panic! aesthetics
  • fever: parties that last till morning where women in tight dresses dole out hard drinks garnished with olives. the host's wife is hiding a knife under her corset.
  • pretty odd: a garden lined with white trellises that crawl with roses and morning glories, the midafternoon sun, dragonflies dipping and weaving above still, clear lakes
  • vices and virtues: an empty ballroom with high, arched ceilings made of polished cedar. black velvet and white wine, hushed voices, lace dresses.
  • too weird: rain-slick streets at night, puddles of neon signs and glaring streetlamps, the changing colors of the city as it thrums with muted life.

Okay okay, I get that wearing a pretty dress to the Halamshiral would have made climbing trellises and fighting demons slightly more inconvenient, but wouldn’t it be totally worth it to make your LI’s palms sweat?

Cullen, I know she’s cute and all, but remember that you lose court approval when you stare dreamily into the Inquisitor’s bosom instead of talking with the nobles.


Funk Zone

This artist loft duplex situated in Santa Barbara, California, was designed by Mark Kirkhart of DesignARC.

From the architects:

This urban infill, artist loft duplex was located in an overlooked, but well-located, light-commercial zone. It was also the first new residential construction built in the area for decades, the project is located within a 10-square-block area zoned for light-commercial and affectionately dubbed the “Funk Zone” by resident artists and city planners.

The design incorporates a raised plinth required by flood zone restrictions to create a peaceful, intimate environment within the somewhat chaotic surrounding context. The disciplined and restrained approach towards the building’s image was intended to make reference to the much-loved Meridian Studios by George Washington Smith. Two roof-decks with outdoor fireplaces and shade trellises extend outdoor living space, contribute ocean and mountain views and provide both refuge and release. Cost-effective materials were selected in order to adhere to the strict budget and to relate to the industrial surroundings. Over-sized pivot doors, “industrial” staircases and cabinetry were constructed on-site by the owners to conserve design integrity within the extremely limited budget.

Images and text via + via

JuJu Harris is the author of “The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook” [available for free to those on food assistance in the United States, and available to everyone else for $20 a copy]. A former recipient of government food assistance, she now teaches healthy eating skills to low-income families in Washington, D.C.

Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who’s Been There

“JuJu is one part fairy godmother, one part good witch. Her garden is incredible — great tangles of flowers and honeybees and roses and vegetables climbing trellises, and always another bed being laid. Her food bears the same stamp of wild and whimsy and fundamental integrity." politics

   Amberley Castle, West Sussex, England. (my photo)

   Originally a twelfth century manor house, now a hotel with medieval archways and courtyards and trellises and it bubbles with otherworldliness. It is effervescent and phosphorescent and glows with fantasy. My bestie and I stayed here two nights and it was beyond fabulous. And beyond the castle walls (there is even a portcullis that closes at midnight) lies the tumblry-twee village of Amberley with its ridiculously adorable cottages.

I didn’t know that you couldn’t make someone fall in love with you. i don’t think you knew that either because both of us were constantly reaching out for someone who would never love us, someone who we thought maybe would save us.

because sometimes people are plants, and we grow towards the light, we reach for what could save us. i thought you could save me, I really did. because sometimes people are lifeboats, they are trellises that can support you when you feel like this hurricane will tear every one of your leaves off until you are nothing.

but sometimes people are the hurricane, and you don’t realize it until after it’s all over, and you are standing in the rubble of what used to be your life and you’re thinking “i didn’t even feel the wind.

—  Excerpt from a book I’ll never write– Lily Rain

New Trellis!

I built this little trellis today to host my double-grafted heart-shaped espalier pear tree (that’s a mouthful, I know). I moved the tree because I thought it would be a nice border around the patio I just finished. The wood just needs a coat of black paint (it was raining today, so no painting), and it will be weather-proofed for years to come!

I really prefer to make my own trellises these days, as they can be fully customised to the dimensions of both the garden and the plant. Additionally, home-made trellises are not only far more durable than what you can get in a store, they are also far cheaper, provided you are building more than one.

To build a basic trellis, you will need:

  • Wooden fencing posts (preferably treated wood, as these go in the soil)
  • Concrete sand or a stabilising gravel/sand mix (to stabilise the posts in the ground)
  • Timber for a top bar (to prevent the posts from curving inwards at the top)
  • Long wood screws (I used hex-head 8 cm ones - these are to attach the top bar to the posts)
  • Fencing wire (to make the plant supports)
  • Eye screws (to attach the fencing wire to the posts)
  • Paint or sealant (to weatherproof the wood)

The first trellis is always the most expensive, because you have to buy things like the fasteners, fencing wire, and paint in bulk (and tools like screwdrivers and drills, if you don’t have them already). However, every trellis you build afterwards will only cost you the timber.

I plan on having this one here for as long as it takes for the tree to be shaped correctly (as a heart!): once the tree is stable and solidly growing in the desired shape, I can pick up the trellis and move it to another place in the garden, perhaps to shape another tree, or to support a vine.

In all, it took me less than an hour to build this, and I’m not terribly experienced in this realm (hooray for female socialisation)! If someone as clumsy with a drill as I am can build one, odds are, you can too.

More on espalier trees, living sculptures, and edible landscaping.

yesterday i saw a rainbow arched on itself like a drunk belly-dancer. around it, the jasmine rumor of uncombed nimbus. clouds scattered like petals, scattered like pigeon feathers. week upon week has been soaked in a dettol stupor, the weighing scale with its antiseptic silence licking at my feet. the hypodermic needle of the night pinholes my arm. my heart suddenly leaps out of my chest - a bright red balloon leaving my childhood balcony. my thirst of distance is called fernweh. what girl doesn’t eventually turn into a forest. i see tomorrow in my rearview mirror and suddenly the poem coils around my coccyx like a folklore’s serpent. i find the nearest sandalwood tree & pour it a bowl of milk. this season is diaphanous with remembering. courtyards. riverbanks. tea terraces. the girl in the window is more ivy than silk, seabed wild of ochre and corals, wants to baptise her legs capulet & montague because there is always a bloodwar between them. she is thinking of the thread-veined trellises of a mosque, some kalma graved in an adored turquoise, goats plumped for slaughter, beggars, ferris wheel, the eye of Horus. before he died, he sent me a journal full of catalan recipes and notes on mapmaking - it is not how long you live but how deep. my father’s voice : gravitas, something stolen from the fish nets of the andalusian seafoam, deseeded wine grapes of black muscat, the husky tobaccoed hoop of a tuscano flickering like a cinco de mayo rose smoldering between the dancer’s teeth. there is a place in the depth of my palm where the roads crawl in a battlefield of spiderwebs. i tell K that our hands are archetypes of google earth. on my birthday, i read alejandra pizarnik’s diary entry dated “1st July 1955″. it starts with -  “ I begin to read In Search of Lost Time.”  it ends with - “ I wouldn’t want to be somewhere else or someone else for anything in the world.” the sentence shifts my spine. all of my life is a breaking of boundaries, geometry without symmetry , the beautiful accident of a found poem. 


Dubai Miracle Garden - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

As yet another grandiose project proving that Dubai can support any endeavor the rest of the world can and bigger, the recently opened Miracle Garden may be the city’s most ambitious undertaking yet. Planted on over 775,000 square feet of land, the garden creates massive designs and shapes using fields and flowerbeds using a seemingly impossible 45 million separate flowers.

The miraculous growing project is especially impressive in that it exists in Dubai’s harsh desert climate. The caretakers of the garden claim that the growth is possible through the careful re-use of wastewater and irrigation that uses the drip method as opposed to a more wasteful spray method.

No matter how it is achieved, the staggeringly colorful fields of blooms, shaped like hearts and igloos, and built up trellises constructed to look like famous building, seem like something out of a fairy tale.

Read about the future expansion of Dubai Miracle Garden, on Atlas Obscura…

Olives & Olive Oil

{Foods of the Sunnah}

Allah compares His light in a metaphor with olive trees;

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire (An-Nur 24:35)

Olives and its oil are considered one of the best foods for our health; aiding our heart, cancer prevention, allergy prevention, digestion, and acting as a pain reliever. It’s a good source of healthy fat. It has so many benefits!

Allah stated in the Holy Quran:

“And He it is who causes gardens to grow, trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of various sorts and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of its fruit when it bears fruit, and pay the due on it on the day of its reaping, and do not act extravagantly; surely He does not love the extravagant.” (Al-Anaam 6:141)

Also, Allah describes olives as one of the foods for our enjoyment.

Allah also told us about the use of olive oil!

Use it for you skin and hair too!

Geisha of Kameido 1910s

Kameido is an area of Tokyo famous for its wisteria flowers, which bloom in May each year. Here, large trellises of wisteria trees are built over a pond situated to one side of the Tenjin Shrine.

“The geisha of Kameido are nicknamed the Kuaumochi Bijin (Belle of Arrowroot Cake)… a special kind of cake… being a noted product of the quarter of Kameido. The total number of ‘Beauties of the Arrowroot’ are said to be over a hundred in this newly-established kingdom… but here you cannot yet find those super-fine belles that you often meet at the Shimbashi or Yanagibashi Circles [of Tokyo].”

From “The nightside of Japan” by T. Fujimoto, first published in 1914.

By Blue_Ruin1 on Flickr