Category: Gardening

  • The Case of the Missing Fish

    In early 2021, I put five fantail goldfish (Larry, Curly, Moesha, Smokey and Bandit) into my little patio water feature. Early last summer, I added some platies (live-bearing tropical fish aka Moon fish). Last fall, four goldfish and a swordtail (Maude) were taken from th pond and moved indoors to an aquarium. Bandit and all […]

  • A Balmy Winter

    I despise cold weather, but a move south isn’t in the cards. Living in an area with four distinct seasons is mandatory. Suffering through winter–my least-favorite season–enhances my appreciation for the other three. Fortunately, what passes for winter here is typically short and mild. Even so, spring can’t come soon enough for me. By January […]

  • Cold Snap Survivors

    Cold Snap Survivors

    In late-December, the temperature here in Athens dropped to eight degrees (F) and stayed below freezing for several days. I figured the vegetables in my little garden were doomed, but took precautions anyway. After mulching with a thick layer of straw and covering everything with floating row cover, I crossed my fingers and hoped for […]

  • Testing My Optimism

    I suspect most — if not all — gardeners are optimists. They have to be. Planting a garden is an act of faith. Lots of stuff can go wrong. A pessimist wouldn’t waste time and money on near certain failure. Gardening is seasonal. In my old Kentucky home (USDA Hardiness Zone 6), the garden went […]

  • Fall Garden 3.0

    My third serious attempt at a fall garden is in. This time, I started all the veggies from seed. Tootsie “helped.” Back in June, I started some Foxgloves and Canterbury bells inside. These beauties are biannual, blooming in the second year and then dying. I’m testing my hypothesis that going through winter triggers bloom — […]

  • May Flowers

    Hard to believe nearly a month has passed since my last post. Funny how time flies when you’re retired. Just thinking about work is enough to stress me out, and blogging often feels like work. Running was the subject of my last post. Since then, I’ve logged 20-25 miles a week running three to six […]

  • Wishful Thinking Disorder

    Confession time. Wishful Thinking Disorder (WTD) has plagued me for as long as I can remember. WTD is essentially optimism on steroids. My glass isn’t just half-full — It’s going to run over any day now. This time of year is particularly difficult for WTD gardeners. Symptoms kick into high gear around Ground Hog’s Day. […]

  • Pond Tunes

    The water feature in my backyard is coming up on a year old. Tending to its residents (five goldfish and a few snails) has been fun and little to no trouble. I especially enjoy the sound of water cascading between levels. When windows are open, the pond tune carries throughout the house. Winter was trouble-free […]

  • Nursery Update

    My little seed-starting operation is going gangbusters. Some of everything I planted germinated — including several varieties that didn’t come up last year. This unprecedented success was a nice surprise that meant running out of room sooner than expected. I hit the max (eight flats) earlier this month and would have been in trouble had […]

  • Garden 2022: The Nursery

    Garden 2022: The Nursery

    Since downsizing in 2012, I’ve chosen to fill my garden with annuals. They’re colorful, fast-growing, widely available, and easy to grow. Changing things up every year also appeals to me. Browsing garden centers is a related hobby. Impulse purchases are common. Last winter, I bought a timer, LED light and cold frame to grow plants […]