Potato Vines and Other Things that Don't Grow in Paradise

A Florida suburbanite finds that in green cities, environmental awareness starts with the garden next door.


| October 2005


Sometime in the middle of November, I was perched on a ladder cutting a dying potato vine off a trellis. Below me was the flower garden at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, or what was left of it, at least, since at that point whatever plants had not been snipped down were swiftly browning. Admittedly, it was an odd time of year to begin working for an organic gardening company, odd to learn the names of those dying perennials that I probably would not even recognize by the time they would blossom. But it was also a relief to stand atop a trellis overlooking a garden in Minneapolis.

Before moving to Minneapolis, I had passed three consecutive years in New York City, a place where Fall is not something one sees but something that is felt in the body. One does not anticipate leaves with drastic colors, such as those that line the Mississippi separating the Twin Cities, but the consistent drop in temperature recounted in weather reports and felt on the skin. Winter is another dreaded drop. The air becomes still, and as we cut through it, our steps become brisk. We can hear summer ending in them.
















Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265