Fall

Ordered Chaos: The Case for a Potting Station

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In every home there is a place where unfolded laundry is thrown and a week’s worth of junk is shoved when guests rap upon the door unexpectedly. For some lucky souls it may be a spare room. For others it might be a more traditional space like a basement, garage, attic, or even a cupboard [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

It’s Time to Get Serious About Your Vegetables

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What once was Melones Reservoir in Calaveras County. If you look closely you can see the old bridge once covered by a hundred feet of water. I’m writing from California this week. My whereabouts are usually not relevant in an age of laptops, Wi-Fi cafes and toilet texting, but this week they are, [...]

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 [...]