Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

gardening Archives

dog days

The heat index lately has been in triple digits: 105º, 108º, even 118º! Hot, in other words. Coming from beach breezes, a pool, and a glorious beach, it’s been a hard re-entry. But today, driving up from errands I didn’t […]


the magic of seeds…

Seeds are a GREAT metaphor. Unlike gardens… Well, maybe gardens work for some folks, but they don’t work for me when people use them to talk about multiculturalism. Hello, I GARDEN. At a verrry prestigious fellowship I once received, I […]


reward, benefits, and roses

This is what I’m focusing on right now. NOT my aching back (from weeding all yesterday morning.) NOT the front beds, still to be done. NOT the sad meeting with a lawyer today, and the overwhelming feeling I have that […]


planting my own Farmer’s Market

Like I do most Saturdays, I spent the early morning hours yesterday at the Farmer’s Market. The gay profusion in my driver’s seat is two bouquets (one wildflowers — Indian paintbrush! — the other a more conventional spring mix of […]

bees, and the persistence of hope

The bee house is up! As a beekeep wannabe from waaaay back (decades — really), I can’t begin to say how happy I am. My beloved bought me a native bee house (not honey bees, more on this later) for […]

spring, and the promise of a fresh start

Today when I filled bird feeders, I looked out over the yard. Everywhere there’s the flush of rose & pink, and the backdrop of pale green that only comes in spring. Once I had the sunflower tray filled, the fat […]

foundations, serendipity, and amaryllis

I never intended to know a boatload about amaryllis. Nor did I anticipate I would become a refugee camp for them: taking them in after holidays, nurturing them to health, then finding homes for them. Even w/ all the many I’ve […]

gratitude’s month

I love autumn. Especially November, for some reason. Maybe it’s years of living where fall was an illusion in a textbook featuring an American family that didn’t really exist. In Thailand, we often swam on Christmas. November was no cooler. […]

time (outside) with family

Today I joined my sister, brother-in-law and sister -in-heart for walk through the Dallas Arboretum. This is a picture of the Fern Dell, not far in from the entrance. Liz — my sister’s best friend — used her membership to […]

planting for the future

We began working with this island at least five years ago (time blurs when you’re having a good time). First we had to dig up the sod, then plant the crape myrtles. Then we had to figure out the ground […]

bronze fennel, swallowtail butterflies, and perspective

Today at the Farmer’s Market I picked up some bronze fennel. I used to have swathes of the stuff, but over the past couple of weird winters it’s died out. Which is sad, because not only is it very pretty, […]

daylilies, stomach aches, and tonglen

Today, I’m breathing for those of you with stomach aches. Somehow, that helps. Really. Tonglen is, perhaps, the best manifestation of compassion I know. Stomach hurts? Offer it up for all those folks who have REALLY bad problems w/ their […]

grapevine, blue zones, and everyday practice

This is my unruly garden. To be fair, it’s mostly unruly because I forget it. I get caught up writing/ cooking/ drinking tea/ just vegging (and not the garden kind), and the day is gone. And I actually quite like […]

living in the web ~

My younger son called me today, asking if I would be in the Northwest early May. The Dalai Lama is speaking in Portland, he told me. On environmentalism and interfaith.I was thoroughly crushed to have to tell him no, I’d […]

bees, chocolate mimosas, and attachment ~

If you’ve read this blog more than a couple of times, you know I’m crazy about bees. Actually, about most wildlife (and yep, bees qualify). Starting next month, my patient, long-suffering husband & I are taking a beginning beekeeping class. […]

a garden, a scholar, a couple of hours ~

Something there is about a garden… Particularly a Chinese garden. With a Chinese scholar’s room overlooking the quiet courtyard, a row of clean brushes awaiting the writer’s hand. Each turn is another perfect vista, an image to be sketched, framed […]

Previous Posts

pebbles, lobsters, and priorities
I went to brunch with my beloved yesterday, to celebrate our zillionth (happy!) anniversary. It was beyond heavenly: all kinds of food I ...

posted 3:33:14pm Sep. 28, 2015 | read full post »

the souls of the others
I don't normally do book reviews, much less book raves. And yet... I just finished a book that captured me completely, Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an ...

posted 3:11:31pm Sep. 20, 2015 | read full post »

the gift of friends
I am blessed with friends far better than I deserve. Colleagues; former students; girlfriends & guy friends; family who have long since blurred that ...

posted 4:35:30pm Sep. 18, 2015 | read full post »

a bowl of weeks
Remember how I told you last week that I was trying to be more mindful of time passing? And about reading in Lewis Richmond's Aging as a Spiritual ...

posted 1:41:33pm Sep. 14, 2015 | read full post »

ode to nieces and nephews
Here you have them: three of my much-loved, and absolutely perfect nieces & nephews. These are my heart-sister's daughter & son, and my niece's ...

posted 8:00:31pm Sep. 12, 2015 | read full post »


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