Random Thoughts

Venus Gets a New Look

ALTHOUGH I WAS HAPPY to have the lawn service here yesterday (they gathered, shredded and piled the leaves I'll use this winter), my cement replica of Venus de Milo was not. Thanks to a little accident with a tractor, she now has a more antiquated look. Read more »

Garden Bullies

ARE YOU WAGING WAR WITH AN INVASIVE PLANT, TOO? My nemesis du jour is wild sumac (Rhus glabra). Just last week, I removed a grove of this vengeful bully from an area near my Kitchen Garden. It retaliated — and how! — by sending scores of tenacious tentacles under a fence and into my veggie… Read more »

My Latest Kitchen-Gadget: A Foley Food Mill

IN ANTICIPATION OF MAKING APPLE SAUCE, I recently purchased a Foley Food Mill. Who else owns this gadget? I’d like to know what you think of it. For instance, how do you clean it? Mine came with no directions whatsoever! This simple, inexpensive machine is supposed to puree apples and tomatoes, and also remove their… Read more »

Lily the Beagle’s Weather Rant

HERE IN THE HUDSON VALLEY, the wackiest weather – ever! – continues. Yesterday’s low 40 degrees; today’s high 82 degrees, and Friday will soar to a suffocating 90! And still no rain in sight…bad news for plants heading into their dormant season. What’s the weather like where you are? And can we have our “walkies”… Read more »

Photo Gallery: Bambi & Mom

THIS MORNING a doe and her fawn paid me a call. Happily they lingered near the music room windows, where I was able to photograph them through the glass. Because deer have always been respectful of the grounds here, I honestly welcome, rather than dread, their visits. Here are more pictures of the pair, followed… Read more »

Damn. We're in a Drought.

YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD THIS SUMMER IS APPROACHING THE HOTTEST ON RECORD. I think it’s one of the driest, too. Even plants in my shady Woodland Garden are showing signs of stress, including the sad subject pictured up top. Click the image, and you’ll see how this young rhododendron has curled its leaves inward, in an… Read more »

From Parking Lot to Rose Garden

WITH DETERMINATION, even the most grievous eyesore on a property can become a sparkling jewel. My own rose garden (above, click to enlarge) is proof of this fact. Here, where fragrant flowers flourish between ribbons of boxwood, and where classical fountains play soothing music, there existed, not long ago, something quite different: When we bought… Read more »