Category Archives: Uncategorized

My New Zen Garden

When we moved into our new house, I found a garden already in place, though not the garden I would have created for myself. In my ideal garden, I would have tons of wildflowers and native plants. It would be … Continue reading

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Signing Off–For Now

For the last four years, I have written about the challenges of urban gardening—that is, gardening without any actual yard or lawn, only concrete strip next to the sidewalk and the tiny patch of dirt around the tree in the … Continue reading

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Tasty Tarragon

Every year, it seems, I try a new herb in the garden that surprises me with the intriguing dimensions of flavor it adds to my cooking. Last year it was oregano, which pepped up our salads in unexpected ways. This … Continue reading

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What’s Wrong With My Basil?

One of the greatest joys of summer for me is fresh, fragrant basil, so crisp and flavorful that it puts the so-called “fresh” stuff in the market with drooping leaves to shame. My husband and I eat basil all summer … Continue reading

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The Gift

Call me crazy, but I’m always shocked when people take things from my garden—like half a dozen roses, or entire potted plants, or my garden hose. Lately, of course, it’s the tomatoes. Both the Cherokee Purple heirlooms and the Sun … Continue reading

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Good Enough to Eat

It’s been a great season for strawberries, as you can see from these organic beauties. But what’s with the one in the middle?

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The Rhythms of Life

My stepmother is dying. The hospice nurse called to say the end is near. As I water my garden at 6 am before running for the train, I am comforted by the signs of life all around—thick, lush greenery in … Continue reading

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Signs of Life

A cold snap once killed the buds on a japonica bush. This was not just any japonica bush, but one at the hermitage where the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh lives. As he writes in his book No Death, No … Continue reading

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Frostbite

Wasn’t it just days ago that I finally declared it was spring? So what’s with the snow? Seriously, this was just two days after 70-degree weather.

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When Is It Really Spring?

“I planted pansies, so it’s spring now!” declared my sister-in-law on her Facebook page. That was on March 9, during one of the brief lulls between this winter’s brutal cold snaps. The polar vortex was gone, but unfortunately, winter was … Continue reading

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“Mums” the Word

Gardening introduces you to some curious facts. For example, who knew that chrysanthemums entered the United States through my hometown of Hoboken, NJ? Hoboken is known for many things, including being the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and baseball as played … Continue reading

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Roots!

What do you do with self-watering containers when winter arrives? You pull up the vegetables, empty out the soil, and pour out the water in the reservoir underneath to prevent the water from freezing, expanding, and damaging the containers. So … Continue reading

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Cosmic Details in Nature

“I’m a city girl from Paris,” declares artist Francine Demeulenaere. “But I woke up one day two years ago with a dream in my head. It was so clear in my mind, this sentence: If each person in the world … Continue reading

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Flying with Flowers

I knew that airport security would pull me over, and they did. I was flying home from the Garden Bloggers Conference in Atlanta with an azalea in my suitcase—yes, an actual shrub—and the round pot, filled with damp soil, must … Continue reading

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Garden Godmother

Not every garden has a godmother. Mine does: my neighbor Jane. I first met Jane one early morning when she was tending the window boxes and hanging baskets of the corner pub, and she’s been an essential part of my … Continue reading

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Love and Compost

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and with it the promise of wine, roses, and chocolate. Lace-trimmed cards and expensive candlelit dinners will herald eternal love. But not in this household—not this year. I’ve got a new mantra for 2013: Nothing … Continue reading

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Holiday Gift Guide

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to presents, the last thing I need under the tree is more stuff to take care of. To me, a great gift is one I can eat or redeem for a … Continue reading

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Sunbathing Beauties

No matter how many pets and people trample the fledgling flower bed in front of my house, I’m determined to keep planting until the blooms are lush and beautiful enough to command respect. This has meant multiple trips to the … Continue reading

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