Category Archives: Despatches from the Hollow

Hollow Fall

We spent the autumn equinox at the Outer Banks and when we returned, the hollow had tilted into fall, always our favorite time of year. This year makes 36 since I came here as a bride. The woodland trees haven’t … Continue reading

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White Hot Hollowgarden

When the Verbesina blooms in August I feel like the denizens of Cold Comfort Farm when the infamous “sukevine” strew its lush flowers over that fraught landscape. Verbesina alternifolila, a native to wooded slopes, open woodlands and riverbanks, is also … Continue reading

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Happy Fourth from the Hollow!

Drumstick allium (A. sphaerocephalon) shoots off like a firework from a bed of Black-eyed-Susans for the Fourth of July weekend. Despite a few beneficent showers we are still within the dusty embrace of the drought that has settled over most … Continue reading

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High Clover

The hollow is in high clover. Rabbits come out to graze in the late afternoons, sunlight setting through their satin ears. Zsa-Zsa has put a small dent in the population but without dogs for so many years now, a  colony … Continue reading

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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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