Brad Pitt can have his Oscar – I’ll take The Versatile Blogger Award

Hello, dear readers! I took a little bit of a break from the blog – and the internet at large – last week. It was a much-needed reprieve, and opened up plenty of time to see Rachel Ries and Anaïs Mitchell at Club Passim (Amazing, Amazing, Amazing – I’m completely in love with them both). I also read a book (a whole book!), knit up a few afghan squares, and enjoyed some delightful walks in the woods.

During my internet fast I was delighted and honored to receive a nomination for “The Versatile Blogger Award” from Kevin, the Nitty Gritty Dirty Man of the garden blog realm. Hoorah! Kevin’s blog is wonderful – anyone with a penchant for plants, alliteration, fantastic photographs and soil-smudged story-telling should take his blog for a spin. I’m flattered that he chose to single my blog out.

I shall pay it forward by hollering at a few of my own favorite reads. But first, I offer some secrets, as I’m bound to do by the rules.

Continue reading

The Fenway Victory Garden Chronicles – Part One

Across the street from one of Boston’s most beloved and familiar scenes…

my partner and I hold temporary rights to a small parcel of paradise – a plot in The Fenway Victory Gardens.


In anticipation of spring, which can’t be Too far away, I would like to tell the story of our little spot of land. This, of course, is an abridged version – many fruits, blooms, and weeds will go unnamed. I hope to offer a taste of our gardening year, though! Continue reading

Blotanical Blurb

Just a quick note to thank those of you visiting from, and to Kevin who recommended that I join. For those of you who don’t know, Blotanical is a network of gardening blogs. While there’s been very little about gardening on my blog as of late, I assure you that I am about to start posting about what I’m currently growing indoors, what I’ve ordered for this year’s seed (paprika! blue poppies!), as well as a little chronicle of my first year with a plot in The Fenway Victory Gardens. Until then, for all you new visitors, I invite you to visit a gallery of my December garden, an ode to the basils, and my intent in writing Spokes and Petals.


News and Gratitude

If you’ve been following Spokes and Petals for awhile, you know that I really have a thing for skunks.

Happily, they occupied the front page of the NYT’s Science Times last week, along with some of their mammalian partners in chemical warfare. Natalie Angier writes… Continue reading

Bloomin’ lovely

A few days ago Matt and I had the pleasure of romping through the Arnold Arboretum with our friend Miles, who led us on a tour of the blooms currently gracing the landscape. We have had a very strange and mild winter, and while we may eventually get the snow one expects from a New England February, for the time being the ground is soft and the air smells like an Easter basket. This is throwing plants into confusion, with buds that typically bloom in March baring their pastel colors, hopeful stamens, and hungry stigmas many weeks earlier than usual.

Hamamelis mollis – Chinese Witch Hazel. Many witch hazels bloom in the early spring, as opposed to our native H. virginiana, which flowers in the neighborhood of November. (Another beautiful Hamamelis that is flowering right now is H. vernalis, a shrub native to the central and southern U.S.)

Lonicera standishii – Fragrant Honeysuckle. These flowers smell amazing – not like anything a nose typically experiences in the wintertime.

Acer griseum – Paperback Maple. One of the Great Grandaddies of magnificently barked trees. I could write poems to it all day long. Continue reading

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