On Open-Heart Surgery, Floral Portraiture, Women in the Garden, and Why I Only Garden in the Dark

Portulaca Grandiflora. July 2018.

“Is this a weed?” — “Yes.” Barely a beat of a pause before I asked again after what was likely the same plant: “is this a weed?” “Yes.” “This?” “That’s a volunteer, just stick it back in.” “This one?”, my questions were terse and came with militant conviction. Her responses kept time to the same heartbeat. Each blade of grass would be taken to task before a decision was made concerning its removal.

“That’s — yes.” She sat in the relative shade of a weeping cherry on a ninety degree day in a hot pink folding beach chair we bought…

On Alternate Timelines, American Education, and Gatekeeping in the Scottish-American Community

TLDR: I’m still super annoyed at something that happened in my seventh grade social studies class

I was born into a very Scottish family. Largely, a very privileged one. My grandparents’ roots sunk deep into the history of Glasgow’s cracking pavement, and the peat of a tiny village in the Outer Hebrides that didn’t get electricity until the 1950s. The stories of doctors, veterinarians, and barristers accompanied those of servants, sailors, fishermen, victims of epidemic, and school teachers in a varied line. My grandmother spoke fluent Scots Gaelic. I was the first grandchild born in the United States, to an American mother.

I adored our culture, marveling daily at the enormous Scottish lion sculpture in our…

Portraits of Women at Work in One of Europe’s Last Flower Markets — and the Victorian Woman Who Made it Possible

“Twent-y roses for a tenner! Look at these, twen-e roses li’ these — for a tenna’! Right, ladies — these are the roses your boyfriends aren’t buying for you right now, yeah? Look at ‘im, ‘e’s not even embarrassed! Maybe it’s time for a change! Don’t bring this one home to mum and dad!”

As you shuffle through the crowd, you practically wait for him to continue with “replace him with flowers instead!”, but his spiel restarts after a few beats pause during which his competitor beckons customers with an even better deal. Americans in the crowd look unsure of…

How one woman led her community to save 400 acres from development — and on giving credit where credit is due forty-six years later

Left: 2018. Right: Photograph of a 1972 newspaper plea published in The Coastland Times for support to save Jockey’s Ridge.

Tar Heels and visitors alike know the location, even if not its stories and secrets. Down Carolista drive off the main drag, over four hundred acres of windswept ‘living dunes’ — so tall glass is formed when lightning strikes — take tall orders from multidirectional winds, changing their shape as the tides shape the shores below. This is Jockey’s Ridge State Park in North Carolina’s Outer Banks — and it exists today only because of the actions of one determined mother with the “energy of a hurricane”.

The park website’s indication of ‘six million dump truck loads’ as the chosen…

(And Here to Remind You Why We’re Very Far from Being Out of the Woods Yet)

For one year and five months, Scott Pruitt faithfully served his climate-change denying interests in his role heading the Environmental Protection Agency, armed with a noticeable lack of relevant education in scientific fields and the bureaucratic aptitude of Mel Brooks’s “mayor” in Blazing Saddles. But you know this already, and if you’re still reading, you probably don’t need to hear it again.

As the international community goes forward to face the new obstacles this will present, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what makes our planet worth protecting, conserving, and defending with some of the most vibrant…

Caroline Corinne

Victorianist PGR examining interactions with nature as I explore and photograph our planet, avid gardener, and mother of a rescue Manx cat. London.

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