RSSCategory: Backyard Living

Webs of significance

Webs of significance

I first noticed the spider webs while walking around the base of Spring Mountain one Saturday afternoon in late June. Ducking underneath and between the spiny limbs of the new growth forest, I collected sticky strands of silk in my hair and on my arms. This wasn’t intentional, of course. I kept trying to dodge […]

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August 1, 2017 | By More
Persistence

Persistence

Rounding a curve near my home, I glanced at a garden I pass every day. Tassels from the corn stalks reached to the heavens. My eyes lingered a moment longer than usual, captivated at the sight. Wasn’t it just a few days ago I tapped my brakes and narrowed my eyes, playing “name that plant” […]

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July 1, 2017 | By More
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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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October 1, 2016 | By More