from the ground up

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In the spirit of summer, I always try to have a glass of this on hand.


Reaching for a handful of fresh herbs, on a quick stroll through the garden, while taking compost out to the pile.

It starts my day with a burst of fragrance, a bit of nostalgia (breath in, oh lavender), and a reminder to drink. Water.  More water.

It feels like a treat, a delicacy and is a token to help cherish these long, hot days of summer.  Most days it is mint and lavender, but then there are the sage and citrus marigold days, and cilantro blossoms are running a close 3rd.

So, we (yes, my glass is often in the hands of another family member, or two…) slow down and drink. Quench.  And toast, with each glassful, to the beauty of summer.


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A tight squeeze.

Each year we start small, but just keep digging and planting and squeezing in.   How much can you squeeze into a 4 x 16 foot raised bed? A lot actually.

16 tomatoes.

10 squash.

1 pumpkin

8 cucumbers.

8 or so peppers.

4 kohlrabi.


Many short corn.

Many carrots.

2 huge tomatillos.

2 boys eating popsicles.

Climbing peas.

1 eggplant.

Plus….thyme, savory, basil, dill, nasturtiums, marigolds, chives, borage.

A hedge of oregano on the side.

And all variety of weeds.








In case you were wondering…the place to be is in the garden!

That is where all the ACTION is!

Airplanes, rivers, oceans, robbers, swat teams, jails. They are all here. In the garden.

My heart can almost be heard bursting with happiness, when the garden is made into another “room” to play.  A space of freedom and wonder, aside from all the magical growth that happens there already.

Our garden really is full of action. The best kind, imagination.

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Garden Portrait :: July 7

We have gotten some heat, so the garden is growing- fast!

The grand finale has happened in the greenhouse. It has now been cleared out. What a relief, as the temperature inside is over 100 all day. Whew!

Other news:
The garlic has scaped.
The hops have completely outdone themselves.
We are eating kale almost everyday.
The nasturtiums have buds and so do the peas!



Beargrass. Quite possibly my favorite native.  Geometric art shaped from delicate individuals; set atop a symmetrical spray of green. A seemingly solitary flower nestled among community.

photo by zach heller

photo by zach heller

This year I brought home a tiny, bareroot beargrass plant from a Montana nursery.  This at the urging of my boys who insisted on the beauty this would bring to our yard. And this is true. But I also know another truth: Although I generally find the opposite to be true,  I am certain, in this instance, that marveling over the intricate beauty of one will never compare to standing among thousands.

photo by zach heller