The time has come for that yearly event that must be experienced to be believed, that great yellowing of earth…and trees, and cars, and decks, and dogs, and, yes, definitely air. Spring is here and with it comes what I have termed The Other Yellow Snow.
And it has only just begun.
In preparation for homemade Sunday brunch with my mate, I completely wiped down the glass top of the Dog Bar where we could enjoy the view of our back garden and our still rather new pottery studio. By the time I’d gone back inside to help carry out the plates, the damned glass top was yellow again. By the time we finished eating I could write my name in the snot colored dust.
Ironically, the Atlanta pollen situation has worsened as our formerly vast canopy has been slashed down in recent years. Why? Well, it turns out that diversity, equity, and inclusion are just as vital in urban landscaping as they are in society. Unconscious bias is the idea that people tend to hire other people who look like them without being aware of doing so. That’s how privilege systemically squeezes out and marginalizes some people by those who might not even see themselves as sexist or racist.
The same is true for trees. Not, mind you, that the trees are guilty. Humans are.
In the mid 20th Century the USDA recommended an urban landscaping policy of planting predominantly male trees to avoid having to hire humans to clean up the female trees’ dropped fruit waste. Many decades later it’s now a systemic norm not even given much thought. It’s much faster for nurseries to clone trees than to wait for male and female trees to pollinate. Since the old landscaping policy created a dominance of male trees, male trees are in larger stock in nurseries nowadays and so are more likely to be cloned and create more male trees. Thus “botanical sexism” plays out and fills our sinuses the same way unconscious bias promotes certain groups of people over others for job positions or when applying for mortgages.
Wait! Male trees?!?
Many species of trees are both male and female, producing the flower, pollen, fruit and seeds and requiring only bees and other insects to do the pollinating. Other trees, such as cedar, mulberry, and ash trees, are dioecious. Each plant is distinctly female or male, and the male trees produce pollen whether there are female trees nearby or not.
Yep, the need for diversity and inclusion is in the very air we breathe.
(The very chartreuse air we breathe!)
On the plus side, I have created the ultimate in hypoallergenic botanicals with zero pollen!
Make them out of metal.
Exclusively for my past Eastern Repoussé students, the promised Floral Module is now ready for registration!
Not a past Eastern Repoussé student? Don’t worry, beginning this year the Floral Module is now part of my whole beginning through intermediate level Eastern Repoussé Online Course. Registration for it has closed, but I’ll be offering it again in 2024. As a subscriber to this newsletter, you’ll be the first to know when it opens next year.