Rain Management with Hugelkultur

  • Post published:October 7, 2015

  Learning how to harvest rain and manage water use is an urgent topic in California where I have been visiting, but it is a big topic for all of us. It is important for us all to manage our use of that precious resource – water. My husband Henry and I have been visiting friends. We have also been visiting wonderful gardens like the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden, and the Huntington Library, Art Collections,…

Drainage Problems and Happy Irises

  • Post published:August 1, 2015

The day after we planted all our water tolerant shrubs Greenfield was inundated by torrential rains. I was told over three inches of rain fell the afternoon and evening of July 7. We knew that our Greenfield house had a wet backyard and after planting nine shrubs we were fully aware of the heavy clay soil. However we did not expect several inches of standing water in the back half of the yard. Fortunately, our excellent plumber, Scott…

A Country Woman’s Language of Love

  • Post published:February 10, 2014

I have written about the language of love before, giving it my own modern spin. Sharon Selz at The Country Woman Magazine has created several bouquets filled with loving messages in a more traditional tone. The bouquet pictured here says: I am lonely without you and desire a return of your constant love and affection. Flowers: hyacinth (constancy), jonquil (I desire a return of affection), rose (love), heather (solitude)  I expect one could deconstruct her beautiful tussie mussies…

Beaver Lodge on NESEA Green Buildings Open House Tour

  • Post published:October 4, 2013

“I’m a designer. I’ve always been absorbed by fashion, interior and landscape design,” Marie Stella said when she began my tour of Beaver Lodge in Ashfield. Her current and ongoing design project is the landscape surrounding her beautiful house which has been give a Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating. This is very unusual for a residence. LEED designations require that materials be as local as possible, that recycled materials be used when possible. For…

Fallen Trees Equal Good Fungus

  • Post published:September 3, 2013

This fallen log on the Wildside Garden's eastern slope is there for a purpose.  Good fungus! Sue Bridge has been working with Jono Neiger and the Regenerative Design Group to create a sustainable, edible, permaculture garden. One of the things she learned is that the food chain in her garden doesn't begin with the vegetables and fruits and end  with her.  The edibility of her garden includes the fungal growth in a healthy, fertile soil. The life in healthy soil…