Category Archives: Gardening

A Little Moment Of It’s Not That Bad, Or, Saturday Morning at 7:56am

  Come December my back yard used to disappoint my living room. If I snuggled up to nandina I could find a little berry cheer but my beloved now-departed elm tree blocked much of the view from indoors. Even with the leaves had fallen, what I could see through bare branches was often splotched with elm detritus I […]

Fending Off Solutions, Or, Saturday Morning at 10:49am

I know I told you my tall old Chinese elm fell over this spring. Not that you needed to remember, of course. It kneeled down as I was looking out the window. No damage to our house, very little damage to anything, but we were suddenly treeless. That tree had defined the yard, and to […]

Late Summer Fritillaries In Loops And Circles, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:43am

Well hello August. It’s late summer. Not at all fall. But here in Northern California the sun seems to sigh, “Never mind.” It’s still hot, it will be hot for a few more weeks, maybe even months. But everything radiates less. However, in the Bay Area it’s also butterfly time. In anticipation, I’ve planted a […]

Down Here In The Flatlands, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:11am

It’s windy here this morning. I can see branches in my backyard whipped about and fluttering. It’s also a little chilly. Makes me think of the mountains, which is so odd, because I haven’t been to high altitudes since 2013. But if you’ve ever traveled to the Sierras you know what I mean, that thin air through evergreens. […]

The Small Fall Of The San Francisco Bay Area

In the USA, Fall has been usurped. The Northeast rules our iconography, and yet. Sweaters, boots? It’s still in the 70s where I live. Waves of forest red? We’re still growing roses. I’m here to represent other autumns. We know when the oleander drops. You see, contrary to popular mythology, California does have a fall. […]

When Fuchsias Wander And Anemones Erupt

I like gardens for some of the same reasons I like middle-aged cities. Buildings and shrubs hunker down in place; although things change year to year and season to season, you can find your way around. Just recently I moved my pot of fuchsias. Now if that isn’t one of the silliest English sentences ever […]

How To Grow A Gardenia In The San Francisco Bay Area, And Other Dialogues

Harbor a hidden guilty love of gardenia fragrance, for 30 years In November, hire your fabulously talented garden designer to redo your backyard Respond, “Yes,” when he asks if you’d like him to put a gardenia in a pot, hidden from sight around a corner of your house Stare blankly at the resultant green and […]

Meanwhile, In The Garden, Light Comes And Goes

The back yard is green. It’s hydrangea time. Yeah, they are leggy, pruning mistake. Lesson learned. Leslie asked me how my white roses are doing. In truth I neglected them to deal with my mother’s Alzheimer’s-provoked move. The poor guys responded by sinking into a despair of black spot, rust, and unnamable blight. But a couple […]

Can’t Even Come Up With A Title, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:44am

Just sitting here on the sofa, listening to the Pandora Worldbeat station. Vaguely-Argentine guitar played by a guy named Johannes Linstead. I thought he might be Swedish, given the name, but no. Canadian. I watch my hands, the veins that run between my knuckles are rising. Age. I’ll be 60 in September – I look […]

An Enduring Love Affair With My Fuchsia, And Its Friend, A Small Haws Copper Watering Can

My fuchsia has grown and is blooming. It’s such a pleasure to watch the buds swell over days. Then one morning you wake up and they’ve opened, little triangular petals curving away from purple centers.   Right now the fuchsia is surrounded by primulas, violas and heuchera (burgundy leaves forever!). Also a ratty alyssum falling […]

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