Gardening in the cold

The sun shines but it’s raw out there. Nevertheless, I spent most of yesterday afternoon out there clearing the southside walkway of encroaching poppies, ajuga, dandilion, some grass, and muscari. The muscari I carefully dug up and moved, since I’m happy to have as many as I can get. I started at 1:30 and stopped…

Sacred space

The other day the chaplain of our college put out an email to the entire faculty and staff. Getting this kind of email among all the usual day to day business is enough in itself to justify having a chaplain, if you ask me! We happen to have a particularly wise, loving and luminous chaplain…

Supposed to be grading…

…but I’m playing around with my blog. I’m trying to figure out what I can change without paying for a fancier version of this wordpress site. And changing the header, thinking about how big the photos should appear, trying to figure out how to add tags— OK, yes, I am also procrastinating. A stack of…

Daunting weather, undaunted plants

Trudging back from our barn from the evening (horse) feeding yesterday at 5 pm, I stopped to wander around the yard picking a bouquet of narcissus. By the time I was done my fingers were numb–it’s cold and damp, with a raw wind. But we needed this rain/snow so I don’t mind. This week and…

Weeds?

My garden grows beautiful dandilion and stinging nettles. I’ve become an expert in digging out dandilion, but I also enjoy their cheerful yellow flowers and I don’t go after them like I go after grass. When I was in 8th grade a group of wild food advocates and environmentalists visited out school. They took my…

My sister’s herb wheel, mid April

There’s no more snow! Everything looks green and growy. Jeanne, I forgot what’s going on with the herb wheel these days. Let me know! Jeanne’s reply: “The herb wheel is now showing signs of life and growth. Chives, mints, oregano, and thymes are happily filling in. I have planted three parsley plants, hoping to harvest…

garden parties and daffodils

Garden parties and potlucks are a great combination. Where I live everyone knows what a big potluck means–the kind where the invitation makes it clear that it’s for everyone you know, and everyone they know, and anyone who happens to drive past…and so on–basically it’s an open house, only all the guests bring something to…

making paths and appreciating aggressive plants

In my first five or six years of gardening I was intimidated by my own plants. I would plant an area and then couldn’t get into it to weed or pick flowers or grab Japanese beetles because either I had not made a path or I had not put down stepping stones, or they had…

Aldo Leopold and going on a ramble

Last year while doing research at the Cornell University library I wandered over to the nearby bookstore for a study break, and picked up a wonderful book called Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work by Curt D. Meine. In his youth Leopold was drawn to the woods and took long “rambles”, usually with his sketch…

starting seeds- germination!

I used to think that lilies and delphiniums were the final word in elegance. They seemed aristocratic to me, and since I am anything but aristocratic, it never occurred to me when I started gardening that I could have these stately plants in my garden. Then my friend and neighbor Kathleen encouraged me to plant…

compost picture

As promised, here is the photo of our new compost bin. It is all “brown” at this point, dead stalks and leaves. It has been quite dry in the last few weeks so it has not had enough moisture, so it is doing a whole lot of nothing at the moment. It is right next…

compost bins

During the week of summer weather we had in mid-March this year I did the kind of clearing, raking and cleaning that many gardeners like to do in the fall. I like to say I want to keep the echinacea seed heads upright for birds over the winter or let the stems capture snow to…