Long live the long leaf pines

Photo of long leaf pines in the grass stage"Grass Stage"In 2008, on the advice of a forester friend, we planted 64 long leaf pines on the edge of our property. If you care about wildlife habitat, which we do, then the long leaf pine is a tree that matters. A native species, the long leaf can provide a refuge for everything from bobwhite quail to red-cockaded woodpeckers to tortoises and countless songbirds. Plus, we think they are strikingly beautiful.

Our trees were planted at the “grass stage,” a unique period when the tree looks more like a clump of grass than a tree. In just 4 years their growth has been phenomenal. Now, most of our pines are at the sapling stage, where lateral branches begin to emerge. Hopefully, with

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My happy adventure with lavender

My happy adventure with lavender started in 2009. I had been looking for something to grow that would be beautiful. A plant that was wildlife-friendly and tolerant at the same time. A perennial that would come back year after year. I remember wanting something purple, because we already had a lot of yellow black-eyed Susans. Purple would look good against the backdrop of our red barn, or at least that was my thought.

So, I chose lavender. Last spring I ordered four-hundred baby lavender “plugs.” I potted them and let them grow until the fall. Then, on hands and knees, we planted them in the ground. Of course, we didn’t just

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