Thursday, April 30, 2020

A dual post

I just posted about crossvine on Places of the Spirit.  It’s made me happy to look at it, so I went to that site first, but it equally belongs here.

Here’s the wonderful inspiration.

Crossvine (Bignoia capreolata)

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Warm season vegetables

I’m anxious to put in tomato and pepper transplants, as well as seed beans and squash, but it’s been a cool April, so I’m sitting on my hands. My cool season vegetables are enjoying the mild temperatures and current rainy spell, so they’re not showing any signs of bolting yet, either.

I’ll be doing a virtual program about warm season veggies for a favorite local nursery, Reem’s Creek Nursery, in Weaverville, on May 2 from 10 - 11 am.

Early May is the perfect time to start swapping out cool-season vegetables (or start a vegetable garden, whether as an experienced vegetable gardener or novice.). We’ll talk about vegetable selection, succession planting, and more.

Join us by pre-registration via this link: — Reem’s Creek has lots of great veggie and herb transplants available, too.

Theirs were what I added this spring to my overwintered greens.

My raised bed vegetable garden, in dappled light.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

A black bear visits again

I did this post on Places of the Spirit, as  my two blog sites meld together in these times.  Just click through to read the post.

This post is about a young black bear coming back, and enjoying bird seeds and nectar water.

Enjoying the sugar water in the hummingbird feeder.


Monday, April 13, 2020

Flame azalea in flower

My past dates for posting about flame azalea in flower were May 22 and May 24.  Hmm. Certainly a testament to the early and warm spring.  Perhaps there was a second one nearby that I posted about.  I don't think so, but...

It's been spectacular for a number of years, seemingly happy in this spot.  The flowers have just expanded.  What's also interesting is that the flowers, at least at this stage in their development, are a much deeper color than my previous posts reflect.  Maybe it's the camera/phone, or the light, but the flowers are a darker orange than I'd remembered.

Flame azalea

My gardening companion is happy moving around divisions of native plants in our garden.

Mt. Pisgah view, with cordoned off playground)
Near our house is a community center with a recently renovated playground (the entire facility and landscape was updated quite nicely, thanks to a bond initiative).  We enjoyed this wonderful view taking Woody out after dinner this evening.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

A bear wanders by

Here in Asheville, we have a small population of urban bears, but wild ones come through too, especially in low food years at higher elevations.

This fellow was probably a young male, looking for new territory.

He checked out the bird feeder (fortunately, it was empty).

 Then he wandered towards my raised vegetable garden beds.

Happily, he rejected the purple mustard that he was sniffing.

And went on down the street.


Monday, April 6, 2020

Thankful for my vegetable garden

Even as I try to keep present in the natural world, my access isn't as expansive as it is, as it was in different times.

There are neighborhood walks, thankfully, both in our own and nearby neighborhoods.

But what really has made me happy is how well my vegetables are doing.

I harvested another salad-spinner worth of spinach this evening -- delicious (they're in the far lowest bed, not that visible in this photo).

But I also have a lower bed sown with spinach and beet seedlings that are doing well.  And the other greens (from transplants) are coming along nicely: kale, collards, lettuce, etc.  Maybe if it's a cooler spring, I'll be able to harvest greens from that bed, too (if the local woodchuck doesn't beat me to them).

Where I'm going to get warm-season starts, well,  I'm not sure. Our summer renter (June-September) wants to have a salsa garden: tomatoes and peppers, I suppose.   But our rental agreement was flexible, and maybe we'll be here longer than we think, before we can head north to Quebec (to our cottage there).

I'm grateful for spinach, collards, kale, chard and herbs.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020


On my walk yesterday, thankfully still permitted in our "stay at home" city, I admired violets in a median strip.  I'm quite sure they were voluntary, but the homeowner happily hadn't "weeded" them out.  There are lots of violets in lawns throughout our neighborhood, too.  Lovely.

It's much nicer to see violets than the emerald green weed and feed lawns in one of our nearby (upscale) neighborhoods, where I also walk. 

Although one of them had trillium, mayapple, bloodroot, and trout lilies in a front bed, nestled together with variegated hostas.  Remarkable.