Garden Flash!

cover for blog copyThe peas are in! I don’t know how you feel about peas, so this may or may not be exciting news for you. Certainly some are feeling smug, for their own peas are probably not only in but up a few inches, so you will be eating peas before I do. To which I reply with that Ozark declaration, “Well! Ain’t you somethin!”

As for what peas and how many, since there’s just one of me, I planted a short, four foot row of Sugar Ann snap peas along the east fence of the garden – snap peas because I find them more versatile and less troublesome to harvest and prepare, and because I like the nice, satisfying crunch when using them raw.And Sugar Ann because they produce a shorter vine more nearly the height of my four foot high garden fence. I know the original Sugar Snap boasts a 10-foot vine, but I have no intention of either building a 10-foot trellis or trying to pick them while balancing on a ladder whose feet are resting on my soft and untrustworthy garden soil. I think the message I’m trying to come to is that one whose intent is to have peas should decide what they like best and plant those.Some will choose delicate snow peas; others will be content with nothing but the traditional English peas (of which the old standard Lincoln variety is still tops for taste and abundance, incidentally. But don’t settle for less than your favorite. If you don’t have favorites, experiment. Just don’t try to mimic what I’m doing unless that’s what you really want. You’ll be happier that way, and you’ll have peas! I can hardly wait. If it ever stops raining, I’m going to plant way too many potatoes next. And tell me. How does your garden grow?


S. Denton



It’s Out, or Almost

IMG_0335My new book of gardening essays, titled Crosspatch: Cranky Musings on Gardening in Rocky Ground has arrived at the printer, has been accepted, and proof copies will arrive October 15 – just in time for the holidays!
It’s 254 pages jam-packed with thoughts, notions, some wee bits of wisdom and loads of odds and ends on gardening as the valuable, healing meditative expression of hands in dirt and head in the clouds – a uniquely human effort that feeds both body and soul. It’s the total gardening me, guaranteed to be out standing in my field.
Those of you who followed my years-long gardening column in the West Plains Daily Quill and/or my radio essays “These Ozark Hills” will find some of these pieces familiar. They (no pun intended) cover a lot of ground. I can’t wait for you to see it, read it and let me know what you think!  The book will be available at a variety of outlets by Halloween or before. Or you can order an autographed copy from me.
cover for blog copy
Crosspatch: Cranky Musings on Gardening in Rocky Ground – order Crosspatch