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In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.

I knew having a garden wouldn’t be easy, but sometimes it seems impossible. We planted seeds two weekends back and many have already sprouted including radishes. The sunflowers started coming up, only to be quickly chomped down by slugs. This is new, last year the sunflowers grew with no problems to monumental heights. Meanwhile I’ve spent a lot of time pulling up clover which took over a frustrating amount of space in our new flower meadow. Clover in the lawn doesn’t bother me, but when it smothers out all the flowers trying to grow for the pollinators I feel obliged to fight back. It’s a never-ending back and forth.

It’s surprising what I find growing in the yard that I never planted. Each year the crocus spread across the yard followed by bluebells. This year the bluebells seem to have marched right across the entire length of the front yard and diversified into light blue/purple and white flowers along with the blue. I’m also finding tulips I didn’t plant and don’t remember seeing before. Other things I did plant are doing well and we already have our first California Poppy blooming this year. Two years ago I spread a lot of poppy seeds along the house but only a few grew. This year they’ve exploded and there are dozens and dozens of tiny poppy sprouts coming up. The tree has already leafed out and started shading that flower bed so I hope some will still bloom this year. The Sea Thrift I planted is also spreading and starting to flower this spring and I have a healthy group of Nodding Onion in a container. At least some of the discouraging parts of the yard seems to be balanced by the successes. I guess that’s what keeps gardeners going.


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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, Popular Science, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction. Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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