kissing a lot of frogs (and loving it)

a real handful MY, MY, HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED. Four months ago I was wearing Max Mara and living in fluorescent light most of the day. Today at 1 p.m. I was mucking out water gardens in the sun, and refitting plumbing gaskets. The outfit: my pajamas, covered by a pair of work pants I got for 25 cents at a tag sale 19 years ago, and vinyl surgical gloves. Perfect for pulling slime (aka string algae) and putrid rotted leaves out of the pools, while my boyfriends looked on disinterestedly. All nine of them (all just like this hunk I’m reaching out to grab). Handsome, huh? Heaven, huh?

  1. margaret says:

    Welcome to A Way to Garden, Christine. We are glad to have you join us.
    Yes, pj gardening is the real deal–when you cannot even resist the call of the garden long enough on a spring morning to get dressed, and end up out there in your pj’s, no makeup, not even brushed hair! (Not that it has ever happened to me of course…no, not ever!)
    A Way to Garden is celebrating one month in business this coming week, and we are very happy to be here, right in time for the season to unfold. So far we have been blessed to have several thousand visitors, and more than 80,000 pages consumed in April, with many more every day. Very exciting! We are new but we are lively. Come back and keep an eye on our little happy world.

  2. Gina Hyams says:

    Congrats on your new blog and your new life, Margaret!

    I tried to figure out when your Garden Conservancy open day is, but since I don’t know the name of your house, wasn’t sure. Can you please e-mail me the details and/or post on your blog? Thanks.

  3. margaret says:

    Yes! June 14 in Columbia County, NY. You will find me (and please identify yourself when you come). I look forward to it.

  4. Marissa says:

    Sounds like absolute heaven to me! Congratulations on this big and exciting change in your life. I look forward to visiting here every day as part of my daily blog reading, and have been spreading the word about where to find you!

  5. margaret says:

    Welcome, Marissa, and thanks for the encouragement (and word-spreading). I will look forward to your visits as we plunge full-on into another garden season…you, me, the frogs, all of us together.

  6. Andrew Ritchie says:

    I love the photo! That ominous, plastic-gloved hand reaching out the Prince-to-Be! Reminds me of the Peter Gabriel song, “Kiss That Frog.”


  7. margaret says:

    Welcome, Marilyn, and thank you for your nice compliment. As you undoubtedly know, a watering system that’s hidden (i.e., buried in mulch) is vulnerable to every shovel and fork, and above-ground spaghetti is messy. Hiding with mulch really is the best way, but hard to do in a large, wild-ish area like you describe. And with your water issues on top of that…yikes! I feel as if in the driest zones of the country one has to plant only the most xeric of creatures, or let the rest go somewhat dormant for awhile until conditions encourage growth again. Even here in the East (where it hasn’t stopped dumping water so far this season on me), the garden is not looking so fresh as the heat and humidity ramp up, and plants have become far less bouncy (like the gardener tending to them!).

  8. Marilyn Langer says:

    Dear Margaret,
    Discovered your site through the article in the nytimes and immediately sent it to my daughters, one of whom has just started planting pots for her small apt. porch, among other things, a Japanese Maple. We have a large, very large appearingly semi wild, but highly worked on garden. Everything has established itself “naturally” and in addition survives the herd of deer that spend their days and nights here. Our only real problem is getting enough water to the garden so that it could look healthy and not so stressed. Is there a way to get enough water to a very large wild garden in an area like Berkeley, California, now under drought and fire watch, even in the best of times without having the myriad of hoses and drip lines that despoil the wild natural character of the garden? Thanks for your wonderful site, a joy, and any advice you may have.

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