Let it Snow!

The wintry landscape in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://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 https://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.

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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 https://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…]

Essential Ice

Frozen Lake Candlewood in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Frozen Lake Candlewood (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Right about now, most of us in the northern states are holding up a white flag in surrender to this seemingly never ending, bitterly cold winter.  But what you might find interesting is that not so long ago (into the early 1900’s) this frigid weather would have been considered a blessing, something to be very grateful for.  You see, many of us have forgotten as we reach into our Frigidaire to grab a few ice cubes, just how precious and essential ice was to our ancestors. [Read more…]

A Horse Rescue

My girls: Standardbred Bernadette (Left) & Appaloosa Mae (Right) in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

My girls: Standardbred Bernadette (Left) & Appaloosa Mae (Right) (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

My love of horses started early on, as I was always fascinated with their grace and beauty. In my early teens, I came upon an abandoned horse in a field about two miles from my home. I started riding my bike every day after school bringing food, but he didn’t come near me for over a month. Finally, Chester and I became best friends, and his owner (who had purchased him for dog food) sold him to me for one dollar. I kept Chester at a local farm, but he was elderly with a breathing disorder called heaves, and he died about a year later. Yet, during our brief time together, I loved him more than life. We hung out every day, rain or shine, and Chester even followed behind me (without a halter or leadline) as we walked along the roadside to my home, where he would graze for the weekend. Years later, I still have horses, all rescued from homes where they were unwanted (and sometimes mistreated). These majestic animals have left an indelible mark on my heart and it is with the deepest admiration for both the horses and their caregivers that I share the following story with you. [Read more…]

White Flower Farm

Vibrant mixed border in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Vibrant mixed border (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

My first garden was filled with plants that were in bloom when I purchased them from the local nursery that spring. But come summer, I found a space filled with a whole lot of green and nothing else. Nothing. Needless to say, this was the beginning of my quest for creating borders with multi-seasonal interest. And one of the first sources to help me on this mission were the beautiful gardens at White Flower Farm (www.whiteflowerfarm.com) and their educational plant catalogs. The established grounds at White Flower Farm offer unlimited inspiration, while the catalogs present detailed information about each featured plant, including when and how long it blooms, zones, accurate colors, height and width, and sun or shade requirements; important facts that helped me to design gardens with yearlong appeal. [Read more…]

Independence Day

Washington's Mount Vernon in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Washington’s Mount Vernon (photo: Virginia.org)

In celebration of Independence Day, the fourth of July, I thought I would share a little history about the day and its meaning, and follow through on a garden theme with information on some of our founding fathers; their appreciation of nature and how that translated to their love of gardening. You might be surprised to learn that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were not only dedicated Presidents, they were also deeply passionate about local agriculture, ornamental gardening and protecting the natural environment. [Read more…]

Audubon

Native goldenrod and cat tails decorate the shore in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Native goldenrod and cattails decorate the shore (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

For many of us, the name Audubon is synonymous with birds and wildlife.  We think of the well known Audubon magazine, brimming with information and fabulous images of avian members and their habitats.  We’re inspired by Audubon’s mission: To conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.  Founded in 1905, the National Audubon Society has created a legacy of preservation successes with help from almost 500 local chapters and their passionate members.  After a recent visit to my local Audubon in Sharon, Connecticut, I wondered how this wonderful watchdog organization began. [Read more…]

A Garden for All