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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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Milling Pine Trees for Lumber to Build A Garden Shed

The tree guys call these hazard trees. That’s the professional jargon for a tree that might fall on someone or something. I called these particular pines spectacular; 120′ tall ancient beings that helped define the character of this garden, in fact, the charm of this entire part of town.  The owners of the garden did… Read More

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Supple Jack

Stalking Supple Jack on the Salkehatchie

Some guys go duck hunting on Christmas.  Some people go to movies.  Momma and I went in search of an elusive vine: Supple Jack.  To be honest, the vine isn’t rare, but its home is in blackwater swamps.  Special places, also home to cotton mouths and deep holes hidden in black water, but in winter,… Read More

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Grangran’s Gumdrop Tree

My grandfather cooked.   He set the table with “Old Britain Castles” china; he painted and gardened.  Maybe because the lessons were so constant, from birth on, I don’t recall him teaching me gardening things.  But I know the palmetto tree by the back steps was one he dug up on Hunting Island; I know he… Read More

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Conjunction Junction; A Lady who Loves Her Function….

A young family who’s trying to mix modern needs into the garden of a historic Mediterranean Revival home. An 86-year-old gentleman, from the wrong side of the tracks, who enlisted in the US Navy at 16 having lied about his age. The person who organized fundraising events and presentations for the New Orleans Botanical Garden…. Read More

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Persimmon Trees in Gardens

Speaking with an elderly friend today, I asked about how to get around some issues of growing persimmon trees.  He launched into a long story about an abandoned grove he recalled in south Georgia with a long aside about  his old friend who’d discovered the grove in full fruit.  At one point he said, “It… Read More

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Garden Visiting in the Upstate of South Carolina

After a few intense weeks with hands in the dirt, focused on getting new crinum planted and on getting lots of fall leaf crop and spring flower seeds in the ground, I took a little road trip up to the red hills, around Rock Hill, Great Falls, Jenkinsville and Charlotte. Here are 20 pics from… Read More

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Hedge after 6 years of growth.

Old Skills Make a Really Thick Hedge

Hedges can be just privacy screens.  But they often have big gaps.  Trained properly, they can be thick; thick enough to be more than a visual barrier.  In old days (and in other countries today), hedges are living fences so they must be impenetrable thickets. Even though we’re not trying to keep the cows in… Read More

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They’re Like Southerners but with Funny Accents

We’ve been on some pretty exciting trips this summer.  A flight to do a reading at the famed Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia included staying in a house that was recently featured in the New York Times. The road trip to lecture at the U.S. Botanical Garden ended with a tour of some extraordinary private gardens… Read More

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Cover Up for Cheesy 70’s Brick Wall

When we started, being in the courtyard was like being on the bottom of a swimming pool– with dated sort of blond red bricks and no ladders to allow you to get out. We decided to make a wall of weeping plants– just a few.  The garden above is so diverse, we wanted to wall… Read More

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