The end of the season

Summer rolled on into fall.  I coaxed along the new additions to the garden and weeded, weeded, weeded. The summer was initially hot (90F+) and dry. Of course, this was exactly at the time we were away in Spain. Most of the plants survived, thanks to some watering from our next-door neighbor. It then proceeded […]

A summer crush

Obsessions… wasp nests… and snake-filled brick piles. Let me start at the beginning… or rather, the middle. Late spring and early summer brought more planting, this time on the other side of the house. The ground was even more difficult to work in the back. As they say, insanity is doing the same thing over […]

Queen of the pickaxe

In this second installment, we begin the dramatic tale of woman vs. weeds, weather, and woodchucks. Or maybe we’ll rewind just a bit little earlier. Most of the winter was spent looking at catalogs and websites — much of it focused on building a better understanding of what could grow in the drip line and root […]

A surprising winter

The year started with the Never-Ending Winter. It dragged on, kicking and screaming into April.  It started in December, wickedly cold. We were spared mass accumulations until later storms, making their dramatic appearance starting in March.  The news reported of thundersnows and bombogenesis. We learned a lot about snow. Winter Storm Quinn bent trees, but […]

This gardener’s year

‘Tis the season for holiday cards bearing family newsletters. We were just reading one friend’s month-by-month reporting on their family’s magnificent year of adventures and achievements.  When we were done chuckling about how funny our own warts-and-all newsletter might be, we reflected on what a wonderful year it really has been and how blessed we […]

An unexpected find

Since moving to this old house, I’ve spent my fair share of time assessing the landscape, musing about where plantings may have one been, and considering how things have evolved. Or devolved, as the case seems to be. I’ve envisioned potential frameworks clearly.  An old photograph on the historical society’s website showed overgrown Barberry (berberis) […]

Going native

I’ve been spending time with the natives this year. It’s opened up a new way of looking at things, from planting scheme design to the  experience of being outdoors. Eradicating invasives has been the practical necessity of restoring our property and bringing our more native-friendly design to life.  There’s an entire community of people focused […]

Coneflowers and cranesbill

Following the installation of the foundation plantings at the front of the house, our first project has been a mixed border at the front roadside, and a small bed at the back of the house. Having bought the house in wintertime, I couldn’t have known or anticipated the difficulty of the site. The rocks and […]

Catching up

We recently celebrated the first year anniversary of living in our new home. If Year 1 was about improving our home’s infrastructure, Year 2 is about the garden.  And this has been a do-it-yourself season!  I’ll post the entire before-and-afters at some point.  Right now, take a tour through some early spring highlights. More soon! […]


Winter and spring are wrestling.  The majority of our snow — and major storms — hit in March. The bulbs can survive. The snowdrops below first appeared in March, and then were buried under nearly two feet of snow following a couple of n’oreasters. That’s resilience. While there is barely a garden, some former occupant […]