I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end. What is the best way to handle disagreements? Between friends? Between foes? William Blake, eccentric and brilliant man, early Romantic Poet, Biblical scholar, anti-establishmentarian, advocate for the Free Love movement (who once asked his devoted wife Catherine if it would be alright… Continue reading William Blake: When Friends Fall Out
Few English actors have radiated imperiousness upon command (see what I did there) better than did the late Glenda Jackson. Nevertheless, I found myself charmed by a revelation, in a recent Daily Mail column** written by her son, the journalist Dan Hodges, that Jackson struggled as a gardener, even amongst the flowers that she loved. To wit,… Continue reading “Grow, you buggers, Grow!”
I do love the plant genus Helleborus. Known as the Lenten Rose, it’s certainly living up to its name in 2023, after a few years of not doing very much. (To be fair, when it comes to my garden, I wasn’t doing very much during those few years either, so not entirely the plants’ fault.)… Continue reading What the Hellebore?
I just picked the first of this season's dandelions and brought them inside as a treat for Miss Bunny. Doing so reminded me of this post, from almost exactly a year ago, and of how much I love this season: Simple and fresh and fair from winter’s close emerging, As if no artifice of fashion,… Continue reading Harbinger
Where there’s life, there’s hope, and need of vittles.–JRR Tolkien The pathway to some of my favorite vittles became clearer today with the arrival of the first two seed catalogs of the year. The temperature is in the single digits (supposed to go down to 2°F tonight), and the wind’s blowing like a Force-8 gale.… Continue reading Sowing Seeds
God gave us memories that we might have roses in December–J.M. Barrie It’s a lovely sentiment, isn’t it? Unfortunately, not all our memories come up roses (pace Ethel Merman): https://youtu.be/s62MrU8mHx4 and our memory gardens inevitably include thorns, thistles, poison ivy, and an abundance of other nasty weeds we encountered at some point in the horticultural… Continue reading Roses in December
In my Autumn garden I was fain To mourn among my scattered roses; Alas for that last rosebud which uncloses To Autumn’s languid sun and rain When all the world is on the wane! Which has not felt the sweet constraint of June, Nor heard the nightingale in tune Broad-faced asters by my garden walk,… Continue reading An October Garden
The headline from a featured article in today's Telegraph: Garden of weeds takes home gold at Royal Horticultural Society Show. I am crying with joy. Speechless with pride. Overcome with emotion. And--at last--sure of my gardening (if nothing else) prowess. (Those of you who are vehement defenders of your Homeowner Association's right to regulate to… Continue reading Oh, My Very Goshness! I’m Trendsetting Again!
Thirty-five years ago, Mr. Right and I sold our house in one of Pittsburgh’s lowest-rent districts, moved ourselves into a tent in a field in Washington County, PA, where our prospective new home was nothing more than a hole in the ground, and started to build. I’m sure the neighbors thought we were nuts. Nevertheless,… Continue reading The Snowman Cometh
There surely must be a horticultural corollary to the well-known maxim, generally attributed to Winston Churchill, that “a woman’s skirt should be long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be interesting.” And it has to do with “ground covers,” those low-growing, fast-spreading plants that (one hopes) form an attractive carpet, especially in… Continue reading Covering New Ground