A Way to Garden Radio – I recently appeared as a guest on Margaret Roach’s weekly podcast to talk about Holiday gifts to make using plants and things gleaned from the garden. Click here to listen for free. To get your Holiday gift giving started, Margaret is giving away two garden-themed tees from our shop, so head over there to get your name in the running to win.
Each Autumn, big, beautiful Amaryllis bulbs show up in stores alongside spring blooming bulbs. And every year I hesitate, full of guilt about the indulgence at a time when I have so many houseplants to shift indoors for the winter. However, once the snow is settled over the garden and the world has lost its colour, that first bloom is greeted like a miracle unfolding. We watch the developing bud with anticipation and when it opens we circle around it with our cameras, taking in every crumb of colour and life while we can. No summer flower receives such hyper-gleeful fanfare.
The last prompt was tough, so I thought I’d switch to something lighter, although perhaps not easier.
Plant descriptions are essential to writing about gardening. A good description functions like a story, drawing the reader in to want to find out more and maybe even try the plant in their own garden. It’s easy to fall into repetitive traps, using the same words and phrases to describe very different plants. Gorgeous, pretty, tasty, lovely… When it comes to over-using certain words, I’m just as guilty as the next. That said, trolling the thesaurus for fancy new words to use can come off a bit phoney and does little to tell an authentic story or capture the reader’s imagination.
This morning I walked into the kitchen to make my tea, as I do at the start of every morning. The kitchen is a mess. If I’m being honest it is always a mess, but right now the disaster has taken the form of camera gear, photo props, 300 pounds of pumpkin, and a few tender potted plants that I haven’t the heart to let go of just yet. Even my dog is reluctant to navigate this maze in order to get out the back door. Amidst the mess, my eyes landed on this beautiful plant, False Holly Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’.
Have you heard about this? According to an article I read this morning in The Atlantic, linguists are recognizing the word “because” as a preposition, or what they are calling the “because-noun.” I generally try to steer clear of Internet-inspired turns of phrase, because, annoying and overdone. I like the hint of irony behind this one, but now that I’ve used it here, I think I am done. Because, enough already.
As you may already know, I am currently blessed with a large sum of assorted winter squash and pumpkins. Last weekend I roasted a beautiful icy blue variety called ‘Jarradale’ and proceeded to work my way through the bounty of richly-flavoured, colourful flesh. I concocted all manner of treats including: pumpkin pudding (basically pie filling sans crust) and several batches of scones.