tell you . . . I really love moss. I have been adding it ti projects as long ago as I can remember. Everony knows I am a big stone guy, and it goes without saying that moss and stone go together.

So let’s all get rolling on this moss gig, and make sure this moss yard idea catches on.

Death to Surburbia:

Death to the landscaping business soon to follow, at least for a lot of folks if this prediction comes to fruition.

Author James Kuntsler claims this is going to happen in an article dated April 24th in the online edition of BusinessWeek.

From the story:

Cheap oil is what made suburbia possible. But we’ll run into problems with spot shortages. As we get into trouble with these supplies, our economy will suffer. Major instabilities in the system will present themselves much sooner than we are led to believe. And by that I mean the way we produce food, the way we conduct commerce, and the way we move around.

So why am I not screaming like chicken little? Because . . .

Kunstler has been wrong before. According to the article he did do a chicken little on the whole Y2K techno blow-up. Which; of course, never happened.

Still there is some food for thought here. If we had to pay as much for gas as Europeans do I’m sure there would be big changes . . . big changes.

I prefer to remain positive as we move forward, but I ask this question(s)?

  • What would you do if the suburbs started to empty out? It does seem far-fetched doesn’t it?
  • How would you change your business model?
  • Would you get out of the profession?
  • Do you even believe this is possible?

Heamanthus toxicarius

Found this image at the MBG Rare Books site and I thought this great illustration was worth a look.

Heamanthus toxicarius_botanical illustration
[ Heamanthus toxicarius, sure reminds me of fireworks. ]

Fragmenta Botanica: Figuris, Colorata, Illustrata is the name of the book. That’s quite the book title, ca1809.

This page list all the illustrations in the book if you are looking for one of your favorites or hoping to find an illustration of a particular plant.

This is part of the Missouri Botanical Garden Library, clicking here will get you started on their site, happy hunting.

Well that’s it; moss, suburbia, 100+ year old illustrations and a new Blog. another day in the life of Rick Anderson.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. Thanks Rick for mentioning me and my blog! I consider yours one of the best on the net for our industry and indeed I will be posting progress reports on the projects we do.

    Our landscaping season ( Zone 5) is just beginning and it promises to be a great season for us. The show was a great start but very tiring. All-in-all, a very good experience.

    Thanks again,
    Daisy Design
    Newfoundland, Canada

    Thanks for the complement! I appreciate it very much. good luck with your blog and this season.

  2. Hi Rick: It’s been awhile. Life is hectic these days.

    Saw your reference to Kunstler. If you’re going to read about collapse, a much more pleasant source is Dmitry Orlov, who filters everything through the collapse of the former Soviet Union and frankly puts a much more pleasant spin on calamity. Check out his blog sometime. He’s got an excerpt from his forethcoming book on food (gardening plays a big role) on or near the top.

  3. Pingback: moss in grass

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