Description: Mourning doves relaxing  Background: It seems that 2022 is the year for birds at our house. I started putting out bird seed in winter, and it quickly attracted regulars. By April, there were four nesting families—two sets of house finches at the apex of the eaves on the front and westContinue Reading

One ostrich fern–one.  When my hosta garden still seemed a little bare, I decided ferns would be a good addition. My wife, who loves ferns, thought it was a wonderful idea. I really should have read a book. Wandering through Grower’s Outlet, looking for Prairie Bella day lilies (they neverContinue Reading

This tasty weed started as a tiny mint plant bought in a grocery store. It sat in our front room next to the fireplace where it was noticeably restless. By restless, I mean it sent out long tendrils that snaked across the floor to the love seat, the corner ofContinue Reading

I’ve been considering a bird feeder for a couple of years. The idea started with my neighbor across the way who, after installing hummingbird feeders, waxed poetic about the thrill of their visits. Each time I’ve had the urge to try a feeder, a few moments’ reflection was enough toContinue Reading

Not long ago, I wrote about the lemon tree I gave to my mother-in-law. In the ensuing years, the tree has reliably produced at least one lemon in each growing cycle. The cycle is nearly a year long, with honey-scented blossoms appearing in January and ripened fruit in November. OnlyContinue Reading

It’s not as bad as it sounds, but it was, in turns, scary then hilarious. You see, all summer, I had been hearing local stories of copperheads. For those of you unfamiliar with scary snake stories, copperheads play a big role in southern versions, and Cottonmouths are their only realContinue Reading

This is Bob—or, more accurately, Bob the 8th Duke of the Window.  I have dispatched the duke’s predecessors many times, and now, as always, an heir has shown up to claim the family estate.  There is a small crack between the frame and the bottom of the window that isContinue Reading

When planning the garden, I deliberately chose plants that attracted bees and butterflies. I had no idea which butterflies to expect, but whatever showed up was welcome. Over the last eight seasons (has it really been eight!?), six kinds of butterflies have been regulars–Black Swallowtails, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (yellow), Silver-spottedContinue Reading

Maple trees have a secret plan to take over the world, full stop. You may find this ridiculous or amusing, but it’s true. I have been tracking maple tree behavior for six years, and they are winning. Don’t believe me? Check for yourself. Find an abandoned lot or any placeContinue Reading

Every garden has unwanted visitors. Sometimes they are large, like the squirrels who keep planting walnuts and pecans among my flowers. Sometimes, they are small with too many legs. The large ones do little damage; they are just an annoyance. The little ones, though, can really cause problems.   The twoContinue Reading