Writings about

the many life lessons

unearthed when we dig

in the dirt . . . and pursue

a wide range of other interests

in the constantly changing

garden of life.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's time for me to go

During my three years of writing this Web log, I've dug a lot of holes, planted and pruned, blogged a lot of stories in Connecticut and Georgia. The experience has taught me more about how I garden and why I garden than I could have known when I filed my first post (on mosses) in 2011.

Much of that teaching has come from comments by other bloggers and gardeners, along with readers who do not blog. Or garden. I read each one, feeling the kinship, support and connections born in cyberspace, shared in the heart.

Thank you.

Too, I've learned a lot from the act of writing, which keenly focuses one on the subjects we write about – a truth made clear over and over in my decades as a journalist.

Now, it's time for me to stop blogging and go on gardening in the spaces I'm building here in Marietta, Georgia. Time to go to the kitchen and practice more sourdough. Do more reading; I'm tired of the steely stares from all those books I've gathered, stacked, cracked open but not read.

No, I do not expect to gain time; it goes too fast and ever faster no matter how we use it. I am simply rearranging it, hoping the way I'll spend it will be as satisfying as the last three years have been.

Cheers!

88 comments:

  1. Well Lee, I'm going to miss you but I certainly can understand your desire to allocate your time differently and expand your horizons in other directions. After all, there are only so many hours in the day! Keep in touch!

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    1. Hey, Sue, wouldn't it be lovely if we could find some Einsteinian way to stretch time to fit in everything we wanted to do all the time. While we can't do that, we can stay in touch.

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  2. Hey, Lee,

    What is there to say? Mostly how sad I am and how I'll miss your wonderful story telling. None better, for sure.

    May you have the time to do all the gardening and baking your heart desires. And may you have a wonderful and looong life in your Georgia garden.

    All the best to the best!!!

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    1. Hey, Barbara, you said it. And I appreciate it mightily.

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  3. Good luck to you, Sir—Your writing is a garden, it has produced countless yields of inspiration! I wish you well on your next journey of discovery.
    Best regards fellow gardener,
    Kit

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    1. Kit, your words about my words inspire, as do your good wishes.

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  4. All good and GREAT things come to an end! Carol and I will stay in touch,of course.Kurt

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    1. Kurt, here's to some more good times. Cheers.

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  5. I only discovered your blog in the last year but enjoyed reading and learning. Thank you for sharing and enjoy those books!

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    1. Kathryn, I'm glad we had some good time together. Thanks for letting me know.

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  6. I will miss you, Lee! I understand about having to rearrange one's time though. We only have so much time to do all of the things we love. I've been having trouble fitting everything in my schedule as well. Your blog posts have been a joy to read. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors, my gardening friend. :-)

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    1. Beth, I know you know how time shrinks and shrinks. I hope you can continue to juggle well. Thanks for reading and responding.

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  7. Oh no! I am sure going to miss you. We haven't even got to see how the back is coming around. Darn the luck. I do understand your need to use your time as you see fit. But darn, your writing is sublime. It makes me stretch my vocabulary, my thinking and gee, I feel like a real bud of yours. Your writing does that too. I hope you are well and happy gardening. sniff..

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    1. Lisa, I certainly feel connected to you as well. And delighted that my writing resonates with you. We've shared thoughts and plants (well, you shared with me for my new garden). Remember, with technology, I'm just a click away.

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  8. I will miss checking in to see how your new garden in your new home develops! You know your style of gardening has always intrigued me and I thank you for opening my eyes to a different way of designing a beautiful space. Enjoy it now, and make it satisfying, and make sure Big Momma has a space in your garden always.

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    1. Laurrie, the pleasure was mine, from the first time you saw and queried me about my Connecticut garden. It was a treat to see through your eyes what I was doing with my spaces. When I saw your garden, it was clear that you're creative and talented. If I influenced you even a little, I'm proud. Oh, and don't worry: Big Momma always gets hers.

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  9. Lee: I, for one, will miss your posts, but I offer you my encouragement in your efforts to rearrange time (a great phrase, by the way). I'll keep your blog on my reading list just in case you stop by someday and offer us an update on your new life in Georgia.

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    1. Thanks, Chad, for the encouragement and for keeping me in mind, should the Muse drop in. In the meantime, all best to you.

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  10. Sad for your readers, happy for you. I know bloggers must feel a lot of pressure. Enjoy the opportunity to just be and do. (And I hope to still see you around!)

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    1. We all seek balance among life's many parts, don't we. At the same time we understand that *having* those many parts sure beats the alternative.

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  11. Lee, you have always been such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much for your lovely words and thoughts. Thank you for sharing your exceptional intelligence and warm heart with your readers

    You will be missed__but never, never be forgotten.

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    1. Rose Lady, I thank you back, as I've enjoyed years of seeing in action your vast knowledge and talent for growing every rose imaginable. I like that your garden is not just roses but filled with myriad other plants that amount to a beautiful supporting cast.

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  12. I will miss your unique way of looking at things but completely understand the desire to dig into someone else's writing - a view I'm sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Alice. Happy digging.

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  13. In the short time since I discovered your blog, I've enjoyed getting to know you and your garden, and now I'll miss both. But I certainly understand the need to make time for other things. You are right: time goes by too fast. Enjoy those books, that sourdough, and the garden in Marietta! Cheers to you!

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    1. 'Preciate that, Gloria. Just the other day, I fed the sourdough and made a couple of boules. And today I'll finish a book that's been hanging around for weeks. I'm getting back. Happy gardening on you!

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  14. Say it ain't so, Lee. :(

    I'll miss your voice, your insights, your photos, your zest and joie de vivre.

    I'll keep your blog pinned to my blogroll for a while, just in case you reconsider.

    Hope you'll continue to leave comments on my blog so that our conversation won't end.

    Wishing you all the best. Good luck with the sourdough. May your bread always rise.

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    1. Aaron, it is so. And it is good to get such fine wishes from you. Keep your impassioned inquiries flowing; they've benefited your garden beautifully.

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  15. My first thought is to demand (yes, demand, pushy me) that you continue. I love seeing how your young garden is growing through pictures and words. My second thought, however, is that I'd be happier knowing you're taking time for the things you love, especially perfecting your recipe for sourdough bread. So set it to rising, curl up with one of those books, and enjoy!

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    1. Ahhh, Janice, thank you. Your competing thoughts are a metaphor for us all as we decide what to do or not do. We can only hope we get it right – or right enough.

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  16. Will certainly miss our chats, my friend. I have my cairn that you inspired me to make and will think of you often. Maybe, just maybe, I'll see you and Lynn at Gibbs Gardens one day. Enjoy your time, but know that you'll be missed!

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    1. Thank you, Beverly. I hope you're enjoying that cairn. You do know that one begets another, and so on. All best.

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  17. Oh No....said good-bye once and welcomed the surprise hello of this blog. Totally get it but am still sad...

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    1. Hey, Linda. Here's to the getting-it making up for the sadness. And there's good news in having the goodbye turned into Hello, I'm back in Georgia.

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  18. I've only recently-within the last year-come to this blog, but I have enjoyed your writing before. I read your books some years ago and remembered how you spoke of gardens then. Such was the experience that I did the ever-popular Google search and found this blog. Not only that, but I bought your books so that I might enjoy again the pleasure of reading them. While I am sorry you won't be continuing on here I wish you well as you continue your gardening and bread baking and reading, pleasures we share. I wish you well.

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    1. Jean, how wonderful to know we have such fine history. Thank you for being with me in words for all these years. Your telling me makes me put hand to heart. All goodnesses back on you.

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  19. I will miss your postings but I also know life is short and we must spend it wisely. . . Happy trails!

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    1. Many thanks, Beverly. Hold it in the road.

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  20. Dang! I was just getting to know you, Lee. Please reconsider! Maybe post once a month or once in a while as events and inspiration dictate? Of course, this is just my selfish appeal, and I do understand that you're feeling a call to readjust your priorities. But if you do decide to re-start, I'll always be a fan and a follower! Cheers!

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    1. Selfishness is not necessarily a bad thing. Your appeal flatters, and it's good to know that I'll have you as a reader if inspiration comes calling.

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  21. Well good for you, this blogging thing does take time and I too have that pile of books staring me down. Enjoy!

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    1. Thank you much. I'm facing the pile with pleasure, and I hope you can find time to do that too.

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  22. NOOOOOOO! *sigh*

    I'm not a blogger and can only imagine the time it takes but I can certainly understand your wish to have time to do other things. As some others have said, I just recently found your blog and have been enjoying it tremendously. I used to read your columns in the AJC and still have a few I saved!

    I just wanted to tell you that I love your gardening sense of style and have learned quite a bit from you through this blog and from your AJC articles. If I'm honest, I guess I should confess that I envy it more than just a little.

    Good luck in your next great adventure! And if you should change your mind and decide to start blogging again, I'm sure no one here would mind!

    Laura

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    1. Laura, I hear you loud and clear, and I love what you say. It's gratifying to know we go way back to my Atlanta newspaper garden-column days and that you're still with me. And how good it is to know you'd be there with me if I came writing back again.

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  23. You know I'm starting to get tired of having to say goodbye to you. We need to have a few hellos from time to time. Let me know what's coming next because I know you and you will never stop writing. Ps just mulched all the beds and the garden is starting to come around. Miss ya buddy. K.I.T

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  24. Heyyy, Good Friend Former Neighbor Harry,

    You're right; we've had two goodbyes in a year, the first when I left East Haddam, Connecticut, last year. I'll let you know what's next as soon as I know. Also, we'll work on a hello and a toast to your fabulous garden.

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  25. You will be so missed! Just knowing this is your last post makes me miss you already. :( Good luck with all your reading and enjoying. Life's too short not to make time for what you love.

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    1. Thank you for your fine wishes. I'll miss you too. Fortunately, good times make good memories.

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  26. I am a new follower of your blog, but I must admit I am going to miss you and your great posts! However, I do understand your choice and I have the same dilemma – in fact, I had actually decided to only make ONE blog post per month starting from January, but I haven’t been able to keep to that….I have so much in my garden I would like to share and write about.

    But time…time is always the issue. I am working on another book right now, my 7th, and number 8 is just about started. I have another 2 books on my ‘virtual drawing board’ so perhaps I will have to follow your example. Sooner or later something has to give, and it won’t be gardening or cooking with me neither.
    So long new friend, you got my email in case you feel like dropping a line.
    Take care, Helene

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    1. Helene, blogging – showing and telling about our gardens is unique, to be sure, but it's good to know this is not the only way we can be in touch.

      You seem to be arranging your time in a masterful, creative way, and I salute you.

      All best,
      Lee

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  27. I'll miss you too, but I understand why you're moving on. I, too am tempted to walk away. Just haven't been able to quite yet. Enjoy your life off the blogging treadmill, Lee, and please continue to read mine when you have the time.

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    1. Many thanks, and I'll be seeing you.

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  28. Your blog was different from the rest, which is why I liked it SO VERY much. It was more than just a gardening blog. I'm bummed, but I respect your choice & I wish you the best.

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    1. Hello, Anon,

      Thank you. As a new reader, you can unearth some of my earlier pieces, which I hope you will enjoy. Meanwhile, all goodnesses on you.

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  29. Oh, Lee, how I will miss your posts! When we started blogging about the same time three years ago, your blog was one if the first ones I started reading. Your blogs were informative, well-written, and somehow very soothing to read. It is very courageous of you to rearrange your time. That is so hard to do. I know you will enjoy baking and reading through your pile of books. All the best to you, Lee.

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    1. Lana, we do go way back and with the same timing in the blogging world. I thank you for your good words, as always, and wish you good times in gardening and writing – and life.

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  30. Lee,

    Your blog: a forum for expressing your interests and passions, your love of language, life and writing and most of all your crazy, wonderful love of plants and gardening.

    You have influenced me in my gardening pursuits; to break the rules is OK; to not be afraid to prune with a discerning eye is artistic. And much more.

    Looked forward to and loved reading your essays and observations, but....
    Rearranging your time is a good thing. Realizing that, my friend, I wish you much joy and happiness in gardening and in life.

    Carol

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    1. Carol, your eloquent description of my written offerings makes me put hand to heart. And your telling me I've influenced you is high praise, as I've always admired and appreciated your gift for gardening, whether in the dirt or with the camera.

      So it is with admiration, I wish you continued creativity.

      Truly,
      Lee

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  31. I will certainly miss your words of inspiration but totally understand. Life is way too short to spend it doing things that for whatever reason have become a burden. Best of luck to you!

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    1. Many thanks, Denise, and all best to you.

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  32. Oh Lee, I am sad. I missed you when moved and then... surprise, you were back. I always felt like I was walking through your garden with you or sitting on the bench with your cat or admiring your lovely houseplants. You are the only other gardener I know that appreciates a pretty weed. Enjoy your new freedom.

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  33. Hey, Susan, it feels odd to say thank you for your sadness, but thank you. On the other hand, your being with me (and Cat Bette) in the garden is happy-making.

    The weed abides.

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  34. lee please reconsider the permanence of this decision take a break of 6 months....I dont want to lose you and it makes me want to quit too.....:-(

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    1. No, Sharon, I hope you don't quit. I just needed to do some time-shifting. Wish I could do some time-stretching, but I couldn't.

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  35. Last week was a busy week for me with the loss of my mother. When I briefly looked at my blog list and saw "it's time to go", I was sad. Reading your blog for the past couple of years has made me smile and laugh. Blogs allow readers not only to learn more about gardening but share in the lives of others. May you continue to enjoy and live life to the fullest. Enjoy your wife, family, and garden. Keep writing even if you don't choose to blog again but I hope you do. I look forward to reading your published books and enjoy the style of your writing and hear more of your stories. It's always a welcome surprise to watch past shows of the Victory Garden and see you as guest correspondent. May life continue to be good to you. You will be missed.

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  36. Condolences, Patricia. I know how significant that loss is.

    You do me proud with your good words about my words (on and off camera), and I thank you. For that and for your good wishes for the future. I send those good wishes right back to you and know one thing for sure: Digging in the dirt is not optional; I must.

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  37. How sad to see you go. I've followed your blog after a chance meeting in CT a couple of years ago and have been inspired by your love of both gardening and life. You always have a unique perspective and I will miss that. You've made me a better gardener for it. Much luck to you in the future!

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  38. Kathleen, I appreciate your reading – and letting me know that, with words that warm my heart. Too, it's good to know I wrote something that made a difference in your gardening. All the best to you.

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  39. Kathleen SullivanJune 7, 2014 at 6:18 PM


    So sorry to see you go. I have loved your photos and have really enjoyed your musings on plants and life. Visiting your blog brought me back to my inspiring walks around your grounds in East Haddam and helped soften the blow of my favorite couple leaving Connecticut. I have been amazed at how in less than a year you have transformed an ordinary, boring yard into another unique, showpiece garden. How do you do it! I've come to expect from you the vision and creativity to transform the dull into the extraordinary, but how you exert the energy and persistence of a construction gang is beyond me. I am so impressed. But, yes, it's time for you to rest and move on to tasks less physically demanding - baking bread, reading, writing, and enjoying the companionship of the incomparable Lyn.

    Darn, now that I think of it, you shouldn't have to shuffle. For you, time should expand to accommodate all your interests and talents.

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    1. Kathleen, I always loved our walks and your keen interest and appreciation, qualities that made your own garden such a fine one. I appreciate your fine goodbye and love your wish for an accommodating expansion of time. I'd take it in a heartbeat.

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  40. Lee, Not having heard from you in a while, I thought to check on you, and now I am so disappointed! I truly understand that other things in life are more important than blogging, which can become so time consuming. Nevertheless, I will miss you! I always looked forward to your insightful writing, and I was excited to see your new garden develop. Already you have made so much progress, digging in with the enthusiasm of an experienced and dedicated gardener. I wish you the best in all your endeavors, gardening and otherwise. May you face the coming years with strength of mind, clear vision, and joy of life. Happy gardening! Deb

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    1. Deb, I appreciate you, your garden and your good words. Your elegant good wishes for my doings going forward inspire and will stay with me

      All best to you,
      Lee

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  41. So sorry to see you go. Your posts have touched me in so many ways, as with so many others, as all these comments show. Every time I pick up a rock or a shell, every time I see a glorious bonsai, every time I bring in my tender potted plants for the winter, every time... I will think of you and be grateful for the generous nature your writing portrays.

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  42. Joan, what a lovely sendoff. You hit some high notes that make me feel proud of what I've done – and hopeful about what I will do. Thank you.

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  43. Thank you for your blog! I discovered it just before you moved from Connecticut, and loved visiting often, to see your perspective of your garden. Wishing the very best to you as you make space for other activities. Know that you had a special place in my life, and will be missed.

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  44. Maria, I thank you for your good words and wishes. They touch me deeply.

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  45. I am very sorry to hear this, but I completely understand. I wish you good times and good health to enjoy them.

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    1. 'Preciate your reading – and your good wishes, Nan. All best.

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    2. Lee, best wishes to you. Time is so fleeting. One of my nieces just graduated high school and it doesn't seem so long ago. I was taking her baby pictures.

      Enjoy gardening and baking. Even though I've been off the blogging grid, I will miss the images that you draw with your words. I will have "plant envy" for all the lush and tropical plants you can grow in Marietta.

      Hugs,

      Theta

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    3. Ahhh, Theta, I missed you when you unplugged, and now I thank you for your good wishes and good words. You know there are many patches of earth waiting for you in the South.

      Hugs back on you,
      Lee

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  46. I an late to this post! I have been absent from my own blog lately, busy with a big move to the left side of the continent.
    I am so glad to have "met" you here and have you often start my day. I will be making time for grandchildren and family, and completely understand the many things that compete for time in our lives.
    A quote I recently saw says it well: "Life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste."...Bonnie Raitt (64)

    I'll miss you.
    Marie ('bug)

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    1. Bonnie, you and I know that truth. Here's to safe travel and many good times. I've enjoyed "knowing" and reading you, Marie.

      All the best,
      Lee

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  47. Lee, I've watched (and listened) to you for many years on PBS and Victory Garden re-runs, but I've only come to know your website recently through general "googling". And now, you've decided to hang up shop! Nonetheless, I wish you the best, and truly hope that you don't disappear from our public lives, as we need the truth to be told through gardening and you do it best. Maybe my son and I will run into you around Furnald and Lerner Hall in the future; he's a very recent grad from the old "blue and white".

    All the best! MJ

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  48. MJ, your much-appreciated note brings back some fine memories and reaffirms my faith in gardening writing as a prime way to tell life stories. If we happen to cross paths around the hall, do stop me for a chat. Cheers!

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  49. Just checking back one more time. A final wave at the train station... :)

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    1. Ahhh, thank you. Maybe someday, when the spirit calls – and before it's too late.

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  50. Hi Lee, I have just discovered your wonderful blog after doing a search for large leafed plants and one of your past posts came up. So sorry I came in at the end of your blogging, but am very grateful you have kept it open. I am not a very good gardener but you have a wealth of information here and I love your writings and beautiful photos. Thank you so much, from Denise in Northern Virginia.

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  51. Hello, DeniseinVA. Thank you for your fine words and for your visit. Not very good? Let's face it: We're all learning, no matter how long we dig in the dirt. I'm delighted my blog provides something you can use.

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