Spring Pops

The past 48 hours or so have brought about several changes. Most of them I expected. One of them I didn’t. First, the mirabelle plum tree in the garden. In just the space of less than two days, it went from this: To this: And someone must have told the bees, because the entire tree…

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Tenacious Vines

There was so much about our trip to South Africa last year that was unexpected, and which I will explore a bit in upcoming posts. But one of the most unlikely encounters was with the grapevine in the central court of our hotel in Cape Town. We stayed at the stellar Cape Heritage Hotel, which…

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Left To Its Own Design

Five weeks is an eternity in summer gardening, and five weeks is how long I neglected the garden because of an injury. At some point, I stopped going out there because I couldn’t stop myself from trying to weed and clip, even when every movement was painful. Easier just to watch it from a distance…

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Six of One

I have an affinity for hybrids of technology and nature, whether in art or engineering. There was the Coniferous Clock made of cedar, fresh and green in spring, brown and withered in winter, that told a simple tale of a year’s passing. Here’s a new take on using plants in a sleek design: The CityTree,…

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Spring Unfolding

Today marks the vernal equinox, and looking out at my garden, I’m eager to get outside and be a part of the day by getting my hands dirty. The air over the past few days has been soft with warmth, spiced with the scents of new grass and turned earth, sweet with birdsong. My garden…

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Sparse Harvest

  Here’s the bounty from the garden fig tree this year:   Granted, it’s not from the generous old tree we had for fifteen years, the one that didn’t make it through a transplant followed by a harsh cold snap a couple of years ago. The fig newbie managed a decent harvest last year; probably…

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Dog Days

We’re in the middle of a significant heat wave here in eastern France – the French call it la canicule, a word which has at its root a reference to a celestial body other than the sun. Between July 3 and August 11, the star Sirius rises almost in conjunction with the sun – and…

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Let It Grow

The garden lawn got its first seasonal trim yesterday, weeks after neighboring lawns around our place were abuzz with lawn mowers. Why do I wait so long and leave the lawn so untidy? Over the past couple of years we redesigned the garden to use less water, so the green lawn area takes up much…

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A Few Beginnings and a Couple of Ends

The weather turned cold this week, grey skies and a chill wind after two weeks of balmy temperatures. Two steps forward, one step back. No excuse not to get some garden work done, though. Last week was all bumblebees and sunshine, this week I found this fellow, a little black cricket, taking shelter from the…

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Of a Circular Nature

A flood control project in the Pikine suburb of Dakar, Senegal, has changed a community by redirecting flood waters into basins and creating urban gardens from the water. Previously, the flood waters that inundated the area were left to either recede on their own – during which time all stores remained flooded and the streets…

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