Category Archives: Garden Writers We Love

Wordless Wednesday: Bees

I LOVE this. Every day we should send a word of thanks to our pollinators!

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Trees, Trees, Beautiful Trees

Bamboo_and_tree_canopy_Unsplash-2015-WC

“Bamboo and Tree Canopy”, October 19, 2015, by Kazuend, via Wikimedia Commons

My friend Karla (who supplies all the great links and quotes for the “Monthly Museletter”) sent me a poem last week that she’s turned into a song. (We were corresponding about how happy the trees were to finally get some much-needed RAIN!)
Karla shared that, “on morning walks I often sing this to honor the Trees.”:
Trees, Trees, Beautiful Trees
Trees, trees, beautiful trees,
They sway and they bend in the bountiful breeze.
In summer they shade and in winter they freeze,
Make new little homes for the birdies and bees,
Make new little homes for the birdies and bees.
The sap goes up and the sap goes down,
The trees turn red, orange, yellow, and brown.
The seeds fall off and stick in the ground–
Make new little beauties when spring rolls around,
Make new little beauties when spring rolls around.
I asked Karla if she’d created the song. She said no, it came from a BC cartoon strip she’d kept from years ago.  “Then,” she said, “my friend Judy Feeney wrote a song called ‘The Ants Dance’ (on her CD of the same title).  Out walking one morning, I realized the tree poem perfectly fit the melody of the ants song!”
Thank you, Karla, for sharing this poem and your story!
—S.K.
(Note: I tried to find a link to Johnny Hart’s BC strip with this verse, but had no luck.)
 
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The Chicken Chronicles book is About to Hatch!


(One mock-up of a cover design—not the final version!)

 

Big Announcement: I’ve nearly finished a project I started on two years ago!

It feels great to finally get to this place. And, as this project is a memoir of our family’s “country in the city” experiment over nearly two decades, I’m happy that these adventures are soon to be in book form.

For those of you who haven’t read stories from the collection that have appeared in Greenwoman Magazine  or on this blog, here’s the book description:

THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES is a collection of essays and stories written by an unapologetically quirky plant and animal lover who dives deep into creating a “country living in the city” experience for her family. Engaging, erudite, and often hilarious, THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES follows Colorado author Sandra Knauf as:

She and her young daughters meet neighbor Grandma Ruby, an 80-something-year-old cottage gardener/chicken raiser, who inspires Sandra to start her own backyard flock of exotic breed bantam chickens.

She confesses and explores her shocking and insatiable lust — for seed catalogs.

She becomes involved in a garden tour fundraiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and gets a close look at her city’s partisan politics — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

She examines 21st century lawns, “the biggest waste of water in suburbia,” and shares her experiences — from working as a teenager at a lawn care company in the 1980s to becoming an ecology-minded gardener hell-bent on getting rid of the bluegrass.

She introduces us to unforgettable animals: an ill-fated Neatherlands dwarf bunny, Puff; an out-of-control black Labrador puppy, Broonzy; a coop full of exotic breed bantams with the names of Greek goddesses, and more.

She gives the lowdown on her city’s green fringe through other adventures that include: capturing a swarm of bees, joining a garden club, and becoming a gardener-for-hire in her city’s richest neighborhood.

She ponders life and discovers that the most important lesson is to love it, participate in it, and live it exactly how you want to.


A picture taken during The Chicken Chronicles era: Daughters Zora (with chick “Kayley”) and Lily with “Jessica.” As we bought unsexed chicks, the girls were hoping for egg-laying hens and named them accordingly. Their two favorite “hens” turned out to be roosters.

 

While I’m writing today to announce this upcoming collection, I’m also here to ask: Would any of you be interested in being beta (test) readers? I have a PDF ready and I would LOVE to hear what you think of this book!

If you’re interested, just send me a note at maefayne(at)msn.com. I would need your comments by the end of the month and I’ll include a list of questions to guide your critique with the PDF.

I hope you can participate; I would love for you to be a part of this project!

Sandy

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Happy Earth Day!

HappyEarthDay2018

Image from Allina Health Care website, posted April 22, 2015.

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The Glad Hand of Spring

A Forsythia inside the courtyard of ENS Ulm Copyright (c) 2005 David Monniaux WC

“A forsythia inside the courtyard of École Normale Supérieure (Paris)”, Copyright 2005 David Monniaux, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

The Glad Hand of Spring

Golden shooting stars fall toward the earth,
A fragile graceful fountain,
Refreshing mental drought.
A burst of garden laughter,
The greeter at spring’s gate,
Forsythia!

(April 17, 1989)
Virginia Gambardella

Virginia writes: “I vividly remember the day I wrote this poem. I needed a poem for the church’s monthly bulletin, and I needed it immediately, so this was composed in a few minutes for the secretary. The forsythia grew outside the office window and I had in the previous two or three year reshaped it into a fountain (as it should not have been sheared off across the top like a privet hedge). By ‘89 it was outdoing itself, so in fact, deserved an ode to its beauty.”

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virginia_gambardella

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York. She has one son, three grandchildren, and enjoys the following: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking, and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”

 

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You’re Never Too Old

By Richard Mauch (1874-1921) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons copy

Galanter Herr on Summer Meadow (with dandelion), by Richard Mauch, 1921.

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Garden Dangers

Garden-Dangers-Knoll-Buddha

Photo by Tricia Knoll.

Garden Dangers

 Five days of rain blur boundaries.

The sword ferns sharpen fiddle heads
in stretching days.

Where the wind felled the alder crown,
Buddha wears slimy leaves and algae.

How soon the woods strawberries
send out their skinny creepers.

The sun shaft stabs silence
at fungi on the alder roots.

The creek runs off its mouth
where no one cares to listen.

—Tricia Knoll

Tricia Knoll (2)
Tricia Knoll’s new poetry book, “How I Learned To Be White“, delves into how ancestry, childhood, education, and more form a concept of white privilege . . . and what work is required to see through that privilege and live in this multicultural world. She tends lavish gardens.

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