Mr Vuyst goes to Washington

By on Oct 17, 2019 in America |

In Frank Capra’s classic comedy-drama Mr Smith goes to Washington, the character of Jefferson Smith played by James Stewart engages in a climactic filibuster with patriotic zeal. No filibusters for me this past weekend, but a climatic (for me) run filled with patriotic zeal. The Army Ten-miler is held in Washington DC in October and is the world’s biggest 10 miler (35,000 runners). It was something I wanted to do before turning 60 later this year. The invocation, National Anthem with helicopters buzzing the 35,000 runners waiting at the start line was both thrilling and inspirational. Most inspiring was running with the young men and women of our Armed Forces who defend our freedoms worldwide. I can assure you unequivocally from talking with many of them this past weekend we are truly blessed. From the Wounded Warriors who participated in the 10 miler to the Honor Flight...

A Real Entre-Manure

By on Feb 25, 2011 in America |

One of the benefits of my job is that being on radio and television people recognize me….it opens the door to a conversation I might not of had otherwise. We may have passed each other  depriving me of a life story that enriches my day. Happened to me again today. I walked passed an elderly man who said “thank you very mulch” as I walked by in a hurried and preoccupied gait. He had pictures in his hands. Even though I was as always in a huge hurry I put on the brakes and told him he was an “entre-manure”. He proceeded to show me beautiful pictures he takes like the duck pictured here in the pond at John Ball Zoo in the fall. The time we invested in conversation helped me realize that he really was an “entre-manure” with a story to share. My lame puns had opened the door for him to make me stop and focus on the fact we each have a story to tell....

5,4,TREE,2,1……Moon Tree has landed!

By on Aug 15, 2009 in America |

Here are some pictures from today’s Moon Tree dedication ceremony in Wyoming Michigan. Pictured here I’m chatting with Kristen Erickson an Administrator from NASA headquarters in Washington DC. Kristen gave a great speech at the dedication. Thank you very “mulch” Kristen! Pictured below and to the left I’m chatting with Congressman Vern Ehlers who also gave a great speech at the dedication. Congressman Ehlers has always supported science and space exploration commenting in his speech that at one time he and his wife had Alan Shepard to their house for dinner! Here is Officer Adam Bartone with Congressman Ehlers having their picture taken by the Moon Tree. Officer Bartone was the  inspiration and led the charge to bring the Moon Tree to Wyoming. Great job Adam, you are a true leader in our community! Here I’m pictured at the Moon Tree with Jane Cliff...

Grounding Fathers

By on Jul 2, 2009 in America |

Around the 4th I think about the early American’s who had a passion for gardening and landscaping. Their enthusiasm was rooted in a love for the American landscape and its rich horticultural offerings. I call them America’s “Grounding Fathers” because they searched for new species and were unafraid to stray from the traditional straight and “accepted” practices of European gardening. My list of “Grounding Fathers” would include: 1) George Washington (Mt. Vernon pictured to the right) 2) Thomas Jefferson 3) John Bartram 4) Bernard McMahon 5) Ben Franklin I’m sure you can think of others like William Penn and his influence on tree lined streets in Philadelphia, but these guys were ahead of their time…..”out-standing in the field” so to speak. Look at this view that George Washington had from his back porch at Mt....

Revolutionary Gardening

By on Jun 30, 2009 in America |

At a time of year when we reflect on American revolutionaries and independence, read about how an 18th century farmer who died in 1777 transformed both landscapes in England as well as the U.S. I’ve always been fascinated by John Bartram whose efforts and curiosity made him friends with people like Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. He created a gardening revolution in England long before the first shots were fired in New England. He fanned the flames of gardening obsession in England and “rooted” an appreciation of native species here at home. The Wall Street Journal recently did a great story linking today’s “gardening obsession” in England rooted in American history and a “revolutionary gardener.” Here is the link:

Grow Green

By on Feb 3, 2009 in America, Kick in the Plants!, Lawn-gevity, Tomatoes and veggies |

As we head towards spring, decide to join the “crop” of yardeners who resolve to grow green this year. No, this is not another article to preach or “guilt” you into being green. It’s not hard, it’s fun and rewarding to feel like you’re making a difference in your own backyard. I took this picture  to illustrate rain water harvesting (see the barrel?) Also container gardening (right plant in the right place, you can put a container anywhere). I took these pictures at the National Botanical garden in Washington DC. Notice in the picture to the right there is a compost bin and a tomato plant in the foreground. It’s “green” to mix vegetable and herb plants into an “edible landscape” (grow your own food).  Composting has moved from behind the garage to a visible spot in the landscape. Be thoughtful and sustainable by...