Author Archives: Rhonda Nowak

Rhonda Nowak

Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, writer and teacher. With more than 25 years of gardening experience and a Ph.D. in literature and language arts education, she combines a love for plants, poetry, and prose in her Literary Gardener blog. Here, she offers useful gardening tips, plus a related literary quote, based on what’s happening in her flowerbeds, containers, raised vegetable beds, greenhouse and yard-scape. The Literary Gardener is for locals who agree with author Bill Richardson: “Novels and gardens – I like to move from plot to plot.”

Spanish moss on a live oak tree in Louisiana

“I Am Louisiana” by Paul Ott “I’m Spanish moss on a live oak tree Cajun fried shrimp and a cypress knee I’m Bienville, Captain Shreve, Beauregard, Zach Taylor and Jean LaFitte I’m New Orleans, the land of dreams Creole cookin’ and a Mardi Gras king I’m a thoroughbred racin’ at Louisiana Downs Avery Island and [...]

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A kiss to currants for native and pollinator gardens

“I stamp this kisse upon thy currant lippe.” - Theseus in William Shakespeare’s Two Noble Kinsmen, Act 1, scene 1 Theseus, Duke of Athens, and his bride, Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, have not been married long when Theseus goes off to battle and must leave Hippolyta behind. He kisses his beloved on her “currant lips” [...]

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The poop on turkey poop

“Up on the rooftop reindeer pause…” Wait a minute; it’s too late for that. Those are 20-pound turkeys scrambling around my rooftop, driving my two dogs, and thus me, into a frenzy inside the house. Jerry runs out with a broom to shoo the turkey-toms away, but they’ll be back tomorrow: strutting, fanning, digging, scratching, [...]

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“Beware the ides of March” – but garden anyway

“A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.” ~ Brutus in William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” Act I, Scene 2 When Julius Caesar hears this ominous warning, he blows it off by saying, “He is a dreamer; let us leave him.” Yet, on March 15, the mystic’s vision becomes horribly real when Caesar is assassinated [...]

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Shakespeare also mentions seeds

And in his needy shop a tortoise hung, An alligator stuff’d, and other skins Of ill-shaped fishes; and about his shelves A beggarly account of empty boxes, Green earthen pots, bladders and musty seeds, Remnants of packthread and old cakes of roses, Were thinly scatter’d, to make up a show. ~ Romeo in William Shakespeare’s [...]

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Daffadils “haste away so soone” but there’s more to be done in the garden

Faire Daffadils, we weep to see You haste away so soone: As yet the early-rising Sun Has not attain’d his Noone. ~ Robert Herrick, To Daffadills, 1648 In Sunday’s Mail Tribune column (Feb. 18, 2018), I wrote about dancing with the daffodils, which are beckoning springtime right now in the Rogue Valley.  But that isn’t [...]

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Eat your veggies and your chocolate, too!

“Never mind about 1066 William the Conqueror, 1087 William the Second. Such things are not going to affect one?s life … but 1932 the Mars Bar and 1936 Maltesers and 1937 the Kit Kat – these dates are milestones in history and should be seared into the memory of every child in the country.” – [...]

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Technology in the garden

“Americans…saw themselves creating a society in the image of a garden.” ~ Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden, 1964 In Sunday’s Mail Tribune column (Feb. 4, 2018), I shared six garden apps that I think are useful mini-machines for planning, designing and maintaining our vegetable and flower beds. Here’s a link to a nine [...]

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Local sources for assessing and planning pollinator-friendly gardens

“I realized it for the first time in my life: there is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don’t even know it.” ~ Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees, 1993 In Sunday’s Mail Tribune column (Jan. 21, 2018), [...]

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Orchards, observation and creative expression

We’re neither pure, nor wise, nor good We’ll do the best we know. We’ll build our house and chop our wood And make our garden grow. And make our garden grow!   ~ “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide; lyrics by Richard Wilbur   In Sunday’s Mail Tribune column (Jan. 14, 2018), I wrote about [...]

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    Rhonda Nowak

    Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, writer and teacher. With more than 25 years of gardening experience and a Ph.D. in literature and language arts education, she combines a love for plants, poetry, and prose in her Literary Gardener blog. ... Full Profile
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