Author Archives: Rhonda Nowak

Lend a helping hand to your tall perennials

“He stands erect by bending over the fallen. He rises by lifting others.” – Robert Green Ingersoll, noted agnostic and politician (1833–1899) In Sunday’s column (July 15, 2018), I wrote about the merits of staking vegetable plants: to prevent misshapen plants and broken stems, to reduce exposure to disease from the foliage or fruit touching [...]

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Marigolds: A case of mistaken identity

“Let who will praise and behold The reserved marigold.” ~ “The Choice,”  George Wither (1588-1667) English poet and satirist George Wither mentions many flowers in his poem, “The Choice”; however, there is no doubt that many 21st century gardeners consider marigolds to be the right choice for their flower beds. In Wither’s day, marigolds were [...]

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Don’t let your veggies feel the burn!

“Never regret thy fall, O Icarus of the fearless flight, For the greatest tragedy of them all Is never to feel the burning light.” ~ Oscar Wilde In Greek mythology, Icarus was the son of the master craftsman, Daedalus, who constructed wings for his son from feathers and wax and warned him not to fly [...]

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Protect peppers from extreme heat

“I am peppered, I warrant, for this world.” – Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene 1 Shakespeare mentioned pepper more than half a dozen times in various plays; however, it was most likely black pepper, the seed of Piper nigrum, that he was referring to. He often used pepper or peppered as a verb to [...]

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Sneak preview of garden on this year’s AAUW tour

Eagle Point resident Dennis Godfrey is one of five private gardens that are part of this year’s Spring Garden Tour hosted by the Medford chapter of AAUW. The tour will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 9. For tickets and more information, visit the AWUW website at: Royal Brown bungalow, circa [...]

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What the heck is that? Spittlebugs!

“Do not spit in the well – you may be thirsty by and by.” – Russian proverb This proverb encourages us to think before we act – useful advice inside and outside of the garden! However, it looks like someone missed the well and expectorated on some of my garden plants – yuck! Actually, these [...]

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Tips for tip-top tomatoes

The street filled with tomatoes, midday, summer, light is halved like a tomato, its juice runs through the streets. ~ Pablo Neruda, “Ode to Tomatoes” My street isn’t filled with tomatoes, but my backyard sure is! Here is our collection of Abe Lincoln, Persimmon and Chocolate tomato plants grown from seed and recently transplanted into [...]

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Sneak preview pics of upcoming Soroptimist garden tour

Gardeners share their inspiration during annual Soptimist garden tour Here are some sneak previews of the gardens on this year’s Soptimist garden tour, which features 6 diverse gardens in Jacksonville and Central Point. The tour takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat., May 19. Click above for more information.

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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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  • About the Authors

    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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