Wakanda is a mystical, fictional, un-colonized small nation in equatorial Africa. Depicted as a third world country, this beautiful place was surrounded by Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. Although technologically advanced, there is a message in this movie. This place of beauty has weighed heavily on mind since seeing The Black Panther.
If you have seen the Black Panther movie, the clouds open up to a village. This colorful village brings utopian beauty to the big screen. What would our natural green spaces look like if left untouched? In most countries, people use the weekend to escape the City. Heading to the beaches or mountains we long for a place of peace. Whether it is the sound of water dancing or trickling from a hidden spring, the reason for escaping is real. The sound of the wind causing the leaves to rustle and create a subtle song, brings peace to those who listen. When you think about it, escaping the woods or water is a modern-day escape to Wakanda.
Why is Wakanda fictional? Is it so hard to imagine a self sustainable existence? This fictional place called Wakanda actually could exist in each of us. We have the ability to recreate a personal version of Wakanda. Here at a few ideas that I thought of to create Wakanda in your life:
- Grow Your Own Green space. Whether you create a garden for lush, visual beauty or for your health by growing an edible’s, growing your own is beneficial. Growing and eating seasonally, as well as supplementing from the market when necessary, means you have a hand in your overall well-being.
- Embrace the great outdoors. This fictional place had a thriving technological existence. If you paid attention, the scenes throughout pictured people at the marketplace talking and laughing with each other. I did not notice anyone on a cellphone or a tablet. The Wakandan’s were walking, talking and engaging with each other. Recognizing the benefits of technology, disengaging from it once in a while could enable us to create our own Wakanda.
This mystical, beautiful place was considered a third world farming community by other advanced communities. Perhaps there are some third world countries that hold the secrets to a Wakandan existence.
Wakanda lives in each of us, however we must take the time to find it.by
Le Primitif is an unexpected pleasure each year at MANTS – The Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show. MANTS is an event which takes place every January in Baltimore, Maryland. For those who work in horticulture, MANTS is THE networking event that starts the seasonal garden party. Vendors come from near and far to reconnect with old friends, make new friends and share what’s new. It truly is like a grand family reunion.
I have visited MANTS for the past 20 years and each year, I rekindle friendships and make new friends. There is one old friend that I reconnect with every time year. Amidst the plant plugs, tractors, mechanized watering systems, there is my friend David McCabe, Owner of Le Primitif Galleries. Le Primitive Galleries offers Recycled Oil Drum Sculpture in all shapes, sizes, signed, unsigned, painted or in its natural state.
I first became familiar with David while working in Fredericksburg, VA. One of the best winter activities was heading to Baltimore to attend this wonderful trade show. Tucked away in the front corner was a booth that featured art. The raw form of this hammered steel was quite appealing. I admire Haitian art when I visit galleries in DC and New York. I had to hear this man’s story.
David became familiar with the Haitian community in his travels and fell in love with this art form. One of the first blacksmiths who made this technique popular was Georges Liataud. Intrigued by the natural beauty of this art, David realized that each piece had a story to tell.
Steel drums are in abundance in Haiti. Reusing them as art was a creative way to secure income to local artisans. To create this art, steel drums are flattened and stories in the form of art are drawn. Each piece is cut out by hammer and chisel finishing a story in the form of art. Proud of their work, each piece carries the artist’s signature. Le Primitif artists each have a unique story which makes each piece special.
The first few pieces I purchased for my garden. The style and whimsical stance of these ladies spoke to me. Their dance spoke to the spirit of my personality as well as my garden. Each year I visit MANTS, I make sure to visit with David. A simple “Hello” just to say hi and to see what I need for my collection.
Over the year’s, I have acquired more pieces from Le Primitif and not just for my garden.
Each of the pieces that I have purchased from Le Primitif has held up extremely well in my garden with no care at all. The bronzed patina that comes with weather changes has only made my original pieces more beautiful.
MANTS has continually given me the gift of connecting with Le Primitif every year.
Here is a link to see what else can be found at Le Primitif Galleries
Click MANTS to find out more about the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show.
Monday through Friday, I am a dedicated AWG – After Work Gardener. If I don’t stop by a garden, a garden center, attend a Garden Club Meeting or walk on Our National Mall embracing the gardens, I rush home and become the…After Work Gardener. Don’t get me wrong. I dream, think and anticipate the joy of gardening 24/7/365. I look at reams of paper and I think..I can recycle that box in my garden. Newspaper….its my weed block. Six sheets thick, overlapping 3-4 inches, so no weed has a chance to emerge. When steaming veggies or in the shower, I think, “I can use this gray water for my plants.” It’s bad I tell you, bad. My co-workers ask me “can you use this for your seeds?”….before they recycle it.
When I get home, my neighbors find that I can garden in a dress and heels just as good as I can in my overalls and boots. I have no problem dressing up for a Happy Hour in my garden. It all has to do with the tools that one chooses to use. Everyone has a favorite tool or two. I have a few that are a part of my After Work Gardener arsenal. Old favorites and a new one that I just knew would not really be useful – however, I was seriously proved wrong!!
THE AWG TOOLKIT
Upon entering the garden, the first thing anyone needs is something to hold a liquid of one’s choice. I choose my favorite glass. It puts into perspective who is in charge at The Cottage In The Court.
I LOVE my TRAKE. A combination trowel and hand cultivator, I bought my first TRAKE about 15 years ago and used it anytime I went into the garden. I could use either end to plant small plants in the soil or cultivate the soil with a simple flip of the wrist. There a few measurements on the trowel part to help with determining depths. I have never regretted buying this tool. I have my original TRAKE purchased at Roxbury Mills in Fredericksburg, Va. and I still cherish it.I gifted my Dad with two TRAKE ‘S over the past few years. How he wore one out is beyond me. I guess passion for this earth runs through my veins…I just have to figure out how Daddy wore his TRAKE out!
Another tool I consider an old favorite is my shovel. Not just any shovel, but a shovel that is an asset in the garden. I am in love with my Earth Talon. I have the long-handled version of this awesome tool. The shape of this blade allows the user to pluck rocks out, slice the earth, slice tree roots like cake and makes digging any hole a bit easier. I have only great things about this shovel. It is the perfect shovel that enables me as a woman to get that hole dug in lickety split time without asking for help. This makes the work for an After Work Gardener so much easier.
A lot of my friends wear exercise tracking devices that look like they are on release from a penitentiary. I use the Bellabeat LEAF. Still a tracking device of sorts, but it has options on how you wear it. As a wristlet, a necklace or clip onto your clothing, the Leaf is not just pretty. The Leaf is also functional as s stress tracker and you can tap into quick meditation sessions right from your cell. The Leaf has a 6-month battery and options for what type of bracelet or necklace you can interchange the leather wristband – I LOVE my LEAF. I can also look at my week’s activity level to see if I need to garden more or walk more. Depending on how it is programmed, a gentle buzz reminds me to move, I am too sedentary. A terrific tool to wear as you monitor your steps daily and especially in the garden.
The last tool in my After Work Gardener kit absolutely amazed me. I grew up with all types of odd things that my Dad ordered through the mail for the garden. I inherited this gene of experimentation honestly which is why I saw these and wondered if they would really work.I know, I am laughing myself but for light duty, quick gardening – THE CLAW GARDEN GLOVES WORK! I raked away mulch, dug holes without getting soil under my nails and planted 7 pots in record time…all after work! I could tamp down the soil and not worry about the mud…it was amazing!!! Sometimes there is so very little time to get out into the garden to tackle those simple tasks after work, with the alternative option of waiting til the weekend. With my arsenal of After Work Gardener tools, I make certain I have time to get outside and garden with a passion. What’s in your After Work Gardener arsenal?
DISCLAIMER – I have NOT been paid to endorse any of these tools. I speak from my use of them as often as possible, at The Cottage In The Court.by