Winter

First, Do No Harm: Coping with Snow on Trees

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This extremely rude specimen has been affectionately named "Happy" - and I always avert my eyes when brushing off the snow. I'd like that bit of errant bark to make me smile just as broadly in ten years as it does now. An end-of-days snowfall is coming to the Mid-Atlantic this afternoon, if [...]

Notepads and Jackets

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Have you been walking through your garden? I hope so. At this time of year we are as clearheaded as we will ever be. Winter may not afford us congenial temperatures, but what it lacks in warmth, it more than makes up for in perspective. Any issues due to poor spacing stand naked before the [...]

Neither an Influencer Nor a Follower Be

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[ed. The following article can also be found stirring up comments at Garden Rant later this week.] Tesselaar’s Blue Storm Agapanthus is worth growing because it’s a high-impact, no-nonsense plant, not because it typifies the 2016 Color of the Year “Serenity” – photo credit: Tesselaar Plants, 2006 Though I enjoy dressing well, I’m [...]

Old Man Time Meets Mother Nature

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Lately I am of two minds regarding the passage of time. In one, I stare out of my bedroom window in the early morning at tiny junipers and Japanese maples, and yearn for additional seasons of growth and maturity to flesh out designs still in their infancy. Not a minute later however I have turned [...]

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 [...]

The What, Where & How of Seed Starting

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Thanks to a snowy day there is order where once was chaos. There is a certain kind of panic at this time of year when the winter starts to draw to a close and I calculate how many tasks I need to finish before the last piece of wood is thrown into a [...]

Local Fresh, Local Strong, Local Co-op

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I have a clear memory of sitting at my kitchen table four years ago and reading a newspaper article about a small group that was forming to discuss a neighborhood grocery store three miles from my home in Brunswick, MD. My memory is probably so clear because something inside nagged at me to save the [...]

Nature Wants It Back

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Brush clearing has been the order of the day for the last few weeks, spurred on by the annual exchange of power tools at Christmas, and a desire for a bit of exercise that doesn't involve a perky Zumba instructor with thighs like a nutcracker. It is an exhilarating job once the blood [...]

Garden Where You Are, Not Where You’re Not

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My first garden, against a wall, in a parking lot next to my tiny apartment. 34 square feet of garden that gave me 34,000 square feet of pleasure. There are problem areas in a garden and then there are problem gardens, period. Poor drainage, terrible views, a neighbor with a security [...]

Barn Coat: Zhivago-style

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Tragic lovers - but at least they were warm tragic lovers. There is nothing attractive about a woman who has utilized every piece of warm clothing in her closet to keep Jack Frost as far as possible from a square inch of bare flesh. Hipster jeans and loose weave sweaters that [...]