Digging Deeply

Making a Lot Out of a Little, Holiday Style.

By |

At this time of year there is much advice floating about to “use natural materials” to create amazing holiday decorations cheaply. Indeed I’ve floated much of it myself. When it comes to making holiday gifts and decorations, 'rustic' is the name of the game these days. However it did occur to me this [...]

The Food-Waste Disconnect

By |

A perfect storm of circumstance ended in a coffee-filled rant on Facebook on Friday, and while I stand by those words (many of which were capitalized, and none of which were sensitive), it is convenient to have the luxury of a newspaper column to formulate a more civilized, if no less provocative, response. The topic [...]

When It All Starts to Weigh a Little Heavy: Rest.

By |

The wind storms of late have added substantially to workloads out here.  I’d only just finished with the last of the planting when toppled pots forced me to dig two large holes yesterday to house now homeless dwarf arborvitae. I resented every minute of it – not least of all because there are two far [...]

Optimal Growing Conditions? A few thoughts.

By |

A bit of research work has had me at my books lately, looking up optimal growing conditions for several plants and making notes for spring purchases. It has taken me years to successfully grow poppies, or rather, for seeds to find the right conditions in which to flourish. However, even at half-strength they have [...]

The Price of Greenery is Eternal Vigilance

By |

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 march of progress just because you’re tired of picking beans in 70% humidity. I am not for a minute implying that you go on vacation.  [...]

Leaving Under Duress: The Gardener’s Vacation

By |

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, surf and sangria, are wondering how their garden is getting on without them.  I don’t have a comforting platitude for them any more than I have one for myself [...]

Mid-Atlantic Gardening – Not for The Faint of Heart

By |

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 Mid-Atlantic you can garden anywhere.” My self-satisfied smirk widened further when I realized that the author wasn’t even a Mid-Atlantic gardener himself.  This gave his words great gobs of [...]

Let the Garden Soften the Journey

By |

  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 precious days we are granted on this Earth. Broken water lines, missed deadlines and a pointless conversation with a computerized banker featured heavily in that [...]

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

By |

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.  Friends have bemoaned the loss of salad beds and snap pea trellises to unnamed creatures and I have cried with them (insofar as I am [...]

Smile and Adapt: Gardening the Unexpected

By |

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 have made the whole thing fairly pointless anyway. Ye Gods! I am in turns content with a forced respite from the garden as I finish [...]