Summer

Portrait of a Weed: Japanese Stilt Grass

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Usually, a couple of hours outside on my hands and knees is all it takes to get the wheels of the mind careening toward a publishable, if highly editable, product.  This week, it took ten minutes.     Ten minutes of repetitive grasping, pulling and tossing massive wads of reddening Japanese Stilt Grass (Microstegium vimineum) [...]

Should You Plan (and Plant) a Cutting Garden?

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I have a friend who has always considered a weekly bouquet of fresh flowers a necessity.  She is French however, and they are presumably taught such things at their chic mothers’ beautifully sculpted knees. For years I have secretly admired her resolute stance on the subject, but as the daughter of an English father and [...]

Preserving the Harvest or Preserving My Sanity?

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I have been in and out of canning jars for three days now, trying in turns to preserve the harvest, fulfil my writing deadlines, manage my family’s outrageous expectations of motherhood, and to do all of this without losing my ever-living mind. Oh, and there’s something else…What was it?….Ah yes.  The garden.  I actually have [...]

Order Bulbs for The Spring Garden (Before Everyone Else Has)

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Few things motivate a gardener the way that getting a plant ahead of another gardener does;  and by the end of August we need motivation more than we need food and water. To that end, I would like to draw your attention to the random assortment of bulb catalogs that started showing up two months [...]

Facing, and Enjoying, The Garden in August

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Where do you and your garden stand right now?  Let me take a wild guess. The spring flush of puppy love is gone, obviously.  That was so yesterday. I’m betting your excitement over a summer romance is also over. These things never last. In fact, with the first volunteer pumpkins ripening on the compost pile, [...]

Every Garden Has Its Weakness: Here’s Mine.

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For all the successes I have had with our new garden at Oldmeadow, there are parts of this space that defy any attempts to create beauty.  They are so awkward, so large, so weedy and so uninspiring that had I ten times the budget I am not certain I could solve them, unless that budget [...]

Gardens Bring Buffalo Back to Life: A Story of Urban Renewal

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Are you struggling with the neighborhood in which you live?  Are the 'cons' besting the 'pros' no matter how long you make that list?  Are promises of 'urban renewal' by elected officials merely promises, or worse, unsophisticated attempts lacking vision and funding?  Most importantly, are you unable or unwilling to move? Maybe you have more [...]

Time For a Tomato Tasting!

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Are you proud of what’s coloring up the garden this year?  Are you wondering if all the time, energy and money you have spent on growing the perfect tomato is worth it?  Perhaps it’s time for an outside opinion.  Perhaps it’s time for a tomato tasting. 'Midnight Snack' - (Park Seed) An All-America Selections [...]

There’s Still Time to Plant for Summer!

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This week I have been clearing a couple of my raised vegetable beds of cabbage, garlic, shallots and ancient pea vines to make room for a few last chance direct sowings of carrots, turnips, chard, beets, beans and squash.  Some might term this a fall sowing, but mentally I’m not quite there yet, preferring instead [...]

Plant Those Trees!

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As we begin to move later into the year and approach the fabulous fall planting season, it’s time to think about the trees we’d like to see sharing our space.  Time flies by quickly and you don’t want to find yourself saying “Why on earth didn’t we plant that oak thirty years ago?”   [...]