Spring

My Romance with Becky

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Given sufficient provenance, the memory of a plant can hold a place in our affections just as the memory of an old love affair. In fact, such floral memories are perhaps sweeter, for they do not carry the attached nonsense of end-of-the-line supernovas or unresolved conversations – the bitter that always taints the sweet.  They [...]

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 [...]

Smile and Adapt: Gardening the Unexpected

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A dry hot April, a wet cold May.  What is the world coming to?  Late April freezes have nixed the wisteria show for gardeners, yet month long May rains would have made the whole thing fairly pointless anyway. Ye Gods! I am in turns content with a forced respite from the garden as I finish [...]

The Garden Tchotchke Conundrum

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We’ve all got them. Tchotchkes. Knick knacks. Doodads. More kindly put – and through squinted eyes – objets d’art. Unless you’re a minimalist with an inflexible disposition, your rooms and shelves are probably home to many ‘little bits’ that make you smile and evoke a memory (or the image of a dust cloth). From where [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Somebody Stop Me: The Frenzy of Plant Buying

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It would take a stronger woman than I to walk away. We’re acquiring right now. Oh come on, don’t pretend that you’re the only one abstaining.  Seventy-five degrees with a light easterly breeze and low humidity works on gardeners the way a little Cole Porter and the smell of fresh roasted coffee works [...]

Shame: The Ultimate Tutor

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Embarrassment is definitely frowned upon as a teaching tool.  In a world where everyone’s a winner, no one has a wrong answer, and definitions are fluid, it might be fairly unpopular to assert that I have learned some of my best lessons sporting a red face and sheepish grin – but as it’s absolutely true, [...]

Beyond The Glass: Gardening Without a Greenhouse

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Photo courtesy of BC Greenhouses “You need a greenhouse.” If I had a dollar for every time I have heard that phrase over the last ten years, I would certainly have one, financed completely by the proceeds of well-meaning friends. Alas, life doesn’t work that way, and so I have spent many years [...]

Now Comes The Waiting: Planting with Patience

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A nursery grower friend texted me last week over an ethical dilemma. Should she sell her precious, seed-raised specialty tomatoes (and assorted tender darlings) to customers that promised faithfully not to plant them for at least another five weeks? “They want them.” she agonized.  “They say they are going to care for them…but five weeks?” [...]