Digging Deeply

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 [...]

Here We Go Again….Or Will We?

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There’s an extremely serious discussion going on at my place right now.  At issue is whether or not I go to the trouble of setting up a large water feature on the deck and create tropical madness for future August dinner parties.   It was lovely, lush and tropical, but I'm itching for something [...]

The Beauty and Balance of a Small Garden

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As is usual at this time of year, I am touring other people’s gardens one day only to spend the next 48 hours in mine, rethinking everything from plant choices to maintenance plans. It’s one of the best ways I know of re-charging the batteries during a season that doesn’t stop for stragglers, but it [...]

Falling behind on the planting schedule?

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By this point in your seed starting efforts, you are most likely aware of what is working and what is not.     Perhaps you have a plastic container full of seed packets you were supposed to start and probably won’t, and a large basketful of empty seed packets you were supposed to record and [...]

You Can Leave Your Hat On

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Very few of us can honestly say we look better naked.  Fabric is a true and loyal friend, and that bond grows ever stronger as we age. This week I have been pondering such truths as I stared unashamedly at my friend Harry Lauder (or rather his walking stick) from my bedroom window, and realized [...]

Work or Pleasure? Well, that’s complicated.

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Last week, an audience member at a lecture asked me how I take time to enjoy my garden.  She liked to sit down, she said, and had benches everywhere to that end, but the minute she actually relaxed into one of them, her eyes would see a weed, or a wilting flower, or one of [...]