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Archive | Deep-Rooted Wisdom: Stories and Skills from Generations of Gardeners

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Overly Enthusiastic Children and Vines

Pay attention, indulge, wait and be delighted. This month my buddy’s pre-teen boy is into magic. He’s been through Egyptian mythology, dinosaurs and bigfoot.  His dad’s endless patience amazes me. The magic show commences with an elaborate introduction,     “On the death-day of the great Houdini, I honor the risk he took to share magic… Read More

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Plant glads and hyacinth bean seeds in late July for fall.

It’ll Be Fine By Fall

Gardening, painting, sculpting. Those things have something in common– they all start with imagination of something you’ll bring to fruition. A vision. Sometimes these really hot days make me have visions.  Stiffling hot. Swooningly hot. I chop some crinum down to the ground; it’ll be fine by fall, I think to myself. I weed, pulling… Read More

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Earthform urn with a craborchard stone block surround.

Earthforming a Rustic Urn

The circular patio holds a 1,000 pound urn. We made it.  It’s a seating bench, a place to rest a drink or plate and it is an urn for a Japanese Apricot tree.   The earth-formed texture, (as well as patio texture) come from our farm’s clay, roots and thick weave burlap.  In the sides, there… Read More

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Deodora counter

Deodora Countertops from Storm Damage

When the saw mill guy untarped our deodora lumber, the fragrance made every man there stop, enjoy and forget about the heavy work ahead. I thought of my little deodora, how I dream of watching it grow, providing privacy and shade. I don’t think of it’s death. I dream of the teenage years, it’ll need… Read More

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Snow Drop

The Earliest of Flower Gardens

There’s a patch of paper whites and snow drops in our pasture that’s older than I am. Just behind the little shed that’s been pony shed, goat shed and now donkey shed. Those are the kinds of bulbs I want in my gardens. From a practical stand point, because they come back, they thrive and… Read More

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The broom on the left is a cheap dollar general broom. The Lion's Club broom made from better straw is  much more effective at it's job!

Things Still Made From Plants…

Not so long ago plants were our tool cabinet, medicine cabinet, pantry, clothing and art. Industry slowly changed that. And today ladies tell me about making dolls from holly hock flowers. And a few of my buddies remember using magnolia cones to play war — those cones are perfect grenades. You might make a cocktail… Read More

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A New Years Resoilution

In this year, when we walk let’s walk walk with big, amazing steps. Considering every every cell and bone and where each foot falls. Connect to the life below each step. Feel the the tiny creatures in their universe below ground. When we garden this year, let’s weed, kneel, dig, spray in ways that make… Read More

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Etioliated Sweet Potato

You’re making me Blanch…Etioliation

Etiolation: You know when you leave a bucket on the grass and all the grass under it goes sort of pale green and white?  That is etioliation.  It’s a plant response to trying to grow in low light intensity. When it finally reaches the sun, it starts to turn green (that is de-etiloation). We eat… Read More

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Mother’s Day on the Lily Farm

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When I Found Blood Lilies in Africa….

Cows, pecan trees, okra fields, rusty tin roofs and plenty of racism just weren’t for this free spirited 19-year-old boy. So I ran hard to get away from that run-down family farm. In one giant, naive leap that freaked the family out, I left South Carolina to enroll, as the only, actually the first,  American… Read More

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