garden frog


a small garden—

lifting straw and moving soil

disturbing earth dwellers

frog small as a billiard ball

frowns from where I saw him last


©️2018 Ontheland

Carpe Diem #1449 presents ‘river frog’ in its Summer Kigo series. I’ve featured a relative, this garden frog.

mid-June race to summer

There is no question that we are galloping towards summer. Cold nights are coming to an end and lately, days have been hot and dry. It was a tumultuous early spring for my partner and I. We both had health issues that kept us indoors. Meanwhile buds were bursting and grass was growing high. Some areas of the yard needed to be trimmed so we could walk the dogs and navigate around the house and vegetable gardens. When I was finally able to work outside, I had to accept that spring was in the lead.

wading through long grass

on the way to the kale patch

huge dandelion

leaves flaunting wild abundance

thistles nestling in sweet greens


©️2018 Ontheland

Gardener’s rant

By country roads they’re spraying herbicide

Let’s chop and mow and raise our ‘No Spray’ signs

Let’s say no to poison — send those trucks away.


Now is the time to plant new seed

not to cull in the name of noxious weeds

Roadside trims are still enough.


A gardener’s work is never done

We toil from dawn to setting sun.


Only when hungry bugs bite and prowl

do we surrender, throw down our trowels.

I was working outside all day, both in the vegetable garden and in the yard mowing and putting up NO SPRAY signs, leaving little time to write. I thought I would write a haiku but ended up with this.

©2017 Ontheland










Perennial: ‘lasting for a long time’

Sometimes a long time

feels like forever

and then we forget

about the conditions

that perpetuate.

Right soil


gentle winds, ample sun

friendly fauna,

attention and effort

to support, to protect

knowing that

what appears


may die and not return.

©2017 Ontheland




May rains

We’ve had an unusual stretch of rain and clouds. 


such abundance!

the creek is now a river

tumbling to the lake


city pond

new willow tresses

fill mirror 

After days of rain

faithful gardener returns

to kneel, sprinkling seeds

©2017 Ontheland


Straw, dirt, logs and twigs

careful mounds packed for decay,

this gardener’s dream:

black earth mountain richness feeds

a riot of spring flowers.

©2016 ontheland

Hugelkultur is a method of creating a new garden bed by layering logs, branches and twigs and covering them with alternating layers of organic materials such as  leaves, straw, compost, soil, and so on.  Digging in my yard is next to impossible as the topsoil is thin and there is an abundance of clay and rock. So this fall I constructed my first ‘hugel’ mound.   I placed straw and soil on top of  branches from a huge pile of brush left out back by previous inhabitants.  In spring I’ll add composted manure, liberally sprinkle with seeds, and cross my fingers. For more info and illustrations, visit this Permaculture magazine article.

Tanka poem in response to Carpe Diem Tanka Splendor #27: decay

End of June Vegetable Garden Visit

Welcome to the second 2016 visit to my vegetable garden—all photos were taken in the last days of June.  I can’t show every angle so I select shots that I think may be of interest.  June was a dry month and I thought growth was slow.  Yet when I compared pictures from this time last year, I discovered that some parts of the garden are farther along.  I need patience and gained perspective.

I start with the beans.  The tall bamboo poles (on my blog masthead) are a statement of growth.  I love how pole bean vines wind upwards.


The zucchini plant is growing rapidly.  In the bottom left corner: yellow dill umbrella flowers and a single calendula flower bloom.  In the upper right corner: bean plants.


Here is a closeup of a calendula flower between the garlic plants.  About five years ago, I planted dill and calendula—they have self-seeded ever since.


The cucumber plants are growing:


Peppers are starting to show.  They emerge from tiny star flowers.

Pepper flower


I harvested three beets today.

Peas emerge from delicate white flowers.  They are flourishing and will be finished soon.


Vegetables that didn’t make it to this photo post are winter squash, onions, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli (a story in itself).  Thanks for visiting!

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