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Selected Podpieces


There was a time when I could go to any garden center – yea, even unto a big box store – and wander through the aisles as if through a wonderland of vegetative possibility. The stunning colors, the surprising shapes of blossoms and leaves, everything was subject to my phytophilia. If it was in a pot and would grow in the ground, I brought it home and planted it.  Read More 
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I went over to Sea Call Farm this morning to check on my tomatoes and squash, which I had not seen for a week or so. After parting the waves of purslane and pigweed, I saw that most of my planted things had so far survived. One pumpkin had only one sad-looking leaf, but just about everyone else – the tomatoes, the beans, the chard, the leeks, the gladioli, and the white pumpkins – was churning out leaves and blossoms like nobody’s business.  Read More 
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Spicebush swallowtail baby.
Recently I read an article in Better Homes & Gardens that sets forth a number of terrific principles for natural-looking gardens. It emphasizes grouping both native and non-native plants with similar requirements to create a “natural” look in the garden; to grow the “right plant, right place” in order to effect waterwise, ecological gardening. Read More 
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The dark season has started. Now when I sit at the breakfast table and look out the window, I see not the titmice and chickadees and mourning doves at the feeder but myself, reflected in the glass, and behind me the room I’m sitting in. It’s translucent, and doubled and tripled in places, reflecting from window to window, and I am a dark featureless shape holding a fork.  Read More 
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The Dutchman's Pipe

Dutchman's Pipe Flower
One day last summer I was poking around in the yard with my clippers, eyeing a tendril of American bittersweet that was shooting too vigorously toward a white pine, when a dark spot on the leaf of another plant caught my eye. I turned, blades raised, ready to nip incipient disease in the bud, but the spot moved.  Read More 
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