Author Archives: Cathy

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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Spicebush Autumn

Some people are sad when autumn comes. They say it reminds them of death and decay and the coming of cold, cold winter. But here it’s always been a beautiful time of renewal for us, the time of our wedding … Continue reading

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September Summer

As all good gardeners know, celestial autumn doesn’t begin until the Equinox on September 23rd, and late, late, late summer has its languid charms. In the words of the great novelist, philosopher and poet, Iris Murdoch, in her poem, “September”, … Continue reading

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Garden of Immigrants

Any good garden is a garden of immigrants. A foundation planting composed solely of Japanese holly, Nandina, Liriope and Pachysandra¬† is a sterile old-fashioned, unenlightened landscape, of which I have seen many that linger into the 21st century, offering little … Continue reading

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Lily Watch

It’s Lily Watch in the hollow, as the old Regales slowly swell in the warmth of June. Lillum regale,¬†the classic Chinese trumpet lily, was introduced to the West in 1915 by the famed plant hunter, Ernest ‘Chinese’ Wilson, who literally … Continue reading

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Beech Blossom Spring

The habit of a beech grown in the open is like a globe half buried in the earth. To me, it’s one of the most beautiful sights of nature. We are fortunate to have a property large enough for two … Continue reading

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Love from the Hollow

February is the month of ‘Diane’ in the hollow. A ruby-red cultivar of hybrid Asian witchhazels (Hamamellis x intermedia), I celebrate her each year at this time, the time of Eros, the time of love. Her twigs force like a … Continue reading

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New Year in the Hollow

When you live long enough to notice a change in the rhythm of the land – beyond the vicissitudes of drought cycles; remnants of hurricane winds and rains racing up from the east and Gulf coasts in summer and fall; … Continue reading

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