My Books

Thumbnail image of Alice and the Green Man cover

Thumbnail image of Moon's Blues cover

Thumbnail image of The Greening Book 3

Thumbnail image of Tall Order cover

If You Can’t Stand the Heat …

The tomatoes throwing a party in July for their rambunctious friends.

Sisyphus had it easy. All he had to do was push a boulder up a hill, over and over and over again. I empathize with Sisyphus, although for me it’s not a boulder I’m doomed to fight, but a mudslide of misplaced […]

Hot Foot

Dumb bunny?

So did you hear the latest extinction news? According to the most recent United Nations study on biodiversity there has been a “catastrophic decline” in wild animal species worldwide in just the last fifty years. At the same time, the loss of ecosystems worldwide has radically diminished the number of amphibians, […]

Deep Rooted Soul

Tucked away in the Japanese Garden, a Moon Bridge symbolizes the difficulty of living a good life.

If you fly into Seattle and head north on I-5 to the city, you will not see The Kubota Garden on the way. Even if you notice the modest sign for the turnoff, you may be […]

Rake Season

In autumn sunlight gilds the birches at the edge of Green Lake in Seattle.

Far from the maddening mud fight of politics, the world of gardening spins steadily along. Days shorten, temperatures drop, and leaves skitter across the lawn.

Gardeners are immune to the vagaries of political power struggles. Regimes and movements come […]

Apocalypse Wow

The Potomac has been frozen solid for weeks this winter.

We’re starting to get the hang of it.

That first “polar vortex” caught us napping, dreaming our playful global warming scenarios, the ones in which we don’t run out of fresh water but we do get to have a beach ten minutes from […]

Dig In

Chris Parsons' magical art glistens in the early morning dew.

My current fave nightstand book is a small square chunk titled “The Garden Book,” which might seem unimaginative as titles go, but trust me, like the library in Terry Pratchett’s Unseen University, it’s much bigger on the inside.

The book (published by Phaidon) […]

Borrowed Scenery

A willow curtain provides sylvan solitude.

Willows don’t get much attention in late summer. They usually get a brief spotlight entrance in early spring, when they race into leaf before most other trees have gotten out of bed.

But for me the charm of the willow doesn’t let up, even after all the […]

Ripeness is All

Celebrities and Big Boys flourish in hot summer nights.

Okay, it’s mid-August. If you haven’t got any ripe tomatoes by now either you’re not trying or you live in Seattle.

I used to dream of ripe tomatoes when I lived there. Yet it was nigh on to impossible to coax the plants to […]

Calling All Vegetables

Viva vegetables!

They’re back!

Fresh vegetables, grown in fields not far from here, are beginning to surface in local farmer’s markets. Yay!

I mean, I’m all in favor of kale and rutabagas, in theory. But in practice, my go-to vegetables tend to be zucchinis, green beans and peppers in every shape and color. […]

A Coy Uncertain Season

Spring hides in the gleam of a robin's eye.

Spring makes no promises. We make them for her.

We who cling to romantic ideas believe the sun-kissed air will heal all wounds and renew all hopes.

Spring! The very word suggests a leaping up, a gamboling frolic, a free pass to let […]