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Monday, April 24, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:31 AM
Seedlings started, check. Seeds ordered, check. New tools to start the season — not so much. Frugal gardeners — and I am in that category — jury-rig old tools, wire trug handles together and wear hole-ridden gardening gloves until it’s no longer possible . . .
  • We’re spending Easter in the Everglades, as we have for the past four years, but alligator won’t be on the menu. Nor will any egrets, once referred to as “swamp chicken” by local Floridians, be served up. In earlier times these were . . .
  • While it’s a small pollinator, the rusty patched bumble- bee made a big impact in the national news in January when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its designation as an endangered species — the first ever for a bumblebee . . .
  • If you’re a beginning gardener or a gardener with limited space in patio planters, it’s highly practical to buy started seedlings at a local nursery or garden center. But if there’s a special variety of tomato or broccoli you’d like to try, or . . .
  • Garden? What garden? In March there’s not a lot of ground that isn’t snow-covered, icy or soggy, but the onset of official spring and the lengthening days mean that there are promising warm days when an antsy gardener can tromp . . .
  • March is predictably unpredictable; spring may officially arrive on March 20 in the northern hemisphere, but the day could be brilliantly sunny or beset by a blizzard. Yet we can predict one thing about March: come St. Patrick’s Day . . .
  • March is coming in like a lion everywhere, even here in southwest Florida, where 25-mph winds have rattled through the palms and coconuts the last week. While temperatures still climb into the 80s by midday, nights have been . . .
  • When it comes to writing about the forests and waters, mountains and animals and all the land that is North America, there are some authors whose works are so powerful they changed our way of thinking about nature. Henry David Thoreau . . .
  • On a cold, slushy March day in Providence, Rhode Island, I was walking on College Hill when a blaze of yellow loomed ahead of me, standing out against the background of grey granite buildings. I immediately thought “forsythia” . . .
  • A very wonderful Vermont author, Howard Frank Mosher, died last week, just days after the publication of his final book, “Points North.” Mosher wrote many award-winning novels, as well as “Where the Rivers Flow North,” one of the . . .
  • The true origins of the day of love and kisses named for a saint are shrouded in the mists of time, but the first mention of St. Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday appeared in the writings of Chaucer in 1382. During the . . .
  • Whether you know it as Imbolc, Candlemas, or Groundhog Day, this mid-point between the winter solstice and spring equinox has been celebrated since ancient times — even before that pagan ritual known as the Super Bowl. . . .
  • There are times when being alone in the garden is sublime. Just after dawn on a summer day, coffee in hand and birdsong in the air, sitting alone on a garden bench is to be as close to paradise as anyone could wish. In fact, the word . . .
  • Whether it’s post-holiday letdown or a response to temperatures fluctuating from 50 degrees in the morning to zero by midnight, flu and colds, sniffles and sneezes assail us from all sides. As the best defense against winter’s germy . . .
  • Garden catalogs are inspiring and books and films set in Tuscany or Mexico a welcome respite but, really, nothing gets a gardener through the winter like an array of houseplants. When I moved into our first little cabin in Vermont’s . . .
  • Our family, unlike those depicted on television for the last two months, never give $40,000 SUVs or the latest tablet or phone as Christmas gifts. We lean toward less glitzy items: hand-knit mittens, huge amaryllis bulbs . . .
  • If there’s one oasis of sanity to be found in unsettled times, it’s in the garden. Whether it’s a tiny backyard, acres of vegetables or in pots on a patio, the place where you can prune and putter, get your hands dirty and turn . . .
  • By now you may be wanting a break from both baking and eating Christmas cookies. You may also be wondering what you can do to keep holiday-crazed kids entertained for the next two weeks. How about putting them to work . . .
  • Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger are the traditional spices associated with the flavors and aromas of Christmas. Of them all, ginger — found in everything from gingerbread to German Pfeffernüsse, in fresh, powdered and . . .
  • As Maine is officially known as the Pine Tree State, you would be forgiven if you thought that the pine was the most common tree found within its borders — but it’s not. The balsam fir, Abies balsamica, whose fragrant branches . . .
  • A white Christmas doesn’t have to mean a holiday with snow blanketing the ground. While searching through racks of antique Christmas cards and postcards over the weekend I noticed a recurring theme: holly and greens were . . .
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