Digging Deeply

Of Gifts and Guilt: Five Rules for Plant Giving

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‘Tis the season for giving, and once this season ‘tis over, another one ‘tis right around the corner. So this morning it occurs to me to discuss for a minute the perfect pairing of plants and gift giving. Is it actually perfect?   Before you answer however, I’d like to ask you a few more [...]

Maintenance vs. Stewardship: Turning a New Leaf

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I’m not a fan of renaming something in order to change public perception. Language is powerful, minds are pliable and as any politician knows, we can quickly distance ourselves from the truth of the matter. However, every once and awhile a definition is beautifully expanded by rephrasing a term, and such is the case when [...]

A Better Black Friday

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Whether we have fully accepted it or not, the holiday season officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving. You may reject the idea of Big Box lines at 2am for unnecessary gadgets and must-have technology (I do), but – completely against your will – you may also find yourself getting just a little excited at [...]

Let’s Discuss, Not Demonize.

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I don’t bring politics into this column as a rule.  One, we have enough of that sort of thing relentlessly bombarding us without my two cents on the subject. Two, as a writer dedicated to broccoli and bergenia, I am hardly qualified to tell others what to do at the ballot box. Nor will I [...]

Disconnecting to Connect: The Modern Challenge

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“Is the world getting more complicated, or am I just getting older?” said my sister over the phone this week.  My junior by eight years, she is awash in toddler mayhem (her third Mission Impossible), which includes, but is not limited to, sketchy nap times, bottles of soap poured all over the floor and endless [...]

Planning Now for a More Manageable Garden Later

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Many believe wholeheartedly that the time to plan your garden is in the depths of winter. Perhaps this is true in terms of the minutiae; but after years of implementing the overreach that winter weather inspires in the bedraggled, I cannot recommend it.  No, the time to plan next year’s garden is now, before the [...]

Preserving the Harvest or Preserving My Sanity?

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I have been in and out of canning jars for three days now, trying in turns to preserve the harvest, fulfil my writing deadlines, manage my family’s outrageous expectations of motherhood, and to do all of this without losing my ever-living mind. Oh, and there’s something else…What was it?….Ah yes.  The garden.  I actually have [...]

Every Garden Has Its Weakness: Here’s Mine.

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For all the successes I have had with our new garden at Oldmeadow, there are parts of this space that defy any attempts to create beauty.  They are so awkward, so large, so weedy and so uninspiring that had I ten times the budget I am not certain I could solve them, unless that budget [...]

Creation vs. Maintenance: A Balancing Act

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One of the most popular talks I've been giving lately deals with maintenance and balancing one’s life with one’s garden – more specifically, not taking on a project that creates six new maintenance projects in the foreseeable hereafter when the lifeboat is already taking on water. And to those watching me bounce around the podium, [...]

A Tech Rant. With Apologies to My Dutch Friends

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TO:   Emma, Site Hosting Representative FROM:  One of the confused millions RE:   Our unfortunate exchange last night.   I’m sorry I yelled at you. When I say yelled,  I mean all-capped three quarters of my answers to your incomprehensible questions, as there really is no such thing as talking out a problem with anyone over [...]