Coconino Master Gardener Association

Currently, warblers of several species are migrating through Flagstaff towards Canada and beyond. The Yellow Warblers, like this little guy are often an exception. They frequently choose to remain in Flagstaff throughout the summer. All of the warblers are busily searching the innermost branches of shrubs and trees for insects.
Photo by Cindy Murray.

Welcome to the Coconino County Master Gardeners' Association Blog. The mission of the Coconino Master Gardener Program is to support the University of Arizona by providing researched-based information on environmentally responsible gardening and landscaping to the public. The program creates a corps of well-informed volunteers, and delivers quality horticultural education programs adapted to our regional high elevation environment. The mission of the association is to provide support for those volunteers and Master Gardener graduates, continuing education, and opportunities to participate in community programs that increase the visibility and participation in the Master Gardener Program.
On this site you will find gardening news, links, a calendar for local events, volunteer opportunities, book reviews, agenda/minutes for our association monthly meetings, and association documents and contacts.
The Coconino County Master Gardener Association was founded in 2009 by a small group of master gardeners with the help of Hattie Braun the Director of the MG Program. After several small meetings it was opened to all master gardeners on May 21st, 2009. Meetings are held monthly on the 2rd Thursday of each month from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. We meet at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (1601 N. San Francisco). The agenda usually includes continuing education and a short business meeting. Watch this blog for the agenda and minutes for all meetings. Contacts for the association (officers and committee chairs) are listed at the bottom of this blog.

Reporting Master Gardener Hours

All master gardener trainees and certified master gardeners need to report their hours.
Beginning in 2010 certified master gardeners need to have 6 Education hours and 12 Volunteer hours in order to maintain certification.The on line reporting system allows you to report Education or Volunteer hours.
If you have any questions or concerns about the new reporting system, please contact Crys Wells or Hattie Braun. Their contacts are listed at the bottom of the blog under
Link to reporting

Ideas for hours------
--Attend monthly meetings
--Work on an association committee
--Work at an informational booth for the Master Gardeners
--Be a speaker about gardening topics at a variety of venues

--Host a garden tour
--Work at the home show
--Work at a MG site (Olivia White Hospice, the Arboretum, Riordan Mansion, or school gardens (many others)). Check out the Assoc. Doc. & Forms under Volunteer Sites.
--Work in the Extension office
--Write an article for the newspaper column -Gardening Excetera
-Volunteer with the Seed Library
Be creative! There are many ways to fulfill your hours. Just remember for volunteering it needs to be a non-profit endeavor or an approved for profit site.

Change in Contact Information

Have you moved or changed your e-mail address, but would still like to be contacted about high elevation gardening information from the Extension? The Coconino County Extension Master Gardener Program has a site that will let you change your information on-line.

Click here to change your contact information!

Event Calendar

Monday, April 25, 2011

Daily Sun Gardening Etcetera 4/23/11

Dana Prom Smith

Rachel Wilson’s life as an artist has been a life of exploration, at first glance an exploration of the external world through paintings that are out-there at arm’s length, perhaps a landscape. Actually, she was exploring the farthest reaches of inner space, especially transformations of the soul’s inner haunts. Modern art doesn’t pretend to represent a static, external world of convention but rather the chaos of those inner worlds by means of the splintered and distorted forms of conventional reality.

The recurring theme in her work is transformation, such as the transformations embedded in the geological strata of the Grand Canyon, then it slowly seeps in that she’s really painting the transformations embedded in the historical strata of human experience, social and personal.

As an explorer, she ventures out without a clear picture of where she’s going. She doesn’t envision the completed work in her mind’s eye, merely the beginning point, her work always being a work in progress, an act of faith. As with Abraham of old, who “went out, not knowing where he was to go,” the Muse leads her into the terrae incognitae of inner space.

In an odd way this sense of exploration is her history. She began as a girl who was good at drawing horses. Coming from a family of academics, she tried graduate school three times, always falling back to her beginning point as a little girl who loved to draw horses, so she started where she began, becoming a painter.

Speaking of transformations, Heraclitus (540-480 B.C.) wrote, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Not only does reality go through transformations, so do the observers of those transformations. Called the parallax principle, the observer never sees the same object the same way again because the observer and the object are never in the same place or time again.

As Rachel looked out a window in her home in Doney Park near Cosnino Road, she said, “The view has changed. The bark beetles killed off the taller piñon, and all we have left now are the junipers. We see farther, but we see less. No longer the beauty of the piñon’s green, now it’s the empty beauty of the sky’s endless blue.” With her view transformed, she’s been transformed.

Rachel loves the landscapes of the southwest. In one of her paintings of the grasslands, actually steppes, a few miles down the road from her house, she has filled the landscape with the transformations of history. Images of petroglyphs, Texaco and Mobil signs, float through the painting and line the bottom and middle as though these civilizations have passed through the land, but in passing through they changed the land and were changed by it.

In addition to being a painter, Rachel’s also a gardener with the same creativity as evidenced in her paintings. Her garden, as would any garden in the outer reaches of Doney Park, is a work in progress, an act of faith. It wanders amongst the surviving junipers: no fixed beds, occasional trails amongst native and adaptable plants. Gardening in Doney Park is an exploration, finding out what works and what doesn’t in a soil of volcanic cinders with cold winds sweeping off the San Francisco Peaks and high water prices.

Her garden seems to start wherever one is standing at the moment, never appearing the same again. She waters her plants beneath the surface of the soil, so her garden is devoid of irrigating contraptions while avoiding surface evaporation. Now that it’s legal, she and her husband, Stephen, a mathematics professor at NAU, plan to use both captured water and gray water. As befitting a gardener, Rachel is a woman of the soil, the water, the wind, and the fire, and this identification is seen in her paintings which are often at the intersection of nature and history.

Her aptly named Somewhen Studio sits amidst her garden’s trails where she paints what Edvard Munch called “The study of the soul.” She and her paintings can be visited at
Copyright © Dana Prom Smith 2011
Dana Prom Smith edits GARDENING ETCETERA, blogs at, and can be reached at

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 4/14/11

Attending: Jim Mast, Sheryl Houston, Eric Downing, Tess Wymore, Debra Crisp, Faith Brittain, Dana Prom Smith, Valarie Bryant, Julie Holmes, Harvey Cantrell, Paul Lambert, Cindy Murray, Deb James, Ann Eagan, Kareem Shihab, Crys Wells, Amy Hafer, Andrea & Galen Guerrette, Beth Cykstra, Ed Skiba, Loni Shapiro

6:30pm-6:40pm Welcome – Agenda Jim Mast
Brief review of agenda for the evening
Introduction of speaker

6:40pm-7:30pm Continuing Education
Therapeutic Horticulture vs. Horticultural Therapy
Loni Shapiro presented on the differences between therapeutic horticulture and Horticultural Therapy. Therapeutic horticulture is what we all experience when gardening. Some of the benefits include: stress relief, exercise, accomplishment, challenges for the mind, meeting new friends, enhancement of a state of well being, exposure to the natural environment, getting chemical free food, sensory stimulation, healing, enhances the community, productive work and it is an integral part of our rituals. She gave some examples of this in her work and an occupational therapist and a volunteer at several sites.

The 2nd half was about the profession of Horticultural Therapy. It included a history of the profession, definition, training required and types of clients typically seen. HTRs can be found in schools, nursing homes, hospice homes, prisons, facilities for the mentally or physically challenged, and rehabilitation centers. Several examples were given of programs in Arizona and others that Loni had visited. In talking about those programs she included programming considerations. This means adapting the gardens, tools, and selection of plants. Special considerations are given for sensory limitation, garden care and limited maintenance. Examples of special features that work well with a variety of populations were included, as well as programming with other than live plant materials.

Her outline included resources for more information on the web, books and movies. She provided a display of HT along with tools and books

7:30pm-7:45pm Refreshments
Thank you to Crys Wells

7:45pm - 8:30pm Business Meeting – Jim Mast
7:45pm – 8:00pm Overview of recent Executive Meeting – Jim Mast
Calendar – Need photos! Only 2 entries so far. Deadline is 5/4. Send to Extension office. Details are available on the blog.
Evening Garden Club – Hattie has set up a list serve for Jean Hockman and the 1st event is the annual seedling exchange at Jacki Hainsworths. If you have a garden or know of a garden you want visited call or e-mail Jean Hockman (see blog).
EIN, Banking, Financial Committee (Project requests/Sponsoring Arb Newsletter
Crys has obtained an EIN or tax number from the IRS. This will allow us to open a checking account in our name rather than a members name, and help for the transition to new leadership. A new account will be opened by Ed – preferably without a monthly charge. Several requests have come in for funds from the association. A committee needs to be formed (Financial Committee) to see how to proceed on these requests. The Executive Committee will temporarily assume that responsibility and Beth Dykstra has offered to join us. The first meeting is scheduled for 4/28 at 6pm at Jim Mast’s office if anyone wants to join us. We will look at developing guidelines for project
requests and the request from the Arboretum to sponsor the fall newsletter ($250). Jeff Best currently has a request in also for the Sunshine Rescue Mission project ($200). Jeff is aware of the need todevelop guidelines.
No Plant & Garden Sale probably this year or next (Annual Conference next year).
Possibility of CMGA t-shirts or aprons. Financial committee to work on this.
Ed reports $1269.46 was in account. A check was written for 28.97 for membership cards, and we got .05 in interest, $60 in memberships, and $29 from jar, for a grand total of $1329.54.
8:00pm – 8:20pm Committee Reports:
Continuing Education – Dana Prom Smith (see schedule for future meetings)
Community Programs – Julie Holmes
Sunday & Thursday Market (not set up as yet)
Home & Garden Show – Faith Brittain
Kudos to Faith, Polly Velie and Hattie for organizing a very successful Home & Garden Show. Our talks were better attended than the hired talks so they want us back next year. Nine talks were given over 3 days and the booth had many visitors (exact count not available). Warner’s was very supportive with display materials.
Speakers Bureau
We need to sign-up those who presented at the Home Show. They all did a great job on varying topice that may be of interest to other groups.
Coordination of MG Projects – Linda Guarino
The project Jan Busco brought to us is getting up and running. The AZNPS is doing their monthly meeting next week (Tues. 7pm, NAU Biology Bldg) and Jan will be doing a tour of the canyon project on Sat. the 23rd (see blog for details.
Hattie will have to report on specific projects in Timberline, Tuba City and is doing a Well Water Project (handouts provided).
Volunteer Support/Social – Hattie Braun/Crys Wells
Totals for March from Crys – 346.75 volunteer hours and 89.5 continuing education

8:20pm – 8:30pm Garden questions?
Ann Eagan – Native Plant and Seed will be carrying large sized water tanks (rain barrels) 200 gallon and up.
When do you prune Forsythia? After they bloom-
Discussion on what to do with damaged stocks. Remove dead fowers not stems.
Jim Mast – Plant carrots and peas now. Potatoes 1st week of May
Paul Lambert had 35 people in a gardening class in Leupp.

Next meeting: May 12, 2011
Shepherd of the Hills Church
1601 N. San Francisco
Flagstaff Community Markets
Art Babbott

Future meetings:
June 9 Photographing & Painting Your Garden – Debbie Shepard
July 14 Friends of the Northern Arizona Forests
August 11 Panel on Coconino County Fair Entries
September 8 Recognition Picnic
October 13 Pollinators and Honey Bees – Joel Kefuss

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Daily Sun Gardening Etcetera 4/16/11

Roots and branches: Connecting our community through our gardens

As spring dithers toward Flagstaff in its customary haphazard fashion, no doubt your garden has begun to show signs of life again. Daffodils sprout downtown, neighborhood trees bear buds, and brave little shoots of green appear in the semi-wild landscapes of the exurbs. Birds are calling, chipmunks are stirring, and even a few lizards are basking briefly in the sun.

Another sure sign of spring is the Arizona Native Plant Society's open invitation to enter the Flagstaff Garden Competition and Tour. This annual event is an opportunity for local gardeners to celebrate the best in ourselves -- our love of living things, our creativity, and our determined pursuit of beauty and bounty.

These are trying times for all of us with more than enough issues and stresses to keep us at odds with one another. Preparing and sharing our gardens brings us together, encouraging friendliness and harmony in our neighborhoods and throughout greater Flagstaff. The event is billed as a "competition," but it has become more of a collaboration, a community-wide celebration of how dreams and possibilities become inspiring realities through effort, experience and heart. The high point of the contest is a self-guided tour that includes all the gardens entered in the contest. Folks have the chance to meet each other, tell stories and swap gardening advice. Old friendships are renewed and new ones begun, based literally on our common ground.
There are three categories for entries: Best Edible Landscape (vegetables, herbs, other edibles), Best Native Plant Garden (mostly native plants) and Best Special Interest Garden (gardens with a theme such as memorial gardens, child-friendly gardens, traditional culture gardens, etc.) Judges will look for appropriate adaptations to each garden's specific microclimate as well as for water conservation strategies, pollinator-friendly planting and practices, hardscaping and paths, and features such as ponds and sculptures. Both Native Plant and Special Interest gardens should be well-established in order to demonstrate that they can survive Flagstaff's climate year-round.

Considering Flagstaff's challenging climate, creating an "Edible Landscape" here may seem like a fool's errand. Yet people have grown food here as far back as AD 600. Growing conditions have varied over those 14 centuries just as they still vary wildly from year to year. It was probably a prolonged drought in the 13th century that led to a 600-year halt in local farming. Nevertheless settlers in the 1800s grew much of their food both on isolated homesteads and in the fertile floodplain of the Rio de Flag.

Determined gardeners continue to raise food throughout the Flagstaff area from the potato plots of Fort Valley to the bean fields of Doney Park. Success has come from patient observation of conditions at their own particular site, careful experimentation and the trading of advice, cuttings and seeds. Today, we have it even easier with the availability of many hardy vegetable varieties, drip irrigation systems, and season-extenders such as Walls O'Water.

It's actually native plant gardens that are a relatively modern idea in the Flagstaff area. For inspiration and encouragement, visit the colorful display of native flowering plants produced by Dorothy Lamm at the main branch of the Flagstaff Public Library during April, or during May at the east side library on Fourth Street. From July 1 to Aug. 15, a different display about the contest created by Tim and Linda Rodriquez will be on view at the main library.

The deadline to enter the contest is July 15. Gardeners will show their gardens to the judges during the weekend of July 23 and 24. On Aug. 10, there will be an open preview of all the gardens at the annual Extravaganza, a free evening event that includes a slideshow and awards ceremony. Our ever-generous sponsors who provide awards for the Extravaganza include the Arboretum at Flagstaff, Flagstaff Native Plant and Seed and Warner's Nursery. Also at the Extravaganza, maps for the Aug. 14 public tour will be available for $5.

For questions or to enter the contest, please e-mail with "Garden Contest" in the subject line. If email is not available to you, please phone Dorothy at (928) 779-7296.

Susan Lamb is a local writer and naturalist ( Dana Prom Smith is the coordinating editor of Gardening Etcetera. He blogs at and can be contacted at
Copyright 2011 All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Daily Sun Gardening Etcetera 4/9/11

Loni Shapiro
Gardening, as most gardeners know, is a therapeutic experience. It’s the big reason most gardeners like to garden. Some claim necessity, such as growing food to save money. Others like to eat safer and better tasting food; however, all of them still enjoy nature doing its own thing. That joy is in part the reason that gardening is a form of therapy.

I saw the therapeutic effects of gardening while working in the gardens of the Olivia White Hospice Home for the last 7 years. The residents are brought into the gardens by their families or hospice volunteers. Sometimes, the gardens were soothing to the residents as they experienced the joys of nature: the sights, sounds, aroma, and touch of a garden. Other times, the gardens brought back pleasant memories or the enjoyment of actually working with plants and the soil. They’ve planted tomatoes, dug up potatoes, and started zinnias in their rooms.

A resident who had never gardened before learned how to plant tomatoes from her cart. Her face lit up with joy as she watched them grow. She came from a senior living home where she was active and socializing daily to a home where many residents were in their rooms and too sick to talk. She found happiness in the garden.

The gardens also help grieving family members to find peace, the staff to find needed respite from their work, and volunteer gardeners to reap the rewards of gardening as well as seeing the benefits to others.

Gardening as therapy is different from Horticultural Therapy (HT) which is an innovative treatment method used by trained horticultural therapists, using plants and gardening to improve the social, educational, psychological, and physical adjustments of an individual. As a healing element, it is used to help the lives of people disrupted by illness, trauma, injury, social, and economic problems and psychological and developmental disorders, as well as aging.

Horticultural therapists work in schools, nursing homes, prisons, psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or hospices. One program I visited was a summer garden program in Colorado for developmentally delayed youth in middle school. They spent their summer growing food for themselves and a local shelter, gaining experience not only in gardening, but in providing for their community. Their pride and knowledge was evident as they showed me through the garden explaining how things grow and what their garden practices were. Many garden programs have also been initiated in prisons. Initial goals were to grow food, keep the inmates busy, and provide some work skills for reentry into society. The inmates also learned they could nurture, provide food for others, and gain self-esteem in their ability to carry out a job from start to finish.

There are several HT programs in Arizona. One of them is at a center for autistic children in Glendale. They have a greenhouse and a variety of outdoor plots they work. Several Horticultural Therapists on staff do programming. In Prescott a long time HTR, Pam Catlin, works in several programs. She has helped create a large garden for the residents of the Margaret T. Morris home for residents with Alzheimer. It has a long wandering path, raised beds, and many opportunities for sensory experiences. She also works in a local nursing home doing an intergenerational program for residents and a local grade school.

Last fall, I attended the National Horticultural Therapy Conference with participants from all over the world which was held at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, home to a large HT Program started by Gene Rothert, HTR. He has written several books about adapting gardens for those with physical limitations and created an amazingly large, adaptive garden within the CBG.
The conference and visit reinforced the healing effects of gardening for all of us, and the need to clarify what we call it. Therapeutic horticulture is what we all experience in gardening. Horticultural Therapy has the same benefits but is provided by a certified professional, using goals and measurements that help clients improve their health and quality of life. More information on Horticultural Therapy is available at the web site

Loni Shapiro, a Master Gardener and Occupational Therapist with training in Horticultural Therapy, will speak on Horticultural Therapy at the meeting of the Master Gardener Association this coming Thursday evening, April 13, 6:30 p.m., at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutherans Church. Dana Prom Smith (, editor of GARDENING ETCETERA, can be reached at

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Arizona Native Plant Society - Flagstaff Chapter

AZNPS Monthly Talks and Field Trips

All talks begin at 7:00 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of the month in Room 328 of the Biology Building on the NAU campus (unless a room change comes about, which we will alert you to). Field trips normally are held the Sunday following the evening talks. Meet at 10:00 am at the Arizona State Credit Union parking lot, southwest corner of Beaver and Butler. Come prepared with sun protection, water, food, and a car or gas money for carpooling.

For information about the Flagstaff Chapter, contact Barb Phillips.

Tuesday, April 19: Jan Busco, “The Grand Canyon Visitor Center/Mather Point Vegetation Project.”
Grand Canyon National Park Vegetation Program Horticulturist Jan Busco will talk about Grand Canyon National Park’s ambitious project to create a world-class experience at Mather Point, the most-visited place in this World Heritage Site. Find out how the park works to preserve native vegetation, follow the Vegetation Program staff and program volunteers through planning, surveying, salvage, plant propagation, planting and project maintenance, and find out about how you can participate as a volunteer to continue caring for and sharing this amazing site with visitors from around the world.

The Amphitheatre is one component of ongoing work at Grand Canyon National Park’s Mather Point that Jan Busco will discuss on Tuesday, April 19. (Photo submitted by Jan Busco)

Saturday, April 23: Grand Canyon Restoration Ecology Tour
Join Grand Canyon National Park’s Horticulturist Jan Busco for a fun-filled day touring a few of the park’s vegetation program highlights. We will see the Native Plant Nursery and the Endangered sentry-milk vetch (Astragalus cremnophylax ) ex situ population in the new passive solar greenhouse; visit the sentry milk-vetch disturbed lands restoration site and explore the new Mather Point/Grand Canyon Visitor Center improvements where over 20,000 salvaged and nursery propagated plants have been planted to date. Plan to bring a picnic lunch to be enjoyed at one of the new canyon view picnic areas at Mather Point. Please RSVP to, 928 638-7782.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Flying M Ranch Seeking Volunteers

Flying M Ranch is seeking volunteers!

Saturday, April 9 & Sunday, April 10
9am to 4pm
Lunch included as a thanks for helping the Flying M!

The Flying M Ranch is seeking volunteers wishing to learn about high desert gardening and its challenges while helping a local farm prepare for the season ahead. The Flying M plans to expand its current growing space with the introduction of lasagna gardening. This practical method of gardening is growing ever more popular for its incredible increase in soil bounty and can be used in all soil types to improve quality and yield. Come help the Flying M and learn the secrets of creating a bountiful garden in your space. Work will include digging, rock removal and wheelbarrow use.

For more info, directions, or to RSVP please email

Hattie Braun
University of Arizona
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Coconino County Cooperative Extension
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Phone: 928-774-1868 x 170
FAX: 928-774-1860

Garden Column from the Daily Sun 4/2/11

Dana Prom Smith

Approaching my 85th year, I’ve been thinking about growing old, especially after receiving an invitation to my 60th college class reunion. Old age took me by surprise. It’s something like that used car I bought when I was in high school. A 1929 Model-A Ford Coupe, it had no floor boards and was sans a right front fender; however, it had a rumble seat. It ran, but something always needed fixing.

Since we never look back on old age and there’s no future to it, I’ve become an existentialist. Everything is now. Given the alternative, I’m grateful for my creaky knee, arthritis, left-leaning, friendly-fire hole in my back, slightly damaged ticker, and Selma-gifted, racked-up left shoulder. Alive in good health, I always need fixing.

All of this is like a garden. Something always needs fixing. Two fixable problems are aphids and grasshoppers. Anyone who doesn’t believe in the existence of demons has never dealt with grasshoppers and aphids. Evil is random. It doesn’t make sense. We’ve all suffered for our sins and stupidities, but with evil there’s no quid pro quo. Random, demonic forces strike without reason. We ask, “Why me?” A bit paranoia helps.

However, we can strike back! NoLo bait spread throughout the garden before the grasshopper larvae hatch in early spring will lay waste grasshoppers; not instantaneously, but gradually; not merely over the season, but throughout the years. NoLo is a targeted weapon, sparing everything else, including human beings. It’s an eco-healthy malaise. Cannibals, grasshoppers eat their own who’ve fallen with NoLo, ingesting their fallen comrades’ NoLo. It’s an affliction that keeps on afflicting.

Actually, the grasshoppers aren’t attracted to the NoLo but to the wheat bran in which it is served, something like cyanide in lemonade.

Also, we’ve an ally in a fellow flesh-eating predator, the praying mantis, who could well be called the preying mantis. Waiting in ambush, when a grasshopper comes close, our friend grabs it with spiked forelegs and devours it with a gluttonous lust. An asymmetrical warrior, it’s adept at camouflage, looking for all the world like a leaf.

Praying mantises are mercenaries. They can be bought and sent into battle to devour the demonic. If gardeners are fleet of foot and swift of limb, they can grab a grasshopper in flight, squeeze it, feel the crunch of death, and then wash off the green residue. I, for one, prefer the mercenaries.

Next in our demonic litany is the aphid, an icky, soft-bodied, foul-looking manifestation of evil. It lies in wait underneath leaves, sucking out their life-juices and then emitting at the end of its alimentary canal sweet offal, favored by ants. As a matter of fact, ants farm aphids just to eat this gooey mess, commonly called honeydew.

Aphids signal their presence by yellowing, curled leaves and a plant’s withered death. Also, if they overgraze, they produce flying aphids, clouds of them, which spread to trees like aspen and drop their honeydew on cars, fouling the finish.

Initially counter-attack with a hose, nozzle attached and turned down, washing off the buggers underneath the leaves, sending them to a watery grave. If that fails after a couple of tries, then it’s time to use insecticidal soap, again blasting away at the leaves’ underside. Generally, one time doesn’t do it, the conflict being a war of attrition, wearing the bastard’s down. Also, if there are aspens in the yard, spray them, too.

Of course, we have allies, chief amongst who are lady bugs, green lacewings, and parasitic wasps, all of whom like to dine on aphids. Lady bugs can be purchased from local commercial nurseries but are best sent into battle in the evening hours, lest they fly away. Fickle, the best thing to do is provide them with an attractive bivouac, buying their loyalty by planting sweet clover, spearmint, sweet fennel, and Queen Anne’s lace, their favored confections.

As our gardens age, be grateful. They’ll always need fixing along with the rest of us. This means fighting the good fight, finishing the race, keeping the faith, persevering therein to the end, and laying waste the demons.

Copyright © Dana Prom Smith 2011

Dana Prom Smith (, a Master Gardener, is the editor of GARDENING ETCETERA and can be reached at