12 Apr
2014
earthworm as dirt-maker

The sound of dirt

Sit quietly on a spring evening, and you will hear the sound of dirt being made. Listen. The sound is there, softer than the peepers and almost lost within the whispering wind. If you talk or jostle the ice in your glass too loudly, you won’t hear it. You don’t ...

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19 Mar
2014
protect your bluebird boxes from house sparrows

DIY: Easy house sparrow deterrent

If you live anywhere within the continental United States, chances are very good that you have house sparrows. These non-descript brown birds make their homes just about everywhere that we choose to make our homes, from city condos to country escapes, and all the suburbs and small towns in between. ...

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17 Mar
2014
leaf - feature

Looking on the bright side (of all this @*!% snow)

This is starting to get ridiculous. March 17, and there is a fresh eight-inch-thick layer of snow blanketing the garden. Now, I know some of you more northerly folks might shrug your shoulders and carry on; eight inches of snow may not be enough to warrant much of a comment from y’all. ...

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3 Mar
2014
birdhouse featured image

DIY: simple bird house

Now is the time for bird houses. Although they won’t be laying their eggs for a while yet, many song birds are already scouting likely nest sites and beginning to stake out their breeding territories. By setting out birdhouses now, you increase the odds of bluebirds, chickadees, titmice, or other ...

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29 Jan
2014
countdowntospring

Countdown to spring

Enough with winter. Especially this winter, with its Arctic vortex, recurring frigid temperatures, and rosemary-killing freezes. I’m done. Since I can’t actually alter the calendar — dammit — I’m doing what I can to bring a bit more sunlight and springtime into my and your days: A photo a day. ...

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20 Jan
2014
prepping for winter cold

Prepping the garden for polar vortex 2.0

The thing about winter is that it gets cold. Then, sometimes, it gets damned cold. This is going to be one of those sometimes. Again. A couple weeks ago, much of the lower 48 got slammed by a polar vortex. In some areas — including here in Virginia’s USDA Zone ...

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17 Jan
2014
Seed Swap FAQ

2014 Fauquier Seed Swap FAQ

For the third year in a row, a friend and I are hosting a free community seed swap at The Bridge (formerly Iron Bridge Wine Company) in Warrenton, Virginia. If you’re in the Virginia-D.C.-Maryland area, I hope you’ll come join us. Here’s a bit about how it’ll work: Who can ...

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22 Dec
2013
hellebore

A gardener’s solstice celebration

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year. Here in northern Virginia, the sun rose at 7:26 and set at 4:53. That’s just nine hours and 27 minutes of sun for the entire day. Today, the sun lingers a minute longer. By the first day of 2014, we will have ...

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14 Dec
2013
10+ gifts to give to gardeners this year

10+ gifts for gardeners

A few days ago, I offered up some suggestions to skip when shopping for gardeners this year. Whether too expensive or just too silly, all those items have earned themselves spot on my I-don’t-wish list for the year. Maybe they made it to your list too? Today — just 10 ...

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12 Dec
2013
gifts to avoid for gardeners

5 gifts to avoid for gardeners (and alternatives)

We’ve all received them. Maybe we’ve even given them. The well-meaning but tragically (or hysterically) misguided gardening gifts. Whether impractical, overpriced or simply non-functional, these five gifts have earned their way onto my I-don’t-wish list this year. (Though, if anyone wants to go all out and buy me a solid ...

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