I Promise This is Intentional.

We were at one of our local garden seminars the other weekend and one of the presentations we went to was about planting small native gardens. Mary Jo Fleming from the Chippewa Valley Master Gardeners has drank the Rewilding and Homegrown National Parks Kool-Aid along with me and has the garden to back it up.… Continue reading I Promise This is Intentional.

A Home Grown National Park

Hoo boy! I love it when I read another article or blog post and get all excited and fired up! Margaret over at A Way to Garden spoke with Doug Tallamy, author of "Nature's Best Hope" about how we, the humble homeowner, are nature's best hope for better success with conservation and general habitat growth.… Continue reading A Home Grown National Park


I just thought we could all use a reminder of what is waiting for us on the other side of winter. Its snowing like the Dickens here today and Lord knows these long, cold, dreary days of January and February make it hard to remember that Spring will, eventually, come back. So here are some… Continue reading THINK SPRING!

On Rules.

I was recently reading another gardening blog and she asked what gardening rules we found it hardest to abide by. My response was all of them! But let me clarify before you judge me: I am a very firm believer in horticultural rules. I believe in Right Plant, Right Place more than any other gardening… Continue reading On Rules.

Seed Starting: A New (to me) Approach

Oh seed starting! You are the first bit of gardening I get to do every year. I love its frugality, seeing the whole process from the very beginning, and being able to grow varieties I know I can't get in local nurseries. When we first moved here my set up was on folding tables with… Continue reading Seed Starting: A New (to me) Approach

Low-Maintenance: Myth or Reality?

I go back and forth about the notion of a low-maintenance garden and The Middle Sized-Garden's recent post about it rekindled the internal debate. Is it really a realistic goal for a natural space- even when planned and tended to by humans- to be low-maintenance? Should it be? She mentioned some things that I think… Continue reading Low-Maintenance: Myth or Reality?

South Dakota.

All this talk of American Gardens, pioneering spirit, and rewilding got me thinking about what, exactly, spurred my love of prairies. I suspect it had much to do with our years spent living amongst them. We lived in South Dakota, near Sturgis and in Rapid City, at the base of the Black Hills for about… Continue reading South Dakota.

William Paca Gardens

While in Annapolis last May- gosh that feels like such a long time ago!- we stopped by the William Paca Gardens as a short change of pace from all things Navy. I'd heard great things and seen beautiful photos online, so my expectations we reasonably high that we'd get a lovely historical garden tour. It… Continue reading William Paca Gardens


Rewilding is a progressive approach to conservation. It’s about letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land and sea, repair damaged ecosystems and restore degraded landscapes. Through rewilding, wildlife’s natural rhythms create wilder, more biodiverse habitats. This word seems to be a bit of a catchphrase amongst the hip and trendy… Continue reading Rewilding.

Monty Don’s American Gardens

I was oh so happy to start watching Monty Don's three-part series on American Gardens (BBC, but also on YouTube I hear) during my shoulder surgery convalescence (it has taken me quite a long time to type this with one hand!). It was utterly delightful to see the breadth and depth and uniqueness of so… Continue reading Monty Don’s American Gardens

Green With Envy.

I've made this post before. I will likely make it again about this time next year. My blog roll and Instagram feeds are full of blooming Snowdrops, Iris ritculata, Crocuses, and Narcissus. There are people digging over and preparing their allotments. There are people actually gardening and I'm positively ripe with envy. Damn those Brits… Continue reading Green With Envy.

The Gardens of The Grand.

My lovely Mom and I went on a weekend getaway to The Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island, Michigan back in September 2019. It had been something she had long wanted to do, and the timing was finally right. It was a glorious late-summer-early-fall weekend, thought the trees hadn't started changing, the air was a bit… Continue reading The Gardens of The Grand.

Bulbs for 2020.

This year's bulb order from the esteemed Brent & Becky's was a small one. Camassias, Trout Lilies, and more Daffodils. Specifically Camassia 'Blue Danube' which prefers slightly less constantly damp soil than traditional Camassias. I've put in in the East side of the Main Garden to pair with the intense purples and stark whites we… Continue reading Bulbs for 2020.

Great Expectations.

I'm sure by now you've all figured out that I'm a fan of podcasts- particularly gardening ones. They are the ideal medium for my work and I manage to learn things while I screen cases. Just before the New Year I found "Roots, Wings, and Other Things" featuring Master Beekeeper Jez Rose and Chelsea Award… Continue reading Great Expectations.

Winter Walks

When nice winter days arrive (we're talking anything above 32F, plus or minus sunshine or alternately super sunny and bitingly cold) I do like to hop out into the garden and do a bit of a walkabout. Its good to check in on the shrubs and hedges to look for any early signs of rodent… Continue reading Winter Walks

Pick A Word: 2020 Edition.

Happy New Year Everyone and Welcome 2020! Everyone got all reminiscent about the passing of a decade, but not here at Chez Box and Bay- just another wintry day and another day closer to spring I'm afraid! We watched a lot of football and the Great British Bake Off Holiday special with the Derry Girls-… Continue reading Pick A Word: 2020 Edition.

Year End Favorites

As 2019 draws down, I thought it might be a good exercise to think about the past year and what has stood out as great, enjoyable, unexpected, and/or soothing. What was great in 2019 This Podcast Will Kill You- a delightfully quirky podcast full of science about pathogens and their history that I can't stop… Continue reading Year End Favorites

2020 Veg Garden

Since my seed orders have already arrived and I'm proving to have a sliver of self-control, foregoing any of the temptations in the newly arrived catalogs, I thought I might as well get the veg garden plan in place before I become the One Armed Bandit. (BTW, I get to have shoulder surgery shortly and… Continue reading 2020 Veg Garden

The Cold December Rain

Guns 'n Roses might have gotten it wrong because we've been getting rain here in Northern Wisconsin. In late December. It is so strange and so atypical. Heck, Christmas Day was warmer than both Halloween and Thanksgiving! I'm unsure how this new winter-time meteorological event will impact the garden. The existing snow is melting and… Continue reading The Cold December Rain

Site Update

Hiya! Obviously if you are reading this on anything other than a third-party blog reader you'll have already noticed the site update. Nothing functional has changed, just that the menu up top is easier to see/navigate and hopefully the site is, overall, easier to read. Please let me know if you encounter any issues and… Continue reading Site Update