GET THE PODCAST
my weekly radio show & podcast
SINCE SPRING 2010, I’ve been taping a 25ish-minute weekly public-radio gardening program with my neighbors down the road in Sharon, Connecticut, at Robin Hood Radio,..
when to start seed
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
September 23, 2023
a garden of delights, with writer ross gay
THE WORDS joy and delight figure prominently in writer Ross Gay‘s work, and so do moments he spends in his garden and descriptions of his..
September 15, 2023
getting ready to stash the tender plants, with marianne willburn
IT IS NOT TIME quite yet here for what I call the mad stash, storing those non-hardy plants for the winter that we wish to..
September 8, 2023
coping with invasive jumping worms, with brad herrick of uw-madison
THE QUESTION “What do I do about the Asian jumping worms that are destroying my soil?” has outpaced what was the most common thing I..
September 2, 2023
high-impact obsessions: using gold and variegated foliage, with ken druse
EVERY GARDENER has their obsessions—or maybe a nicer way to say that might be to call it their “signature plants,” the ones that help define..
KEEP THE EDIBLES COMING
september garden chores
IN YEARS WHEN it rains consistently, here is what I do in September, I promise: divide and also add perennials (leaving room for bulbs next..
herbed roasted tomatoes to freeze, with alana chernila
HOW DO YOU STASH TOMATOES for offseason use? Roast them with herbs, then freeze the resulting goodness, says cookbook author Alana Chernila, for a wildly..
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..
get smarter about poison ivy, with dr. susan pell
NO, POISON IVY was not put on the planet to punish mankind, or to boost antihistamine sales. As with every native plant—and yes, Toxicodendron radicans..
pressing plants, with herbarium curator linda lipsen
I SAW NEWS of a new book called “Pressed Plants” recently, and it got me thinking about my grandmother and one of the many crafts..
‘more plants is always better:’ immersive landscapes, with claudia west
MAYBE SEVEN or eight years ago, in a conversation with Landscape Designer Claudia West, she said a sentence that has really stuck with me as..
natives in a formal garden, with stoneleigh’s ethan kauffman
CAN A HISTORIC formal space become the home to a forward-thinking landscape of native plants? The team at Stoneleigh, a five-year-old public garden on an..
the garden as healer, with ‘the therapist’s garden’ author erik keller
NO DOUBT all of you gardeners would agree that interacting with plants and with nature has a restorative benefit, that it has the undeniable power..
reading the land (with the help of trees), with noah charney
HOW WELL DO YOU really know the piece of land on which you live and garden, or the bigger landscape context it sits within that..
weed-fighting natives, with ‘wildscape’ author nancy lawson
WHEN I SPOKE to naturalist and nature writer Nancy Lawson recently about her adventures in wildscaping at her Maryland garden, there was one topic in..
NATIVE PLANT STORIES
the ‘wildscape’ around us, with nancy lawson (‘the humane gardener’)
OUR HUMAN-CENTRIC way of looking at things in the garden and tasting, hearing, seeing and touching things is just one person’s opinion, and hardly represents..
making and maintaining meadow gardens, with owen wormser
THE TIME IS approaching for my annual pass with the tractor through my little meadow on the hill above my house—the one time each year..
natural garden design, with benjamin vogt
IT’S PROBABLY the question I’m asked most: Gardeners want to go wilder and use more native plants to create habitat, but how do they figure..
the best of the sedges, and how to use them (even mown!), with sam hoadley
WITH THE SURGE in interest in lawn alternatives and other native choices for groundcover, the genus Carex is always mentioned high up on the list...
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
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..
recipe: baking up some heirloom beans
IMADE VEGETARIAN BAKED BEANS WITH MARTHA STEWART, my ex-boss, on her television show in 2011, one of the more out-of-body experiences of the relatively quiet..
baking no-knead bread and using every crumb, with alexandra stafford
A NEW COOKBOOK got me thinking in a whole new way about bread, which actually involved my thinking about bread in a whole old way:..
recipe: power green soup, by rebecca katz
THE GREENEST of green soups, this one is called Power Green Soup, and comes from Rebecca Katz’s cookbook “Clean Soups.” Read and/or listen to my..
clafoutis batter, universal solvent of fruit dessert
I DON’T BAKE MUCH THESE DAYS, BUT IN ANOTHER LIFE I was the Queen of Pie (and even baked all my bread, too). Even though..
soup garden: growing vegetable soup ingredients
I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER planted a theme garden—you know, a Children’s Garden, for instance, or White Garden or Shakespeare Garden, the kinds of..
growing and storing a year of parsley
F LAT-LEAF, OR ITALIAN, PARSLEY IS MACHO COMPARED TO CURLY-LEAF, particularly the selection called (grrrr!) ‘Gigante.’ I like my parsley big and strong, and I..
'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..