A Winter Garden rescues the Gardener

A winter garden has an austere, understated quality enhanced by dim light and intermittent color. Beauty is present, of course, but not as prominent as in the other three gardening seasons. And this winter, only just begun, has taken a hard turn and run smack into worry. Last week my daughter was diagnosed with COVID.Continue reading “A Winter Garden rescues the Gardener”

Neighborhood Gardens, Part 2

Sometimes getting away is crucial for mental health. Leaving behind the world for a moment, even for only the time involved in taking a walk, can bring peace and clearer thoughts. The events in the Capitol Building in DC on the 6th of this month were overwhelming, infuriating, steeped in racism and ignorance, profoundly dangerous,Continue reading “Neighborhood Gardens, Part 2”

Forgiving Hate

A few years ago, my family and I attended a wedding of someone we feel very close to and love deeply. The young bride has been an important part of our lives for many years of her childhood and teen years. We have always tried to keep in touch with her – through her yearsContinue reading “Forgiving Hate”

Costa Rica, Part 1

In 2006, I had the great fortune to travel to Costa Rica with my daughter’s fourth grade class. Our group spent 15 days in this friendly, stunningly beautiful country, including a three-night stay with a multigenerational family on their small farm. The primary focus of the trip was to teach the children about the importanceContinue reading “Costa Rica, Part 1”

January – Time to plan the Summer Garden!

Every gardener I know starts to get restless after a couple weeks of winter. The call of the soil, the lure of green growing things, and the need for outside time is strong this time of year. Especially here in the Pacific Northwest where our winter days are short, dark, and stormy (although those daysContinue reading “January – Time to plan the Summer Garden!”

Colors of a Storm

Walking through the garden after an early morning rain storm I find dark, water-soaked soil beneath the mulch. The dusted, spent days of summer, hot and dry as a prairie, are long forgiven. A break in cloud cover pierces the garden with pale, white intensity. Subtle colors break through the curtains of gray and competeContinue reading “Colors of a Storm”

Happy in Seattle – a Gardener’s Take on Gray

A recent article in a local newspaper stated that a survey taken by the U.S. Census Bureau in mid-November of this year found Seattle to be the saddest major metro area in the country. Over half the population in the Seattle area reported feeling “depressed”, most reported feeling “down”, and many others reported feeling “hopeless”.Continue reading “Happy in Seattle – a Gardener’s Take on Gray”

A Christmas Gift

A few days ago, a close friend came by to drop off a few Christmas gifts. She had intended to place the gifts on the front porch and leave – being mindful of social distancing – but when she came up to the house, she decided to knock. We hadn’t seen each other for overContinue reading “A Christmas Gift”

When a Gardener Travels

A year like no other is a good year to daydream, and these days I have been dreaming of past travels. My spouse and I had four vacations planned for 2020; only one came to fruition. A short trip to the Oregon Coast last January was all we were allowed before COVID restrictions set in.Continue reading “When a Gardener Travels”

In the Presence of Trees, Part 2

A Sense of Being Do you remember the first time you entered a forest? Do you remember how you felt? Safe? Protected? In the company of something unique? One of the strongest, most detailed memories I have is of entering a small, local forest behind our neighborhood when I was young. My (younger) brother andContinue reading “In the Presence of Trees, Part 2”