Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Importance of Nature

After years of gardening, of days upon days spent outside, digging, planting, and planning, of observing and making discoveries and notes, a big realization enveloped me, it came in small doses at first, and then it consumed me: that nature and my SELF are one and the same.  I belong to the natural world around me, and to do anything to alter or in any way or interfere with the rhythm of its life is agains my nature. To me, the universe unfolding just a few steps from my back deck is eyeopening and overwhelmingly awesome.

I am celebrating my tenth year of organic gardening.  My back yard is truly a universe on itself.  It is perhaps just a half and acre of space open on all sides to nature.  Deer are free to come and go.  Raccoons, woodchucks, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, chipmunks and voles are usual visitors.  Frogs, toads and snakes hang around shady areas and water features, and birds populate every available real state that suits their habits.  To support all this life there are countless insects and pollinators buzzing around in an interminable web that keeps this ecosystem connecting without end.

I propose to all gardeners, that we make it a priority to create landscapes that are both beautiful and wildlife habitats.  Places where life is invited to thrive and multiply so we can observe, learn and marvel in the magic of nature!

“Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher”  William Worthsworth.

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My Begonias

Angel Wing Begonias

Angel Wing Begonias

Angel Wing with Rex

Angel Wing with Rex

Begonia 'Escargot'

Begonia ‘Escargot’

Begonias4 Begonias5 Begonias6 Begonias7

Tiger Eyes Begonia

Tiger Eyes Begonia

Three years in the making, most of these plants were started from leaf cuttings or plugs.  In the summer, they thrive in the shady areas of my front porch and get very full, almost doubling their size every season.  When it is time to bring them inside in the fall, the biggest challenge is to find a spot that gives them the light, heat and humidity they need.  To read more about their genus and care click here.

Begonias can become an addiction. I  started out with a Rex Begonia called ‘Escargot’ with leaves that curl like a shell around itself.  Then came a couple of other varieties pictured above.  Angel Wing begonias with their beautiful blooms in red, white or orange but Angel Wings have not done well for me inside in winter so I have given them up as a house plant.  The rest, with their breathtaking large leaves that come in hundred different color combinations of red, green, gray and every variation in between,  the shape of the leaves so intricate and unusual, never shy and always striking, I can’t resist.  Here is a house plant that does not have to bloom to dazzle.