Category Archives: Gardening

The Serenity Of Flowering Dogwood


3-2-1, cue month of online fawning over peonies. I always want to boycott. I cast no aspersions on preferences – peonies just seem too blowsy, too easy for me and my somewhat astringent tastes. Ah, give me dogwood any day. Give me flowers that appear to float on water. Give me random numbers made chlorophyll. […]

The Beauty Of Flowers Who Have Met Their True Love


You all may remember Mr. D., the delphinium I grew from seed. Delphiniums take forever to germinate. I had given up hope when I saw the first 3 teeny leaves. I held my breath, hoped, realized he wasn’t getting enough light on my back patio, brought him inside, watered him, fed him, realized he still […]

Flowers In The House, Apricot Rose Edition


It’s time for Flowers In The House. Jane over at Small But Charming occasionally hosts a blogger linkup in which everyone posts photos of, unsurprisingly, Flowers In Their Houses. These are my apricot roses, in a brief moment of integrity before they begin to drop scented petals on the floor. Which may be their way […]

Is Gardening Nerdy?


This weekend I found a caterpillar in my garden. My first impulse was “Squish it!” — I don’t use pesticides, bugs are often bad news. Mid-swing I gasped, and dropped my arm. It was a Monarch. As many of you know, Monarch butterflies are endangered by the depletion of their natural foodstuff, the milkweed plant. […]

When A Garden Surprises At Easter Time


I spent a good bit of last week’s blog break standing in my yard, not always in the grip of awe and wonder. I waxed pragmatic – planted some things, pulled other things out of the ground, snipped errant branches, watered. And was surprised, as I am every year at this time, by a brief […]

The 2 Key Questions To Ask In Articulating Your Style: Clothing, House, Or Garden


Now that I’m writing about 3 areas of style – fashion, house, and garden – I notice a couple of commonalities. Seems to me in articulating style, of any sort, we need to ask ourselves 2 primary questions. What must our style do for our physical selves? What effect do we want to create, and […]

Faith In The Face Of Newly Planted Native Plants And Their Ratty Selves


Gardeners are a faithful lot. We have to be. Native plants, those most virtuous of garden citizens, test our faith entirely. I have finished this spring’s new plantings. California natives under the Live Coast Oak, olive and “strawberry” trees along the back fence, and a couple of heuchera and nandina to fill in gaps close […]

A Couple Of Dumb Lessons From My California Winter Garden


Gardens are such obvious teachers we might wave our hands in dismissal. “Oh,” with an additional shake of the head, “We knew that already!” But in these days of information and calculation, dumb lessons dog us. Imagine a California garden in winter, for example. Palm trees, surfers and tropical flowers may come to mind. Nope. […]

The Kind Of Garden Just About Anyone Can Grow


Of all my retirement projects, my container garden may provide the most small and bubbling happinesses. I started it back in July, from seed. I planted Grandpa Ott morning glories, sweet alyssum, purple basil, and delphiniums. If you are hypothesizing that this led to an all-purple extravaganza, you are quite right. But it took time. […]

Planting Under An Oak Tree, Or, California Natives In A Suburban Wasteland


I’ve shown you my California Mediterranean Cottage Garden, out front, and the Wish I Were A Woodland, out back. But, as we used to say, there’s moooooore. Behold The Blasted Wasteland. Sigh. Here’s a story. Although somewhat specific to Northern California, I suspect that the plot elements, i.e. a need for privacy, a particular climate, […]