Autumn 2017

At The Gate

What a glorious summer it’s been here in Western North Carolina. The old kind of mountain summer, where afternoon thunderstorms both water the garden (hooray!) and keep the temperature down (it’s 75o right now at 3:30 on a sunny afternoon—on July 26th!).  READ MORE


Typing on a laptop in a garden

Gloria Griepenstroh: Illinois’s Gloria has been published in Farm & Ranch Living, Country, Grit, Backwoods Home, and more.

Lew-Ellyn Hughes: “I’m an award-winning Maine columnist and author. I am also a gardener, although I’ll never win an award for that!”  READ MORE


Serendipity Ducks

Growing up, I’d often heard the saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.” That saying summed up the summer our Indiana farm family lived with a family of ducks. Numerous times over the years my husband, Dave, wished some of the ducks that stopped by our backyard pond would take up residence.  READ MORE

Garden Wisdom

My friend Ally is going to college. She and hundreds of other young people like her are about to leave home and embark upon a life away from all that is familiar. The night before Ally left, I wrote her a letter—words of wisdom learned from years of living and pondered upon in all those hours spent in my garden.  READ MORE

The Unbearable Sadness of Junipers

Though gardeners never lack for companions, I fear that all too many are short on curmudgeons. It doesn’t take long to figure out why. While companions are sunny, hearty characters who compliment your color choice of petunias and assure you there is no more chance of spring frost, a curmudgeon will notify you that a late winter storm is just around the corner.  READ MORE

Islands of Clover

Andy had been mowing for at least an hour when I came out, balancing a basket of wet laundry on my hip, and breathed in the day. The air was thick with the sweet scent of fresh-cut grass. Damp with dew, it stuck to my sneakers.  READ MORE


I began homesteading during the 1950s. As a member of the “make it do or go without” generation, I quickly developed into a compulsive seed saver. Over the last 40 years, many of the flowers growing in my gardens have come from seed scavenged from roadsides, old foundation holes, or other people’s gardens.  READ MORE

The Joy of a Weed

This is the first day of Autumn. Here in New York State, the gardening season is almost over. But I’m still weeding. I will milk it out to the last possible moment, using the last bits of warmth from the sun to trick my psyche into believing that the peace of the garden is not quite out of reach. Not yet.  READ MORE

Volume E

We have a lot of books. I’ve never actually counted them, but all told, they might just possibly add up to several million, since all the walls in my office are full of them, and most of our furniture seems to consist of bookcases.  READ MORE

Man Vs. Knotweed

The summer I first visited the circa 1795 Massachusetts farm-house that eventually became our home, I noticed a long row of tall plants arching over the fieldstone walls behind the house. “What is that?” I asked. “Japanese bamboo,” my elderly friend Elisabeth replied. “It just sprang up out of nowhere. Isn’t it lovely?”  READ MORE


The Forbidden Garden, published in April, is a page-turner romance/mystery and definitely a “chick book.” But it has one difference from others in its genre: It could not be more about gardening.  READ MORE

The Buck Stops Here

When we bought our country home near Bloomfield, California, we were warned about the wildlife: Deer will eat all your 2.5 acres, possums will destroy your garage, and the raccoons are rabid and will eat you!  READ MORE

Thou Shall Not Covet

One of the Biblical Ten Commandments admonishes us not to covet our neighbor’s house/wife/man- or maid-servant/ox or ass, in that order.   READ MORE

My Gardening Buddy

I never connected my little dog, Jenna, to gardening until the day she died. You see, in her last years we no longer hiked our New Hampshire mountain each day. Instead we opted for trips down the flat road, which passed right by the garden.  READ MORE

Like White Roses in a Wet Spring

That’s ‘Spring’ the season, not ‘spring’ as in a body of water (which would HAVE to be wet or it wouldn’t BE a spring, come to think of it…) whose contents when packaged in small, cheap, toxic plastic containers retail for more than gasoline ...  READ MORE

Old Jack

Sometimes you get to the very end of something. That’s where I was at—at the end. There was nothing left that could be done. There were no more lies to tell and no more fights to fight: Every fight was just the same old tired fight.  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


A Little Garden


Three Poems


Ajuga in November

Blessing for a Gardener

The Watermelon Weeding Chair

Broken Trowel

Plants Are People, Too

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