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Scapes Aplenty

Although I’ve gardened for some years, I didn’t start planting garlic until three years ago. Living in the desert, I couldn’t grow garlic without an unseemly amount of irrigation. Living in the South, so many grand oaks grew around my home that I was restricted to shade gardening. Now that I’m in Maine and have [...]

Volunteer Trees: Birch, Ash, Dogwood?

In gardening there are annuals, there are perennials, and then there are the plants that could outlive us. In the last group are the trees, and I’m lucky to have many of them where I live in Maine. I have three volunteers this year that I could use your help identifying.

I’m pretty sure [...]

What’s Growing in Your Garden?

Thanks to a long winter in Maine, it took a long time this year before I could turn the soil and get plants started. Now that the days have turned reliably warm, I’ve got peppers, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, beans and zuchinni in the works, to be surrounded by wildflowers if everything germinates well.

My aesthetic [...]

Spring in the Garden after a Long Winter

I don’t have to tell you that we had a long winter (although a review of global climate data will tell us that such a winter was typical a generation ago). I just want to share two of the little subtle joys coming with the remarkably quick spring. Just two weeks ago we had snow [...]

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 [...]

Lawn Variety is Not a Curse

If I mow my lawn every week and spray and weed, everything looks short and green and the same. Call it a choice or call it lazy, but I think that if something is growing in my lawn and it isn’t a thistle, it belongs there. One of the benefits of waiting and being patient [...]

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 [...]

Those Musta Been Some Pretty Active Minutes

It’s amazing what a reed fence, and a brick border, and a potted plant, and a bed of annuals, and a chair, and a bed of crushed gravel, and a set of photography lamps will do.

[...]

St. John’s Wort and I, Bent

As winter turned to spring a year ago, I looked at the flattened form of a St. John’s Wort bush I had planted the year before. Leafless and listless, it seemed utterly broken by the weight of the season’s snow. Looking at that plant laid so low, I was sure that I’d have to dig [...]

#4 Way to Make Things Better: Save Seeds

How can you preserve the environment by reducing trucking and grow the economy by freeing up money at the same time? By saving seeds from last year’s garden and planting in them in the spring, that’s how. By drying your seeds, saving them over the winter and planting them in the fall, you’ll be creating [...]

Free Food in Process: Drying Green Beans for Seed

My plan for free food by 2011 is underway. Having bought sugar snap peas and green beans as seed in 2010, I’ve harvested a portion for seed. The key is not only to pick them when they’re big and brown with paper-thin pods, but to follow up by drying them for a few weeks [...]