Mailing List Sign Up


Winter strips things down to their basic elements. You can’t be distracted by over abundance and the essentials aren’t hidden by fluff and color. In the dormant season fundamental style shines though.

I watched the birds this morning and was pleased with their dance of temperament and technique. The jays darted in and out, eating […]

Cultivating Creativity

Last week we celebrate that our patchwork patio is finished. From the one-material concrete paver space that we inherited when we bought the house to the mix of found stones, recycled granite and stone, we expanded this space three years ago and finished the final area last week. The area morphed into a smaller space […]


I’m counting my blessings.

In this Thanksgiving season I'm thankful that the garden is, indeed, seasonal. I appreciate the changing, fleeting beauty the landscape holds from day to day.

I'm grateful for self-seeding plants,

and for the tasty food the garden has provided.

I'm thankful for discoveries like the pinkish-lavender […]

Thoughts of Warmth

Heavy frost, planting daffodil bulbs, and firing up the wood stove every evening. It’s the season of descending chill and our corresponding thoughts of warmth. One by one the annuals and perennials fall to the freezing temperatures and hauling in wood before darkness falls has replaced the evening routine of picking zucchini and tomatoes.

Even […]

Taking Pleasure in The Unexpected

I have to admit that the persimmon tree was an impulse purchase. I saw some lovely Diospyros kaki, aka Japanese persimmons, at the garden center and suddenly realized that I’ve always wanted this plant. In other words, a case of plant lust kicked in.

Although we’ve not regretted planting this tree, the pleasure that we […]

Riley’s Rules

Sometimes we learn from our gardens, other times from our dogs.

Life Litter

Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter that passed through over the past few days blew an assortment of leaves, pine needles, branches and more to the ground. The 65 mile an hour winds took down some trees and changed our landscape from colorful fall to bare branch winter. Walking around Poison Ivy Acres and driving in […]

Rated For Joy

A friend of mine recently sent me a photo of a lavender plant that he saw online. The lavender pictured is being sold for indoor growing at this time of year. My friend asked, “Will this live for us in our sunny window as a houseplant?”

One of my missions, whether I’m talking to a […]

A Hummingbird Magnet? You Can Grow That!

Not only is Nicotiana mutabilis a magnet for the hummers, it’s also very long lasting in the fall garden. This flowering tobacco sails through light frosts and continues to bloom into November in my part of the country. Here’s what you need to know to grow this annual (perennial in zones 8 to 10):

1. […]

Play With Your Plants

I visited Cosentino’s nursery the other day and came away smiling. They not only have a huge selection of succulents, they’ve created a delightful series of container gardens using these plants. From low, flat bowls to taller ceramic pots, the selection was wonderful.

Also charming was the table where odd objects from coffee pots and […]