Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'Field to Vase Flowers' Extend 'Farm-to-Table' Vibe for Entertertaining

Blue thistle provides an accent in a bouquet at
Pistil and Vine in Chicago.
               Photo by Bob Stefko for WSJ.

Kelly Legamaro, 46, needed a rosemary garnish for her prime rib roast. Rather than run out to the store, she plucked a sprig from the bouquet of orchids, herbs and pincushion-shaped protea that was standing in a vase on her kitchen counter.
"I had it in my flowers, so I took it out," says Ms. Legamaro, a Chicago homemaker and church volunteer, who makes a weekly fresh-flower stop at a local florist.
Rosemary, basil, dill, kale and artichokes are among the vegetal plants popping up in loose, hand-tied floral bouquets that dinner guests are giving as hostess gifts and brides are ordering as wedding centerpieces.
The arrangements share a seasonal farm-to-table aesthetic—or "field to vase," as it's known in the flower industry. They are idealized bouquets of local meadow blooms collected at a farmers market or farm share, including short-stemmed anemone, sweet pea, ranunculus, scabiosa, lisianthus and hyacinth. Along with edible elements, they create a fresh, strong-scented, untamed bouquet.
When doing her weekly grocery shopping online, marketing manager Florence Li, 29, bought a $30 bouquet from Silver Lake Farms, a Los Angeles micro farm that offers community-supported agriculture shares in cut flowers and edible crops. The flowers—a "really amazing bouquet," Ms. Li says—were delivered to her home in a plastic bag, and she took them out and placed them in a Mason jar. She didn't recognize many of them but says they gave her dining room a "bohemian, wild" look. The names didn't matter, Ms. Li says. "I chose not to investigate or look it up."

Monday, April 28, 2014

Blue Star Memorial Unveiled at Durham VA Medical Center

The Blue Star Memorial marker.
The Durham Council of Garden Clubs honored veterans with much pomp and circumstance Sunday April 27, with the dedication and unveiling of a new Blue Star Memorial Marker, the first of its kind in the Triangle. Nearly 40 people gathered outside the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center to witness and celebrate the Blue Star Memorial marker which was purchased and sponsored by the Durham Council of Garden Clubs in cooperation with the Garden Club of North Carolina.

The Durham Council's 10 garden clubs contributed many resources in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and VA Medical Center for the memorial marker's installation, flower bed construction, dedication ceremony and reception.

The dedication ceremony program started promptly at 3 p.m. as did VA Center’s bell memorial chimes. Marcia Loudon, president of the Durham Council of Garden Clubs, presided over the 30-minute ceremony saying, “It is with great joy and gratitude that we are here today,” explaining the marker is in part a living memorial (with garden design) to honor of the men and women who currently serve and have served in the armed forces of America. Jackie Dale, GCNC Blue Star Memorial Chairman gave a short history of the Blue Star Memorial dating the first use of the star as a military honor since the time of Alexander the Great and continued throughout the United States history.

“George Washington presented medals for exceptional bravery with a blue star,” Dale said. Today’s modern Blue Star Memorial program was founded by the Garden Club of New Jersey in 1944, originally as a five-mile highway stretch of dogwood tree plantings. Garden Club members visualized a living memorial for veterans, preferring to help beautify and preserve the land, rather than building stone monuments for the vets. A metal sign was eventually adopted as a marker for the Blue Star Memorial program in 1946.

DeAnne Seekins, director for the Durham VA Medical Center accepted the sign on behalf of the VA Medical Center. Shelton Faircloth, an employee of the Center, presented a wreath of behalf of the Operation Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn program. The Memorial marker unveiling was carried out by Derek Smith, NC DOT Roadside Environmental Engineer, and Pat Cashwell, GCNC DOT Chairman. VA Medical Center Chaplain Rev. Ryan Parker led the benediction of the sign.

After the dedication a reception was held in the VA Center’s canteen for guests, employees and veterans alike to celebrate and enjoy the historical event. 

The Flower Bed

Flowers chosen by the Durham Council for the Blue Star Memorial marker's perennial bed include: Rosa red knockout roses, garden phlox, Erica × darleyensis 'Mediterranean white', Chinese fountain grass (Pennisetum Alopecuroides viridescens), Gaura lindheimeri 'Whirling Butterflies', Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet', and daylilies interspersed with narcissus, and Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Firewitch'.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Council Honors Veterans with Blue Star Memorial Marker Dedication, April 27

The Durham Council of Garden Clubs will be celebrating Veterans with a new memorial marker in front of the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Durham this Sunday, April 27.

Blue Star Memorial markers are sponsored
by Garden Clubs across the US.
The marker is part of the Blue Star Memorial Marker program created by the Garden Clubs of America after WWII in conjunction with Department of Transportation to pay tribute with a living memorial to the Armed Forces of America. The Durham Council sponsored this marker ($1,350) as its chosen 2013-14 Durham area philanthropic project. The Blue Star Memorial Marker program falls under Environmental Programs of the North Carolina DOT and is grouped with the NC Wildflowers program and Adopt a Highway program among others. 

The Triangle public is invited to attend a dedication ceremony and celebration on Saturday, April 27 with the Durham Council of Garden Clubs. (The Durham marker will be the first Blue Star marker of Durham, Wake and Orange Counties.) The dedication ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at the Durham VA Hospital, 508 Fulton St., Durham, 27705.

(from the Garden Clubs of North Carolina,

At the close of World War II, National Garden Clubs (called National Council of Garden Clubs at the time), like other public spirited groups, was seeking a suitable means of honoring our service men and women. Garden Club members visualized a living memorial, preferring to help beautify and preserve the country these men and women had fought for, rather than build stone monuments in their honor.

In 1944, Mrs. Lewis M. Hull, Garden Club of New Jersey President and future NCSGC President, and Mrs. Vance Hood, Roadside Chairman, had an inspired idea. One thousand flowering Dogwood trees would be planted along five miles of highway, which had been designated the Blue Star Drive by the Legislature. No billboards were to be allowed on the memorial stretch. The project was named for the blue star in the service flag, which hung in windows of homes and businesses to honor service men and women.

The guest speaker at the 1945 National Council of State Garden Clubs Annual Meeting in New York City was Spencer Miller, New Jersey’s State Highway Commissioner, who had helped to implement the New Jersey project. He proposed that the program be adopted by NCSGC. At the 1945 Fall Semi-Annual Meeting, the project was approved. A “ribbon of living memorial plantings traversing every state” called The Blue Star Memorial Highway Program was adopted at the 1946 Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

In 1947, Mrs. Frederick R. Kellogg (NCSGC President 1930-1933) designed a marker, which would identify the highways. 
Garden Clubs responded enthusiastically, with Rhode Island receiving the first endorsement. After official approval of the site, garden clubs would purchase markers and planting materials. Highway Departments would plant and maintain the area. This was the first program undertaken by garden clubs on a national scale.

While it originally began to honor World War II veterans, the Blue Star Memorial program enlarged its mission in 1951 to include all men and women, who had served, were serving or would serve in the armed forces of the United States. The need for an extension of the program to accommodate other than dedicated highways became apparent. As a result, a smaller by-way marker to be placed in areas such as parks, civic and historical grounds, was approved at the 1981 convention in Atlanta. This marker was changed at the 1994 convention in Connecticut to be more descriptive by including the words “A tribute to the Armed Forces of America.”

A third marker had been added at the 1996 convention in Michigan. This marker was identical to the original Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker, except for the removal of the word “Highway.” This change allowed the marker to be placed on the grounds of a National Cemetery or Veterans Administration Center. At the 2004 convention in St. Louis, the scope of this marker was enlarged to include other appropriate civic locations.

For more information on the Blue Star Memorial program and a directory of markers in North Carolina by county, see

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Garden Spotlight: Bonnefont Cloister Herb Garden at The Met

Four quince tree (Cydonia oblonga) beds are incorporated in the center of the Bonnefont Cloister Herb Garden.
The herb garden in the Bonnefont Cloister of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, contains more than 400 species of plants which were grown during the Middle Ages. Its design is typical of a medieval monastery garden plan, but no attempt was made to replicate any one monastic garden in particular. Many medieval sources were referenced to ensure that the choice of plants was historically accurate. The raised beds, wattle fences, and central wellhead are common features of a medieval garden. Fruit trees outside the south wall are in character, because monasteries were often surrounded by orchards. Plants not hardy in New York City's climate, such as aloe, lemon, and bay, are grown in decorative pots which can be moved inside in the winter, a common gardening practice in northern Europe throughout the late Middle Ages. The plants are all labeled according to their uses.
 Uses of Herbs in Medieval Life
As can be observed in manuscripts as far back as the 10th Century, herbs were frequently used for a variety of purposes in Medieval life. It is important to understand that this was a period in which people's beliefs were permeated by superstitions. They thought that creatures such as elves and goblins were in existence, and the air was filled with invisible powers of evil against whose conspiracies remedies must be applied. Furthermore, the objects of nature had inherent powers which could be used for this purpose. The writings of the Saxons, in particular, portray herbs as being used for this, and for other functions, such as medical ones in the treatment of disease. Herb drinks were mixed, with ale, milk, or vinegar; many of the potions were made with herbs mixed with honey. Ointments were concocted with herbs and butter. These were prescribed for common ailments such as bleeding noses, baldness, sunburn, loss of appetite, and dog bites. They were also utilized as amulets, or charms against evil and diseases. One might hang them from the door (usually with red wool), to preserve one's eyesight, cure lunacy, prevent one from fatigue while traveling, or even to protect one's cattle. This use survives today to some extent, particularly in the case of the "lucky" four leaf clover.

Many times, there were special instructions, even ceremonies, which were to accompany the picking of herbs. Some examples of this were the instructions that they were to be picked at sunrise, while looking towards the east, in silence, or without looking behind oneself. In addition, several herbs were associated with love, others used for cooking and seasoning, and still others for artistic purposes.

The Cloisters is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2014.
The Herbs in the Bonnefont Cloister Garden - Specific Functions

The herbs in the Bonnefont Cloister Garden are all grouped according to their uses.
  • The first group is Household Plants, including Scotch Broom, Absinthe, Cotton Thistle, Stemless Carline Thistle, Hop, Soapwort, Common Mullein, Southernwood, Fuller's Teasel, and Juniper.
  • The second group of plants are those used for Medicinal purposes, as previously described. These include Avens, St. John's - Wort, Hollyhock, Birthwort, MarshMallow, Meadow Clary, Liquorice, Common Valerian, mallow, Comfrey, and Feverfew.
  • The third category of herbs found in the garden is the Aromatic Plants, which consist of Lavendar, Orris, Meadowsweet, Vervain, Cupid's Dart, Costmary, and Lemon Balm. Vervain in particular, because it was thought to promote happiness, was strewn around the room in Old England.
  • A fourth category of plants are Kitchen and Seasoning Plants, which include Winter Savory, Leek, Cardoon, Samphire, Chive, Small - Leaved Basil, and Red Valerian.
  • The fifth category are Plants Used by Medieval Artists, consisting of golden Marguerite, Weld, Agrimony, Greater Celandine, Our - Lady's Bedstraw, Madder, Woad, Dyer's Greenweed, Alkanet, and Boxwood.
  • A sixth group is Plants Associated with Love and Marriage, including the Chaste Tree, Meadow Rue, and Wild Strawberry.
  • The seventh group of plants is Magic Plants, consisting of Bear's Foot, Ragged - Robin, English Ivy, Cornelian Cherry, and Herb Robert.
  • An eigth group features Vegetable and Salad Plants, including Caraway, Black Mustard, Fennel, Common Tansey, Clary, Orpine, Horseradish, Skirret, Garden Sorrel, French Sorrel, Sea Holly, Borage, and Parsley. Borage was alleged to relieve and cure the mind and the body. Parsley, in particular, was thrown into fishponds in medieval times because it was thought to heal sick fish.


The Cloisters Museum and Gardens. (2014). Retrieved from,
McGowan, S. (1996-1997). The Bonnefont Cloister Herb Garden. Retrieved from, 
Rhode, E. S. (1993).  The Old English Herbals, New York: Dover.
Pinder, P. (1993). Herbs in Pots, Kent: Search Press.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Croasdaile Garden Club Flies High at Riverside High School

Members of the Croasdaile Garden Club have long been doing their annual spring Garden Therapy project for the special needs students of Riverside High School in Durham.

Check out the latest action from the spring "Riverside High Kite Fly." Photos by the Croasdaile Garden Club.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Shorter Growing Seasons by 4 Weeks? Colder Climates Driven by Sun Cycles

Severe winters are the bane of most gardeners who lose costly plants. Climate change has been periodically featured on the US national news the last few decades, with increasing coverage for winter 2013-14. This new book (some might consider controversial) by an Australian scientist contains many climate theories, including people can expect growing seasons shortened (by two weeks in the beginning and two weeks at the end), as well as the need to plan crops for latitudes approximately 300 miles north of their present location. 

Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short
David Archibald

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Regnery Publishing; First Edition edition (March 24, 2014)

About the Author: David Archibald is a Perth-based scientist working in the fields of oil exploration, medical research, climate science, and energy. His achievements include pioneering the study of how climate change is linked to the solar cycle. Through his work both in oil exploration, and as a stockbroker in Sydney, he has developed an understanding of how climate, energy, and the economy interact.

Book Preface (edited by DCGC editor)
This book had its origins back in 2005, when a fellow scientist requested that I attempt to replicate the work a German researcher had done on the sun’s influence on climate. At the time, the solar physics community had a wide range of predictions of the level of future solar activity.

But strangely, the climate science community was not interested in what the sun might do. I pressed on and made a few original contributions to science. The sun cooperated, and solar activity has played out much as I predicted. It has become established that climate will very closely follow our colder sun. Climate is no longer a mystery to us. We can predict forward up to two solar cycles, that is about twenty-five years into the future. When models of solar activity are further refined, we may be able to predict climate forward beyond a hundred years.

So I turned my attention from climate to energy—always an interest of mine, as an Exxon-trained geologist. The Arab Spring brought attention to the fact that Egypt imports half its food, and that fact set me off down another line of inquiry.

...In this book I contend that the path to the broad sunlight uplands of permanent prosperity still lies before us—but to get there we have to choose that path. Nature is kind, and we could seamlessly switch from rocks that burn in chemical furnaces to a metal that burns in nuclear furnaces and maintain civilization at a level much like the one we experience now...This book describes the twilight of abundance...What lies beyond that is of our own choosing.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Managing Common Garden Pests in North Carolina from Toxic Free NC

Cabbage worm butterfly, also sometimes called a
Cabbage White.
Photo by Russ Ottens, University of Georgia.
Looking for non-synthetic chemical approaches to getting rid of voracious pests in the garden? Toxic Free NC, formerly the Agricultural Resource Center and Pesticide Education Project, has a website with handy links of organic tips to control: 
Cabbage Loopers and Cabbage Worms

These tips are endorsed by NCSU Entomology staff and often much easier on the pocketbook!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Walk, Talk and Gawk: Host a Private Garden Party

Worth a visit: Gordon and Mary Hayward's 1½-acre Vermont garden combines Old England with New England.
There are 14 different garden rooms to roam. Photo by Gordon Hayward.
By Marian McEnvoy
WSJ, July 28, 2012

Gardening is half pleasure, half peril. Anyone who’s planted a window box knows that the best laid plans don’t always pan out—Mother Nature has her own ideas. Some plantings leaf out, flower and fruit profusely every year; others stall, fester or crumple completely. Soil toil is great exercise, but aching backs, sunburn, broken nails and scratched up arms are definitely part of the process. Deluges and droughts are even more devastating. It’s no wonder then that when plants survive and thrive, the people who tend them tend to show them off.

Rose arbors in bloom give visitors a fragrant space
 to chat. Photo by J.S. Corser, Durham Co. EMG.

Enter the private garden tour. Hosting one can be as satisfying as unveiling a new d├ęcor or orchestrating a perfect dinner party. Taking an outdoor garden tour exposes you to new plants, inventive layouts and unusual designs and structures that could enrich your own outdoor space.

When you feel you’re ready to stage your own garden party/tour, timing is everything. Some plantings come into their own during early or mid spring; some look better in summer or fall. If your allee of blushing pink peonies is more breathtaking than your clumps of asters and sedums, plan a garden tour in May. If your dahlias and hydrangeas pack more punch than your tulips, hyacinths or daffodils, go for a July or August tour. (If you keep a garden journal, you can pinpoint which plants flower when.) Once you’ve decided on the week and month, time of day is crucial, too. Take a tip from professional garden photographers, who work in early in the morning or late in the afternoon. (They also love shooting landscapes on foggy and rainy days, but that’s an acquired taste you don’t need to acquire.) In short, harsh, midday sun makes gardens look homogenous and flat:  leaves and flowers tend to droop a bit under the heat. So do people, so nix a midday garden party.

Most importantly, plan your garden party as a walk, talk and gawk treasure hunt for about a dozen people. You don’t need a soundtrack or candles—your beautifully coddled, at-their-peek plants are the stars. Decide on a tour route that ends in a surprise treat. As you guide people past shrubs and flower beds, prepare to identify specific plants, but if some of your guests are less than avid greenies, don’t hit them up with an overload of proper Latin names and pruning tips.

The post of gold at the end of the tour should be a lingering sunset and a small table set up with cocktails. A big pitcher of iced tea will hit the spot if it is garnished with springs of homegrown mint. A couple bottles of Prosecco or pink Champagne will be great in the great outdoors if you toss in a few raspberries plucked from the prickly bushes climbing up your gazebo. If you live in California, try serving a big, icy pitcher on gin fizz made with the limes from the trees flanking your patio. Give a tour—celebrate the fruits of your labor.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pine Pollen and Seasonal Allergies by the Medical Experts: Nip Them in the Bud!

Pinus produce approximately 2.5 to 5 pounds
of pollen in a two-to-four-week period.
The peak of Piedmont pollen season is expected mid-April[6].

Read more here:
By J.S. Corser (FHGC)
Durham Co. Extension Master Gardener 
Billows of yellow pine pollen give Durham County allergy-suffering gardeners plenty of reason to cry, “April is the cruelest month”[1]. The ubiquitous pine powder coats everything in its flight path with a fine yellow film. Even if you don’t suffer allergic rhinitis, watering eyes or a scratchy throat, the North Carolina pine pollen season at a minimum forces extra trips through Autobell or Bunkey’s Car Wash if there’s long stretches without rain.
The pine tree is the official North Carolina state tree, designated in 1963. So what’s a Durham gardener to do in hopes of minimizing allergy symptoms from approximately 44 different species of Pinus found in the Tar Heel State[2]? Here are some helpful tips from the Mayo Clinic and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
Reduce Exposure to Allergy Triggers
To reduce your exposure to the things which trigger your allergy signs and symptoms (allergens)[3][4]: 
  • Limit your gardening days to cool or cloudy days, and in the later afternoon or evening when pollen concentration in the air is generally lower. 
  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days — the best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • When working outdoors, wear a NIOSH-approved face mask, hat, glasses, gloves and a long-sleeve shirt to reduce skin and nose contact with pollen.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • Immediately shower and change your clothes when you go back indoors and make sure to wash your hair to remove allergens trapped there.
  • Don't hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
  • Wear a dust mask if you do outside chores.
Extra Steps when Pollen Counts are High
Seasonal allergy signs and symptoms can flare up when there's a lot of pollen in the air. These steps can help you reduce your exposure[3][4]:
  • Check your local TV or radio station, your local newspaper, or the Internet for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels.
  • If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.       
  • Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.
Keep Indoor Air Clean
There's no miracle product that can eliminate all allergens from the air in your home, but these suggestions may help[3][4]:
  • Use air conditioning in the house and cars instead of opening windows.
  • With forced air heating or air conditioning, use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.
  • Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
  • Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in bedrooms.
  • Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter

Selective Gardening
A more radical approach to managing allergens is selective planting of your landscape and garden altogether. (This will not eliminate your neighbors’ pollen blowing over the property line, but you will not contribute additional pollen volume to your own area.)
Many plants including several grasses, trees, and bushes reproduce by releasing billions of tiny pollen grains into the wind during the spring, summer and fall months. These are the types of plants to avoid in the garden. Instead, consider plants that rely on insects for cross-pollination, which are known to have pollen grains that are much heavier and don’t travel through the air quite as easily[4].
Cross-pollinating plants come in an array of several brightly colored flowers, fruit trees and shrubs. If you need help identifying which species best suit your lot conditions (Durham County hardiness zone 7b, your solar path, wind patterns, residential utility lines, etc.), a local commercial nursery expert or the NC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener office can help you with lots of information and ideas.
Common Pollen-Generating Plants[4]       
  • Grasses - Bermuda, Fescue, Johnson, June, Orchard, Perennial Rye, Redtop, Salt Grass, Sweet Vernal, Timothy.
  • Shrubs - Cypress, Juniper.
  • Trees - Alder, Ash, Aspen, Beech, Birch, Box Elder, Cedar, Cottonwood, Elm, Hickory, Maple, Mulberry, Oak, Olive, Palm, Pecan, Pine, Poplar, Sycamore, Walnut, Willow.
  • Weeds - Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac, Cocklebur, Pigweed, Ragweed, Russian Thistle, Sagebrush
Cross-Pollinating Plants[4]
  • Flowering Plants - Begonia, Cactus, Chenille, Clematis, Columbine, Crocus, Daffodil, Daisy, Dusty Miller, Geranium, Hosta, Impatiens, Iris, Lily, Pansy, Periwinkle, Petunia, Phlox, Fose, Salvia, Snapdragon, Sunflower, Thrift, Tulip, Verbena, zinnia.
  • Grasses - St. Augustine
  • Shrubs - Azalea, Boxwood, English Yew, Hibiscus, Hydrangea, Viburnum.
  • Trees - Apple, Cherry, Chinese Fan Palm, Fern Pine, Dogwood, English Holly, Hardy Rubber Tree, Magnolia, Pear, Plum, Red Maple.
Allergy Relief with Honey?
For passionate gardeners who resign themselves to popping allergy medication or even enduring seasonal discomfort as a part of tending to their outdoor horticulture havens, can basic honey work as an natural alternative in lessening seasonal allergy symptoms? Here are answers from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.[5]
"Probably not. Honey has been anecdotally reported to lessen symptoms in people with seasonal allergies. But these results haven't been consistently duplicated in clinical studies. Still the idea isn't so far-fetched. Honey has been studied as a cough suppressant and may have anti-inflammatory effects. It can contain traces of flower pollen — an allergen. And one treatment for allergies is repeated exposure to small amounts of allergens.
For now, however, it appears that honey may just be a sweet placebo. But don't let that stop you from using it in food and beverages. Just don't give honey to children younger than 1 year because of the risk of infant botulism, a rare but serious form of food poisoning."
1. “The Waste Land.” (1922). T.S. Elliot. Criterion Magazine. London.
2. Pine. NC Cooperative Extension: Searchable Database of Plants. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from
3. “Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud. Relieve seasonal allergies with these tried-and-true techniques.” The Mayo Clinic. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from
4. “Gardening with allergies.” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from
5. “Can honey lessen seasonal allergy symptoms?” Brent A. Bauer, M.D. The Mayo Clinic. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from:
6. "Ask a Scientist: Why is there so much pine pollen in the air?" (March 30, 2014). The News & Observer. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from