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Jun 13 11
Mountain Laurel: How PA Got its State Flower

Mountain Laurel: How PA Got its State Flower

by Margaret

  It seems that choosing the Pennsylvania state flower was not an easy task. As a matter of fact, as the story goes, it was most stressful. The year was 1931 and the state flower was still officially unnamed, so disgruntled Pennsylvanians opted to take the deed into their own hands. They lined up in [...]

Jun 1 11
Agastache 'Apricot Sprite'

Creative Tomato Supports

by Margaret

  Because I have a small yard. Because I have just a few spots of sunlight. Because I must have home-grown herbs and tomatoes. Because of all these reasons, I merge my edible garden into my small plot to create an artful landscape. That’s the idea anyway. This means limiting the use of wire tomato [...]

May 20 11
Mulching with Leaf Litter

Mulching with Leaf Litter

by Margaret

Remember when I told you we hoard leaves in the fall so we can mulch our garden beds in the spring?   It’s a wonderful thing.   Come spring when the weeds begin to pop up through what’s left of the fall layer of leaf mulch, you can pluck and pull the unwanted with little [...]

May 17 11
The Meadow Buttercup: Facts & Folklore

The Meadow Buttercup: Facts & Folklore

by Margaret

  It’s happening: The meadow buttercup (Ranunculus acris) is gathered for its annual parade of bright, waxy petals. It’s a sea of yellow standing poised above tall grass. This European native also grows in pastures where cows graze or horses roam, but since the stem and leaf are toxic––especially to cattle––the animals avoid eating it. Which [...]

May 4 11
Fothergilla gardenii

All-White Spring Native Combo

by Margaret

  Quite by accident, I planted a neat row of early spring bloomers that all flower at once. In white. I wanted an all-white flower bed. I just didn’t plan for all my plants to blossom in concert with one another. And I just love it.     Thanks to a much-missed neighbor whose generosity [...]

Apr 28 11
8 Water-Saving Tips For Your Landscape

8 Water-Saving Tips For Your Landscape

by Margaret

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW I don’t seem to get tired of rain unless it’s pouring for days on end. And by mid-summer, I’m usually wishing for rain so I don’t have to pull out the hose and water my thirsty plants. Plus, [...]

Apr 15 11
Delicious Dandelions

Delicious Dandelions

by Margaret

This time every year it’s the same: a wild profusion of bright, yellow dandelions (Taraxacum officianale) poke their way through the grass. I have never cared if this plentiful perennial dotted my yard. Like The Dandelion King, I let dandelions grow with abandon. They, like the little purple violets growing alongside them, wake up my spring [...]

Apr 8 11
Pods: Image by Tim Mountz/Happy Cat Organics

Gorgeous, Sweet, Delicious: Heirloom Peas

by Margaret

  I think I have fallen in love with peas. I know it sounds silly, but look at them! In the shell, out of the shell, budding ruffled flowers in about any color you can imagine. Peas are just the perfect vegetable.     Their perfumed blossoms make brilliant bouquets if you decide to cut [...]

Mar 30 11
Zinnias 4 weeks old

Seedlings + Getting Unstuck in March

by Margaret

Sometimes by the end of March I get stuck. Stuck on what to cook. What to eat. What to wear. It’s just that we are between almost spring and spring: spring is officially here, but I can’t officially feel it. Know what I mean? So to get unstuck, I begin planning. Planning meals for inspiration. [...]

Mar 17 11
Ranunculus + Aid for Japan

Ranunculus + Aid for Japan

by Margaret

It’s hard to conceive life in Japan right now. The devastation so dire, I turn away from the images. At the same time I about-face though, I want to help. In some small way if I can. Then I discovered Handmade For Japan. Ayumi Horie, a Japanese-American ceramicist, came up with the idea to raise [...]