Plant Perennials For the Garden that Keeps on Giving

It is surely the biggest flower that you’ll ever eat, and the only one with a heart. But if you’re not careful, its spiky petals can prick your fingers, and you might be unpleasantly surprised by a squirming, pincered earwig climbing out of the bud. This mystery vegetable is, of course, the artichoke, and it’s one of more than a dozen perennial vegetables that can be easily grown to provide food year after year with much less care than anything coming out of your annual vegetable patch....

Tomato Starts and Traditions

I possess a solid resume of struggling houseplants and moldering windowsill herb pots − I could give a sideways glance to a dandelion and kill it. And here I live, in the bountiful Pacific Northwest, where anyone with a scrap of soil has a Pinterest-perfect garden. When we got our first house with a big backyard, it wasn’t peer pressure or aspirational living that got me curious about gardening. Instead, it was the voice of my dearly departed grandmother with her no-nonsense attitude: “You don’t know until you try, so get out there and get your hands dirty.”...

Seeding is Believing

I am restless behind my windows, and the garden beckons. But January always offers up slate-gray mornings and frosty nights, and though the winter solstice is behind us, I feel boxed in by these short days. As I gaze out at my streetlight-lit garden in the endless eventide, I decide that the only antidote is an armchair getaway. In a time like this, gardening catalogically has to suffice....

Prepare Your Garden Beds Now For Winter

In late autumn, my gardening thoughts turn not to the seed, but to the ground. The philosopher, poet, and — perhaps most importantly — farmer Wendell Berry often refers to the soil, from which all life springs and returns....

What a Great Place to Put Jerusalem Artichokes

I am riding shotgun in a rusty farm truck bumping along an uneven dirt road late one fall day. John Eveland is driving, and I’m interviewing him about his farm when the phone rings. It’s an order for 200 pounds of Jerusalem artichokes, that strange relative of the common garden sunflower that produces edible, starchy underground tubers. The buyers want to pick the sunchokes up the next morning, and there is not much daylight left....

Garden to Table

Tending a garden is a constant education. There’s a real connection that happens when you care for your plants — that love you give your garden rewards you with beautiful ingredients for your kitchen....

A Plunge into Pungent Alliums

As pumpkins appear on porches, carved into grins, think about warding off vampires – but not by hanging a necklace of garlic across your shoulders. It would be better to spike some cloves into the ground....