At the Scent of Water

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Planting fruit trees is not something done lightly. They represent a long term commitment to nurturance and stability of site. Once I felt established in my house, a semi-dwarf Johnagold apple and dwarf Bartlet pear were planted. The dwarf pear tree grew along the west fence that framed the back yard.  It had begun to [Read More...]

The Drama of Hydrangeas, Practical Gardening Series

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It’s hard to beat the beauty of the big late-summer blooms of hydrangeas. With multiple cultivars on the market, with impressive fall leaf color and diverse bloom sets, the options for your garden are many. Hydrangeas are a sturdy shrub and most require little care but light pruning. And since hydrangeas are terminal bloomers, flowering [Read More...]

A Deep Breath in Dappled Water

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The past two weeks have been busy…so much so that I’ve not had time to write. There were an MRI and doctor appointments, contractors and an unexpected plumber. After which, within the following five days, I had two presentations and a conference. It was Tuesday, the last presentation over, about an hour away from home, [Read More...]

A Muddy Situation

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I was walking a river path in the northern third of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. My rubber half-boots made sucking sounds when, avoiding puddles, I walked on the soggy chartreuse grass. The thaw had left the ground and spring rains melted the earth. It was mud season. Near the end of my trek, on the low [Read More...]

It’s Mud

"Muddy Hands", Michelle Bushnell Jones, Easter 2014

  Today I feel like a rock stuck in the mud. I’ve had a demanding strenuous few weeks and been unable to write much beyond compiled research. This morning I read a post by a fellow writer who shared her family’s muddy play. Happiness filled my office. Thoughts of  their fun with wet and slippery earth remind [Read More...]

Laetare Rocks

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We’ve passed Laetare Sunday, the fourth week of Lent, and still I’ve not been able to adhere to its disciplines: fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. My usual prayer and abstinence routines are securely in place. It is the extras, so important to this spiritual season of faith, that are lacking. The other morning after Lauds and [Read More...]

Fall Mums in Spring, Practical Gardening Series

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Mentioning hardy mums in the spring may seem like an oxymoron. Let me explain. For years as a garden consultant I’ve heard homeowners say what bad luck they’ve had growing perennial chrysanthemums. They plant the big cushy mums every fall and rarely find that they survived the winter. Tired of failing they stop planting them [Read More...]

A Tatting of Green

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I’m not fond of mud season, but this year I look to it with eager anticipation—it’s been a long oppressive winter. The snow, ice, record lows, and lack of sunlight stretched most of us to our limit. We all have had enough. Over the course of a week I watched the snow cover and banks [Read More...]

Starving to be Fed

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I was surprised this year by the return of migratory birds. It felt like the first week in February was too early with night temperatures still running near zero. With over two feet of snow on the ground there was very little food for the birds to forage or materials for building nests. Last week [Read More...]

Blue Blue Birds

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One of the delights of living a single life in silence is hearing the change in the songs of song birds. I had noticed over the past week that the black capped chickadees had started their flocking call. Their two-note whistle, after which the species in named, is the familiar chica-dee-dee-dee-dee. I had seen a [Read More...]


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