Author Archives: Cathy

New Year in the Hollow

Late fall blew the hillsides bare and early winter sees the contours of the land etch themselves against the horizon as they did in spring. I remember looking out my bedroom window last March at the stark woods, trying to … Continue reading

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Sukevine Summer

The Verbesina is beginning to bloom, marking the beginning of the end of summer. Commonly called wingstem or yellow ironweed, Verbesina alternifolia is an aggressive native perennial fond of moist open woodlands, fields and riverbanks. It invaded the hollow some … Continue reading

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Hot Time in the Hollow

The exceptional prolonged heat of this quarantine summer has taken its toll, perhaps more on the gardener than the garden. Many plants thrive in the humid heat of Virginia and our droughty beginning lapsed thankfully into regular rainfall. Tithonia, Zinnia, … Continue reading

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Hollyhock Summer

For a brief shining moment in mid-June my hollyhocks rivaled Childe Hassam’s celebrated watercolors of Celia Thaxter’s garden on Appledore, one of the Isles of Shoals off the coast of New Hampshire where she entertained and beguiled the leading American … Continue reading

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June Tune

June hums and thrums into summer. Bees, dragonflies, hummingbirds and butterflies – swallowtails, fritillaries, painted ladies – fill the sunny daylit air. Moths – luna, sphinx and their motley myriad ilk – bats and fireflies light the night. One of … Continue reading

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May Day! May Day!

An SOS from those stranded at sea and the embodiment of Whitman’s “ever returning spring”, May Day is the call of the season. We’re all islands looking for connection now. This time of quarantine and canceled garden tours is one … Continue reading

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One More Spring

When I open my eyes each morning I see the hillside out my window and look to see if spring has come to the hollow. Especially this season I have looked, like the girl in the O. Henry story. Our … Continue reading

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Surprise, Surprise

Our hills still blessedly hold their breath before bud break and in the words of the poet, Philip Larkin, we have time to contemplate “earth’s immeasurable surprise”. We had a mild winter – only had to run the water on … Continue reading

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Winter Bouquet

The greeny-yellow stamens of the alder – perfectly matching our beloved Peter Boyer still life – are spending their pollen on the old bureau, dusting the furniture instead of pollinating the cherry red pistils that would await the wind if … Continue reading

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Pale Tints of Winter

I love the pale tints of winter when the trees are bare against the pinky blue sky and the rich brown contours of the hills surround us down here in the hollow. Our twiggy oculus opens up clear as a … Continue reading

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