Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia gardens’

I love this season — the end of the summer, cicadas singing and everything coming to fruition. This year I have obsessed with growing sunflowers, planted some new bee balm, and dozens of new milkweed plants among other plants including basil, rosemary, and tomatoes.


We have a bee friendly garden (pesticide-free) and I’ve found that if you leave them alone they leave you alone.  This year the monarch butterflies have found us.  My office window looks out on the backyard and every now and then, I look up from writing and see the orange wings of a monarch fly by. (My office is on the second floor.)

I told my partner about this and said the butterfly is saying thank you for providing it with sanctuary in our backyard. Maybe she is. And I am saying thank you back.


To learn more about my novel THEY, a biblical tale of secret genders (published by Adelaide Books New York/Lisbon), click here.


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I am a haphazard gardener. This rose is from our Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors rose bush that was planted by our friend Joseph years ago.rose

pumpkin in the garden


We have a large octopus-like pumpkin patch (lots of vine/ tendrils) taking over the yard. This year’s crop was planted from the seeds of last year’s harvest.

Nasty-urchins in gardenMy friend and yoga teacher, Jane Hulting, gave me three nasturtium plants.  I discovered that the leaves too (not just the flowers) are edible and add a spicy edge to pesto made with fresh basil. Jane grew up in the Midwest and called this plant “nasty-urchins.”

Fresh dill from my garden

This year, I started planting dill — and have been enjoying it with salads and soups.

Kingdom’s Bounty

Several years ago, it was our good fortune to stay with friends in Newport, Vermont (transplants from Philadelphia) who now live in a former stage coach and grow their own garlic, potatoes and keep chickens who are named after characters from Virginia Woolf. (Did I mention that Pam and Anne are vegetarians — lucky chickens!) Our friends’ beautiful surroundings and sustainable way of living is captured in Kingdom’s Bounty, A sustainable, eclectic, edible guide to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom (Umbrage Editions). The book is written by Bethany M. Dunbar (co-editor of The Chronicle) with an introduction by Bill McKibben. The pages contain beautiful photographs and Dunbar’s poetic writing/ journalism (sunflower sprouts taste like a blast of sunshine) giving a genuine feel for Northeastern Vermont.  After reading about happy cows, a community supported restaurant, organic dairies, county fairs, and the geology of Northeastern Vermont, I realized that I had experienced a mini-visit to this breath-taking part of the world and a realization that I will definitely be back.

Cone flower in the garden

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