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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 American exchange student at… Read More

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Salvaging Spectacular Sabal Palms

Performance Anxiety   You’d think gardening might be a stress free job. But right now, I feel dread like a hole below my chest that you could put a 3-gallon nursery pot through. This upcoming job has no little 3-gallon pots though. We’re moving two, 50+year old, 30 feet tall, spectacular Sabal palms. And it’s going… Read More

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“Opportunity is Like a Lovely Lady”

Quoted from Hellen Keller’s address to the Lions Clubs.  At the cool museum that is her birthplace you’ll see some nice gardens one of which was designed by a new friend. Phillip Oliver lives nearby. I didn’t know Philip but when I tweeted recently, “who can help me have some fun in northern Mississippi?”  He… Read More

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She Rooted All These Antique Roses

If you’ve met my Mother, you know she has a green thumb and a tender heart.  Just days ago, we were working in the garden so briskly, that she decided not to stop to go to church.  I took a picture of the roses below in her hand. I’m writing/editing this while she’s in the… Read More

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High & Low; What Are the Components of a Joyful Garden Scene?

We made a giant seesaw in front of the chicken pen; the three neighbor children and I.  From under the barn and in junk piles, we gathered stuff like a quarter of a creosote power pole, galvanized pipes and boards.  That took weeks; it wasn’t a very focused effort.  As we found one part, we’d… Read More

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A Frank Conversation About Sustainability

If you still question whether people can change the earth and climate, then become a gardener.   You’ll find out how quickly you can screw up a living system and how long it takes to put it back right.    I love any book that stimulates me to think and write and question.   I love this… Read More

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Morning Break? Is Re-shooting Photos a Break?

For a number of days of the last ten, I’ve been sequestered inside.   Re writing.   The editor at Timber Press sent back my manuscript for a final edit.   Well, 32 pages and about 40 hours of edits.  Done.   Great edits.  He said, ‘I’m trying to help you say what you want to say, more clearly.’   … Read More

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