Garden and Home | Lifestyle

Finding the Essence

I grew up following my grandfather around the garden. By all accounts he wasn’t a good husband or father to his 16 kids, and I’m told he was once a vicious drunk. But he was a good grandfather to me. Age likely tempered him as it does most of us, but I think it was…

Garden and Home

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Sipping coffee in the garden while watching the bluebirds fly between the feeder and the birdhouse I put up for them last year. Summer is finally here, the tea roses are blooming and the next round of garden perennials are about to burst in color. Monarda, hosts, day lilies, geraniums and rugosa roses are up…

Garden and Home

Soggy with a Chance of Rain

There are places in the world experiencing severe drought.  This is not one of those places.  New Hampshire is one of many states experiencing significant rainfall.  The rain seems to be with us day after day after soggy day.  I don’t mind the rain at all, but I like a little balance with my weather….

Garden and Home

Fruit Set vs. the Microclimate

The garden is accelerating nicely now, aided by warm sunny days after a rainy start to spring. Even the grapes are producing masses of fruit set, which is the stage after fertilization just as grapes are formed when it kind of looks like a bunch of grapes but in miniature and without the grapes. It’s…

Garden and Home

Chive Talkin’

I planted chives twenty years ago and promptly ignored them ever since, save for the occasional raid with a pair of kitchen shears to supplement whatever meal called for them. Chives are both effortless and generous, multiplying and at the ready when you need them. Unlike the more celebrated basil, chives don’t need to be…

Garden and Home | Lifestyle

Fences and Forests

“At present, in this vicinity, the best part of the land is not private property; the landscape is not owned, and the walker enjoys comparative freedom. But possibly the day will come when it will be partitioned off into so-called pleasure-grounds, in which a few will take a narrow and exclusive pleasure only – when…

Garden and Home

Life in the Weeds

Gardening is 80% maintenance and 20% appreciation for what you’ve accomplished.  That ratio is likely way off the mark.  It could be closer to 99% maintenance.  This morning I was weeding the garden in dress clothes, using the time before I went to a birthday party to weed one of the beds.  Such is the…

Garden and Home

Lilacs in Bloom

A garden is a complete sensory experience, and any gardener will tell you that the smells of the garden are as memorable as the sights.  Monarda smells like tea leaves (because they are), tomatoes and marigolds announce the return of summer with a sniff of their leaves and stems.  Basil, mint, rosemary and other herbs…

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Catalpa

Sitting at Boston Medical Center for an appointment earlier today I looked up to see a pair of Catalpa trees in full bloom. There’s nothing like a Catalpa tree, whether in bloom or later in the year when giant string bean-like fruits dangle off the branches. It’s a tree that I once promised myself I’d…