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The beautiful oddball: Growing turmeric

fresh turmeric

Growing oddball plants—those plants that aren’t commonly grown in the area—is almost always rewarding. Since there is no real way to measure success, any sign of a plant doing what it’s supposed to do is chalked up in the win column. In other words, I keep my expectations low and hope to be pleasantly surprised. […]

The success or failure of this garden comes down to one tomato

Large Brandyfred tomato in hand

It all depends on this tomato. Whether this year’s vegetable garden is declared a success or a failure depends entirely on this lone tomato. It’s the first big slicer that I’ve picked this year, brought in to finish ripening on the windowsill, safe from critters and cracking.  The tomato is Brandyfred, one of several dwarf […]

A great onion harvest proves taking chances can pay off


These are the onions I grew this year.  I harvested them this weekend and they may be the single best argument for trying new things in the garden.I can’t give you poundage because I just pulled them and they are curing but I can assure you I’ve never grown more onions before. And here’s where […]

Midsummer garden check-in

resdesigned garden

If you’ve been reading this blog for a number of years you know what’s been up. If you’re newer you may think I fell off the face of the Earth. So this post begins with an obligatory apology. Every summer I head out in mid-July for a week or a bit more. And every year […]

Espalier everywhere

evergreen espalier

I admit I’m an espalier novice. When I first saw an espalier tree (I’m guessing on “Gardener’s World” or in a British gardening magazine), I thought I had stumbled upon some great European secret. Silly me. Espalier is happening everywhere, and it’s definitely growing in popularity in North America. And why wouldn’t it? It’s beautiful, […]

The vegetable garden comes to life

It feels odd to “reveal” a space that’s been unfolding in front of your eyes on this blog for a year now, but the vegetable garden is finally at a place where almost everything but the gardening bit is finished.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be left only with the task […]

Asking the world what color a special garden gate should be

Gates in all colors

Crowdsourcing aspects of a garden is an enlightening experience.  Last weekend I picked up the gate for the vegetable garden. This is a big deal in this very lengthy project. I am an admirer of garden gates. The best ones ooze charm, teasing you to just dare to walk through them.  But in my garden, […]