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A Snake In The Leaves

My springtime mind advises that, if I do not rake the leaves out of my flower beds before snow covers the ground, the spring bulbs may have a difficult time getting enough sunlight to grow well in March. My autumn mind bends down to observe the thin tail of a garter snake disappearing under the [...]

Vegetables at the Brink of Autumn

My August plan to chance a second batch of snap peas has borne fruit:

Even though the plants are shorter than their summertime parents, they’ve got some delicious pods.

And what does a hot pepper taste like if it’s grown when the frosts are nearly here? I’m about to find out:

Meanwhile, garlic [...]

Autumn Chives

While the presence of September chive blossoms themselves isn’t unpleasant, their reminder of the significant shift in climate we’re seeing is unnerving, and brings to mind questions of what kind of winter we’ll have this year. Unpredictability grows into insecurity, in the garden. [...]

November Gardening

A final day of weather above sixty degrees came yesterday afternoon, and the low afternoon light amplified the color of the leaves still hanging on the trees around my house. I divided dianthus, moved a rooted cotoneaster, dug up turf and planted daffodils and tulips.

What are you doing to put your garden to bed?

In Summer, Fall

By the calendar, strict dividing lines separate Winter from Spring and Summer from Fall. The natural world knows no hard and fast boundaries. In the middle of August I stepped outside this morning to find an acorn on the ground. Looking around, I found many more, and along with them a smattering of fallen [...]

Is A Leaf Blower Really Faster?

On a walk early this morning, I encountered a darkly comic sight: three grown men with leaf blowers tackling a strip of grass 50 feet long by 20 feet wide. On my way back 20 minutes later they were still at it. I could hear the noise all the way across the valley.

I have [...]

October Garden Economy

Trying to make ends meet in this economy feels like my experience trying to fit in a little last bit of gardening this October 21st afternoon, pulling up thick patches of turf to replace them with edible ornamentals while a cold rain becomes progressively heavier, remembering the forecast that the precipitation may turn to snow [...]

Fall Freezes the Dragons

It’s one of my favorite moments of fall, when it gets cool enough that insects remain right where they are no matter how close I approach. This dragonfly is stilled by its temperature-sensitive metabolism, but not yet frozen.

Turn in the Leaves

Turn in the leaves this autumn to create ground for real wealth. [...]