Orchis Enchantis

By |2018-02-20T20:41:34+00:00February 17th, 2011|

Listen/Download Audio Just over a year ago at the end of a particularly brutal winter, I made a Scandinurbian sojourn to the holy halls of IKEA to buy some bookcases to line an office wall.  On my way out, weakened by meatballs and lignonberry juice, I fell prey to one of the dirtiest Swedish marketing [...]

What Shall I Do With All My Books

By |2018-02-20T20:41:34+00:00February 9th, 2011|

Listen/Download Audio The winds have been unmercifully harsh this winter. Many nights I have lain in bed wondering how long my maple tree can withstand the onslaught of bitter two AM winds, only to find by morning she is still standing, sometimes her long fingers dipped in layers of brilliant ice. The garden is paralyzed [...]

Seedling Shuffle

By |2018-02-20T20:41:34+00:00February 3rd, 2011|

Listen/Download Audio “The time has come,” the gardener said, “to talk of many things. Of soil and lights and seedling flats, of cabbages and spring.” I can hardly believe that February has rolled around and it is time once again to find room for several hundred seedlings, four foot grow lights and filing boxes full [...]

My Winter Manifesto

By |2018-02-20T20:41:34+00:00January 26th, 2011|

Yesterday, while leafing through one of those meaty gardening volumes that one reads at this time of year with a large glass of red wine in one hand and a box of tissues in the other, I happened upon the following thought by Dr. Stefan Buczacki, a noted English garden writer, broadcaster and horticulturalist: “I [...]


By |2018-02-20T20:41:34+00:00January 20th, 2011|

I don’t get back to California very often. When I do, an extended visit of four to five weeks is usually called for in order to adequately serve up willing grandchildren to hungry grandparents and ravenous aunts and uncles. This is of course made possible by the generosity of my husband, who forgoes his chief [...]

Catalog Anyone?

By |2018-02-20T20:41:34+00:00January 13th, 2011|

Annus Horibilis in the garden was just wrapping up last year when I opened my mailbox to find cheerful booklets of cleverly packaged fantasy fiction (read: seed catalogs) rubbing shoulders with perfectly respectable bills.  After the season I had just endured, seeing those two pound tomatoes, heirloom peppers in the prime of their [...]

A New Year, A New Hope

By |2018-02-20T20:41:34+00:00January 5th, 2011|

It is the dawn of a new year, and traditions stretching back hundreds of years dictate that I must now discuss resolutions for the year ahead. It almost seems redundant somehow, because as a gardener, resolution is a constant state in which I find myself. As I pot up common geraniums in the spring, I [...]

Greenery Woe

By |2020-11-16T17:39:36+00:00December 23rd, 2010|

So fleeting It is late. I am tiptoeing down the stairs in my stocking feet for a glass of water. The house is dark and the Christmas lights have punched their card for the evening. Santa will not work his magic for a few days yet. Halfway down the stairs I [...]

Botany for Dummies

By |2020-11-13T17:17:16+00:00December 10th, 2010|

Franklinia alatamaha Marsh. [adapted from W. Bartram, 1788 The phone rang late one night in early winter, just about the time I am usually reaching for the book by my bedside or guiltily opening the Netflix envelope for a bit of mindless entertainment. It was a gardening friend, and I could tell by [...]


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