Hedges Against Despair

The world depresses me easily, O internet. The government spends so much time squabbling over idiotic things and I kind of want to yell “You guys do realize that if we don’t fix the bee problem, we’ll starve to death, right? Okay, just so we’re clear. No, no, go on, make your fifty-millionth symbolic attempt […]

Winding Down…Or Up…

Five years gardening here now and I still am never entirely clear about fall in North Carolina. In a normal climate, we’d be revving up for harvest, bringing in the sheaves, all that good stuff. (It is, in fact, the Harvest Moon next week.) The heat is oppressive, though, and under normal circumstances, we’d have […]

Weeds, Weed Dragons, Weedpocalypse Now

Spent an hour in the garden this morning before it got hot—the first serious gardening I’ve done in a month or so. Made a pretty good dent in some of the weeds, need (naturally) more mulch so I can just smother a chunk of the rest. The stiltgrass is still thugging. The Weed Dragon flamethrower […]

Hill ‘o Beans

While the garden is an untamed weed-infested wreckage at the moment—and will remain so until the combination of torrential rain and brutal heat moves off, and I can get a little mulch in to tame some of the worst excesses—this crazy wet weather has produced an incredible crop of beans. The two top performers are […]

A Garden Getting Better

Every time I start to get depressed about the weeds coming in on all sides, I must remember that the garden really does get better every year. It’s not just the plants (although they, too, get better every year—my fire pinks went from a single spindly stalk to a respectable clump and my American spikenard […]

A few notes from the garden…

WARNING: Biological Icky Bits Ahead! Guess what I found!? This peculiar devil is the larval form of the American Carrion Beetle! How cool is that? (They feed on mushrooms and dead bugs as well as rotting meat, so I hasten to assure you that I do not, in fact, have dead bodies rotting in the […]

The New Veggie Bed!

Ta-da! Made of eighty-five concrete drystone wall blocks (the kind with the little lip so that the top ones can’t slide off the one underneath in response to pressure from behind) and holding a little over a cubic yard of dirt. I did it all myself with my little red wheelbarrow and my little Pontiac […]

Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… …two mourning doves! And a replacement for a Bradford pear tree!   Ah, mourning doves, better known to birders as “mo-dos” (generally uttered in a tone of mild disgust–”Is that a—?” “Nope, mo-do.”) These birds are, to put it in the most flattering […]


Rareseeds.com will be the death of me. Also, they have their new seed catalog out. After several very pleasant evenings spent laying in bed and circling things, I finally narrowed it down to about a dozen. Ask me if I have room for a dozen new vegetables. Ask me. Go on. No. Obviously not. But […]


“Is Glorious—um—a usual sort of name for wolves?” asked Summer timidly. “Yes,” said the wolf. “My sister is Strong and my brother is Splendid. We call ourselves what we are, or wish to be, or could be again.”   Fall is in full swing, and damn, it’s glorious. This was Thursday: Today it’s overcast, by […]