Digging Deeply

Same Old, Same Old? Don’t Groundhog Day Your Landscape.

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Tempus fugit, and it’s currently fugiting at an alarming pace.  I am recently returned from trips and conferences that swallowed up December and January in phases of preparation, execution and recovery, and Christmas is still sitting on the dining room table, neatly compartmentalized and just tidy enough to consider throwing a blanket over it till [...]

Nothing To Lose: Planting LATE

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“So what are we growing right now?” was the question asked of me last week as I escaped hearth and home for a little day-after-Christmas retail therapy.  The questioner: a reader and gardener and beautifully turned out shopper who recognized me in spite of wild hair and two coats.  I made a mental note to [...]

So You Waited Until The Very Last Minute?

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Christmas is upon us this week, I have recently added another birthday notch to my leather belt, and now we stand upon the brink of another long, cold winter.  Of the three statements, the first is the only one to bring me any joy, not least of all because my Christmas shopping is done and [...]

Making a Lot Out of a Little, Holiday Style.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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 [...]