The Bird’s the Word: Barn Swallow

After a thunderstorm the other day I found this in a field (see above), which made me wonder what type of bird it belongs to? So I took it home and looked it up online and found out it is a barn swallow egg, which makes sense. There is a barn located only a short … Continue reading

Our first garden together.

It amazes me how many different ways there are to grow a vegetable garden. This year my fiance and I are growing our first vegetable garden together and we are doing it our way, along with her way, his way, the book said this way, so and so said to do it this way, the … Continue reading

Naked Rock Garden Ambition

My hubs, Mom, and I went on our first Open Garden Days tour of the season yesterday. Open Garden Days is a fundraising effort of the Garden Conservancy, and we are embarrassingly rich with Open Gardens in the Hudson Valley! This was the most ambitious rock garden I have ever seen: rock wall after rock … Continue reading

Elegant Design & New Garden Friends

Recently I did some pruning and consulting with a dynamic couple in Poughkeepsie, John and Gayle. Forty years ago they converted a red brick barn into a contemporary marvel of comfort and beauty (John’s an architect). One of the outdoor design features that really delighted me was this fantastic tiered series of perennial planters in … Continue reading


Beavers have moved into the neighborhood! Usually you do not see these large rodents, just their lodges, canals, dams and lots of gnawed trees. There are two varieties of beavers that live in streams, ponds, rivers, and marshes throughout North America, Europe and Asia and the reason we do not often see them is they are … Continue reading

Book review: It’s a Long Road to a Tomato

It's a Long Road to a Tomato

If you are interested in reading about the life of an organic farmer, you may like the book entitled It’s a Long Road to a Tomato, Tales of an Organic Farmer Who Quit the Big City for the (Not So) Simple Life by Keith Stewart, with wonderful illustrations by his wife Flavia Bacarella. I was drawn to … Continue reading

Cleaning up your laundry

Wait… isn’t laundry already clean? Well, maybe. Americans do a lot of laundry. We go through pounds of clothes and towels every week. And we use a LOT of laundry products: detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, stain remover, bleach. And we use a ton of energy to wash and dry our clothes. And that lint … Continue reading

A Little Fall Garden Walkabout

I’m so glad I planted some food crops in my home garden, because the community veg garden has been repeatedly flooded since Irene, rendering all crops there unsafe-to-eat mush. My cohorts and I will be lucky if we can get in there to plant garlic before Thanksgiving! But at home I have some swiss chard, … Continue reading

Monarch caterpillars

Hatching monarch caterpillars is a tradition in my family and a year hasn’t gone by since we haven’t talked about seeing a monarch caterpillar or discussed how many chrysalis we have hatched. Once I moved to the Hudson Valley I was a little worried that the monarch butterflies didn’t exist here. The first couple of … Continue reading

Red Rocket Snapdragons

I’m looking through pictures of last summer’s glorious garden successes to comfort myself after seeing the devastation in our New Paltz community gardens, where all is lost after Hurricane Irene. The “Rocket” series of snapdragons come in red, pink, yellow, apricot, orchid … they are on long stems so make great cut flowers (don’t buy … Continue reading