Ice Capades

Frozen Kent Falls in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Frozen Kent Falls (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

I remember colder winters, when snow was deeper and seemed to last longer.  And our lakes and streams froze over for months, allowing us to skate for hours at a time-day after day.  My mother would pack up a thermos of hot cocoa and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and off I would go until dinner time.  Sometimes sleigh riding down neighboring hills with friends, but more often exploring the nearby rivers, streams and ponds; gliding around enjoying the scenery, totally taking advantage of the frozen world.  It was an adventure to explore these otherwise inaccessible spots, stopping midstream to inspect a beaver chewed branch, looking through transparent spots in the ice hoping to see a fish, doing swirls and twirls pretending to be Dorothy Hamill. [Read more…]

New Year’s Resolutions?

A hawk waits out the storm in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

A hawk waits out the storm (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Although it’s a common practice, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I never have. If inspired to go on a diet or revise an exercise routine, I don’t want to wait until January 1st to start. If I’m thinking about changing or starting something new; when it’s time, it’s time. Yet, in so many situations, we use the word time as an excuse. An excuse not to do something we want to do. An excuse not to do something we need to do. An excuse not to do something we’re afraid to do. Fill in the blank: I don’t have time to ____________.  Now, think about what you wrote and decide when it might be your time to make time. [Read more…]

Garden of Lights

Santa Sign in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Santa Sign (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Over the years, I have driven by this exorbitantly decorated property, thinking that it was a bit over the top.  Actually, I thought it was pretty tacky.  But this year, I looked at it with fresh eyes and a different perspective.  Perhaps, after all, this elaborate holiday display could be looked at in another way; as something beautiful and special. [Read more…]

A Time for Thanks

A hummingbird visits the new garden in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

A female hummingbird visits the new garden (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

As many of my readers know, 2015 was a busy year spent rebuilding our home after a fire loss, and 2016 has proven equally challenging as I continue to tie up loose ends around the house, while trying to rebuild my life. Some days I take things in stride, other days I do not. But either way, I am always grateful. Grateful for the roof over my head. Grateful that I can get through each day. Grateful for the love and support of family, friends and community.

Traditionally, November and December are months of togetherness and celebration for my family. Yet, with several birthdays mingled between the holidays, it often becomes so hectic that there is rarely time for reflection. For a quiet moment to look back on the year’s accomplishments and lessons. As this holiday season approaches, I would like to share what I have learned and the ways that I am recharging my gratitude meter. [Read more…]

What Our Plants Teach Us

Burned rhododendron in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

The charred remains of foundation plantings (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

The durability of plants never ceases to amaze me. A seed is planted, occasionally sprinkled with water, and bears luscious fruit within a few months. A forest decimated in a raging fire quickly produces new growth, emerging victorious. Monstrous trees grow from the seemingly impervious rock walls of a mountainside. Plants are simply amazing. And if I’ve learned anything from gardening these many decades, it is that plants have a lesson for us. A lesson about persevering, no matter the odds.

A rainbow of colors displayed in iris petals in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

The colors of the rainbow are displayed in the petals of this iris (Photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Look closely and you will witness plant miracles every day. The miracle of a gorgeous coneflower blossom in hues that challenge the color wheel. The marvel of a lobelia’s scarlet flower providing nourishing nectar for a visiting hummingbird. Or the intricate petals of a bearded iris, laid out like a hand of cards displaying all the shades of the rainbow. Our landscape plants withstand winter’s horrendous cold and summer’s intense heat and drought without succumbing. Sure, they may wilt a bit, or even turn brown under extreme conditions, but give them a little love, and they’re right back to status quo. [Read more…]

Easter Tidings

Bambi and Thumper in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Bambi and Thumper from Disney print

It’s the time of year to celebrate bunnies, those cute, brown eyed, long eared, bushy tailed bundles of irresistibility.  There’s Bugs Bunny (“What’s up, Doc?”), Ricochet Rabbit (you know, the fastest lawman in the West, Sheriff “Ping-Ping-Ping” Ricochet Rabbit), Bambi’s brown eyed friend Thumper (named for his habit of thumping his back foot), and last but not least, the infamous Easter Bunny.  What is it about these cuddly critters that we find so engaging? [Read more…]

Let it Snow!

The wintry landscape in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

The wintry landscape ( photo by: Kathy Diemer)

“What I feel has come and gone before, No need to talk it out, We know what it’s all about, Hangin’ around, Nothing to do but frown, Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.”  When Karen Carpenter sang that song in 1971, many of us could relate.  But for me, rainy days in winter-no matter the day-are the ultimate bummer.  Unlike in spring, when rains are much appreciated by our gardens and surrounding forests, winter rains often run off the frozen ground leaving nothing but a dreary, muddy mess.  Not only is snow a beautiful accompaniment to the winter landscape, but it offers many benefits as well. [Read more…]

Saving Sweetgum

Variegated Liquidambar creates a focal point in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

Variegated Liquidambar creates a vibrant focal point (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Trials and tribulations are many when you loose your home, and sometimes the least little thing can create extreme joy . . . or extreme angst.  Though it may sound silly, I had this sort of situation with a sweetgum tree.  Yes, a sweetgum tree.  Besides the entire house and contents, we also lost a lot of trees and shrubs from the fire and its incredible heat, so finding any plants that survived became cause for great celebration.  When we discovered that another tree would have to be sacrificed to make room for the relocated septic system, I almost had a nervous breakdown.  Not my beautiful sweetgum (American native Liquidambar styraciflua), a tree we had lovingly placed and nurtured for many years.  A tree that had grown and flourished in its happy location.  Yet, it came down to the fact that sweetgum had to be moved, as there was no other “zoning approved” place for the septic fields.

[Read more…]

Tool Time

Although spring is officially here, it’s still a bit too early to get out and start digging. However, there are a few things we can do before our plants break ground: organize and tend to our tools.  Consider how many tools you actually use throughout the course of the gardening year, and the task may become a little more daunting than expected.  But don’t fret, there’s plenty of time to care for the tools you have, and I’ve provided a few of my favorites if you’re looking to replace anything else.  [Read more…]

Starting From the Ground Up

The Rubble Remains in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer http://agardenforall.com

The Rubble Remains (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

The word foundation has several meanings; it can refer to a long time relationship built upon a solid foundation of love and trust, or it can mean the cosmetic foundation a woman applies to her face each morning.  In this case, foundation relates to my house, a house that was lost to an aggressive fire in January.  The fire that erupted at 4 a.m. on January 9th had an insatiable hunger and when it finally burned out nothing was left of our home.  Glass melted into ice flows.  Cookware was deformed as if viewed from a distorted mirror.  A few bits of fabric and random pieces of hardware were scattered amongst the ashes.  That, and a charred section of foundation were all that remained. [Read more…]