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text 2017-08-18 02:15
Signing Up For Landscaping Courses Changed My Life

I had been keeping unwell for quite a few weeks and the trip to the doctor earned me a prescription of spending some outdoors, eating better and of course, getting in some form of mild exercise. A neighbour friend suggested that I try gardening, and somehow it made sense, because we did have a reasonably large piece of land, right behind our house. When this same friend suggested that we both sign up for landscaping courses, I agreed.

 

Within the first few classes, I realised that I had done a really good thing by joining these classes, because not only was I learning about how to understand soil conditions, and which plants work best where, I was also learning about which flowers would bloom, all year around and which plants needed minimal maintenance. Although I wondered whether I really needed a Cert 3 Parks and Gardens, I knew that I wanted to learn more about how to section the land I had to have separate areas for flowers and shrubs and one area where I could have my very own kitchen garden. Given that my wife loves to cook, I wanted to give her an area where she could have vegetables and herbs that she liked to use. Within a few classes, I learnt all about how to create my own garden, and that too with a perfect design in place!

 

Even though I didn’t go for the Certificate III in Landscape Construction, with a few weeks of work, I was proudly able to show off the start of a garden, which today is my pride and joy!

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review 2017-05-01 02:22
Lost Landscape
The Lost Landscape: A Writer's Coming of Age - Joyce Carol Oates,Cassandra Campbell

 

 

Although I have read quite a few of Joyce Carol Oates's works, since she is so prolific, I think I've just barely scraped the surface.  One of the things I admire about her is her eclecticism.  She doesn't confine herself to any one genre nor fall back on any sort of a formula.

 

Probably the first book of hers that I read was Them.  I recall it was on my parents' bookshelf.  My dad was in her graduating class at Syracuse University, and he used to tell me with some pride that he and she were both on the school paper, The Daily Orange.  While I was a PhD student in the 1990s, she gave a talk at my university, and I was lucky to be chosen to attend the post-talk dinner.  She couldn't have been a more gracious dinner companion.  And no, she didn't remember my dad, but I didn't necessarily expect her to!

 

I enjoyed this memoir, and it made me realize how little I knew about Oates's personal life.  One of the things I enjoyed was the afterword, in which she makes a distinction between "memoir" and "autobiography" and explains which elements and details she had changed in order to protect the privacy of some of the people she wrote about.  She also described some of the people and events she did not include and explained why she made that choice.  Ever the teacher, she teaches her readers about the text they have just read.

 

The narrator of the audiobook has a very pleasant voice, though it often struck me how unlike the author's voice it is.  Like the word "demure."  I recall at the talk she gave at my university, Oates sharing with incredulity that people are always expecting her to be demure.  And her pronunciation of the word, in her Western New York accent, sounds quite different from the narrator's rendition.  Still a good reading, though.

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text 2017-01-22 15:16
Earn a Cert 3 Landscape Construction and Grow

Becoming a landscaping expert might be something that you have wanted to do for a really long time, but the fact of the matter is that there are several steps you need to cross, before you reach the ‘expert’ level. For starters, you need to understand that landscape design is more than just plants and soil conditions – it is about the space in its entirety; which is why you will need to earn several certifications, before becoming a full-fledged landscaper.

 

A Cert 3 Landscape Construction would be one of the first that you will need to earn, because when you are creating a landscape, you will need to create some amount of space that is not covered in grass or with plants. This would be the space that would either hold the patio, the pathway or even a water feature. However, in order to ensure that you know how to put these features into place or how to build a pathway or patio, you need to have a more than superficial understanding of the aspects involved.

 

In addition, if you get a Cert 3 Concreting, you will actually be able to create all these solid structures on your own. Even if you want to put in a water features, such as a fountain, a waterfall or a koi pond, you will need to have a floor or base to that first, before you will be able to add any water to it. Knowing about how to mix concrete and how to use it will give you an edge over the other landscapers who don’t!

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text 2017-01-01 12:38
Island Home: A landscape memoir - Tim Winton

Short and sweet. Winton presents his deeply thought out insights about how it is that the Australian landscape shapes our identity. The argument is made of anecdotes from Winston's own family interacting with the bush. I suspect that, for many Australians, these anecdotes will feel like family holidays.

 

If you've felt the homely glow of being on country you will agree with Winton that Australia should be weaving culture into the threads of the landscape, fostering that indigenous, familial connection to country that has, at long last, finally been hammered into the last couple of generations of white Australians. Winton does not indulge to suggest any returns necessary to encourage that sort of thinking.

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quote 2017-01-01 11:32
To many of us country is no longer just real estate. Now and then, thanks to those prophetic voices, we see the world, in the words of David Mowaljarlai, as 'everything standing up alive'.
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