08 Feb Anticipation

We need the sweet pain of anticipation to tell us we are really alive. 
Albert Camus


Every year about this time I begin to think ahead to spring. My mind imagines those warm morning breezes with a faint a scent of earthiness that come as each day reveals new surprises in the garden. But alas, February, a brief month with short days, is long with anticipation. Snowy, cold, and devoid of vegetation, it’s beauty lies in a crisp, stark, landscape covered in snow and ice, a contrast of light and dark, of snow and structure.

It’s easy to overlook the beauty of winter in the garden, but it’s just as easy to overlook the insight winter provides. A walk in the garden in winter, reveals useful information as we look ahead to and begin planning the coming garden season. Our friend Christine Darnell touched on this nicely in a recent article she wrote for The Shoreline Times. You can read Christine’s article here, and after you do, make sure to come back and tell us what plans you have for your landscape this year, and how the winter landscape inspired you.

Yes, February is filled with the sweet pain of anticipation, as Mr. Camus states. But, remember to thank February for the gifts it brings to those of us that will venture out into the drifts and gain insight. Spring will come, but today is full of opportunity.

And on that note, I will leave you with these lyrics from Carly Simon, who gave us some very memorable thoughts on Anticipation.

I’m no prophet, I don’t know nature’s way
So I’ll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, ’cause these are the good old days.

All the best my friends, stay warm!


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02 Aug Worthy Pubs – Pith & Vigor!

Worthy Pubs is not about finding the perfect pint, but rather great publications that offer the best sources for garden inspiration and tips. If they’ve got the stuff we’ll let you know about them, and then just maybe, we’ll raise a pint!


Pith and vigorPith & Vigor is the brainchild of former Garden Designers Roundtable contributor,  Leaf Magazine co-founder and editor, and friend Rochelle Walter Greayer. Rochelle approaches everything with a wonderful sense of style and I’m sure Pith + Vigor will be no exception. A beautiful full color quarterly newspaper and digital magazine, Pith & Vigor will share the grit and beauty of gardening with illustrative art, seductive photography, and quirky creative layouts.

There has been a dearth of garden worthy publications and TV shows for the last few years, and I’m glad to see this and other new choices showing up on the radar.

Click on the link below to donate through her Indiegogo campaign, and receive a nice perk too!

And, don’t forget to tell your friends!


Click here to contribute!

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27 Apr Sunday Inspiration 4.27.14 – A Poor Old Widow…

I have a foundness for old fashioned plant names. Names that are seldom heard in today’s nurseries, foresaken for marketing friendly substitutions. So, when I came across this wonderful old rhyme while searching for inspiration this morning, I was instantly smitten by it’s word and meaning. In word, de la Mare describes what I can only imagine is a beautiful garden, busy with life. In meaning, he captures the true spirit of any gardener, in the joy the old widow finds in her garden of “weeds”!

A poor old Widow in her weeds
Sowed her garden with wild-flower seeds;DSC01483_4863
Not too shallow, and not too deep,
And down came April — drip — drip — drip.
Up shone May, like gold, and soon
Green as an arbour grew leafy June.
And now all summer she sits and sews
Where willow herb, comfrey, bugloss blows,
Teasle and pansy, meadowsweet,
Campion, toadflax, and rough hawksbit;
Brown bee orchis, and Peals of Bells;
Clover, burnet, and thyme she smells;
Like Oberon’s meadows her garden is
Drowsy from dawn to dusk with bees.
Weeps she never, but sometimes sighs,
And peeps at her garden with bright brown eyes;
And all she has is all she needs —
A poor Old Widow in her weeds.

~ Walter de la Mare

Are you able to identify all the plants in this poem? You might find many close by under a much different name. Which do you grow enjoy in your garden?

Enjoy your “weeds” my firends!

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06 Apr Sunday Inspiration 4.6.14 – The Last to Fall…

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

~ Neslon Mandela

American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)

American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)


The American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) is a lovely tree. Native to Eastern North America, it’s found in landscapes and woodlands, has smooth gray bark and glossy dark green leaves. The leaves turn bronze in fall, and stay on the tree for a very long time, making it easy to spot on a winter or early spring walk. The photo above was taken yesterday, April 5th, while on my  morning walk in the nearby wood. Those leaves will persist until the buds with the new season’s growth begin to swell, knocking them to the ground. It’s a marvel the persistance of the Beech heaf to hang on until the very last minute, to be the last to fall. But for what purpose. The prize for hanging on so long, is simply to fall and let the cycle of life begin again.

The persistant effort of the Beech leaf, echos the meaning in the quote from Neslon Mandela above, and both are wonderful metaphors for the life of a gardener. Each year we cultivate our gardens, battle pests, nurtur the soil, and prune and shape. We work until the last possible moment on our cares, only to see our creations are wiped clean with the winter snows. But come spring, we are renewed, our buds begin to swell and we start climbing hills again, finally having let go of last season’s triumphs and failures.

Tell me friends, what have you let go of from last season, and what hills will you be climbing in your gardens this year? I’d love to hear about them!


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