And, so the garden season begins

With a flourish, Spring opens her petals and waves her branches in a cheery hello. Even today’s cloudy skies can’t dim her enthusiasm. And, so the garden season begins. The fruit trees are gorgeous this year. Must be all that winter rain and snow. We’re still in a drought, but at least, we got some moisture. Even…

Stopping grasshoppers in the garden

Grasshoppers . . . . I hate the little beasties. This summer seems a banner year for these dahlia munching menaces. I use organic practices in the garden, and I needed a way to combat grasshoppers without killing bees and butterflies. Maintaining the balance of  things is the garden is so important. Luckily, I have…

Sunflower symphonies

Last summer, in my vast garden full of flowering plants, there were none I enjoyed more than sunflowers. I wrote about them as easy seeds and as garden prejudices. I also took more photos of sunflowers than anything else. Perhaps, it’s their majestic stature, but no–that can’t be–‘Teddy Bear’ is only two feet tall–and even smaller in…

Wild and wooly garden days

I’m working on a talk I’m giving to my local daylily group this weekend. When they asked me earlier this summer, they said I could talk on any subject I wanted–a dangerous proposition for someone so talkative to be sure–but I appreciate their confidence. Talks take a lot of time and thought before coming to…

Only the strong survive

Survivors, the strong ones, the pioneers, the natives . . . am I speaking of people or plants? The same rules apply. You gotta be tough to make it out here. Perhaps, as the song says, “Only the good die young,” but I don’t think so. Instead, Billy Joel should sing, “Only the strong survive.”…

My bees are back

And they brought lots of their rowdy friends. I may not have as many bees as last year, but they have returned lured by the power of nectar and pollen. My nemeses, the grasshoppers, also seem to have moved on for the most part which is a blessing. I saw two different bees pollinating zucchini this…

Pollinating summer squash

All looks well in my vegetable patch doesn’t it? Well, looks can be a bit deceiving. As you may know, I have very few bumblebees this year. All pollinators are down in spite of my efforts to spray nothing harmful and to grow all their favorite foods. Summer squash and other cucurbits are not wind pollinated…

Silent summer

As soon as the sun rises, I wander the paths of my garden. Gravel crunches under my sandles. Small green frogs and toads jump above and below plants while earthworms crawl beneath the soil. Winged insects feast upon nectar, pollen and even each other. Creatures climb over vegetables and lie beneath tomatoes as tall as skyscrapers…