Grow crocus in your lawn

You owe it to yourself

My efforts to develop a cabin fever bed are starting to bear fruit. The winter aconites have come and gone, but I have plenty else starting to bloom. [click to continue…]


The trouble with master plans in gardens, then, is simply that they do not take into account masterful plants. Nor addled masters.
Henry Mitchell

Kick in the pants box label

This label sealed the box that my new Duluth Trading pants came in.

Duluth Trading gave me a kick in the pants–metaphorically speaking. But they did give me the actual pants.

About a month ago I got an email with the subject line Duluth Trading Wants to Give You a Kick in the Pants. I subscribe to their company newsletter, and at first glance I thought this was another sales offer. It’s a good thing I checked it out, because they made me an offer I didn’t want to refuse: [click to continue…]

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To northern gardeners, this time of year [March] is full of anxious pleasure. Even as they daydream about the botanical pleasures of June and July, ordinary mortals find themselves nearly defeated by the gardening deadlines that pass so swiftly in March. Extraordinary mortals--whose seeds arrived two months ago, whose windows are now full of seedlings, and who are ready to sow peas and carrots the instant the soil thaws--will suffer torments of their own when the perfections they're planning somehow fail to germinate or blossom. A garden is just a way of mapping the strengths and limitations of your personality onto the soil. It would be too much to bear if nature didn't temper a gardener's ambition or laziness with her own unsolicited abundance.
Verlyn Klinkenborg

Mud Season Mind Games: Dear Friend and Gardener

by Kathy Purdy April 7, 2014

Dear Friend and Gardener, I have learned through my online friendships with many garden bloggers that spring comes late to my part of the world. Friends around the country (and the world) speak of snowdrops blooming when mine are buried under snow, and show off their daffodils while I am waiting for my first crocuses […]

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What Treasures Have Been Stolen by this Winter?

by Brian Bixley March 31, 2014

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ~John Ruskin, quoted in Adam Gopnik, Winter. It is a truth almost universally acknowledged that this has been a bear of a winter, battering to the body […]

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Make That Lingering Snow Earn Its Keep

by Kathy Purdy March 21, 2014

The snow is melting, but not fast enough to suit me. I’ve already taken pictures of where the snow melts first, so I know where to plant my spring-flowering bulbs this fall. In the spirit of making lemonade out of lemons, I realized this lingering snow was the perfect opportunity to outline a new garden […]

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How I Defeat Cabin Fever: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day March 2014

by Kathy Purdy March 15, 2014

It doesn’t take much to give a gardener hope. Snow still blanketed the lawn, despite the warmest temperatures of the calendar year thus far. As I reached down to pick up the pot of amaryllis for its photo shoot (see below), I noticed that the snow had melted down to the ground in a strip […]

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How to Analyze An Area of Your Yard to Improve It: The Parking Pad Bed

by Kathy Purdy March 9, 2014

In case you are just joining in: About two-and-a-half years ago our family moved from our long-time rural home to a different 19th-century farm house about twenty-five minutes from our previous one. I have been renovating the landscape around the house in a non-systematic frenzy and writing about it as time permits. (Previous posts are […]

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What You Don’t Know About Bugs Could Make Your Garden Better

by Kathy Purdy February 28, 2014
Thumbnail image for What You Don’t Know About Bugs Could Make Your Garden Better

Interview with Jessica Walliser, Author of Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden Jessica Walliser’s new book,Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Controlrecently published by Timber Press, turns the gardener’s view of insects upside down. Suddenly, they are no longer the enemy, but allies you encourage by the way that you […]

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What Every Cold Climate Gardener Should Know About Growing Kumquats

by Ruth Kassinger February 25, 2014

A guest post about Meiwa kumquat trees for a blog about gardening in cold climates? Oh, yes. If you have a sunny spot in your yard in summer and a south- or south-west-facing window in your house, you’ll love this little tree. I live in suburban Maryland, and am the happy owner of the two […]

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A Garden of Marvels: Book Review

by Kathy Purdy February 24, 2014

I always thought my garden held marvels, but until I read A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants by Ruth Kassinger, I didn’t realize just how marvelous it was. And if you told me I was going to find a book on the […]

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