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The first sign of the end of summer is here in my garden.

  The garlic is in and braided, ready to hang up for the winter. Can you guess which braid or braids was made by my hands? A portion of this year’s cloves go back in the ground to slowly grow into next […]

The Ineffectual Landscaping Fabric of Despair

What this landscaping fabric was not good for: restraining weeds.  As you can see, roots have shot right through it.

What this landscaping fabric is great for: poking up through the weeds that have taken over the spot in garish white plastic strips.

The previous inhabitants of my home laid this stuff down meaning […]

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 […]