Garden Review 2023

Categories: General News Tags: Gardening

The mild weather we enjoyed this Christmas was a stark contrast to the extreme cold we endured around the holidays last year. The string of lows in the single digits and teens affected my garden well into 2023. The bitter cold came on the heels of an exceptionally warm and dry fall. I always aim […]

What feeds the pollinators feeds us

Categories: General News Tags: Gardening

A concrete walkway bisects my small front yard. I grow herbs and vegetables on one side and an assortment of native grasses and perennials on the other. In my mind, they’ve always been two distinct entities. One side feeds us, and the other feeds wildlife. I’ve recently had to reconsider that rigid dichotomy. The line […]

When Rabbits Decide

Categories: General News Tags: Gardening

We gardeners are always striving for an ideal vision, the moment when our creations will finally reach their full, mature potential. And we foolishly assume that once they’ve attained it, they’ll then remain in that state of perfection. But gardens aren’t static. They’re always in flux. Plants don’t perform as promised. We make poor choices. […]

‘No Mow May’ Is Catchy But Is It a Good Thing?

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Gardening

At first glance, ‘No Mow May’ seems like a winning idea to encourage people to delay their first mowing of the season so early spring flowers in the lawn will be available for pollinators. While I appreciate any approach to helping wildlife that requires less work and challenges the expection for a pristine stand of […]

A Vegetable Garden Diary

Categories: General News Tags: AGRICULTURE, Gardening

In the vegetable garden, every season presents its own set of challenges. In May 2022, I made this pithy entry in my garden journal – too hot, too cold, too dry. After a spell of record-breaking warmth in late December last year, we got snow and ice on three consecutive weekends in January. My celery […]

Garden journals offer a window into our changing world

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Gardening

At the beginning of 2021, I was on the hunt for an app to help me keep better records of my vegetable garden. After exploring several options, I decided they were all too cumbersome and fussy. If I provided all the information they demanded, I worried I’d spend more time on data entry than digging, […]

A remarkable spring of hope

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Gardening

What an amazing spring! I’ve heard that sentiment from so many people. When a Facebook friend posted a video of the glorious purple and lilac azaleas across from the post office in Mt. Gilead, scores of people responded. I always enjoy the progression of wildflowers in forests of the Uwharries and in my own backyard, […]

Keeping a garden journal in 2021

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Gardening

The end of the year is a natural time for reflection, but does anyone really want to dwell on 2020? I imagine we’re all yearning for the chance to move forward, to put that dreadful year behind us, make a fresh start and take charge of our lives. In 2021, my resolution is to keep […]

Growing peas and finding peace in the Piedmont

The English peas are finished. Given the long spell of mild weather we’ve enjoyed this year, I’d hoped this cool-weather crop might last a bit longer. Alas, they still flamed out in a matter of weeks. English peas (Pisum sativum) are the very essence of a Piedmont spring – sweet and tender and all too […]

Social distancing in nature

After weighing the pros and cons of taking groceries to elderly parents; after assessing the risk of exposing them to coronavirus while driving them to the doctor; after worrying about friends who are sick in New York City, those who are considered essential workers and those who are now unemployed; after obsessively wiping surfaces with […]