Grounded in the Natural World

Grounded in the Natural World

by Eva Selhub and Alan Logan Almost 40 years ago, clinical psychologist and pet therapy expert Boris M. Levinson was asked to speculate on what the human-pet world might look like in the year 2000 and beyond.  Levinson turned out to be quite the soothsayer, predicting an explosion in pet acquisition thanks to the computer-driven,…

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Patterns in the Garden

Patterns in the Garden

by Rosemary Verey I enjoy patterns, man-made and natural, and as soon as I start looking around me, they are everywhere. The countryside in winter has tree skeletons silhouetted against the sky — trees without leaves. One day their background is dark grey, another it is clear blue, but there is always a natural pattern…

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Puppy-Proofing Gardening Illustrated

Puppy-Proofing Gardening Illustrated

by Elizabeth Lawrence January 20, 1945 … I can’t imagine anything worse than a square of dogwoods back of the house. I thought your idea was that you wanted to clear that all out (except for the serviceberry, which is to one side) so you could look out of the kitchen window and up the…

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Gratitude for Light

Gratitude for Light

by Marjorie Harris In my climate, the hours of daylight are few, the number of sunny hours even fewer. We trudge through the gloom day after day, all through January and February. But when the sun does shine, it carries a magnificence, unlike any other time. Perhaps our gratitude for light makes it so, but…

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The Order of the Thistle

The Order of the Thistle

by Mandy Kirby Tough and durable, defiant against aggressors: the thistle embodied qualities that the Scots saw as their own, and the flower became their national emblem.  There is a well-known legend of a Viking who stood on a thistle: his cry of pain alerted sleeping Scottish clansmen just in time to hold back the…

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Tracks in the Winter Garden

Tracks in the Winter Garden

by Beth Chatto The first thing I noticed as I watched my own boots sink below the blue-shadowed surface were the footprints of many other occupants of the garden. The mallard duck had left their heavy, plodding trails before flying off, hopefully, to someplace where the water is not totally frozen over – probably to…

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The Dandelion in Connecticut

The Dandelion in Connecticut

by Jack Sanders To many homeowners, the dandelion is little more than a prolific, pesky weed. However, this abundant yellow-flowering plant provides not only beauty but also food, drink, medicine, and even inspiration for poetry. Perhaps no one has praised the dandelion better than Wallace Nutting, the noted turn-of-the-century photographer and author. “The dandelion is…

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Holly and Ivy

Holly and Ivy

by Beth Chatto Holly and ivy are the primary images of many Christmas cards, symbols of life carrying on when much else appears dead or has vanished beneath the frozen surface. I would almost go so far as to say they should be in every garden, but perhaps I should substitute “something evergreen” instead of…

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The Funeral Instructions of Carl Linnaeus

The Funeral Instructions of Carl Linnaeus

by Bill Laws Linnaeus was a modest man and stipulated rules for his funeral arrangements: “Entertain nobody …and accept no condolences.”  But when he died in January 1778, his instructions were ignored. Even the King of Sweden came to pay his respects at the funeral of the man who gave a name to the onion…

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Wintersweet

Wintersweet

by Rosemary Verey One day 27 years ago, long before I became an enthusiastic gardener, my husband came home with a bush of wintersweet, given to him by an old lady from her garden. [The woman] said it would not flower for seven years and then forever after would do so generously. She was right.…

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January in the Victory Garden

January in the Victory Garden

by Ministry of Agriculture, “Dig For Victory” Pamphlet, January 1945 January is a time when you should be thinking and planning, ordering your seed potatoes, vegetable seeds, fertilizers, and so on, and making sure that your tools are in good order and that you are ready to begin gardening in real earnest next month, or…

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Writing a Garden Catalog

Writing a Garden Catalog

by Beth Chatto Since before Christmas, I have been nibbling, in odd moments, at my new catalog. I try to write word pictures of plants, which might make them irresistible. When I began the nursery twenty years ago, I issued a very small list with descriptions of plants, as I saw them, in place of…

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Katharine White on Poisonous Plants

Katharine White on Poisonous Plants

by Katharine S. White The year 1967 started with an all-out alert on the danger of poisonous plants. On January 6th, the Times published a story about a lecture on the subject by John M. Kingsbury, the author of a useful small book titled Deadly Harvest: A Guide to Common Poisonous Plants. At a very…

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Hyacinth Bottle with Supporting Wire

Hyacinth Bottle with Supporting Wire

by Mandy Kirby The January 1860 garden column of the famous fashion magazine the New Monthly Belle Assemblee recommended the Hyacinth Bottle and Flower Support as being ideal for growing [Hyacinths] indoors. The slender bottle with bulbous base was nothing new; hyacinths were often grown in water, not soil, in these small glass vases, which…

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