‘a way to garden’ in the washington post

I WASN’T SURE WHAT TO THINK when the frogboys invited Washington Post garden editor Adrian Higgins over for lunch not long ago (well, except I was sure that I’d be doing the cooking, or we’d be eating slug sushi).  But charm him they did, apparently, and Thursday’s story in The Post about us is likewise charming (as is its horticulturally expert, dapper and wickedly droll author).

The boys and I extend a huge thanks to Adrian, whom you can meet in the videos he’s been creating on The Post’s website. I loved this video about tomatoes, in which he combined visits with DC-area community gardeners and with our mutual friend Amy Goldman, the heirloom tomato queen who lives not far from me. Adrian’s recent story on Amy is a must-read as well.

Also thanks to my very dear friend Erica Berger, who performed trick photography during the Washington Post photo shoot, so that (finally) a photo of Mother of the Frogboys that’s more recent than me at age 3 appears here.  I didn’t see any of Erica’s photos that ran in the paper, or others from her shoot including this one, on The Post’s website…just the story itself is there…so enjoy the read, at least.

By the way, you can follow me on Twitter, or join our A Way to Garden Facebook group if social-media tools like those are to your liking.

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  1. Tammy says:

    Congratulations on the lovely article.
    How in the world did I miss that you had written a gardening book? Will have to track it down.
    I can’t think of a more perfect place to be today (9/ll) than in the garden. Amy Golden’s comments were perfect. Wish I were as eloquent a writer. I’ll just say ditto. :)

  2. margaret says:

    Thanks to all of you, yet again, for all these good words. Yes, it’s a day for peace and love (and over here there is always a little monkey business in the mix; you know those naughty frogboys and their antics). Speaking of whom: I told them about Adrian’s story, and that their actual photo was in the print version, and they said, “Did we make the cover of Field & Stream?” See what I am up against?

    Welcome to Laura, who knows only too well how much I hate to have photos taken! I guess you can tell I feel so happy riding in circles on my Kubota up here (instead of stuck on the West Side Highway in traffic).

  3. gardenden says:

    You know you’re doing something right when not one, but two, institutions of journalism sing and laud. Congratulations! May many more find their way to this lovely enrichment…

  4. Curtis says:

    Congrats on you getting on the Post. I like reading your newsletter and need to get your blog via email. I think I’ll do that now.

  5. margaret says:

    @Kari: I started gardening when my mother, then 49, got Alzheimer’s. I was 24, the oldest kid (and she was already a widow). I cut things down and dug things out of the yard of the house I grew up in with a vengeance, trying to make sense of anything at all, while minding the situation.
    After other complexities along the way, the up-and-down stuff of all our lives, I came back to it again and again, always finding solace and a place of meditation and centeredness. On 9-11 it was the only place I could run to, and I sat on the back porch with the black cat who adopted me that morning for a couple of days, listening to NPR on a boombox.
    So Katrina would have sent me to the garden, too, though frankly I’ve never faced that kind of ravaging of the land itself, never dealt with that. How brave, but how understandable that it helped you as you helped it. :)

  6. margaret says:

    @Dave: So funny! The loader is on (along w/the ballast box at the back to avoid tip-overs) and rocks are the order of business this week. Longtime mason friend finally making me a wall and terrace I’ve dreamed about, and he says we’re all too old for wheelbarrows of stones now. Not the Kubota, though…which I call “Little Buddy”…it LOVES moving rocks.

  7. Kari says:

    “For people who have sadness in their lives or are stressed out, the process of gardening, she says, is “healing, relaxing and fulfilling.”

    This is exactly how I started out – as “therapy” after Katrina. I loved this quote, and this article.

    Thanks for your website; I can’t remember how I happened onto it (quite by accident), but I’m enjoying spending way too much time reading through it!

  8. David Brogren says:

    As a 11 year owner of a Kubota B1700 I can only say, wise choice… moving rocks with the front end loader saves the back and makes a big impression…

  9. chris says:

    kubota? hmm. you know simplicity makes a nice 4wd tractor too, and made in the usa…oh well, hope you got a good price on it at least…

  10. Andrew Ritchie says:

    If only we could all get back to the garden, literally and figuratively. I think the mad old world would lighten up a little.


    PS: Sweet ride!

  11. margaret says:

    @Chris: Don’t worry, believe it was made in the Southeastern U.S., so fortunately not as bad as sounds.

    @Andrew: Yup, sweet ride. (My black standard-shift longbed pickup is really jealous.)

    @Denden: Tough and tender. You are right. Best that we all have both sides showing…world might be a better place if so, huh? Thanks.

  12. denden says:

    i’m comparing the picture of you on the kubota with the picture of you on the facing page of the “senescence’ chapter in “AWTG”….you can be the “charming, hands on ms roach” weilding the heavy machinery or the shy “hiding under the straw hat” delicate garden damsel…….

    i’ve made my decision>>>>I LOVE BOTH PERSONNAS!!!!

  13. margaret says:

    Welcome, Each Little World. Adrian really is great, and I have always enjoyed his work, as you have. I am likewise jealous of the plant palette he gets to play with compared to us more northerly types. Hope to see you soon again.


    What a lovely profile. I think Higgins caught you in a way that gives us — your readers and fellow bloggers — other insights that you might not see or say when writing yourself.

    Back in the day when I was the Home&Garden editor at The Capital Times newspaper here in Madison, I ran as many of Higgins columns as possible (after my own!!) and always hated it when he covered things that were never going to grown in our zone 4/5 gardens.

    And great photo of you!

  15. joyce ketay says:

    i write this as i sit in my office on the 33rd floor looking over the manhattan skyline to the hudson river and all i can think of is that i didn’t pick the basil this weekend to make pesto. the washington post article is my inspiration that perhaps i, too, can make the move.

  16. margaret says:

    Welcome, Joyce. A lot of basil got away from me, too. I am less behind in the crop-harvesting this year than in times past, but I am not sure I have it all figured out on the bigger score yet. I haven’t regretted my decision once, however. All the answers will come, or at least enough to piece things together. :)

  17. Krystal says:

    HI! I saw you on Martha Stewart today. It was a re-run but I loved it! I had not seen it before. I am kinda lost now when it comes to gardening. I used to be good and I loved it but then we moved to SW Florida 2 years ago and I have no idea what to do I am a New Englander and I am so out of my element here in FL. We are considered the Sub Tropical zone (10) and I really miss my New England perrenials. Anyway. Glad I could stop be here!

  18. margaret says:

    Welcome, Krystal. No worry…the segment was only from yesterday, so it was practically new! The shift to FL is a hard one; many people tell me that. You really need to leave old thoughts behind, or at least shift them by a season or even half a year (so pansies are a winter crop there, I think, and not springlike up north). Some of the plants are the same, but the timing is not. Not sure which of these books are still in print, but maybe think about getting one or two as a start…or the Sunset Florida book (or their national garden guide).

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