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Vegetable Gardening 101

By Sandra Nelson  

With the days all seeming to melt together, it’s hard to realize that today is already May 7th. In another week or so it will be time to begin planting the bulk of my vegetable garden  —  the warm season plants like tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini, and some seeds like …

Designing Beds That Delight

By Sandra Nelson   I don’t know how you are handling stress these days, but I find myself drawn more and more to my yard. When I feel anxiety building, I stroll through the yard, stopping every few seconds to discover the changes from the day before and to soak in the calming power of …

Life-long Gardening -- Adaptations That Work

By Sandra Nelson   While wandering around the Chicago Botanic Garden last summer, I stumbled upon (no pun intended) an area dedicated to Accessible Gardening  — gardening for people with special needs or physical limitations.  Feeling my aches and pains more and more every day, the prospect of discovering ways to make strenuous gardening tasks …

Set Your Sights On Spring

  By Sandra Nelson To many in our part of the country, January and February (and sometimes March) are prime months for happily hibernating indoors. For those of us who are tried and true gardeners however, being out of the dirt and away from plants is akin to being held hostage by Mother Nature. In …

Design Your Perfect Pathway

My granddaughter and I were playing in the backyard the other day. One minute she was chasing me and laughing and the next she was frozen in one spot with huge tears streaming down her cheeks. I figured her brother had something to do with it (not unusual),  but it turned out that I was …

Intimate Spaces in Large Places

Our eldest daughter is a textbook type A personality. She finds it difficult to just sit and relax because there is always another task to be completed. Her ability to keep going and going and going is truly amazing and somewhat exhausting.       The other day, while she was at our home, she …

Enhance Your Outdoor Living -- Add a Pergola

Sprinkled in between this year’s bouts of torrential rain,  we’ve had some absolutely glorious spring days — the kind where you can easily be outside all day long and well into the evening. Sadly though, with the arrival of June, I know that the temperatures will soon soar, the breeze will stop blowing and I …

Creating A Dog-Friendly Yard

The age-old question has one again arisen in our household: Do we have a dog or do we have a nice yard?  In the past, it always seemed to be a one or the other choice for us. I love dogs and miss not having one (or often two — sometimes even three or four …