Looking forward: Garden trends and a fond farewell

This is my final article to be published with the Charleston Gazette-Mail.  While I won’t be writing for the newspaper, I do plan to continue writing.  Stay tuned to see what writing adventures I get into in the future, after I’ve settled into my new life in Omaha. —— We usually see the new year as a time to look forward, to plan for the … Continue reading Looking forward: Garden trends and a fond farewell

Looking back on Christmas Traditions

As I wind down my time as the Garden Guru, I’m looking back at some of the articles I’ve written for the holidays. These are some of my favorite articles I’ve written over the years. From talking about the Norse legend that gives us kissing under the mistletoe, to the pagan roots of Christmas trees, the controversy of the Christmas cactus impostors and waxing nostalgic … Continue reading Looking back on Christmas Traditions

Give the gift of local food flavors for the holidays

Stuck on what to get someone for a great holiday gift? Need a host or hostess gift or something to send to a friend out of state? How about giving a taste of the Mountain State? The local food industry and small farms seem to be booming, so it is easier than ever to give great local tastes for the holidays or include them in … Continue reading Give the gift of local food flavors for the holidays

Decorate for the holidays with natural elements

Now that we’ve consumed millions of turkeys, waited in line to buy things, shopped at small businesses and bought even more stuff online from the comfort of our homes, many people turn their attention to bedecking their halls to bring about the spirit of the holidays. Bright colors, knick-knacks and sparkly things are all part of the great holiday festooning. But you’ll notice, in large … Continue reading Decorate for the holidays with natural elements

Invasive Plants: Bamboo a Boon or Bust?

I gasped and recoiled in horror as I read the article a friend had shared on Facebook. No, it wasn’t related to the election, or even to politics. It was an article about a man in Putnam County advocating we start bamboo farms in West Virginia. “What’s so wrong with bamboo?” you may ask. There is, after all, a lot of good bamboo can do. … Continue reading Invasive Plants: Bamboo a Boon or Bust?

Announcement: Garden Guru to Go West

To all my fans, friends, and readers – I’m letting you know that I accepted a new position and will be leaving my position with WVU Extension Service at the end of the year. Now that all the details have been finalized and all the papers signed, I’d like to share my future plans. My last day with WVU Extension will be January 3, and … Continue reading Announcement: Garden Guru to Go West

Sage advice for Thanksgiving

There are certainly several flavors that are linked with the celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday. A few of the flavors are native to the United States, or at least the Americas, like cranberries and pumpkin (corn and beans, too). But, most interestingly, the flavors most often associated with the holiday come from warm Mediterranean regions. The main dish (usually turkey) and its accompanying stuffing (or … Continue reading Sage advice for Thanksgiving

Lichens: A lesson on how to get along

They’re delicate, but tough; beautiful, yet crusty. They’re also found almost everywhere, but you probably don’t pay them much attention. They grow in patches on rocks, trees, buildings and just about every other surface. They’re under-researched and misunderstood. Most people probably don’t even know their name, which is lichen, by the way. I’ve written about lichens before (after a trip to Seattle, where they are … Continue reading Lichens: A lesson on how to get along

Sunchokes – Trendy food from flowers

During the summer, a giant found a home in my garden. Standing tall near the back gate of the house, the green giant reached at least 12 feet in the air — sticking its arms out wildly and looking like it could use a good tidying up. Sure, my giant was unwieldy and perhaps not all that attractive, but it gave me some great treasure … Continue reading Sunchokes – Trendy food from flowers