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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..
The October Chores
october garden chores
EVEN I—SHE OF THE MONTHLY CHORES LISTS—get overwhelmed at the thought of it: fall cleanup. As the month begins, I wait in a sort of..
MY ‘NY TIMES’ COLUMNS
my latest assignment: a new series in ‘the new york times’
AN OUT-OF-THE-BLUE email in April shook me out of my “new normal” routine. It was an invitation from a “New York Times” editor to create..
LATEST PODCASTS & POSTS
October 24, 2020
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..
October 24, 2020
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,..
October 17, 2020
groundcovers: out with the old, in with the natives, with ken druse
WHAT THE WORD “groundcover” means has really changed in the years Ken Druse and I have been gardening. And I’ll admit right here, some of..
October 10, 2020
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..
A RECIPE FOR NOW
how to store garden vegetables for winter
WE TALKED ABOUT storing tender ornamental plants recently, but what about garden vegetables, now that colder nights and days are not so far off? Each..
there’s more than one way to ripen a tomato
AH, THE JUICY JOY OF A RIPE TOMATO—IF YOU CAN NURTURE ONE unscathed to that perfect shade of orangey-red, that is. In a hot, dry..
when inner conifer needles turn yellow or brown
DON’T PANIC: Nothing’s wrong, and they’re not all dying in unison, I promise. Though we commonly call them “evergreens,” conifers such as pine, arborvitae, spruce..
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..
turning ‘lawns into meadows,’ with owen wormser
A NEW BOOK came my way recently with a title that just said it all. “Lawns Into Meadows” is what it’s called, and its author,..
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..
the garden as refuge in a pandemic year, with adrian higgins of the washington post
THE WORLD IS SHIFTING focus again now, toward opening up this time, several months after much shutting down. But as we do, I for one..
seen in the garden: container-grown woodchucks, and buddhist frogs
THE ROAD TO enlightenment, the path to peace? Uphill. Or so a determined frog out back wanted to remind me the other day. This little..
‘what it’s like to be a bird:’ a conversation with david sibley
IF YOU’RE A BIRD PERSON, as I am, you may feel as if you know this week’s podcast guest, because one of his field guides,..
‘instant’ water garden: try seasonal troughs
NOTHING ADDS MORE TO A GARDEN THAN WATER. Just ask the birds, frogs, and insects—oh, and human visitors, too. It’s a magical element, providing sustenance..
NATIVE PLANT STORIES
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..
thoughts on invasives, plant conservation–and connection, with michael piantedosi
SOMETIMES WHEN WEEDING in my own garden, I get a sense of overwhelm, a feeling that the unwanted plants are winning. If a gardener can..
choosing the right native plants, with uli lorimer
I HEAR MANY TIMES each week from readers or listeners wanting advice about native plants—about pollinator plants, for instance, or making a meadow, or which..
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
farm-fresh peaches, frozen to perfection
AFRIEND WITH AN OLD PEACH TREE made me a beneficiary of too many fruits to keep up with one bumper-crop year, and into the freezer..
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..
skins-on applesauce to freeze, can, and share
MY FAMILY CALLS IT ‘PO SAUCE, with the “po” representing the last syllable of the word “apple,” the way my beloved niece pronounced it when..
skins-on easy tomato sauce to freeze
I USED TO SPEND RAINY DAYS in harvest season writing, and reading, and streaming a bounty of BBC and other British television series such as..
dan koshansky’s refrigerator dill pickles
NEARLY 30 YEARS AGO ALMOST TO THE DAY, I ate pickles for breakfast with lovely Dan Koshansky, a retired railroad conductor and an organic gardener..
recipes to help keep up with the csa share or garden’s bounty, with ali stafford
HOW DO YOU GRILL vegetables to perfection? And what do I do with my garlic scapes, or the greens on all those radishes, and so..
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..