Põrnikate orkester

“Beetle orchestra,” artist and date unknown, via National Archives of Estonia Commons on flickr.

The pencil and watercolor drawing comes from an album of poetry and fanciful sketches of bugs and birds.  It was found in the 18th century manor house of the Saadjärve estate, which has belonged to several noble Baltic German families over the centuries. The album may be connected to the von Koskulls, who owned the property in the 19th century. There are more examples of the drawings here.

By the way, an Instagram post by @smithsoniangardens reminds us that although “[t]hey may be less elegant than other pollinators, . . . beetles have been providing their pollination services far longer than many of the well-known pollinators. Ancient and abundant in numbers, there are almost four times as many species of beetles as animals with backbones!” (This is Pollinator Week.)

As always, you can click on the image for a little better view.

Friday miscellany

The porch of Burnside Plantation in 1938, by photographer Frances Benjamin Johnson for the Carnegie Survey of the South.

Miscellany

The Washington Post has an interesting, and rather sad, article (and colorful slide show), here, about the once-great floating gardens of Xochimilco in Mexico City. Although it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, “the ancient plots and their life-giving canals are weedy and abandoned, overrun by cattle, invaded by exotic fish, sucked dry by urban sprawl — and a dozen agencies of government have failed to save one of the wonders of the world.”

Anne Raver in The New York Times writes about Nancy Goodwin’s celebrated Montrose Gardens in winter, here. The slide show includes a photo of her lath house, which has been on my list of favorite garden structures since I saw it in Garden Design in the 1990s.

In urban landmark news, the first Starbucks on the East Coast, at Wisconsin and Idaho Avenues, N.W., in Washington, D.C., has closed. The building it occupied will soon be demolished. However, The Huffington Post reports, here, that the new, mixed-use development will still have a Starbucks (whew!). In the meantime, if you visit the nearby National Cathedral’s Bishop’s Garden, you can get coffee (and fudge) in the gift shop.

(Also, a slideshow in the header of the National Cathedral’s website, here, has some revealing photos of the earthquake damage of last summer.)

This link from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the University of Texas at Austin displays a map of the U.S. Click on a state and you get a list of native plants suitable for that region. Also, here’s an interesting perspective on the honey bee as a pollinator of American native plants, at Garden Rant.

Finally, if you need a reminder to always be alert to possibilities for design, click here.