Plant of the Month – Oregon Ash

Fraxinus latifolia     Grays skies of October welcomely wet, wool sweaters and boots return, dust and wildfire smoke retreat. And under this muted lid, a pool of green gold in the lay of the land, the lowland fold. Bright against moody Doug fir and dark oak bough, singing clear near bleached … more

The Art of the Open Air Living Room Garden

“If beauty’s understood as a form of order, its elements perfectly self-regulating, then an orderly day is not a worn circuit, or rote, but a haven and a habitat.” Lia Purpura Too often the habitat garden, the wildlife garden, the native garden appears a mess, chaotic and uninviting to the human animal … more

Madia Seeds & Other Revelations of Disturbance

  pal-imp-sest n. A manuscript that has been written on more than once, with the earlier writing incompletely erased and often legible. n. An object or area that has extensive evidence of or layers showing activity or use.   I scale the thin soil of Skinner’s Butte daily, birdsong and Leela dog … more

Getting rid of the lawn

What can you do if you get rid of the lawn? See one example in my article published in Pacific Horticulture: “Organized Chaos — Food, Roses, and a Jungle Retreat”

Tend the Edges

I’m one of those that hadn’t visited the hair salon at all during the pandemic until just this month. So much hair growth mirroring the fullness of the garden in June: shaggy, heavy, veiling, rank growth. It was TOO MUCH! A radical 10” lop, enough to donate for cancer survivors, feels summer- … more

Deadhead(er)s in the Garden

Creative resistance was kicking my butt at the drawing board so I headed outside. Cora confirmed in a quick text that this afternoon yes, would be wonderful for a visit, so I headed across the river to her place lickety-split for a garden excursion and a mood shift.     We made … more

For the Love of Puttering

“Good thing Snow’s driving the cart,” my brother says to me over the phone. He’s navigating grocery aisles with his son steering, trying to find garlic oil for an earache. I sit on the stone stair in the sunniest spot in my garden, one hand holding the phone to my ear, the … more

Spring Equinox is for You, Mahonia

How much time do you spend looking out the window over your kitchen sink? If you’re like me, it’s a daily ritual to gaze out at the world while washing up and preparing food. I wrote in January about the winter display of cedar waxwings descending on tiny rose hips out my … more

The beauty of organized chaos

What makes a beautiful yard or garden anyway? Well, check out my article on “organized chaos” in Pacific Horticulture. “The Beauty of Organized Chaos”

Be My Violet

  Many years ago, with a basket hooked in one elbow and my young son’s small hand in the other, I walked through the welcome sun of a February day. Neighborhood drifts of green-hearted leaves, dotted with purple flower faces, our destination. The small patch of sweet violets in our home garden … more

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