It’s elderflower liqueur season!

June sneaks up on you after a springtime full of pruning, digging and planting. This year, it was even earlier – in May – that I saw the first elderflowers hanging in cloud-like bunches from their trees. Time to gather resources for another year’s batch of elderflower liqueur. Or “lick her” as the iPhone autocorrect […]

Clearing out the greenhouse

Greenhouse before

Back when I first got my garden, it was a neglected mess. So on a chilly spring day, I was ready to lock myself inside the warmth of the greenhouse while my husband dug up dozens of tree stumps outdoors. I had seedlings already starting, including Baker Creek heirloom moon and stars watermelons, cantaloupe and […]

“My Dear Mr. Darwin”

With over 5 millions plant species dried and mounted, pickled and preserved and precisely catalogued, the Harvard University Herbaria are among the largest in the world. For much of this collection, we have Victorian-era botanists and explorers to thank. And Asa Gray. Back in 1842, when Asa Gray became professor of natural history at Harvard, […]

Five life lessons, learned from gardening

Deadline mentality, it’s gotta get done, now or never, or it’ll be too late, just a bit more, you’re almost there. None of this is working for me. Nature (and by this, I also include my own physical being) is trying to tell me something, and I think it’s time to shut up and listen. […]

Garden allotment, Dutch style

I want a volkstuin. That’s Dutch for “people’s garden” – and it is as socialistic as it sounds. They started in Holland back in the 15th century when people created “kool” (as in cole slaw) gardens – so workers could grow staples like cabbage in vacant areas at the edges of cities. The movement kept […]

The Floating Gardens of Yuppopolis

Floating gardens of Yuppopolis

Anything you can do on land, you can do on water. That’s the idea behind the amazing floating gardens created by the late Robert Jasper Grootveld. From poets to singers to politicians – any Dutch person who was even remotely hip in the 60’s knew Grootveld, who was famous for his energetic and magical happenings. […]

Mulching my garden with Joe

My brother wasn’t much of a gardener. But he loved that I got an allotment. Then he suddenly fell ill. Gravely ill, as it turned out. I have never grown vegetables, but I have been planning a veg plot, and after thinking and dreaming for a few months, I decided to grow American things I […]