Spring 2021

At The Gate

My Friend, Hope It’s been a looooong Winter. Every Winter is a long Winter, for sure, but this one—it’s been a looooong one. It’s that danged pandemic. Is it ever going to end? Will we ever be able to freely dine out, go to a movie, or have friends over for a book club or…  READ MORE

Contributors

Typing on a laptop in a garden
Susan Dashiell: Bloomfield, NJ’s Susan is a middle-school teacher who is happiest in her garden (and also enjoys writing and collaging). Katrin Babb: From New Vienna, OH: “I have been a gardener since birth thanks to my mother’s love of flowers and my father’s love of tomatoes. My love is growing anything not suited for…  READ MORE

Stories

Inseparable

In progress for 20 years, my garden is a place I never tire of. Knowing that it stays on course growing steadily, regardless of life‘s events, supplies me with a sense of composure. When I concentrate my attention on the garden, I’m granted the parallel reward of ignoring everything else.  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

Pruning Lessons

The contents inside the large and soggy cardboard box are unimpressive when you peel away the plastic coverings: tightly-stacked, plastic tie-bound bundles of 10 sharp, green, thorny sticks, each stick growing out of a muddy, rope-like mass.  READ MORE

Lilacs

The year I turned 12, I met a girl in art class. Her name was Meagan, and she approached me at the pencil sharpener. She was a bit hyper, stood a little close, and I could barely understand what she was saying because she talked so fast.  READ MORE

Pandemic Victory Garden

I was talking to a friend about coping with pandemic stress. He suggested I try gardening. I paused. In general, you see, I try not to think about plants.  READ MORE

Emily Dickinson, Gardener

Emily Dickinson published almost no poems in her lifetime. She became more and more reclusive as the years passed, eventually seeing almost no one other than members of her family. Most of us know this about the famous 19th-century New England poet.  READ MORE

Shotweed: A Love Story

I think these weeds stowed away in the horse manure,” I say, pointing at some new squatters in our garden, tucked up under the base of the red Russian kale.  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

Something Soft

As a studio-apartment gardener with no car, I’ve done my time carrying green things home on buses over the years. People love plants, and I’ve had my share of smiles and approving glances. But this was the first time I’d tried to carry a freshly-watered, five-foot-tall plant home on the Seattle City Metro.  READ MORE

Icky in the Garden

One morning in early Spring, a scruffy-looking, short-haired, gray-and-white cat showed up on my front porch. I really didn’t want to adopt a pet, so I did not feed or pet or encourage the animal in any way. Regrettably, the cat didn’t take the hint.  READ MORE

Here Comes the Sun

In summer the sun sets due west of us over Lake Champlain and spends most of the afternoon shining in our kitchen windows—and, incidentally, spends the lion’s share of the day scattering rays on the garden. In Winter it sets way to the south down past the Alburgh bridge and barely shines on us at all.  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

Floribunda

It was May, when plants grow inches a day and gardeners abandon spouses and kids for shovels and trowels. Tim was plant-shopping at the garden center. His pulse quickened when he saw the yellow floribundas.  READ MORE

Crazy Woman Potatoes

One of my earliest memories is my father using a pitchfork to remove straw that had been placed on the garden bed over Winter. He talked about new life and respecting all creatures. I was barely 3 years old.  READ MORE

Pandemic Chipmunks

It’s a Tuesday in late April. Tuesday is Weeding Day. Monday was also Weeding Day. So was Sunday. Saturday and Friday, too. In a flower garden, during a pandemic, when both parents are going to school online and daycares are closed, every day becomes Weeding Day. There’s not much else to do.  READ MORE

Buds

To own a bit of ground

Poems

I Wanted the Spring for You

Cuttings

“Mom! Are You Growing…?”

Waddle About

Broken Trowel

Not a Plant Person

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