GET THE PODCAST
radio podcasts: itunes, spotify, stitcher, stream, live
I DO HAVE A VOICE! (I don’t just type and post words on a screen, really.) Since spring 2010, I’ve been taping a 25ish-minute weekly..
When to Start Seeds
when to start seed
NEED HELP remembering when it’s safe and smart to start your first spring sowings of vegetable, flower and herb seeds indoors and out? This tool calculates when...
MY ‘NY TIMES’ COLUMNS
my latest assignment: a series in ‘the new york times’
AN OUT-OF-THE-BLUE email in April 2020 shook me out of my “new normal” routine. It was an invitation from a “New York Times” editor to..
LATEST PODCASTS & POSTS
March 6, 2021
science-based companion planting: ‘plant partners,’ with jessica walliser
YOU’VE HEARD the expression “companion planting,” as in: What plants supposedly “love” growing alongside what other plants? But how many such pairings are folklore, and..
February 26, 2021
which echinacea perform best? with sam hoadley of mt. cuba center
ANY GARDENER shopping at a local nursery or paging through perennial plant catalogs can’t help but notice there are a lot of Echinacea, or coneflowers,..
February 20, 2021
botanical treasures at far reaches farm nursery, with kelly dodson
ON THE WEBSITE of Far Reaches Farm rare plant nursery, shoppers can filter the plant listings by the usual expected things, like shrub or fern,..
February 13, 2021
dreaming of a ‘new heirloom garden,’ with ellen ecker ogden
THE SUBTITLE of Ellen Ecker Ogden’s latest book, “The New Heirloom Garden,” tells it all. “Designs, Recipes, and Heirloom Plants for Cooks Who Love to..
A RECIPE FOR NOW
the march garden chores
I’M LIKE THE KID in the backseat on the way to the amusement park, with my one incessant question: “Are we there yet?” Intensifying light..
growing annual poppies, with marilyn barlow
I DON’T RECALL where the annual poppies that have been replanting themselves here and there around my garden for decades came from in the first..
battling mice and voles (but never with mothballs)
THE SNOW MELTS, revealing the horror: Mice and voles have had at it in your garden, coldframe or greenhouse. As fall approaches, maybe they’re scurrying..
fear not! how to prune clematis, with dan long
ONE OF MY FAVORITE lines ever in a garden book: vintage Christopher Lloyd, the late daring plantsman of Great Dixter in England, in his Clematis..
making the switch to native groundcovers, with duncan himmelman of mt. cuba
I’VE SPOKEN recently on the show about my personal war on certain groundcovers I planted years ago that have turned out to be hideous thugs...
time to feed–and count–the birds: project feederwatch, with cornell’s emma greig
A FLOCK OF ROBINS visited my garden recently for a three-day-long field day. By the time they decamped, I was down about 40 mature winterberry..
bee-friendly garden cleanup, with heather holm
IN A RECENT conversation with Doug Tallamy about ecologically minded fall cleanup, he raised the name of Heather Holm, and how some of the pollinator..
a snail’s tale (win ‘the sound of a wild snail eating’)
IT WAS NO ORDINARY SNAIL; far larger than any familiar native species in my cold zone, and obviously out of place. It was fall 2013,..
deepening our nature connections, with julie zickefoose
ONE OF THE WAYS many of us have been getting through the last seven months is by taking comfort in the outdoors, in all that..
fall cleanup with ecology in mind, with doug tallamy
WHEN I LAST TALKED to Doug Tallamy in February around the publication date of his latest book, “Nature’s Best Hope,” I didn’t want to go..
NATIVE PLANT STORIES
our desert island plants: native spring woodland perennials, with ken druse
FACING A FORECAST of heaps of snow the other day, Ken Druse and I got to dreaming on the phone together of more colorful times..
be a discerning shopper for native plants, with uli lorimer
AS MORE GARDENERS shop for native plants each year, more plant descriptions in catalogs and on nursery labels use the blanket phrase “pollinator-friendly” to catch..
create a pollinator victory garden, with kim eierman
ONE OF THE MOST common questions that garden centers and other garden professionals are asked these days: How can I add more pollinator plants? Kim..
which native plants, and how to make room for them, with ken druse
GARDENERS INCLUDING myself want to add more, more, more native plants to their landscapes to support pollinators and birds and other native wildlife, but what..
GARDEN DOODLES BY ANDRE
happy spring? andre jordan’s doodled thoughts on winter, as it officially slips away
IN THE VERY FIRST YEAR of A Way to Garden dot com, 2008, I met a stranger across an ocean via the internet. I was..
doodle by andre: oh yeah, sure; the weeds are sorry
DO YOU THINK I BELIEVE THIS FOR ONE SECOND? After nearly 30 years of fighting (losing?) the good fight, I know the one thing we..
doodles by andre: what gardeners regret
SOMETIMES IT’S THE PLANT WE BOUGHT (as in “wrong plant, wrong place,” above); other times the cause of our gardener’s lament-bordering-on-shame is a little trickier,..
doodle by andre: gentle reminders
THERE IS SIMPLY NOTHING TO SAY in response to this latest and greatest of Andre Jordan’s outbursts but this: I shower daily, sir. (All Andre’s..
doodle by andre: so long for now
THIS IS HOW IT GOES, beginning at the first real thaw: Farewell “life,” hello garden. Thanks to Doodler Andre Jordan for depicting the Headless-Chicken Syndrome..
doodle by andre: horny birds
AS I HAVE MENTIONED: Forget about Angry Birds; my yard is full of Horny Birds this spring. And when I told that to the Mad..
RECIPES AND MORE
comfort food: farinata, a polenta delight
WE CALL IT MUSH, my friend Marco and I do, but not in any disparaging way. When the night’s headed into the 20s and you’ve..
david lebovitz’s french onion soup (from ‘my paris kitchen’)
SOME ONIONS WON’T LAST—you know, the ones whose tops didn’t brown down thoroughly before harvest, and may still look more like a scallion’s stalk, or..
3 variations on baked beans: sweet, smoky, spicy
THE FREEZERS WERE too tightly packed till now to do anything but choose the forward-facing foods. (Sound familiar?) But I’ve happily eaten my way to..
baked pears for breakfast, or maybe dessert
IT’S SO EASY, and also good for you—so good you could eat one for breakfast, and nobody would even raise an eyebrow, at least not..
pumpkin custard: holiday pie, minus the crust
THE RECIPE’S A CINCH (and easier on the tummy already full from that big holiday meal): Take whatever pumpkin pie filling you like to make,..
winter squash-coconut milk soup with garam masala
THE RABBITS got the beans that year. The cold weather all that same “summer” got some of the tomatoes. But I got the winter squash,..
creative vegetable and mushroom soup ideas, with alexandra stafford
STRANGE BUT TRUE: Though I’ve been following a vegetarian diet for decades already it wasn’t until just a few years ago that I finally mastered..
mad gardener, nature addict, award-winning writer & podcaster, rural resident, corporate dropout, creator of awaytogarden dot com and matching book.
'A Way to Garden,' the Book
“’A Way to Garden’—sensitive, wise, deliberate, thoughtful and splendidly bossy—prods us toward that ineffable place where we feel we belong; it’s a guide to living both in and out of the garden.”—Dominique Browning, “The New York Times Book Review“
How to Grow Everything
16 things i know about growing tomatoes
FROM THE FIRST SEED SOWN to the last fruit stashed in the freezer, homegrown tomatoes are a labor of love. Whether it’s tomato-sowing time (as..
growing hellebores, with judith knott tyler
ON A FORMER Virginia tobacco farm that was in her family for six generations, Judith Knott Tyler and her husband, Dick, spent 30ish years breeding..
lee reich’s blueberry-growing how-to
DON’T SAY ‘I CAN’T GROW BLUEBERRIES,’ says Lee Reich, whose PhD explored factors affecting the growth of Vaccinium corymbosum, the highbush blueberry. “Follow the prescription..
how to grow kale, with sarah kleeger of adaptive seeds
‘ANYONE CAN GROW KALE,’ the seed farmers at Adaptive Seeds—who have collected kales from around the world and made them a specialty—said recently, seeming to..
grow onions from seed, with seed breeder don tipping of siskiyou seeds
SICK OF SPENDING BIG on onion and leek transplants? Master growing those edible Allium from seed, and also learn a bigger lesson: about the powerful..
how to grow garlic, a q&a with filaree farm
MY FIRST EXPLORATION INTO growing garlic was also my first encounter with Filaree Farm. I hate to confess how long it has been since I..
10 top tips for growing root vegetables
GROWING CARROTS, BEETS, RADISHES or other root vegetables can be more challenging than, say, growing a zucchini or pole bean, but these long-storing staples are..
success with brassicas (including brussels sprouts), with don tipping
THE OTHER DAY as I was plotting who I could ask for help outsmarting the coming season’s cabbage worms, and coaxing the Brussels sprouts to..