Through the Year

"I've noticed something about gardening. You set out to do one thing and pretty soon you're doing something else, which leads to some other thing, and so on. By the end of the day, you look at the shovel stuck in the half dug rose bed and wonder what on earth you've been doing". Anne Raver

I found this gem in the book Garden Graces that I purchased while on my trip to Nashville. Around the corner from the hotel was Elder's Bookstore, at 78 years the oldest general bookstore in continuous operation in Nashville. It was a delight to find - lots of old books and atmosphere.

It's finally May - the month we've been waiting for. This month holds the promise of the upcoming gardening season here in the Northeast, the time to get out and work the earth. It's been a strange spring, with many plants coming into bloom very early. I noticed the first rose almost ready to open yesterday, and the tulips, lilacs and jonquils are all blooming at the same time. We've had lots of rain, and plenty of wind. Still, it's nice and cosy in the greenhouses, and the plants are pretty happy there.

April is a very busy month for anyone who gardens in the Northeast. Lawns need to be raked and de-thatched, growing beds need to be uncovered and tidied, and some early plantings need to be made. How fitting, then, that Earth Day is celebrated this month, when we are again engaging in all things green. 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which was instituted by Se, Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) in 1970. He envisioned an environmental teach-in to raise awareness of many of the concerns for the health and well-being of our planet.

What is an Heirloom and why should I care?

Now that large seed companies have jumped on the heirloom bandwagon, and are offering many "Heirloom" varieties, many may wonder just what makes a plant an heirloom. Are they old plants, how are they different from other plants you can purchase, and why should you consider them?
Heirloom Corn in Peru
Heirloom corn in Peru

Heirloom Corn in Peru

"Nice cheerful Dill - so easy to grow

Is a household friend but did you know

That long ago he played a part

As assistant to the enchanter's art?

Well - times have changed -

Fortune is fickle -

Now he provides

The soul of the pickle."


"There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogs"

Hal Borland

"In the depth of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer"

Albert Camus


December for most of us conjures up thoughts of holidays gatherings, snow, and the real beginning of winter. Some people like the wintry conditions and revel in outdoor activities, while others simply hibernate until the weather warms again. As a gardener, I look forward to planning for the year ahead, and use the slow time to hopefully get ahead in some garden chores that are always on the back burner (like labelling, garden plans, herbal crafts, etc).

"November comes

And November goes,

With the last red berries

And the first white snows.


With night coming early,

And dawn coming late,

And ice in the bucket

And frost by the gate.

The fires burn

And the kettles sing,

And earth sinks to rest

Until next spring."

Clyde Watson


No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace

As I have seen in one autumnal face.


"If a man be wearied...there is not better place in the world to recreate himself than in a Garden...Neither doe the Herbes onely feed the Eyes, but comfort the wearied Braine with fragrant smells, which yield a certaine kind of nourishment"