Archive for the 'garden' Category


Friday, June 10th, 2011


Seen only feet from these newly planted sweet young things…

greens in the garden

Needless to say, she is not alone. This morning I saw a baby bunny inside the vegetable garden. At least the little ones run away fast and give me some sense of righteous satisfaction.

I am connecting with my inner Farmer McGregor, and dreaming of electric fences.


Monday, April 25th, 2011

Your worst enemy cannot harm you
as much as your own unguarded thoughts.

~The Buddha

weeding the asparagus

Weeding the asparagus patch, it strikes me how much like thoughts weeds are; ubiquitous, tough and insidious.

Now that I tend a garden I’ve discovered that weeds are clever, growing as close to a ‘good’ plant as possible, twining in and around the stalks and leaves, making it difficult to tease them out. My thoughts twist together as well, the undermining, repetitive, hopeless ideas tangled up with the useful, helpful, hopeful ones.

So I weed carefully, and I meditate. I can’t get rid of all the weeds, or of my negative thinking, but I can tease out the difference between constructive and negative thoughts, between the ground ivy and the asparagus, making room for sunshine and water.

chasing light

Friday, March 4th, 2011

I was looking through my photo archive and realized that all Fall and Winter I’ve been taking pictures of patches of sunlight, welcomed gratefully by my friends and I, and of the accompanying shadow patterns.

light & shadow

light & shadow

light & shadow

light & shadow

light & shadow

light & shadow

tomatoes — the final chapter

Friday, October 8th, 2010

It’s getting chilly. I picked a load of parsley and pulled up all the basil plants yesterday, and spent the evening processing them and stocking the freezer with pesto.


I’m still in squirrel mode. I have half-ripe tomatoes sitting around the house and they continue to ripen on the vine as well, where the zinnias compete for the most colorful award, poking their heads out above what has become the tomato hedge.




According to my journal, last year’s first recorded frost was on October 19th. I can feel it creeping closer…

the view from my studio

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

For the last fortnight the hummingbird activity at the feeder on the porch has been intense. A couple of times I’ve seen ten birds at once.

For such tiny creatures they have big attitude, reminding me of New Yorkers with their fast moves and “You lookin’ at me?” moxie.

(It was raining when I shot this, which made for noisy background, accentuating the traffic sounds.)

Indoors there’s been a lot of silent, focused, staring.

watching the hummingbirds

watching the hummingbirds

One morning I was standing looking out the side door at the garden. I was waking up, sipping my coffee, with Noola draped across my shoulders (she likes it there).

A hummingbird perched on the fence next to the tomato plants. All of a sudden he flew directly towards us and stopped at eye level, a foot away, hovering and checking us out, and then just as suddenly flew off into the trees.

Noola and I were both blown away by the experience.

summer fest: cukes

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The first cucumbers and tomatoes are in. Or I should say, they’re gone. Gobbled up after passing feline inspection. But there are more on the way.

I’m growing two kinds, Boothby’s Blonde (described by a friend as a naked Kirby), and Suyo, which is pretty spooky-looking but delicious.

Last night I picked some of each and made them into a salad that was made for me when I visited Serbia several years ago. I don’t have a recipe, it’s so simple you can make it however you like it. More or less garlic or dill. Creamy yogurt or low fat…

I sliced the cucumbers thinly using the slicing side of my box grater and put them in a colander in the sink, salted them heavily and let them drain for a while.

In a bowl I mixed some plain yogurt with a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed, and some chopped up dill. I rinsed the cucumbers, dried them a little, and tossed them in the yogurtey mix.

All done. Simple and refreshing.

I thought I’d post about it today since it’s Cukes & Zukes day on the cross-blog Summer Fest. Find more cucurbit recipes and info on Summer Fest at


Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Last October I planted half a pound each of four types of garlic. I haven’t grown garlic before, being as this is my first year with a year-round garden, and I had no clue how much I’d be harvesting. Granted, the garlic took up more than 10% of the raised beds, which was kind of a clue…

This is the Inchelium Red softneck garlic, just one third of the harvest. The hardneck is still in the ground, waiting to be dug up.

I used the compost sifter M built for me and laid them out to dry in the shade on the patio.

It’s been 2 weeks and they’re looking ready to braid.

When all 4 types are harvested and cured I’d love to have a garlic tasting but I can’t figure out what dish would be a good comparison vehicle. Aioli? Garlic bread? I don’t think I’m up for crunching raw cloves.

ideas are in the garden

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

It’s mid-summer hot — too bold to be out in the midday, but I ventured into the garden early this morning to water and find inspiration in the shapes and colors.

The ferny leaves of a garbanzo plant…

Soft focus constellations scattered across the Moon & Stars watermelon…

Snapdragons grown from seeds so small I had to use a damp toothpick to pick them up have turned into these complex, elegant blooms…

The cucumber and pumpkin vines are perfect spirals…

The fractal bloom on last year’s parsley plant and the perfect red of its Salvia neighbor…

The psychedelic iridescence of a resting fly…

And the spiky dome of vibrant orange at the center of an echinacea flower…

If I spent every minute of my life making, I could never come close to the endless creativity of this natural world.

my yard is a safe place

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Earlier this week I happened to look out the kitchen window when a fawn and her mama walked into the yard. They were nibbling the “deer-proof” forcythia. Then the fawn picked her way back to the maple in the far corner by the brush pile and curled up under it and her mom wandered away. The little one stayed nestled under the tree, almost invisible, all day.

I was a wee bit concerned and placed a call to in-the-know friends who confirmed that this is normal. Apparently does find a safe place to stash their babies and leave them there, coming back to check on them periodically. All week I’ve seen the mom come and go leaving her fawn stashed away in the weeds for hours at a time.

This morning I was making coffee when two female deer wandered into the yard, together with the fawn who raced around in the long grass. I was watching her run crazy loops when all of a sudden there were two fawns, both racing around, up and down the hill. Hilarious.

I wasn’t able to capture them both, but here’s a glimpse of one of them – a speck of fawn at speed.

The sound in the background in Noola chewing cardboard. Still.


Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

When I lived in the city my connection to the weather and the seasons was very limited, the markers of change broad and unsubtle. Rain. Snow. Hot and sweaty. The day the leaves arrive on the trees.

Here, I look out the window and the grass looks 2 inches taller than yesterday, but has that sweet smell; the clover is blooming.

The peonies are here, gorgeous and brazen, then all of a sudden over, knocked out by the rain we wanted so badly.

The peas need to be picked daily… but not for long, and here’s the first strawberry. It tastes so good, shared between friends. Fruity communion.

Nature’s changing is fierce and constant. There’s an intensity not unlike riding the subway at rush hour, and it is tempting to turn the abundance and ferociousness of all this growth and plenty into another “should”, another chore, another reason to complain.

I hope I won’t do that and ignore the potential lesson — that life is plentiful and messy and overwhelmingly beautiful. And that just as we grieve the passing of one life, or season, or botched crop, another bursts open ahead.

“Listen, God love everything you love – and a mess of stuff you don’t. But more than anything else, God love admiration.

You saying God vain? I ast.

Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.

What it do when it pissed off? I ast.

Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.”

— Alice Walker (The Color Purple)