Life Style & Travel

Late Night Terror For Foliage

UNITED STATES—Snails and slugs really enjoy all the new seedlings and fresh foliage that is growing in the garden while the soil is still damp from earlier rain, and the weather is getting warmer. They are neither too smart nor too fast, but they are very hungry, and do their damage at night when no one is watching. They...

Day 30: Tame The Shame

UNITED STATES—As we get ready to say sayonara to the plan to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, I am reminded of the two Buddhas. There is the thoughtful, serene Tibetan Buddha, rather blank faced, slender and androgynous, and there is also the plump, laughing Buddha, without shame for his bulging belly. Imagine the old, jolly Buddha who has...

Weeds Are Full Of Surprises

UNITED STATES—While it was busy naturalizing in Australia, South Africa and southern South America, the California poppy was getting forced out of parts of its own native range by more aggressive exotic plants that were also busy getting naturalized. Technically, any plant that is not native is exotic. Any exotic plant that becomes naturalized in a foreign environment is...

Day 29: Don’t Blab

UNITED STATES—I was recently invited to a potluck where we were asked to bring vegetarian food and specifically instructed to bring “nothing with eggs.” On the surface, the proposal suited me fine, and my mouth watered in anticipation of quinoa salad and veggie korma. But there was a surprise. Even though most everyone at this get-together shared the pursuit of...

The Spring Rush Is On

UNITED STATES—It is safe to say that any remaining frost damage can be pruned away. Frosted foliage and stems were only left through winter to help insulate inner stems from more damage by subsequent frost, and to avoid stimulating new growth that would be even more sensitive to frost. Now that there is no threat of subsequent frost, and...

Shopping Around For Various Nurseries

UNITED STATES—The differences between nurseries and garden centers within big box type home improvement centers should be more obvious. Contrary to all the fancy marketing, a big box garden center really is just another of many departments within a larger home improvement center. A good nursery specializes in plants, and only plants. A sales representative in a big box...

Day 28: Saying When

UNITED STATES—The inability to ‘say when’ conjoins a rainbow of addictions, from alcohol to ice cream. Whatever you can’t say no to, whether it gets you high or not—that’s an addictive substance. Food abuse—socially sanctioned, enthusiastically pushed, and even enshrined in Shakey’s Bunch of Lunch—isn’t punished like other alcoholic or narcotic abuses with loss of livelihood or liberty, but...

Natives Are Right At Home

UNITED STATES—Long before people came here and imported exotic (non-native) plants from all over the world, native plants had been perfectly happy without any pruning, watering or fertilizing. They had always been perfectly happy with local soils, local climates and even occasional wildfires. Many are still happier in the wild than in seemingly more comfortable refined gardens and landscapes. It...

Day 26: A Moment Of Truths

UNITED STATES—You know how Mom said, “Don’t eat that ice cream before dinner—you’ll spoil your appetite.” She was really saying you’ll be disqualified from having the meal, unable to appreciate the love and time she put into it, unable to feel the pit of your stomach and meet with gratitude the things she has made, even if she wasn’t...

Junipers Should Get More Consideration

UNITED STATES—Too much of a good thing eventually gets old. That is how so many of the good junipers that were so popular half a century ago became so unpopular. They became too common, and many were planted into situations that they were not appropriate for. As they matured, many became overgrown or disfigured. Only recently have a few...
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