My Overcrowded Garden

Something has changed about my garden this year. It’s reached a kind of critical mass, finally. It’s matured. Most of the perennials have been in the ground long enough to reach their full size, and some, like the two dozen lavender I planted when I moved in, are now old and woody and ready to be pulled out. I stood in the garden this afternoon, thinking over the fates of those lavender plants, and I suddenly realized that in a few more...

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Meet the Haggards

  Pete Haggard didn’t take a vacation for ten years. Why? There was no one to watch the bugs.     Haggard, a Humboldt County agricultural inspector, began photographing and cataloging northern California insects over a decade ago. The result is a new book from Timber Press, Insects of the Pacific Northwest, which he co-authored with his wife Judy, a wildlife biologist. Often, the only way to get the pictures he wanted was to...

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Blueberry season!

I got into blueberries in a big way recently. One or two shrubs hardly seemed worth the trouble, so I came home with six plants and a commitment to buy more if I could find room for them. I’ve been trying to fill one long border with culinary plants—herbs, fruit, artichokes, kale, anything edible—so blueberries fit with the theme and they were the right height for an empty spot I couldn’t figure out what to do with. Also, blueberries can...

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Rain Gear

If you’re not a gardener, you might think that gardening is mostly about the plants: what to plant, where to plant it, what to feed it, when to prune it. While it’s true that gardeners are deeply involved with the lives of their plants, let’s not overlook another critical—and often exasperating—aspect of a gardener’s life: the gear. I won’t even get started on tools with wooden handles that break after a week, rakes whose tines...

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