Summer Solstice Blues

1. I sing the Blues on the longest day, but I don’t weigh down, not with sadness, not for the rare rain, I do not bend, I bobble bluely, catching every breeze, setting tables for my friends, the small bees, the flower flies flower spiders, and beetles. My blue is the summer … more

Book Review: The Pacific Northwest Plant Primer

This spring, I’ve replaced some of the original plants in my home garden, things planted when I first moved here twenty years ago. I was young, in love with the classics, a good place to start a garden education. Winter daphne (Daphne odora), with it’s earliest perfumed blooms, I’d planted all around … more

Flora Gold for a Gray April

  The mood is gray-black lit by gold-yellow. The month is April. Daffodils reign. Under atmospheric river storms, sodden snow, and great big inhales of sunshine, we dig the ground and plant. Looking up from the squelch squerch beneath my boots, golden bright daffodils beam pure joy. Popping out in their hundreds … more

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

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