Winter 2017-18

At The Gate

I’m happy because, well, nothing really happened. A local emergency room physician sewed a few stitches behind my right ear, but, really, so what? At 68, I’m still able to paddle whitewater? What a blessing!  READ MORE


Typing on a laptop in a garden

William Way: “I am a 37-year-old artist, writer, and poet in northern California. I love drought-tolerant, deer-resistant plants.”

Dr. Steph Burk: “I am a southwestern Ohio veterinarian who enjoys gardening, history, humor writing, and all things equestrian.”  READ MORE


Planting Irises

“About six inches,” my mother replies. She and I are in the country, about two hours north of San Francisco. It is winter and we’re planting iris bulbs for the spring. I dig the hole as directed, then spread black compost at the bottom. The soil itself is red, thick with clay. My mother is transforming her two acres bit by bit into a lush garden.  READ MORE

Mom Loved Spring

Mom loved spring. “There will always be another spring,” she would say. In the gloomy days of January she’d tell me, “Along about Valentine’s Day you’ll begin to hear the birds sing.” Right on schedule last winter, the cardinals started shouting at each other from the treetops, their territorial pronouncements unfazed by southwest Ohio’s fouler-than-usual weather.  READ MORE

Hydrangeas for Frank

My husband, Frank, and I built our house in 2004. We drove by a dead-end road and saw a Land For Sale sign. It led us all the way to a huge open field. I got out of the car and set our six-month-old on my hip. As soon as my feet hit the center of the overgrown clearing, I knew I was home.  READ MORE

Not My Day

I pulled into the driveway after work and got out of the car. It had rained again, the sixth day straight here in eastern North Carolina, and the humidity enveloped me like a sweaty blanket during a hot flash.  READ MORE

Today Is The Gate!

I recently read an essay in the superb Christian quarterly Weavings in which the author, Minister Kristen Johnson Ingram, describes herself as standing safely inside her front fenced yard while Jesus, in the street, calls her with a beckoning finger to “Open the gate!”  READ MORE

The Little Geranium That Wouldn’t

I purchased the packet of mixed-color geranium seeds at my local do-it-yourself store. It was only a dollar, on sale, and I had read somewhere that bugs that eat tomato plants don’t like the smell of geraniums.  READ MORE

Paradise Lost

When I was a lad of seven, I got my first garden plot. It wasn’t by choice. My father had decided it was time for me to start contributing to the family larder. This was in late August, 1945, after the war had ended.  READ MORE

The Great Squash Victory

I live in a city with a city-size, shady yard. Unfortunately, most of the shade-producing culprits belong to my neighbors, and I can’t do a thing about it.  READ MORE

The Amaryllis and the Pussycat

It’s early December and I’m out driving when some folks at my public radio station call me with a Big Idea: Let’s send poinsettias to five stations that are on the fence about picking us up—they really like my weekly gardening show...  READ MORE

If Trees Could Talk

The narrator of Wishtree, a new book by Katherine Applegate, is a tree. The tree’s name is Red—it’s a northern red oak, Quercus rubra—and it’s been a neighborhood tree and home to a thriving community of animals for a long, long time.  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

I Can Regrow That!

To understand how I became so excited about growing plants from leftover vegetables on a window shelf in a British Columbia apartment, you’ll need a little background … Michael and I met five years ago and promptly set about casting off our suburban lives.   READ MORE

What’s in a Name?

By the time you read this, we will (God willing) be back in our house, after over nine months (nine months!) in a hotel while damages from a house fire were being repaired.  READ MORE

Sentiment and Fruit Trees

Yesterday I chopped down a peach tree I’d planted when my eleven year-old son, Huxley, was born. The boy is tall, skinny, and well adjusted. The tree not so much.   READ MORE

Elizabeth’s Trowel

I spent 30 years of my life working in medical offices, and the best part of those years was meeting and getting to know some very interesting and wonderful people. One woman always wore a barn coat with big patch pockets on both sides of the front, even in very warm weather.   READ MORE


Riotous Roots

Sing Robin, Sing

Faith and Beauty


The Garden in Her Own Mind


Between Nature and Culture

Yearning for a Better World

Two Signs in My Garden

Broken Trowel

Every Stick Has Two Ends

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