Animals in the Garden

Collection Notes

We have a lot to learn from the animals in the garden. It’s just a matter of paying attention.

Usually, the animals in the garden are deer, rabbits, skunks, or other critters intent on eating our strawberries, cucumbers, and herbs. At least, those are the ones I often think of as I reimagine ways to keep them out of my precious vegetables. But there are other animals in the garden – helpful animals like birds and pollinators like bees. READ MORE

Bill Dugan


Pondering with Walden

The comforting brush of warm air that stroked my nose during a February thaw here in eastern Pennsylvania woke up my Spring fever. I grabbed seed catalogs and lovingly fingered the pages, as if I could feel the cool smoothness of green leaves through the paper.  READ MORE

Three Goat Vignettes

I pull into my daughter’s driveway with two baby goats in the back of the Honda Fit. Kahlista, my granddaughter, and two of her playmates run out squealing in joy.  READ MORE

Dances with Beetles

I am not a fan of bugs, specifically, Japanese beetles. I attribute my strong feelings to one particular incident I refer to as “Dances with Beetles.”  READ MORE

Barley Flowers

When my husband landed his dream job, we gleefully packed our bags and headed north to Maine, where we’d always wanted to live. We hadn’t looked very long before we found a sweet, neglected old Cape.  READ MORE

Is That a Rabbit on Your Head?

When I moved from Hawaii to a small Massachusetts town west of Boston, bonding with nature took on new meaning for me. Springtime in New England arrives right after mud season.   READ MORE

Ravens vs. Crows

It started with the death of my daughter’s horse. The cost of hiring someone to come with a truck to load and cart off its thousand-pound body was daunting, so I agreed to inter Kristina’s beloved Arabian pony near the root cellar, a good distance from the house.  READ MORE

The Changing of the Guard

Late every Summer, the grasshoppers appear in the horseradish. Temperatures start dropping fast here in upstate New York after these guys show up: anything that won’t stand up to a frost needs to be gathered up.  READ MORE

Deer Gardens

Don Quixote was just fine until he began reading books. I think gardening books were what got me. At night I’d pore over lush photographs of gardens from New England and Germany and France. I wanted them all. It was an innocent diversion while we were renting.  READ MORE

Batty for Bats

This Fall I had a nasty surprise. I hadn’t suspected my roof was leaking, but it turned out to be so deteriorated that there was no choice: I had to get a new one before Winter. So on one of the last fine days of Autumn, I sat in the yard and watched as the old one was pulled off, filling a huge dumpster.  READ MORE

The Cowbird Way

Blessed with the luck and luxury of a backyard, Pierrette and I found ourselves spending quite a bit of time outside last summer. Pierrette gardened with her usual energy, and I pitched in when I had to—or wandered away to check out the wildflowers.  READ MORE

A Cat’s Garden

My cat Koko was such a soul. We were meant to be together. When Koko died, I felt lost. I went outside to walk in the garden.  READ MORE

Sharing with Sheldon

I will never forget the day that I came home from work to find my husband Kim puttering around with a new glass terrarium. A terrarium? Kim? What was going on? As I got closer, I saw a bumpy, olive-colored, egg-sized lump half buried in sawdust. It stirred, and a tiny head emerged.  READ MORE

Mama vs. the Blackberries

Pruners in hand, I stood below the massive holly tree and stared up at the mishmash of green berries and pointy glossy leaves shooting from the thick, vertical canes of the dreaded Himalayan blackberry plant.  READ MORE

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