Fall

Hydrangeas for the Confused

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There are a lot of hydrangeas out there. A lot. In fact as far as I’m concerned, too many. This is of course, no surprise – it’s a highly appealing shrub that even non-gardeners want to grow. And if you hurry, there’s still time to pop a few into the ground before the [...]

Just Wait Until Next Year

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By the beginning of September, many gardeners are thinking about next year’s garden. Whatever failures have been experienced this year – whatever insults have been suffered – all are erased by a killing frost and the ability to start again. I am just as guilty of the sweet pleasures of delusional thinking, but there is [...]

Eating Cheaply. Eating Well.

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Recently, I was fortunate to participate in a panel discussion about eating well on a tight budget. Though I love good, wholesome food and beautiful things, I am, and have always been, a self-proclaimed cheapskate. Compliment me on my brushed camel coat and a demure smile is the last thing to settle upon [...]

Fall Foliage Fun

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The autumn show-stopper, A. hubrectii backed by viburnum and thuja The maples and oaks began to blush red in the woodlands last week, following hot on the heels of the tulip poplars and hickory that populate our hillsides and dominate the color scheme with rust and gold. With this final act, [...]

The Most Dangerous Game? Hardly.

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Laetiporus sulphureus My mind is not on my work at this time of year. Though conscience dictates that I should be digging holes for the last of the leaf-spattered pots to go in the ground, I am taking every opportunity instead to play hooky. Mother Nature has laid for us the [...]

Call Plant Protective Services

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Plants suffer at the hands of well-meaning gardeners every day, but no plant suffers greater than a plant which a gardener knows will accept harsh treatment and survive. These are the plants determined to cling on to life long after most would have given up the fight and limped the long green mile [...]

Death of a Conversation

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I was asked by a friend if I would republish this column for Thanksgiving day as a gentle reminder of what we give up when we turn on our phones around the dinner table.  There are moments in life when we are stimulated by conversation, and other moments not so much; but by turning our [...]

To Love, Honor and Obliterate

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A marriage is often tested to its extreme limits by the sad fact that those things precious to one person are not always precious to the other. In the early years of my marriage I boxed up my husband's life (pre-me) with the ruthlessness and efficiency of a paid-by-the-hour home organizer. I particularly remember a [...]

No No November

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The tender plants are in, the beds are mulched and the leaves have fallen. November is never an exciting month in the gardening calendar, filled as it is with so many to-dos and so few ta-das. I find my enthusiasm lessened somewhat by the cold, and the dreariness of a grey sky, yet coming indoors [...]

Delicious Autumn

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Once again, I am hearing myself say the words, "I don't ever think I've seen a fall so beautiful." It is not true of course – I have said this too many times during our years on the East Coast to be right this year. And yet I feel justified once again in [...]