Don't Neglect the Mallows
Steve Hegji with his wildflower photographs has been a long enough contributor to the blog that it was high time that we had a whole guest post from him— Malva neglecta. Photo credit Steve Hegji. Sometime during each work day I try to get out and take a walk along the Jordan River Parkway. This week I noticed that a common weed known as Cheeses (Malva neglecta) was still in bloom. If you’ve...
The Best Treehouse Ever
Last year we went to San Diego about this time for a family wedding. We enjoyed it so much that we went down again this year. We rented a condo in Del Mar to make the most of the beach and took the kiddies to Legoland (which is a much better option than Disneyland if you have three children under 8). But one unexpected gem was found at the San Diego Botanic Gardens in the Hamilton Children’s...
How To Make Chard Delicious
Sometimes a vegetable is so pretty, it deserves to be eaten. My strategy for making chard delicious is really a strategy for making any vegetable delicious: you make it savory or sweet and add butter. If I find a vegetable to truly unpalatable, it usually requires making it a combination of both. So, I adapted this recipe from the former Gourmet Magazine—may it rest in peace—a bit to make it...
Narcissus with a Self-Image Problem
7 year-old: Is this a bulb?
Me: Yes. It's a daffodil bulb.
7 year-old: You mean this will grow into a daffodil?
Me: Yes. It will be the same as the daffodils that grew by the sandbox. The ones that smelled nice. [N. 'Sweet Love']
7 year-old: Oooh. I remember those. Those were pretty. The smelled really nice right before they died. What are [sic] this gray stuff?
Me: Those are its roots. They're just dried up a bit.
7 year-old: Is it dead?
Me: No, it's just sleeping. I'll plant it in the ground and this winter; it'll get cold and wet and be all ready to wake up and flower next spring.
7 year-old: Oh. So it'll get wet and wake up. Won't it be too cold outside?
Me: No, it'll be fine. See that brown papery stuff? That'll keep it warm and cozy till spring.
7 year-old: That's what that is! I thought it was a bag.
Me: A bag?
7 year-old: Yeah. Since it looked all dead and gross I thought it wore a bag to cover its head up until the daffodil came out.
It wasn’t that long ago it seems that I said I was too busy to participate in any other social networking beyond this blog and Twitter, specifically giving a pass to Facebook. And now look, I’ve gone and signed up for Google+. I don’t feel hypocritical about the move, though. One briefly mentioned but major reason for avoiding Facebook is that I like to keep my private life...
Give In To Terrariums
For the most part, I try to resist getting more stuff. There are exceptions; plants, of course, Apple products, and books, mostly. I think my attitude of anti-hoarding comes from cleaning out homes of deceased relatives. After tossing out piles of Christmas tins, National Geographic magazines, and Avon gift soaps, I decided that less is definitely more. I would rather own a few useful,...
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the...– Ernest Hemingway. From his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 1954.
My garden is an extension of me, of the things that please me. Forced for most...– The Curious Gardener, Anna Pavord. Bloomsbury, 2010. p. 283. It’s a gorgeous and well made book and deserves to be in every library, garden-themed or not.