In The Woods

The Redbuds are Coming! The Redbuds are Coming!

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This morning I spent two precious hours as a machete-wielding rock climber cutting back vines and brambles.  This is not an unusual occupation when you live in a woodland, but today I was there for one reason and one reason only: to free from suffocation the immature redbuds that have seeded themselves along the lane [...]

Garden Book SPRING GIVEAWAY!

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It’s the first day of SPRING and in celebration I’ll be giving away a copy of my new book 'Big Dreams, Small Garden' each month of the growing season ahead! If you’re struggling with a tough space or budget and need a bit of guidance/inspiration/commiseration and a ton of gorgeous photos to get you excited [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Let the Garden Soften the Journey

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  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 [...]

Conquering Prejudice One Plant at a Time

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I’ve never liked Rhododendron. There, I’ve said it.  I’ve opened myself up to the maelstrom of indignant rhodo-lovers who up until this moment thought I was a dedicated advocate for all things green. Nope.  I’ve got likes and dislikes just like everyone else. Some of them are irrational.  For instance, how can I love the [...]

An Exhausting Autumn

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A warm wet autumn means lots of mushroom foraging. Here oyster mushrooms & wood ears, destined for a stir fry. Boy we’ve had it good this season. A fall season that doesn’t just tempt, but delivers on a promise is a rare and precious thing, and I have wrung every bit of loveliness [...]

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR GARDENERS

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In my part of the world, Winter arrives as a gentle jolly spirit and departs like a raving banshee. However, before I start navigating three-inch ice with an ancient Land Cruiser, I plan to enjoy the next month of merry merry merry. In order to do that, I need to be organized. In order [...]

When Everyone Is Watching: Garden Design for Non-Designers

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A front-and-center garden puts artwork on display and invites accolades or criticism. I've got nothing but accolades for this Oregon homeowner. Designing a garden is a humbling experience, period. But when your design is instantly on display because you are planting an entrance or a driveway, it’s a worrying experience. And, [...]

Five Smart Moves for Fall

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Whether it’s back to school, back to sports, back to work or back-to-back holidays, autumn can get a little crazy. At the same time our schedules are exploding, there’s tons to be done in the garden, and less in the way of daylight hours to manage it all. If you, like me, are solely concentrated [...]