Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Are any of you wondering what my garden looks like?
Well, you may flabbergasted to discover that it's simply a large area of horse manure, followed by newspaper, than grass clippings and finally a layer of straw. It's what they refer to in permaculture as 'sheet mulching'. I knew nothing about it, but when I calculated the amount of compost I would need to pay for to improve our soil which was devastatingly low in organic matter, I was damn glad to learn about it. The pay off is supposed to be wonderful rich soil come spring and all I have to do is water and wait. Feel free to keep your fingers crossed for me . . .

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Faded Coat of Blue

I've come to love blue in the garden. There was a time when I first began gardening, that I only had eyes for the warmth of orange, burgundy, and plum; I had no interest in blue. Now I find it the most interesting color because it changes so much depending on the light of day. My favorite time to see it is at twilight when everything begins to fade except for the blues, that is when they seem to come alive.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Today I went for my first walk in the woods of the summer. I'm ashamed to say that, living right by the ocean, I find I spend less and less time in the woods. It was so familiar and reassuring to be there. It was as if it were saying, "Remember me? I am older than all of your stories."
The mixture of shade and humidity create this illusion of deep breathing, enhancing the certainty that everything around you is alive or has given its life to the spirit of this ecosystem. It's such a perfect balance, there is so much to learn from this . . .

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I apologize for the recent silence, I was away on family business.
Every year I say I'm going to make a point to spend more of the summer soaking up the wonders of camping, canoeing, hiking, etc. And each year it seems as if we're lucky to devote two long weekends to such simple pleasures. I wont give up on that goal but for the meantime I am working on living more fully in the present moment, when I do this I get the chance to appreciate more of the little things that summer has to offer.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Friends in Flowers

This Lysmachia or Creeping Jenny came from one of my dear friends Susan Saunders. I worked for her landscaping business in Rhode Island for several seasons, many years ago, they were good times. Susan sent this large container full of plants up to me two summers ago. Each summer since I've neglected to replant the container but the bright green leaves of the Lysmachia poked through the bare dirt every spring after the snows ended. This year I finally gave it some companions. Thank you Susan, a summer in the garden doesn't go by where I don't think of you and the days we spent cutting back perennials along the coast.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Memory Garden

This garden totally moved me. I was walking through a neighborhood not far from my own, enjoying not knowing where each street would take me next. As I began to make my way down a substantial hill I saw this unusual garden with a wonderful old woman tending to it, her big straw hat shading her face.
Keep in mind this is a very residential neighborhood, everyone with their allotted area, but this garden rambled. It was very purposely planted, a row of one kind of plant followed by an other. Instead of this appearing rigid or dull, it gave the illusion of space enough for rising and falling, like waves or rolling hills.
I stopped to admire the grounds and the lady of the house took a break from tending to them. She was gentle and cheerful. She was proud to share with me that she had grown up on that street, in that very house! She called her garden a 'memory garden'. She said instead of bouquets she thought it better to give plants that can grow along with you over time. Maybe she bought gifts for the garden in remembrance of certain people and events as well and this is how she acquired such quantities of each kind of plant. What a lovely theme and what a pleasant surprise to stumble upon this place and learn it's history on an ordinary afternoon.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I really enjoy deadheading, partly because it satisfies my obsessive compulsive side and partly because I find the repetitiveness rather meditative. I do not think deadheading always makes things look better however. I love the blanched color of the dead flowers, even though their petals have become crisp they appear softer as they diminish. Their edges become vague and they're less insisting on admiration. I appreciate these soft spoken beauties and I regret sending them away at the end of an afternoon.