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I discovered a flower one nimbus-mooded day

1. What plants go here? Imagine the rare valley snow has thawed and the garden shows it’s face again—the crisp leaves of fall long-turned a sluggier shade of brown, the ground sodden, muddy. Imagine a new blue-sky day with long, low rays of warm sun. What plant catches that light and reflects … more

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Plant of the Month – Oregon White Oak

when I describe the limbs as muscular, do you see it? the oak, the Oregon White Oak, standing solitary in its golden savanna? or if I say scrub, do you know you’re on lean land and the oak grows to fit? a tree that makes its home from Southern California to Vancouver … more

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and you, Camellia sasanqua

1. Clean white flutter atop a luster of green, Setsugekka, I’ll find a home for you, close in near outdoor kitchen conjured from steel and craft, with you becoming a leafy wall in a fresh young garden, a new room to inhabit, your scent lifting on November’s breath. You captured her heart … more

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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

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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

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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

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Heroes, Birds, and Happiness in the Winter Garden

Heroes If a hero is someone that saves you, then my latest hero is the writer Lia Purpura. The essays in her collection All The Fierce Tethers have been grounding, rooting, a reminder of wonder throughout this weird pandemic year. Instead of getting sucked into an anxiety-paralysis binging on news, I pick … more

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These Nine Will Change Your Mind – Garden Grasses for the Skeptic

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to the garden and told you the history of the old place with its ice-storm-ruined silver maple transformed into the meadow garden that you see today. We looked at the volunteer echinacea still in bloom and the baptisia that you’d never met but had heard … more

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3 Principles of Garden Design I Learned as a Kid

The doll collection was special, but it was the pink jungle wallpaper that continues to influence my work to this day. Read my guest blog post for Simple Leaf Garden Design  here to learn how.