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August 2012 • Southern Rural Route

I have referred to this fern for many years as a “bird’s nest fern” because I didn’t know any better and that’s how it was tagged by the nursery. I probably would have continued in my blissful ignorance had I not wanted to show it to you. Showing it, of course, required the bare minimum of research on the web. About the third time I heard myself muttering “My fern doesn’t look … Read More

This is Melon Man Gene’s melon patch way out west in the Rocky Mountains. Yes, those are chickens hither and yonder. Gene refers to them as his “egg laying composters.” The chickens are integral to breaking down his clay soil. The clay content would allow him to make pottery with it if he were artistically inclined. The kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, garden clippings and … Read More

I thought I’d give you a walking tour of the gardens at Southern Rural Route. The photos were taken on different days, different times of day. Most of what you’ll see here represents the work and creativity of Momma and Poppie. Our driveway is in the center of the property. When you pull into the driveway, the big magnolia tree is to your left, along with a pear tree. To the … Read More

Mr. Harden, the mason bee consultant, asked me if I beat my okra. I raised an eyebrow at such an obscene suggestion but I wasn’t about to admit to a stranger that okra never makes it past my front teeth. What if he was moonlighting as the Deep South Veggie Police? The last thing on my agenda was being expelled to the frozen north for conduct unbecoming a southerner. Not wanting … Read More

My friend Karen, the beekeeper, knew of my interest in bumble bees and suggested I attend a presentation on mason bees. She swore bumble bees and mason bees were the same bee. I wasn’t convinced but I went. Afterwards, she mentioned introducing me to the speaker, James D. Harden, a consultant with crownbees.com, because he liked my blog. She said this as though it were no big … Read More

The downside to writing a blog is that your circle of people – the local ones – end up knowing things about you that, later on, you really wish they didn’t know.  My quest to build a butterfly habitat became one of those subjects they knew about that caused both my eyebrows to reach for my hairline. One of my people sent me this email: “Do you have enough milkweed that you … Read More