On Good Land

Although we live in a world where loud, relentless self-promotion is the only sure way of being noticed, there will never be anything more magnificent to behold than quiet devotion. In the garden, su...

Air Brushed Plants

Of seed catalogs it could be said: “Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.” The intolerable aspect of seed catalogs is their pretense to perfection. You are shown pict...

When the Elite Dig in the Dirt . . .

“Dirt” (Dell Publishing; $18.95) is a book that says as much about the trendy crowd for whom it was written as it does about plants. ”Mine is the fast-lane, quick-gratification appr...

Turn the Valley into One Enormous Garden

There is a question as to whether gardeners are born generous or become generous through gardening, but one fact is indisputable: Gardeners are among the most generous people on earth. If your neighb...

Earthquakes & Sustainability

At a garden I visit every day, an arbor festooned with hanging baskets lies prostrate on the ground, felled by Monday’s earthquake; a few feet away, roses glisten in the morning sun. The glory ...

Permaculture

There is so much wisdom in “Gaia’s Garden'” (Chelsea Green Publishing) that I would need a dozen columns to do it justice. Subtitled “A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture,”...

Plant Food: the basics

No area of horticulture is wrapped in a greater mystery or filled with more confusion and misinformation than fertilization. Some people are fairly obsessed with the idea of “feeding their plan...

A New Kind of Potato

The consequences Adam and Eve faced after tasting forbidden fruit were severe. Eden had been the original low-maintenance – actually no-maintenance – garden. Without any work on the part ...