Archive for the 'garden' Category


Monday, November 4th, 2013

nasturtium seeds

Two nasturtium seed pods emptied out of my pocket, sitting on the bathroom shelf. Memories of summer’s beauty. Full of beauty to come.

rainy day

Sunday, October 6th, 2013


After a string of beautiful dry days, today was gray and drizzly. I spent yesterday pulling dead tomato plants and stacking half of the great pile of firewood so it was a relief to have a quiet day inside, and let my arms recover. But the bees didn’t seem to be put off by the rain.

bee on the borage

bee on the borage

They love the borage.


Friday, September 14th, 2012

‘Tis the season of abundance. I am stashing food like a crazed squirrel, stuffing tomatoes, ratatouille, corn, peppers and beans into the freezer daily.




The sweet autumn clematis sounds like a hive of bees when you get close. They’re like me, gathering food in a frenzy.

Food and fuel.


Friday, August 31st, 2012

tomato teepees

The garden is an overgrown tangle. Half the tomatoes sprawl un-staked on the ground with some of their fruit nibbled on by slugs and chipmunks. Powdery mildew is rampant on the summer squash and cucumber plants. The grass is tall and the edges and details are even shaggier since the push mower stopped working and I have yet to make an accurate diagnosis.

amaranth leaf

There are seven-foot-high sunflowers with weeds between their toes, bug-eaten leaves on the amaranth, zinnias past their prime, basil that is going to seed. The space left empty after harvesting the garlic has weeds encroaching and the pathways barely have any mulch showing through the crabgrass and dandelions. There are large flat insects eating the beans. I haven’t watered.


But I love it. I love it all. I love the chaos and generosity of it. I love the tall grass. I don’t care that the asparagus ferns are flopped over in an ungainly slump — they’re thriving. The whole garden is.

And the part of me that is a wild curious child is thriving too. I’m ignoring the voice of the inner perfectionist who wants me to look at the garden only with a corrective eye, counting off the problems that need fixing. Instead I’m looking with my child eyes. Seeing the garden as its true self — messy, generous, creative and unleashed. My Eden. Ungainly and glorious.

up close

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Spring seems to have sprung, and then come unhinged. The peonies, gorgeous beyond gorgeousness last week, are now flopped soggy in the grass. The irises have left ugly seed pods on their stems, and everything needs a haircut. Again. It’s only been four days since the last one.

Instead of weeping over the mess and the never-ending mowing chore, I choose denial. I’m going to focus on the tiny tidy details.

Here are some (tidy) pictures from the past weeks.

bleeding heart
Perfectly-shaped bleeding heart.

cherry blossoms
Blossoms on the cherry tree planted a year ago.

Hello peonies!

Enormous iris.

potential cherry
There are a handful of these cherries-to-be on the tree. By the grace of god, the deer and the weather, I may get to eat one later this summer.

dinner tonight

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

first asparagus crop

Home grown.

first asparagus

Yeah baby!

it’s still october, right?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Last week saw the first frost of the season,

first frost

first frost

followed immediately by a blizzard.

snowing in October

Too soon, too much, too weird! I want to register a complaint, but I’m not sure who with. And anyway, I’m finding myself resigned to it being winter already.

snow in October


Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Yesterday I had the door open and all day in the background was the sound of leaves rustling across the ground. Labor Day brought with it the orange undertone that creeps into everything green. Even the light is getting that low angled rust color to it and the squirrels and I are rushing to hoard the end of summer bounty.


In among tomatoes of every shape and size, the first little Benning’s Patty Pan squash. Fresh light green, to remind me that in the not too distant future it will all start over with spring.

right on time

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

My stash of frozen tomato sauce was parsed out over the winter and spring, and I defrosted the last jar just as the new tomato crop started to color.

last of last year's sauce


I want more jars of sauce in the freezer this winter, and planted twice as many tomato plants, but we’ll see how many tomatoes get into the sauce pot once leaf spot diseases and tomato sandwiches have had their way.

Thank goodness there’s always the local farm stand.

wild rosebush

Monday, June 27th, 2011


How it stands there against the dark
of this late rainy hour, young and clean,
swaying its generous branches
yet absorbed in its essence as rose;
with wide-open flowers already appearing,
each unsought and each uncared-for.
So, endlessly exceeding itself
and ineffably from itself come forth,
it calls the wanderer, who in evening contemplation
passes on the road:
Oh see me standing here, see how unafraid I am
and unprotected. I have all I need.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke