Articles written by Margaret A. Swenson

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November's Bareness

November’s bareness, stark and revealing Nothing to hide. No bright colors or fragrances to capture the senses Yet dignity prevails. Honesty of the landscape, devoid of beauty and charm Provides truth. November’s integrity... — Updated 11/16/2023

 

Gardening: The ultimate experiment

As to my experiment with permaculture: I had reported that the corn seed I planted in the midst of my weeds was more robust than the ones I planted in rows. Sadly, my theory has been dispelled. Now the corn in rows have overtaken... — Updated 8/17/2023

 

Gardening By Osmosis

Waterwise, drought tolerant, xeriscaping, drip-irrigation, terms that suggest the value of water, are often in gardeners discussions these days. Resources for more information include online searches, Xerces publications and... — Updated 7/13/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

Many counties in the Inland Northwest prohibit or discourage the sale or use of fireworks. July gardens, however, still explode in color. Red California fuchsia cascades from hanging baskets and walls, the Pow Wow series,... — Updated 7/6/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

The epitome of a warm June afternoon is enjoying ice cold lemonade and fresh oatmeal cookies with my friend Hetty in her garden. We shared secrets and funny stories. We talked of flowers, family and friends. I listened to plans... — Updated 6/29/2023

 

Gardening By Osmosis

Rain drops were still glistening on the lilacs when I tried to capture the moment after the rain when the sun dappled the landscape. My photos, however did not reveal the splendor I had witnessed and I was resigned to register the... — Updated 5/25/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

I thought of my grandson’s wedding this weekend. The officiator was springtime. Warm soil and rain were the bride and groom. The audience in their garden was clothed in finery not typical to everyday wear. The promise of permanen... — Updated 5/12/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

It seems spring is in a hurry to catch up after the long, long, cold winter. All of a sudden grass is green, buds are bursting and birds are looking for housing. We gardeners are caught up in the frenzy as well. There are remnant... — Updated 5/5/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

Our place on the planet is often referred to as, The Inland northwest, east of the Cascades or High Desert. Ponderosaville seems more conclusive for me. The raw charm of the Ponderosa ignites a connection with all that is free,... — Updated 4/20/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

We shan’t be fooled by April’s snow storm. The Inland northwest is still suffering from many years of drought. We see evidence in the stressed pines that forest our region. And those non-native arborvitae show brown and dying... — Updated 4/6/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

I have a question for you. When you take your morning walk would you rather be entertained by a strip of neatly mowed grass, a patch of pebbles or a corridor of butterflies? If your choice is the butterflies you might start by repl... — Updated 3/30/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

We should bee proud! Washington State is a forerunner in developing legislation for protecting pollinators. May 12, 2021, Governor Inslee signed SB 5253 to provide funding to, among other pollinator health concerns, help to ensure... — Updated 3/23/2023

 

Is winter finally over?

Goodbye, Winter! How many times have we said this the last six weeks? Maybe this time it is for real. A look at the forecast gives us hope for warmer temperatures but not too much encouragement to wager when to lock up our snow... — Updated 3/16/2023

 

Gardening By Osmosis

There is much ado about lions and lambs this time of year. It seems those species are confused about who will win the ‘First of March’ contest. I don’t dare bet on either one. I can guarantee, however, that leopard’s bane,... — Updated 3/2/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

What are Neonics? Neonicotinoid pesticides are contributing to the loss of beneficial insects, especially bees and their ability to pollinate many of our favorite food crops. Honey bees, that have come in contact with plants... — Updated 2/23/2023

 

February in the garden

February 2023 We may actually be able to be in the garden or close to it this month. Inside we can trim and fertilize herbs we wintered over. An application of half strength indoor plant food will regenerate healthy growth. After... — Updated 2/9/2023

 

Gardening by Osmosis

Just before the ‘Big Weather Change’ several weeks ago, I brought my green tomatoes in the house. They have been ripening nicely in their cardboard boxes. I am concerned though, that my grandchildren think red tomatoes grow in... — Updated 11/3/2022

 

Gardening by Osmosis

October 24, 2022 October rains: Our grass is green and ready for snow It won’t be long now so we won’t have to mow. Plants in our gardens so hardy and true Loved all the rain and the farmers did too. Missed is the sunshine so... — Updated 10/27/2022

 

Gardening by Osmosis

My garden quilt blankets its bed. Seeds that were sown have become the fabric of the garden. Patches of pumpkins, rows of ripe beets, corners of carrots; their feather tops waving. Layers of leaves where zucchini can hide. Fine... — Updated 10/20/2022

 

Gardening by Osmosis

It is hard to sew on a sunny October day, but not hard to work in the garden. Though I have cut a few pieces of fabric for my quilt, I hear my garden calling. There are bird feeders to fill for those winter residents and other... — Updated 10/13/2022

 

Gardening by Osmosis

Did September slip as quietly and quickly from your calendar as mine? I was just making my to do list for August and the month was gone. Fortunately or unfortunately, most of those things can still be done in September. Check with... — Updated 9/29/2022

 

Fantastic time to grow dahlias and garlic

The air is different. Its coolness presses against my face. The sounds in the sky are different too. Most of the birds have finished rearing their young and have flown on. Platoons of chattering blackbirds high in the pine trees... — Updated 9/22/2022

 

Sedum to the rescue

I’ve heard of fried green tomatoes but fried pink petunias? I was disappointed when I came home from the lake to find my hanging baskets of petunias dry and brittle beyond recovery. I had planned an outdoor barbecue and was count... — Updated 9/15/2022

 

Rain Barrels

Its time to dig and transplant iris to where you want splashes of color next June. If you don’t have iris in your garden there are usually neighbors or friends who are eager to share their beauties. If not, rainbows of colorful... — Updated 8/4/2022

 

Gardening by Osmosis

The spotted lanternfly is invading Washington State. No, it is not that cute little firefly we read about in stories of the Northeastern part of the US. This insect is a serious pest on grapes, hops, fruit trees, ornamental’s and... — Updated 7/28/2022

 

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