As Courageous as Osoberry

  There’s only a few plants of which I’d say, “Everyone needs this!” In the interest of diversity, and to keep my work new and engaging for myself, as well as for my clients, I don’t repeat plant palettes. However, almost every garden has a dark pocket of dry ground, that tough … more

What Ice Age Floods Have to do with Your Garden

The thunk, thunk of a chef’s knife nearby, Abby and I swapped stories at Lovely in downtown Springfield. It was late January. The new year buzz was as strong as the coffee in my veins, as rich as the soil in Ami and Jeff’s garden, as fertile as the friendship between us. … more

Nature Therapy From the Contemplative Garden

  To create a contemplative garden, focus on sensory experiences, species diversity, and generously scaled beds. Your need for peace at the end of a hard day could shift from cracking a beer or mindless scrolling to a moment of immersion in the healing complexities of nature. Whether you have a disciplined … more

Follow the Rain – Radical Attention to Place

“The Kalapuyas had originally a six month calendar that organized the spring, summer, and fall according to the camas growing cycle. The winter did not have any particular months as it was a long period where it was best that people stayed indoors because of the extensive rainfall.” -David G. Lewis I … more

Brighten Solstice with Snowberries

It was on one of those dim, fogged mornings when the remaining leaves on the trees appear to yearn for the ground, heavy like newly washed hair, limbs blurred with mist, the lines of them made more distant, remote, out-of-reach, and the grasses and tall perennials on the ground slump, arch, and … more

Native Seedlings of November

Overhead, a sheet of dim white, and ragged complexity of dark and light lace, moving, shifting with the wind. The clouds, a landscape mirrored in the small scene of remay-covered trays in my nursery, porous cloth peaked where plant tags stand and valleyed with collections of withered buddleia leaves and blown, black … more

Smells like October

wet spring followed by this, a parched, dry fall. crush of katsura leaves underfoot releasing toasted warmth, buttery, cozy, smell of fall. catch a whiff of gardenia-scented silverberry blossoms, of sweet perfumed eternal fragrance daphne, or salad freshness of sasanqua camellia, and rotting figs, fermenting apples, wildfire smoke on the wind. dry … more

Low Maintenance Gardens – Better for Pollinators and People

The first key to low-maintenance gardening is a fundamental perspective shift: embracing a bit of debris, learning to see dead stuff as beautiful rather than as work. The standing dead snag is an easy place to start. You know that’s a favorite spot for the woodpeckers and cavity nesters. On a smaller … more

Stars of September – asters, zauschneria, valley pines

A clear yellow leaf shows like a portal through the green, heavy-laden branches of the fig. It’s going to be good year for figs, plump ripening with the season’s change, with the waning sun. Black beauty lilies are done blooming, giving way to the pink wonder of Amaryllis belladonna, she of the … more

Roses in Five Senses

  “Recently, I spent a day at the cottage where I used to live, and noted with a pleased surprise – to be exact, it was a feeling of having done good unconsciously – the progress of the things I had planted nearly 10 years ago.” George Orwell   Arms heaped with … more

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