Gardening Romance

Collection Notes

Lavender, Lilacs, Lilies, and … Love? These gardeners found romance blooming among the rosemary and ranunculus.

It’s not unusual to find love in the garden. I love my sage and my scarlet begonias. I love the ruby-throated hummingbirds that visit the cardinal flowers and I love the bumble bees nestled in the catmint. Romance, though? READ MORE

Bill Dugan


Lost and Found

Years and years ago, my sister and I attended an all-day gardening workshop. Newly married city girls who now lived in houses with big backyards, we jumped right in. My sister called me soon after with alarming news.  READ MORE

Let Me Have My Fury

I live on a small property in a small town in Indiana, so I don’t have space to garden as I’d really like. If I could, I’d grow so much I could have a produce stand. As it is, I utilize small plots, a few straw bales, and a zeal that exceeds my allotted square feet.  READ MORE

Grass? Or Garden?

Down in a little stream valley in Virginia, where green comes in 48 shades and fireflies delight the senses on warm Summer evenings, a war has erupted between two otherwise sensible people.   READ MORE

Memories and Butterflies

Some of my earliest memories, from the 1950s, are of my mother’s huge garden, necessitated by the need to feed 11 children on a small farm in southern Minnesota. On the west side, the garden was edged by a row of hollyhocks that seemed to grow 10 feet tall.  READ MORE

A Garden Engagement

When I moved in with Don, my One True Soulmate, in the mid-1990s, we both wanted to relandscape his normal-sized lot in suburban Palo Alto, California. We decided to tear out the ivy, periwinkle, and grass, so we could stick in the plants we wanted.  READ MORE

OK, You Can Marry Him

Jim and I had been dating for two and a half years. But I was 19—and my mom was dead set against our engagement. “No,” she declared as soon as I showed her the ring. “You’re too young.” She walked out back to her garden to end the discussion. I stubbornly followed.  READ MORE

Home Groan

I suppose there are one or two people out there somewhere who are so perfectly organized that they actually keep all their gardening equipment in one easy-to-reach spot.  READ MORE


I never wanted to learn to prune. I thought of myself as a grower, not a pruner. In fact, I knew exactly what kind of gardener I was: a plantswoman.   READ MORE

Who’s Watching Who?

It’s been nine years since my husband, Marty, and I relocated to Towamensing Trails, here in the Pocono Mountains, and we have enjoyed observing nature’s wonders from our little clearing in the woods. All sorts of critters pass by our windows—from territorial hummingbirds in Spring to antlered bucks in Fall.  READ MORE

Beginner’s Guide to Gardening

I’m looking for a Boyfriend Plant,” I say to the tall, handsome nursery worker who asks if he can help me. I’d been checking him out for about a month now—no wedding ring in sight—and finally got up the nerve to make an attempt at flirting.  READ MORE

The Missing Ring

I longed for a garden with flowers—at least one that would bloom more than three months of the year. So after nearly three decades on the snowy Canadian prairies, my husband Jim and I moved to the West Coast, warming us up from plant hardiness zone 3B all the way to 9A. Oh, the possibilities!  READ MORE

Ode to My Hubby

Why is there a priority mail box in the refrigerator?” Ed asks hopefully. “Did you order a cake or something?” “Noooo,” I reply. “The lily bulbs I ordered are in there. I’m waiting for the daffodil bulbs so I can plant them all together.”  READ MORE

Non-Stop Begonias

This is a love story. Indeed, it is my own love story. Somehow, though, it was easier for me to put it in words if I wrote as if it were someone else’s.  READ MORE

The Tree That Talked To Me

Since I’ve never been able to remember if the sun revolves around the Earth or not, I have no right to question the ideas shared in last issue’s excerpt from The Hidden Life of Trees: that trees communicate with each other and help each other out.  READ MORE

An Injured Goose

The Canada geese like our backyard here in eastern North Carolina. When it rains, little lakes form and stay for days. There’s not much grass, but there’re plenty of tasty, juicy weeds.  READ MORE

The Love of My Life

I met (the man I wish was) the love of my life one warm afternoon at a farm stand on a lazy, meandering drive through the countryside. There he was. He was tall, strikingly handsome, had an amazing smile, and (unfortunately for me) was still head over heels in love with his wife after 56…  READ MORE

Raspberry Romance

Many pick-your-own farms dot the New Jersey countryside where we live. One of our favorites is Valley View Farm, where we harvest the sweetest, juiciest red raspberries around. Carole and I arrive early on an August morning, before the throngs show up.   READ MORE

Selective Hearing

My wife, Carole, looked behind the shed and was appalled. “George,” she called sternly. “Will you come here for a minute?” I was sweeping the front porch when I heard her. “Just look at this mess! There are old pots and seed trays everywhere.  READ MORE

Sunflower Boyfriends

Six decades ago, as a preteen, I marveled at how a sunflower came to dominate my parents’ small garden. Then one decade ago, I had a flashback when my wife, Margaret, asked a simple gardening question. We had moved into an Alexandria, Virginia, townhouse with a parking side street, separated from the main street by a 10-foot-wide grassy median.   READ MORE
Moonlight Watering

Moonlight Watering

The afternoon sun took a quick exit today. It’s September, after all. There is barely a glimmer of sunlight out, but it might be enough for me to water a few plants before this moment is uprooted, like so much of my time.  READ MORE

Dream Garden Wedding?

In a recent unsettling dream, I was weeding, happily digging in the dirt, when I heard that I was about to be married in a ceremony that afternoon, right here in my garden!  READ MORE

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