Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild: A Spring Day

Click here to see larger. It’s been interesting to see how differently people react to the Grow Write Guild prompts. Some people say they’re too easy; others too hard. I’m behind schedule with my responses and was very tempted to throw in a super easy one for number 4, but I promised myself from the

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #4: Inspiration and Influence

The Oxford dictionary defines a mentor as, “an experienced and trusted adviser” and a muse as “…the source of inspiration for a creative artist.” Many gardeners have someone in their life, be it a family member, close friend, colleague, or a public figure to whom they have looked for gardening guidance, knowledge, inspiration, and/or influence.

Blackbird Floral Ring

Drawing from Nature: Blackbird Floral Ring

This dark fellow was drawn last week using the back of another scrap of brittle old wallpaper. Sometimes when I sit down I put all my attention into one drawing and other nights a few come out rapidly in succession. This was drawn in about a minute after finishing the larger patterned wallpaper bird. I


Please, Do Not Adjust Your Screen

These blue primulas (Primula acaulis ‘Blue Zebra’) are unreal. They are hallucinatory, a visual flashback from some bad trip I foolishly took in high school. No, they are like a prop in a cartoon remake of Alice in Wonderland. I wonder, when I turn my back, will they grow anthropomorphic limbs and dance?


Auricula ‘Shalford’s Double’

I bought my first Primula auricula back in 2010. It’s dead now, a casualty of the move. I’ve successfully grown other primulas since, but it’s the diminutive, silvery auriculas that really captivate me.


6 Hardy Succulent Sedums for Your Garden and Pots

I am always on the lookout for drought tolerant plants that will thrive with little effort through my region’s paradoxical climate (hot summers and cold winters). Cold hardy sedums were a trusted friend through the years when I gardened in a trifecta of challenging spaces: a hot rooftop garden, a community garden plot, and a

Wallpaper BIrd

Drawing from Nature: Wallpaper Bird

Yesterday Gayla and I had a rewarding day doing gardening and garden-related errands. As the weather did its current norm — leap-frogging between glorious and tragic — we cut into soil, positioned and repositioned rocks, added and moved plants, decided then undecided, and generally experimented. This is the season you can do that sort of

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild: From Fantasy to Nightmare

This was a tough one. Even now, as I force myself to sit down and write this thing more than a week after it is due, I am still fidgeting, still looking for a way out. Hoping for some little task of not so great importance to divert my attention. “I should really clean my

Shallot Sets

All About Planting Onion and Shallot Sets

The other day I wrote about hardening off onion and leek seedlings. This week I am planting out onion and shallot “sets”. Planting sets may seem redundant since I already have seedlings on the go, but I assure you there is a method to this madness. In my house, we cook with shallots and onions


Tomatoes Worth Growing: Lime Green Salad

‘Lime Green Salad’ is a compact, bushy, dwarf variety that produces loads of tangy, green fruit. Coming in at 2′ tall, it’s a great tomato option for containers when space is at a premium. However, the crinkly leaves also make it pretty enough to pack into an ornamental bed alongside your perennials. Last year, I

Grow Write Guild: Creative writing prompts for gardeners

Grow Write Guild #3: Ch-Ch-Changes

Sometimes, when I look back on the photos I take in my garden, I can hardly believe how much transpires within a single growing season. In the springtime I can see the pathways between beds and most of my plants are just a few inches tall. Everything is exposed. By the end of the growing

Star Fisher

Drawing from Nature: Star Fisher

I thought I would talk a bit about tools and process. For me, making these drawing is a mixed emotional and technical exercise. When I began spontaneously drawing these made up birds, I made something of a promise to myself that I wouldn’t be too precious about the tools or paper I used, and that

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