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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

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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

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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.

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5 Reasons to Plant More Bulbs This Fall

The dumbest question about flower bulbs, ever: “Do they have any purpose apart from being pretty?” Yes, sure they do, but what’s to shame about beauty? When you see the earliest snowdrops blooming in cloud-heavy winter, aren’t your spirits lifted? And when the crocus, then the daffodils follow, doesn’t their floral display … more

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Bee-ing with Halictus, the Sweat Bee – #3 in the series

A knee injury for me (again!) is the perfect excuse for more bee-ing, less working in the garden. Couple that with National Pollinator Week, and I’m feet up, ice-wrapped, coffee in hand and all a-buzz to share with you what I’ve seen. After dinner at the picnic table last night (yay summer!), … more