Keeping Up

The rumors are true.

Gardenkeeping is back after taking a year-long sabbatical. I’ll admit that it wasn’t intentional at first. I thought I’d take a break from blogging to spend some time on the nuts and bolts of my website: make a few tweaks here, an adjustment there, you know, spruce it up a bit….

…or so I thought. I’m still working on some of my ideas but, I really just needed to dip my toes into the dirt of the internet and get back to it!

The Smoke Screen

OK, you’ve probably guessed the real reason why I’m just now making it back online. The fires that are raging up and down the West Coast did what many months of a pandemic could never accomplish; I’m stuck inside my house. I feel so fortunate that we haven’t had to directly face the flames and flee our homes but, here on the West Coast, the bad air is everywhere.

The smoke has settled in. The trees in the background are on the next block over.

The last time we were breathing bad air from wildfires, I wrote a post about it: Smoky and Blue. That was bad then, but this feels so much worse now. There is an eerie quality to the stillness that has descended over Port Townsend. The air, the people, the sounds of the town- everything has stopped. We all have masks but, since the cloth ones do not protect you from smoke, we’re all shut inside for now. One of the only things I’ve gone outside for is to clean the birdbaths.

I feel badly for all of the creatures that are out in the smoke and can’t escape it. I worry as I watch them from the safety of my home.

Breathing in the Rarefied Air

The only problem is, the air inside isn’t necessarily better than the air out there. I love my old house but, closing the windows and doors just wasn’t enough to keep out the polluted air. I finally broke down a couple of days ago and bought an air filter. Under normal circumstances, I would have never consider recirculating and filtering the air inside my house – I’m a fresh-air freak! My usual style would be to open the doors and windows to air the place out; even during the coldest days of winter. It’s a trick that you can use to avoid getting sick. I learned it from my mom who learned it from the nuns at her school – and she grew up in Chicago!

A Sensational Sight

Red morning light

Even though it took a couple of natural disasters to bring me here, I’m very excited to be getting back to my blog. It’s truly been a dream of mine!

~ First, I had to find my way through a house to a door. It was dark as I reached to turn the knob. I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen it open. There inside was a computer and a desk. I searched for a button and pressed it. I was surprised to see the fan start spinning and the screen flashing words and codes. Then, on the screen, a picture of the moon with the words, *Stay Calm, Ask the Moon. This is familiar; I think I know how to do this……

I hope you’ll take some time and look around the website. I’ve made a few changes with more to come. I’ve reintroduced the page “Tale of the Gardenkeeper” and am adding a portfolio page to showcase some of my work. The biggest change that I’ve made is with my blog posts. They will now require a subscription to read the full story. I really struggled with that decision but, my goal was to make my site more secure as well as economically viable while keeping it ad-free. There will still be plenty available for those of you who do not want to subscribe. In the meantime, I’ll keep dishing the dirt here at

*Words of wisdom from the Mighty Boosh.

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Spotlight in the Garden

The weird and wonderful ways of the world flowed into Gardenkeeping’s garden this last week. I was contacted by the arts editor of the Port Townsend Leader, Chris McDaniels. He asked about setting up a time to interview me for a profile article. I initially couldn’t figure out if it was going to be about my blog or my gardening business. He had been given my name by a client of mine, Suzzanne Stangel.

My husband built me a special computer for my writing and pictures.

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1:23 Birdsong

Hello from Gardenkeeping

It really has been a while. I’ve been too busy keeping garden to get around to writing posts for my blog. I’ve taken a lot of pictures with the hope that I would get some writing in, but it hasn’t happened for one reason or another. As I write, there are 1757 pictures on my phone! Nearly all of them are plant related. Some might say that’s a good start but, for me it’s a visual reminder of all those ideas that are still stuck in my head.

Wedding Bells


My oldest son will be getting married in 10 days. The date was picked to coincide with the lilacs blooming. They are the favorite flower of the bride. The lilacs started blooming about two weeks ago and we’re all pretty sure they will be done by the day of the wedding. I’ve been cutting lilac bouquets so that they can be enjoyed but, time is marching on! It’s looking like the flower that will be in abundance just in time for the wedding are irises, my son’s favorite flower.

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A bell tolls for spring

We’ve been stuck in a rain cycle for a while now. This week’s forecast was for rain every day, so I was prepared for another rough one. I’m use to the rain routine at work; get on my rain gear, keep tools tucked away and then spray mud off of everything, including myself, when I get home. I still managed to work a full week, but it hasn’t been easy: rain, wind, sun (kind of?) and then a cloudburst or two. We have definitely been swept up by the full swing of spring!


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Into the Outside

The rain seems to be following me.

Gardenkeeping is away from Port Townsend, but not away from the soggy skies. I’ve gone off to one my favorite places, the Bay Area in Northern California.

I flew out on one of the first nice days in Seattle thinking it was a good start for a vacation, but then, as we’re descending into Oakland, the pilot announces that the descent will be a bumpy one because of the rain and clouds! It’s hard to not feel personally responsible, “Yup, that’s me, the one walking around with a rain cloud over her head.”


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A Thousand Words

It’s not that there’s nothing to say

or even that there’s not much going on.

It’s just that life has gotten a little unpredictable….starting with the holidays. We had a white Christmas, which is unusual for Port Townsend. The odds of it snowing here on Christmas morning are about 7%. The last time that happened was 2008.

Then both of my kids’ birthdays are in December. Basically, the celebrations never stop! It really helps to keep my spirits up. I’m not naturally a holiday person, but my kids have worn me down over the years. I’ve learned to “relax” into it.


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So, I Got Bored With My Hedge…(Reprise) completes its first trip around the sun!

This has been such an unexpected pleasure for me. Originally I just wanted a website for my garden maintenance business but, then I got bitten by the blogging bug. Read about it at my post WHAT’S MY SIGN! The learning curve was a bit long (and grueling) but now, one year in and 42 posts later, I’m still excited to sit and write about my plant-life. A big thank-you to everyone who has checked out my blog and decided to follow it. You’ve really cheered me up!

In this world you can’t rest on your laurels.


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Hortum Sol Obscurabitur

What is gardenkeeping and where have they been keeping themselves?

It is summer and it is very hot out there.

If you look under a tree or behind a bush you may have spied a glimpse of the gardenkeeper but, perhaps not. You can’t be sure. There are other dirt dwellers out there…and cats.012

Yes, probably just cats. There are a lot of them about.


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You can try to like again….

….but it just won’t work.

I’ve recently had a few emails followers ask me about not being able to “like” or comment on my blog. David’s been telling me that from the beginning. I thought it was because we use the same computer that it wasn’t let him comment and was instead trying to make him login as Gardenkeeping. Nope.

Here is what I’ve been able to figure out. Only wordpress bloggers can “like” and comment. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter you can only leave a comment. For everyone else, I had set my website to restrict who could comment. I didn’t realize that that included people who follow the blog but aren’t on social media sites. Yes, they do exist.


To those of you who have resisted the call to live online, I wanted to let you know, it’s not you…. it’s my website’s settings!

So, don’t feel bad….

I’ve made the necessary adjustments so now anyone can leave a comment….and I hope you do!

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. W.S. What do you think?


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Snow Days

Snow is almost starting to seem commonplace here in Port Townsend. Which basically means it fell, it stuck and it stayed for more then a day. Yay!

It started falling early Monday morning. My cat, Kitty Meow, woke me up at three in the morning for what I’m assuming was a bathroom emergency. She’s getting old so we don’t question her random demands or odd hours. I got up and sure enough she headed to the back door and waited for me to catch up. Yes, I’m slower than an old cat. I opened the door for her and we were greeted by a white fluffy world. Kitty Meow got as far as the middle of the porch, but then decided she wasn’t impressed and turned around to come back in. I, on the other hand,  was excited and had difficulty getting back to sleep. Thanks, Kitty Meow!

Snow is a welcome sight for gardeners and farmers alike. Not only is it beautiful but, it adds fertility to your soil.

In northern climates, where the growing season is short, this snowfall plays a huge part in the rapid growth of plants.

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