Garden Musings

Thinking Thursday: Presence, Phenology, and Permaculture


My 2019 word of the year is presence. There are a number of reasons why I chose presence but I’m excited to see how it plays out in my life over the next year—including my garden life. I dabbled with using phenology to guide seed starting last year but, honestly, relied on my spreadsheets more than signals from the trees and shrubs in our yard. Presence, phenology, and permaculture…my 2019 motto? Joking, sort of.


As my garden continues to expand, and I continue to look for ways to make it easy to maintain and kind to Mother Earth, I’ve been learning more about permaculture. I could try to define it but this article does a better job than I would!

Speaking of permaculture, I’m super jazzed, like kid on Christmas morning jazzed, about attending the Cincinnati Biennial Regional Permaculture Convergence on January 12. I’m not always comfortable going to events on my own but I know these are my people. Amy Stross, permaculture gardener, writer, educator, and author of The Suburban Micro-Farm, is giving the keynote about designing for the future by meeting the suburbs where they are, so there will be at least one familiar face in the crowd!

Use Real Stuff

Um, yeah. This disposable world we’re living in makes me want to move off grid somewhere. John isn’t necessarily onboard with that idea, and I don’t know if that’s the life for me either, but I am really trying to reduce and reuse. 

Gardens Are a Safe Place

“In Milwaukee’s poorest ZIP code, fruits and vegetables become powerful weapons for saving young boys.”

Long read but WOW.

Gardens bring communities together and can provide a safe place for younger people who may not have anywhere to go. Sharing tomatoes and stories with Monica is a start on my end. But I know there’s something bigger for me, gardening, and giving back…just waiting for it to manifest.

Let’s Save ALL the Bees

This. This is why I spend so much time and effort planning and planting a large variety of perennial and annual flowers. Most campaigns focus on saving honeybees. What about my favorite leaf cutting bees? Or the lovely black and yellow bumble bees? Or sweat bees, carpenter bees, mason bees…?

Squash bee emerging from a flower | Horseradish & Honey blog

Squash bee emerging from a flower


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