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  • Jennifer Jewell


Leslie Bennett, Founder and Principal Designer Pine House Edible Gardens, Oakland, CA

I went away for a few days in late August to take my eldest daughter to her first year of college, an exciting and heartbreaking moment. When I came home, I found my lovely redbud tree completely defoliated. Completely. The little golden and striped caterpillars I had noticed just the week before had been very busy. My tree was not alone in this experience; neighbor trees on both sides of me had suffered the same. There's not much I am squeamish about but a leaf vibrating with the energy of being devoured by squirming little larva is one of those things that elicits a seriously cringy EWWW reaction from me. Even though I know it is an important part of the healthy food chain. And since I am not a sprayer, control of such things means living with it, or picking and squishing to maintain balance till the predators arrive. Squishing is, I know: EWWW. It can sometimes be satisfying, but can also just be EWWW.

Top: Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty' - dizzying and delicate in its late summer pollen patterning.

Bottom: A mountain meadow, late summer Sierra Nevada. Native hyssop, castilleja, corn lily, yampa and grasses.

Above: Spirit of volunteerism: ok this may not be what people mean when they say "spirit of volunteerism" but I'm loving the quirky arrangements created by self seeded Salvia fructicosa, bouteloua grass and lobelia in my front courtyard. I'll take these volunteers. Sometimes it's about working with what the universe offers.




Above: Elemental - the land, sea and sky at Inverness, CA.

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