Order from Chaos: A Season with Raised Beds

September is bringing cool, early morning breezes to the garden which invite a bit of work – albeit under the pretext of slipping outside for a wander with coffee in [...]

Gardening With a View in Mind

A view does not merely exist in the world of sweeping Montana pastures or rocky coastlines in Maine. It is as simple as a framed viewpoint – a scene on [...]

The Gardener’s Autumn Wardrobe

“WHAT are you wearing?!?” I was asked this the other day by a friend who dropped by to find me clothed in some terrible mixture of camisole and cargo short [...]

The Price of Greenery is Eternal Vigilance

In August, the gardener can be forgiven for wanting some time off.  Forgiven that is, by other gardeners – the garden itself does not forgive and does not arrest the [...]

Welcome to the award-winning Small Town Gardener® –
a collection of columns filled with humor and gentle gardening advice.

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Conversations in the Garden®

Eating Well Shouldn’t Be An Elite Sport

Human beings have sought control of their outside environments for millennia – and not without a great deal of effort. When Harry Hunter-Gatherer decided to alter [...]

Leaving Under Duress: The Gardener’s Vacation

Visitors by the millions are heading to beaches worldwide during these weeks of summer, and no doubt there are a few who, while enjoying the sun, [...]

A Tropical Response to Humidity

Humidity. It’s separating the men from the boys right now.   Only last weekend I was forced to deride guests for scuttling back inside during a [...]

A Few Good Plants

Granted, the miraculous shoot from the base of this 'slightly alive' Gordonia lasianthus is exciting - but loses it's thrill when it's an annual occurrence. [...]

Mid-Atlantic Gardening – Not for The Faint of Heart

I can’t remember which of the many gardening books I was reading the day I jubilantly came across the statement, “If you can garden in the [...]

Passion & pain. Perspective & purpose.

That’s what gardening brings to our lives – a sense of connection to the world around us.  And that’s what The Small Town Gardener is all about.

To ensure that you (and I) have time to actually get some work done out there, I don’t tend to provide endless updates on the state of my mesclun, mind or marriage  (for the record – fairly spicy, fairly sound, fairly stable).  Instead, you’ll find a collection of my columns mixed with tips, advice and resources for managing and enjoying your garden month-to-month.

So for the moments when you aren’t creating, maintaining or battling in the garden, grab a mug or glass of something good and let’s commiserate together. In addition, subscribing to the Facebook page will alert you to other articles and tips that aren’t posted here.    Are you a Mid-Atlantic gardener? This Month’s Garden will give you an idea of what you should be thinking about right now.

A garden doesn’t have to be perfect.  It doesn’t have to be large.  And in the middle of August, it doesn’t even have to be green.  It just has to be yours.  Your balcony, your patio, your rented city lot or ten acre deer preserve.  Whatever you garden, wherever you garden – join me as we plunge our hands in the earth and begin to reconnect.

My Romance with Becky

Given sufficient provenance, the memory of a plant can hold a place in our affections just as the memory of an old love affair. In fact, such floral memories are [...]

Let the Garden Soften the Journey

  We'd had a bad day, he and I. Not together mind you, but each in our separate lanes, navigating the daily demons that divert us all from enjoying the [...]

Varmints: First, a rant. Then, a solution.

Disappointment. 8 feet of peas = 4 peas. It was, in many ways, inevitable.  If you build it, they will come, if you plant it, they will eat.  [...]

Smile and Adapt: Gardening the Unexpected

A dry hot April, a wet cold May.  What is the world coming to?  Late April freezes have nixed the wisteria show for gardeners, yet month long May rains would [...]

News of Interest

New study shows healthy living includes HOUSEPLANTS!

Saving this schefflera by taking it inside during the winter could be a mutually beneficial proposition - according to a new study. A recent [...]


Huge smile of relief as the book manuscript heads off to my editor at Skyhorse Publishing with a click of the mouse (and thanks to the [...]