Juggling Interactions

There’s a lot of talk these days about supporting biodiversity, but what does that really mean? Once, my personal understanding of biodiversity involved a focus on the big, noticeable species – the endangered animals like whales and polar bears and elephants, as if biodiversity was the same as protecting threatened species. It’s much more than…

Read More

Jurassic Garden

There’s a lot of evidence that gardening with plant species native to one’s area can promote a healthier ecosystem for plants, insects, animals and birds. But how do we even go about planting a truly native garden, and what are the challenges involved? A few years ago, I walked around the hedgerows and fields of…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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,…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More