Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Really local sources for seeds

“It was on the wings of seeds that Thoreau sailed home, where he found peace…” ~ Gary Nabham in Faith in a Seed (1993) about Henry David Thoreau’s last years studying seeds Happy New Year! In Sunday’s column (Jan. 8, 2018), I shared 10 Considerations about Seeds, some of which Thoreau would never have imagined [...]

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A plant collector’s garden

“Like a corner of the kingdom of heaven, the plant enthusiast’s garden is a place where gardeners bring out their treasury of things new and old – the rare, the ordinary, the unknown, and the well known.” ~ Roger Turner, “The Plant Collector’s Garden: From Chaos to Beauty,” 2005, p. 10  In Sunday’s Mail Tribune [...]

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Backdrop plants for rock border garden

“The best site for a rock garden is where it ought to. be.” ~ Henry Sherman Adams, “Making a Rock Garden,” 1912 In Sunday’s column (Oct. 22, 2017), I wrote about making a rock border garden around a pond in my backyard. Although by no means natural-looking as Adams insists is the only kind of [...]

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Rogue Valley’s fall pageantry

“Come,” said the leaves to the wind one day/”Come o’er the meadows and we will play./Put on your dresses scarlet and gold/For summer is gone and the days grow cold.” ~ George Cooper, “Come Little Leaves” See if you can identify the following Oregon native and non-native trees from their fall foliage. Back click on [...]

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Grow pansies from seed

“The beauteous pansies rise/In purple, gold, and blue/With tints of rainbow hue/Mocking the sunset skies.” ~ Thomas John Ouseley, “The Angel of the Flowers” (c. 1874) In Sunday’s Mail Tribune column (Sept. 24, 2017), I wrote about growing pansies. Of course, it’s not difficult to find pansies to buy and plant out in the garden, [...]

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My crabapple tree isn’t one bit crabby

“Fetch me a dozen Crab-tree staves, and strong ones.” – William Shakespeare, “King Henry VIII,” Act V, scene 4 (1612) Crabapple wood is, indeed, a sturdy wood; it also makes an aromatic  barbecue wood and lends itself well to woodworking. In Sunday’s column (Sept. 17, 207), I wrote about my crabapple tree (Malus “Snowdrift”) and [...]

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Houseplants that clear the air

“Plant trees. They give us two of the most crucial elements for our survival: oxygen and books.” ~ Alan Whitney Brown, writer and SNL comedian In Sunday’s Mail Tribune column (Sept. 10, 2017), I wrote about how our garden plants are affected by the smoke we’ve been having recently. We want our outdoor plants and [...]

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Various ways of propagating lilies

Within the garden’s peaceful scene Appeared two lovely foes, Aspiring to the rank of Queen, The Lily and the Rose. Yours is, she said, the noblest hue, And yours the statelier mien, And till a third surpasses you Let each be deemed a Queen. ~ William Cowper (1731-1800) In Sunday’s column (Sept. 3, 2017), I [...]

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Ripen pears off the tree

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. ~ William Blake, “Proverbs of Hell,” 1790-1793  Despite the seemingly odd choice of title for the poem (in a book called “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”), English Romance poet and artist William Blake devotes most of his literary attention in the poem to offering [...]

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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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