Useful Gifts for the Gardener

  • Post published:December 10, 2016

  For me most holiday gifts for the gardener fall into two main categories, functional and informational. Functional gifts include the necessary tools a gardener needs. We all start out with fairly inexpensive tools, partly because as a beginning gardener we don’t really know how hard a tool will have to work. As we grow as a gardener we come to recognize sturdiness and good quality and buy, or are given, better tools. I was wandering through the…

Is Your Poinsettia an Annual or Perennial?

  • Post published:January 13, 2015

Do you treat your Christmas Poinsettia as an annual, and throw it way when it finally loses all those beautiful bracts, or do you care for it, baby it, and suffer its dormancy in order to bring it back into glorious bloom next December? Can you guess which approach I take with a Christmas poinsettia? I'll give you a hint. This is my second poinsettia, a gift from my husband. I left my first one in the car.…

Gifts for the Gardener – still time to shop

  • Post published:December 20, 2014

I have never thought it very hard to find gifts for the gardener. After all, what does a gift say? I love you? I understand you? I want you to enjoy your days? I want your dreams to come true? I share your passion and I know just what you need? No matter what your message there are garden centers and other kinds of shops that have just the gifts to convey these messages to the gardener in…

Mary Gardens for Meditation

  • Post published:December 8, 2014

Mary Gardens do not bloom in December, but since the liturgical season of Advent is a time of waiting for the momentous birth of the Christ Child I cannot help but think about what a confusing time it must have been for Mary. All mothers waiting for the arrival of their first child often feel confused because emotions can range from frightened to joyous. What will the birth be like? What will the baby be like? What will…

An Incredible Tale of Squash Strength

  • Post published:November 29, 2014

Turkey, squash and pumpkin pie are the Thanksgiving triumvirate. And we will give thanks for all three, as well as the oyster stuffing, creamed onions and all the rest. A groaning board indeed to stand in for all the blessings the year has brought us. Thanksgiving has been a tradition from our founding, but the harvest has been marked with festivities probably since the invention of agriculture. Squash was probably a part of our first thanksgiving meal because…

The New Year Arrives – 2014

  • Post published:January 4, 2014

  The noted essayist and poet Charles Lamb (1775-1834) said “New Year’s Day is everyman’s birthday.” As I look at the snow covered mowing near the center of Heath, I cannot help thinking that the mowing is like the first day of the year. It is perfect and flawless as the new year begins. It seems filled with opportunity and the promise of a good harvest. There may be only sunny days and gentle rains. And yet we…

Happy New Year from the End of the Road

  • Post published:January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! We started celebrating on New Year's Eve Eve with Chinese. Thank heaven, and cousin Tricia for homemade gingerale. What's the point of snow?  Sledding! Who cares if it's only 15 degrees? Not Bella! We can always warm up baking cookies - and taking them to a friend. A great beginning to 2014! For more (almost) Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.

Many Ways of Looking at the New Year

  • Post published:December 28, 2013

              New Year’s resolutions. The beginning of a New Year always has something of the seductive about it, no matter how dismissive we try to be, or how skeptical we think we have become.             I look at the blankness of the calendar’s pages, matching the blankness of the winter landscape and think about the ways I will fill the days of the new year, fill my days in the garden.            …

Thanksgiving at the Friendship Hotel, Beijing in 1995

  • Post published:November 27, 2013

As I prepare for Thanksgiving in my nice American kitchen I cannot help thinking of  other Thanksgivings, most notably two that were celebrated in Beijing where we lived in the Friendship Hotel. The first was in 1989, and the second in 1995. While many things had changed in those five years, much much more car traffic, much much less bicycle riding (because of the vehicular traffic), the arrival of big department stores and McDonalds  and Kentucky Fried Chicken,…

Halloween in Heath

  • Post published:November 1, 2013

Because we are such a rural, spread-out town children can't easily go trick or treating  from house to house. A Tailgate Halloween in the town center was planned, but the rain called for an instant revision. The community hall was quickly turned into Trick or Treat Central and the youngest children, baby pumpkins and kittens, arrived first, followed later by the older kids who had a map of all the houses in town where the Trick or Treat…