Just say no to Mosquito Joe

May 8, 2024

Mosquito sprays don’t just kill mosquitoes. They kill all insects, harm birds, poison fish, sicken pets and humans, and may cause cancer.

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Simple Past, present progressive

April 10, 2024

Built a planter box out of an old crate and volunteering at the Deep Roots Habitat Gardens tour

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Remembering Eleanor Perényi, author of Green Thoughts, who was more than a garden writer

February 7, 2024

If someone were to establish an Eleanor Perényi fan club, I would join. This versatile, largely forgotten writer would make a fascinating topic for a critical biography or dissertation.

Almost every list of classic gardening books includes her Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden (1981), the third of the reissued Modern Library Gardening series I read last fall (in addition to The Gardener’s Year and We Made a Garden). It was my favorite. However, for me, her memoir More Was Lost is her masterpiece.

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Reviewing The Gardener’s Year, by Karel Čapek

January 22, 2024

Like Marjory Fish’s We Made a Garden, Karel Čapek’s The Gardener’s Year is no place to turn for practical advice. It recommends no chores or jobs. Instead, Čapek pokes fun at the gardener’s hubris, which may help us laugh at our own obsessiveness and make us feel less alone.

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Paper Gardening: a look at a garden writing classic

January 9, 2024

Margery Fish’s We Made a Garden describes the process of creating, area by area, a garden with her husband, Walter. The garden is interesting, but Margery’s tussles with Walter are even more so.

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Assigning grades: the best native perennials for a front yard

August 31, 2023

The garden has peaked. The climactic moment has passed. This is a good time of year for taking stock. Did projects go as planned? Did I get the results I wanted? Taking a moment to review and remember, hoping to inform my decisions as I approach fall planting.

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What killed my lawn?

How to make organic lawns look good

August 1, 2023

New gardeners who wonder why their lawns died this summer and what to do about it might be especially interested in this post.

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Chenonceau tower + garden

Dreams come true: visiting the chateaux of the Loire

June 29, 2023

Although not exactly gardening-focused, our trip could be considered gardening-adjacent. After all, the Loire Valley is known as the garden of France! One highlight was the bouquets of Chenonceaux, the work of floral artist Jean-Francois Bouchet.

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Photo by Han Mellenbruch

A conversation with Talis Bergmanis

May 19, 2023

A visit to this garden is an extraordinary opportunity not to be missed.

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image of frame, empty flower bed
What a blah image

Still waiting…

(It’s spring, but doesn’t feel like it yet)

March 21, 2023

Spring has sprung, but progress has slowed. I waited all winter for March. Now it’s here and all I want is for it to be April.  Slow progress isn’t no progress, though, and I’ve been battling rabbits, coaxing seedlings to life, and smothering sod for a new bed.

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My wild garden dusted with snow

Wintry mix: first signs of spring

February 16, 2023

Welcome 2023! It may not seem like it now, but spring is on the way. I kickoff the new season with a recap of what I’ve been doing since I last posted in December, and what I’m planning for the new year.

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Saving pollinators, one yard at a time

December 15, 2022

Recently I happened upon this article from the New York Times. “They Fought the Law. And the Lawn Lost” describes a Maryland couple’s fight against their homeowners’ association over their pollinator garden. Guess what happened?

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Certifiable: Why you should get a sign for your garden

November 8, 2022

People are more likely to appreciate native plantings if they recognize that they’re intentional. For this reason, experts recommend presenting unfamiliar plantings with familiar elements, called “cues to care.” 

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