Plants

On Saturday morning, I propelled myself out of the house much sooner than I usually do (I get up at six, but I normally practice yoga and write before I venture out into the rest of the world). I did yoga, but then dressed, gobbled my breakfast, made my cocoa in a to-go cup, gathered my fieldwork knapsack, a sketch pad, pencil and other stuff, and hit the road in Red.


Eve was a radical. And how I love the word radical because it means going to the roots. --Eve Ensler, from her 2014 talk for the Bioneers Conference


I've been nurturing a radical notion for some time now, one that isn't quite clear yet. But I'm starting to see it take a kind of diaphonous form.


Spring is springing in my garden thanks to the huge dose of moisture from that pre-Earth Day snow, and there's change ahead for me as well.

Uintah penstemon blooming today in my rock garden. Uinta penstemon blooming today in my rock garden, offering its nectar and pollen to native bees.

What's up?

For all of us, becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children’s future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it.

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Last week, a packet of seeds from Renee's Garden, my favorite supplier of easy-to-grow, delicious and beautiful garden seeds landed in my post box, my personal signal that spring is on the way.

Red and I head up Poncha Creek on our way to Marshall Pass Red and I head up Poncha Creek on our way to Marshall Pass. (I was not driving when I shot this photo!)

When I go looking for a new read, the proliferation of books is sometimes simply overwhelming. So when I discovered these two indie projects by authors I knew through previous work, I wanted to share them with you.

My front and side yard "wildscapes," mountain prairie restoration projects-in-progress. My front and side yard "wildscapes," mountain prairie restoration projects-in-progress.

I exhausted myself this weekend engaging in plant therapy. That's a good thing.

Calliope hummingbird perched in my own "hometown habitat." Calliope hummingbird perched in my own "hometown habitat."
The first wave of rain goes by.... The first wave of rain goes by....

At about five-thirty this evening, a thunderstorm "walked" slowly down the valley on "legs of lightning," as the Navajo say. Jagged flashes struck the hills above town. Thunder boomed.

'Poncha Pass Red' sulfur-flower buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum 'Poncha Pass Red') 'Poncha Pass Red' sulfur-flower buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum 'Poncha Pass Red')
Sand cherry, our earliest-blooming native shrub, along the creek that borders my formerly industrial lot. Sand cherry, our earliest-blooming native shrub, along the creek that borders my formerly industrial lot.
Golden currant (Ribes auereum), a native shrub that blooms early, produces berries birds love, and turns orange to crimson and fall. Golden currant (Ribes aureum), an early blooming native shrub that produces berries birds love, and turns orange to crimson in fall.
Stock tank garden-to-be Stock tank garden-to-be, waiting...

I'm not planting outdoors yet. For one thing, my steel front and side deck, where my kitchen garden will live in two galvanized stock tanks, isn't finished.

Creek House from the south (the side facing the creek) in the evening sun. Creek House from the south (the side facing the creek) in the evening sun. (The street is to the right.)
Eastern black swallowtail emerges from its chrysalis on a fennel pant from my garden Eastern black swallowtail emerges from its chrysalis on a fennel plant.
Half-planted flat of tomato and basil seedlings--the wicking mat waters the roots from underneath. Half-planted flat of tomato and basil seedlings--the wicking mat waters the roots from underneath.
Fringed sage (Artemisia frigida) feeling the drought in my front yard "unlawn."

I feel like I should begin with a public confession:

My name is Susan.

I am a neglectful gardener.

Dad at Highlands Garden Village in the public garden he and Mom helped maintain.
Janisse Ray's powerful call to preserve heritage crop seeds, our food inheritance.