Datscha Radio Logo
Archive
Tag ""

Yesterday I received great help for our jingle, – and the writing in the picture, „Hua yuan dian tai“, means „garden radio“.

I owe my thanks here to Yi-Chun Liu/Lily, Mabel Wang, Ming-Chun Cheng/Charlotte and Alice who lent their voices to the recording. And to Catherine Lee, director of the AIR program Treasure Hill Village, for her enthusiastic support. Catherine also explained that the word „datscha“ sounds very much like „Let’s go“ in Chinese. We also recorded an extra male voice for the jingle, the one of Yi-Wei Tsai, presenting Datscha Radio Taipei with an awe-inspiring laugh…

Catherine Lee. It’ grape harvesting time in Taiwan now.

Tracks will be soon online!

Read More

Taipei’s flower market is located under the protective rain shield of a flyover about 100 meters from Daan Park. It’s Sunday, but the hall is not too crowded. White arrows on the ground direct the flow of the masses into the right direction. So, first look at everything to the right, and on your way back onthe left. Hasty lane-changing leads to a little confusion, but is possible. Almost everything is here to discover : Water-steam machines, fertilizers, garden tools, soil, aquarium supplies, young dogs (in pink cages), seeds, pots and vessels of all kinds and of course flowers and plants for house and garden, mainly the latter.

One thing that strikes me, is the relative silence in comparison to the London flower market: no barkers, no screaming, not even with the countless special offers for orchids. I am glad that I am not an orchid specialist, otherwise I would have shed tears of delight. There are exquisite selections of „lady’s slippers“, young plants of special varieties, cascading flower stems in light yellow and aubergine, darkly speckled pharynxes, mysterious root pieces and lots of smaller „home plants” from 50 TWD (ca.1, 60 Euro). The prices for more splendid specimens go from 200 to 450 TWD and I feel very tempted.

Roughly speaking, the flower market can be divided into the sections orchids, succulents, ferns and epiphyts, camellias and bonsai (they really don’t belong together, but they are often grouped together), plants for the herb and vegetable garden and “showy perennials“, among them above all asters, pericallis and tailflowers as well as snap dragon, some roses and delphiniums. The stalls offering western spring flowers attract evidently delighted woman customers: There are hyacinths in full bloom and bulbs of daffodils. All of these are comparatively expensive.
Taipei flower lovers also seem to share an obvious liking for decorative Chichi, especially in aquaristics…

Coming to seeds, I search for Asian flowers, but there’s nothing there. Maybe because everything grows here almost by itself? The assortment – apart from garden vegetables – is almost the same as in Western stores, although a bit more limited: sunflowers, cosmea, Sweet William, autumn asters.

Garden tools are a story for themselves. To my astonishment, Western product names are abundant. Yet, much more interesting are the super-stable steel rakes, garden knives and shovels, which lie heavy in my hand and unfortunately would increase the weight of my suitcase considerably.
Tea is also sold: First, by the cup, being filled from huge steel vessels, secondly also in packages. Happy, I cram 300 grams of Oolong into my bag.

In the middle part of the hall, young dogs (and cats) are sitting in cages and I feel sorry for them. The seller tries to pull one of them out for a potential customer by grabbling its paw, and it seems to me that the animal here is viewed just as a living object.
In general, the dogs being walked here in the streets are often adorned with extravagant hairstyles and/or clothes. Being a dog groomer seems to be a profitable profession in Taipei. Also, it is not uncommon to transport dogs in buggies, for whatever reason..

Read More

(Translation follows) Treasure Hill Artist Village im Zhongzheng Distrikt Taipehs liegt nahe am Fluss, über dem ein Wirrwarr an Flyovers und Zufahrten die Lüfte kreuzt. Dahinter: grüne, in Wolkendunst gehüllte Berge. Auf dem Weg zum Ufer liegen die Gemüsegärten der Dorfbewohner: Etwa 19 Familien teilen sich das Viertel von Treasure Hill mit heimischen und auswärtigen KünstlerInnen.

Während die Einheimischen vorwiegend ihre Nutzgärten pflegen, ist die gesamte Anlage nicht weniger auch geprägt von „Picknickorten“, Wandelgängen und einer Vielzahl versteckter Mikrogärten. Was von den alten Fliesen geblieben ist, mit denen Plätze, Betonwände und Terrassen gekachelt sind, zeigt meist Blumenmotive. Die Dächer begrünen sich von allein…, aber einige Dachgärten wurden doch mit Absicht angelegt. Mauern und Wände sind bewachsen mit Farnen, Winden, Moosen und kleinen Steinbrechgewächsen. In Töpfen stehen Zitronen- und Mandarinenbäume, Hortensien, Wandelröschen, Azaleen und Kamelien. Kohlweißlinge sind unterwegs, weshalb die meisten Kohlköpfe sorgsam unter Fließ gehalten werden. Ein Teich, eine Seerose und viele Mücken auf einem Pfad, der bereits hinter das Dorf führt, in einen weitaus ungeordneteren Garten unterhalb der historischen Fassaden der Bunker. Dort finde ich auch ein Exemplar der indigoblau blühenden „Schmetterlingserbse“. Eine Pflanze, deren Name, Clitoria ternatea, quasi selbsterklärend wäre, wenn es sich hier nicht um eine gefüllte Variante handelte.

Eating the blossoms of this plant is said to increase intelligence and beauty…

Nun ein paar Treasure Hill Gartenansichten:

(Translation follows) Treasure Hill Artist Village im Zhongzheng Distrikt Taipehs liegt nahe am Fluss, über dem ein Wirrwarr an Flyovers und Zufahrten die Lüfte kreuzt. Dahinter: grüne, in Wolkendunst gehüllte Berge. Auf dem Weg zum Ufer liegen die Gemüsegärten der Dorfbewohner: Etwa 19 Familien teilen sich das Viertel von Treasure Hill mit heimischen und auswärtigen KünstlerInnen.

Read More
Open Call Datscha Radio Taipei 2019

Field recordists & composers, morning larks and moles, sound spies and spellers: The Garden is Calling!

Datscha Radio Taipei calls out for local contributors and participants: Nomadic (Garden) Radio – A Quest in Six Movements. 20th Jan – 10th of March 2019.

Datscha Radio will relocate for six weeks to Taipei and is looking for local sound gardeners and radio artists to perform and/or create soundscapes, talks and radio shows on site. Datscha Radio takes ‚the garden’ as a matrix and metaphor for sharing, organic growth and the dissemination of knowledge.

Bring your plants and musical contemplations, come and visit at the top of Treasure Hill and support your local radio garden in Taipei!

Datscha Radio Taipei will broadcast once a week from a garden in Treasure Hill between the 20th of January and the 10th of March. Duration: 2-4 hours – depending on your responses …

What we are looking for

– garden/plant/environmental related compositions and songs
– local musicians and singers
– active gardeners, improvisers and researchers 

How can I participate?

Please send your suggestions, ideas and/or files to: opencall@datscharadio.de from 5th of January to the 10st of March.

You’ll find further information about the project on datscharadio.de. You’ll find there also the latest updates on Datscha Radios Taipei adventures and, of course, the current dates and times of  the envisaged broadcasts.

Formats

– Live presentation and/or talk
– Sound files (mp3 192)

Datscha Radio is a temporary radio station and a garden and radio art project by Gabi Schaffner, Berlin.  Datscha Radio Taipei is supported by the Treasure Hill Artist Village and the Goethe Institut Taipei.

Read More

Dear radiophiles and friends! Datscha Radio wishes you health and happiness, ongoing inspiration, smooth transmissions and generally good luck for everything in 2019.

As early as the 11th of January the „station“ will move to Taiwan where it will hopefully broadcast once a week live from a garden at the Treasure Hill Artist Village in Taipei. I’ll keep you updated.

Surely this won’t be the only garden broadcast in 2019… seeds and bulbs are already planted!

Read More

„Aspirin is very good“, Patrick says, „but take care you buy uncoated tablets only“, and he’s not talking about his head but about the roses of the ELP Municipal Rose Garden on 710 Aurora Drive. We stand in the blazing heat and are talking roses.

A rose garden always seems to be a formal matter and the El Paso rose garden makes no exception. Its surrounding walls are whitewashed, the paths and plots follow prescibed horticultural plans, and yet, the neighborhood seems rather unimpressed. A police car is the only vehicle on the gravel parking lot of the garden. Teenagers in yellow shirts jump up and down under the terracotta colored roof of a nearby school. In front and behind the walls, rows of Hespealoes (Red Yucca) show off their last blossoms on gracious stalks, with black seeds spilling out of elegantly shaped pods.

Patrick is about 70, wears checkered trousers and a  Catweasel-like beard. How come we started talking about the roses? He was working at a stretch of red shrub varieties.  We admired him and the roses, unfilled simple red blossoms on age-grey sun-battered strong stems: desert hardy roses. And as it turned out, desert hardy roses were a favorite theme of Patrick who starts at 7 in the morning and has been working for the past 11 years in this garden.

He leads us to a shed where the gardeners stash garlic and onions to fight off the white fly, baking power against soil pests and aspirin against black spot desease and yellow leaves.
“If your roses becomes weak and sick, a good spell of aspirin helps them recover their health again”, says Patrick.

 

Aspirin is good for roses

Texan desert rose information files…

Desert roses are bred on rose wood that is not the European Rosa Canina but the (still!) hardier and heat resistant desert rose Rosa Stellata. They are bred to withstand the enormous temperatures encountered in the regions of Texas, New Mexico and and and.
The bushes, floribundas and tea hybrids bear mostly simple open blossoms, many of them with a strong, quite varied scent. Some are like apple, others almost cinnamon, others like old scented wood.

A multicolored specimen…

 

Purple Passion

Shoot from withered stem

Knockout

Patrick takes us back to his pruning work, a basket full of grey wood and wilted flowers stands next to him. Of course, he has the shears ready anytime, stashed in a leather sheath fixed to his belt. Next to the basket leans a very reliable looking pair of lobbers.

One of our questions seemingly puzzles him. “How about lavender?”, I had asked, to fight off the pests and give the roses company. “This has never been taken into consideration or planning… though, from now on I’ll think on it”, he says.

The sun has called its tribute already. The roses, hardly opened up, fold their leaves exhaustedly together, the rims of their petals at times even dried up before the whole flower has opened. Against one of the fences leans a tattered New Dawn, evidently unfit for this desert climate and close to fainting. Maybe this is a reason for the floribunda’s preference and also for the selection and breeding of smaller flowers. The resident tea hybrids of course still have prominent blossoms, but these are not always as much scented as one would suspect. Some have almost Dahlia-like spirally arranged petals, some variegated in while and red, or yellow and red.

The Municipal rose garden has quite a bit of staff to care for its roses, next to Patrick there is another elderly gardener (sturdier but with no beard and rather in his 60is) and a young woman who sets herself to work just as we are leaving the garden. In our bags we carry a small catalogue on desert roses and the inevitable leaflet on how to fight common pests and pruning.
One last theme: Almost all roses in the Municipal Rose Garden are American bred, the greatest part of them during the 50s and 60s. Their names convey quite accurately the diptych of culture and patriotism while a third section refers to their brilliance of colours: “Judy Garland”, “Betty Boop”, “Freedom”, “Roosevelt”, “Veteran’s Honor”, “Fourth of July”, “Proud Land”, “Prairie Lass”, “Purple Passion” and of course, “Knockout”…

 
Read More

Datscha Radio travels to Taiwan! It’s now official: As one of the selected artists for the Treasure Hill Artist Residency 2019 in Taipei I am invited to perform research and radio art on site.
On my schedule are interviews and field recordings as well as a live radio stream at set times. And of course, the blog will be extended to include contributions about the Taiwanese plant (and garden) world. I’m pleased :)

Place: Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei
Time: 11th January – 11th March 2019

Read More

The only two times I photographed a desert prickly poppy (Argemone polyanthemos) was in 2003 and in 2018, and both happened on the occasion of a visit to the Chinati Foundation.

In a garden next to the studios (it was absolutely forbidden to take pics of the interiors and the library) a row of sunflowers lined a Judd-fashioned adobe wall. As the whole place is imprinted with this man’s concept of perfect proportion, it appeared to me that not even  the sunflowers could withstand his sense of zen-like order. Their silhouettes stood out in immaculate wilting… and reminded me somehow of a procession of Don Quixotes.

The open fields that frame the buildings and outdoor concrete sculptures stretch over an 340 acre areal bought by Judd  during his first visits to Marfa in the 70s. Inside and outside melt into each other on viewing his aluminum sculptures through the giant glass panes.

 
The ground is gravel and red earth, interspersed with pebbles and small rocks… and desert flowers.

Different kinds of prairie grasses grew there, e. g. so-called weeds like the Silverleaf Nightshade, that has much bigger blossoms than the European kind (Solanum nigrum). Its flowers appear in different hues of blue, from lilac and mauve to an almost clear blue).

The Prickly Poppy stays one of my favorites…

 

Also to be found are some handsome thistles, silvery dead aloe(heads), lots of  bronze-coloured dried up, unknown (to me) annuals, and in the background exhausted looking shrubs and desert willows meddling with the low hanging clouds.

 

And here are still some other (not yet specified) flowers that grew among the sculptures.

 

 

Read More