Join Ketzel and her neighbors Mar Goman and Virginia Lindley for a Talking Plants foray into the alleys of North Portland, Ore., in search of festive urban flora. They make wreaths from plants -- even weeds -- they find along the way, from smokebrush and clematis to cinnamon fir.
Mar Goman and Virginia Lindley (click the photo to see Maury the yippy little dog)
Our Little Alley
The Finished Wreath Click the image to see detail enlargement.
Wreath On Blue Wall Click the image to see detail enlargement.
December 20, 2002 -- If you're lucky enough to have good neighbors, I need not tell you how their presence can transform your life. Certainly that's what Mar Goman and Virginia Lindley have done for me. Not only do they keep me and Della in food and good company, they have now turned me on to the (dubious) art of urban foraging.
Mar and Virginia scavenge our little alley throughout the year. They gather lilacs in spring, berries in summer and now, stuff for the holidays. Honestly, I couldn't imagine what Virginia might make of all the weeds we scored, but see for yourself in the pictures below: a bona fide wreath, sans bows and greens.
Once you you listen to our low-rent radio expedition through the alley, you'll know everything I do about urban foraging. As I did not watch Virginia put the wreath together -- way too Martha for me -- I can only tell you that I marvel at her eye for balance, contrast and color.
I've given you two views of the wreath from different walls in my house (I prefer it in the blue room). I must admit, I've never warmed to solstice-like tchotkes in the home. But it comes with the territory that is Mar and Virginia. Despite me, they're making my house a holiday home.