Summer

Creation vs. Maintenance: A Balancing Act

By |

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, [...]

Don’t Agonize. Strategize.

By |

Temperatures are rising, and motivation to cultivate the garden around us is dropping – even if such cultivation is as simple as waving a hose over a tasteful assortment of patio pots.   Verbascum thapsus colonizing the site of a crumbled bank barn.   You are no doubt seeing the beginnings of stress [...]

Making August Exciting

By |

 “I’ve got a column for you,” said my well-dressed host as we toured his garden not so long ago. I gave him my full attention – Calliope isn’t consistently cooperative each week and one must seize upon inspiration whenever it is offered. “How,” he said, inserting a dramatic pause, “can we make August exciting?”   [...]

Order from Chaos: A Season with Raised Beds

By |

September is bringing cool, early morning breezes to the garden which invite a bit of work – albeit under the pretext of slipping outside for a wander with coffee in hand.  Lower humidity levels have also been gifted to us, quite possibly making it an actual crime to go inside when life has finally returned [...]

Gardening With a View in Mind

By |

A view does not merely exist in the world of sweeping Montana pastures or rocky coastlines in Maine. It is as simple as a framed viewpoint – a scene on a micro or macro level that encourages you to stop and absorb it.  Whether we obsess or merely potter, it’s our job as gardeners to [...]

The Gardener’s Autumn Wardrobe

By |

“WHAT are you wearing?!?” I was asked this the other day by a friend who dropped by to find me clothed in some terrible mixture of camisole and cargo short paired with heavy boots. I wasn’t winning fashion awards, but such is my summertime garden wardrobe and I told her so – explaining why sandals [...]

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.  [...]

Eating Well Shouldn’t Be An Elite Sport

By |

Human beings have sought control of their outside environments for millennia – and not without a great deal of effort. When Harry Hunter-Gatherer decided to alter the course of human civilization and grow a few hundred square feet of einkorn, it should be noted that the Extension Service was not just a phone call away [...]

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 [...]

A Tropical Response to Humidity

By |

Humidity. It’s separating the men from the boys right now.   Only last weekend I was forced to deride guests for scuttling back inside during a deck party. The key word I was trying to impress upon them was of course ‘deck’ – but this did nothing to shame them into compliance. For that matter, [...]