RSSCategory: Backyard Living

Get to know your native neighbors

Get to know your native neighbors

When my sons were around four years old they started to learn how to distinguish the differences in plants. They would get excited about the coming of spring and ready to work in the garden. After spending a great deal of time with the leaves in the fall, they began to notice the subtleties and […]

Share
June 1, 2017 | By More
My global gardening community

My global gardening community

The notification caught my eye. You have a new follower. I clicked over to my Instagram feed – the account I had created specifically for gardening. I hoped to connect with other gardeners and inspire beginning gardeners with my experiences. I peeked at my new follower’s Instagram profile. She’s from Russia? My own gardening journey […]

Share
May 1, 2017 | By More
Underappreciated

Underappreciated

I’ve never had a manicured lawn. I like the hodgepodge of interesting flowers that pop up in my yard starting with the trout lily in late winter to the golden rod that ushers in autumn. Most of my favorites are native plants that have evolved alongside native Arkansas pollinators. But I’ve grown fond of one […]

Share
April 1, 2017 | By More
As creation awakens

As creation awakens

Geese honk in the distance. The morning fog barely burned off, the sun slowly warms the earth. Birds sing their gentle melody, and one perches on the tree in front of me. The winter-bare branches swell with tiny nodules, telltale signs of a creation readying to awake from slumber. Wrapped in a blanket, I survey […]

Share
March 1, 2017 | By More
Learning Goes Both Ways

Learning Goes Both Ways

As soon as children begin verbal communication they learn to divide the world into categories. Things with wheels are automobiles. Things with four legs and wagging tails are dogs. Children’s books and programming focus on the importance of recognizing opposites. Things are hard or soft, hot and cold, big or little, open or closed. Those […]

Share
February 1, 2017 | By More
Lessons of the Jalapeno Flower

Lessons of the Jalapeno Flower

The breeze chilled my skin as the sun dipped just below the tips of the pines. Only 4 p.m., I still protested the shorter days and longer nights. The first frost of the season, despite our warmer than average fall, would come right on time. I headed toward the garden to harvest the last of […]

Share
December 1, 2016 | By More
The Beauty of Mustard Greens

The Beauty of Mustard Greens

It’s mustard green season, and these cool weather vegetables are popping up in gardens all around the region. Cultivated throughout the South, these leafy greens are related to both collard greens and kale and were first grown in the Himalayan region of India. Today they are cultivated all across Asia, South America, and throughout the […]

Share
November 1, 2016 | By More
In Defense of Boredom

In Defense of Boredom

“I’m bored, Mom.” It’s the phrase from my 9-year-old akin to fingernails on a chalkboard. But I can’t use that analogy with him since chalkboards, in his mind, have a place in the antiquities along with the typewriter. Instead I tried another approach. “Did you know, son, that when I was your age, I didn’t […]

Share
October 1, 2016 | By More
Story Plants

Story Plants

We started our McElroy House pollinator garden during a workday back in the fall of last year. We put down cardboard across a square of the front yard bordering Second and Green Streets. It wasn’t much, but kept down the weeds and served as a marker throughout the winter, reminding us of the spring commitment […]

Share
September 1, 2016 | By More
It’s Home

It’s Home

High tassels of corn sway in the wind; bean leaves towering up the trellis flutter. I sit back in my lounge chair and linger, my eyes soaking in the view. I love this view atop the deck my husband built last year. I breathe a sigh of thanks to him for all the labor he […]

Share
August 1, 2016 | By More