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March 05, 2009



My advice on gardening (with apologies to Nike)--just do it! Herbs are so easy to grow & many of them come back every year, so you only have to plant them once. I am almost giddy when I see my "friends" come back every summer. If you love to cook, you must have an herb garden! No one has less talent or inclination for gardening than I do, but herbs are really easy. Last summer I also planted 1 cucumber plant (in my FRONT yard, no less) and got so many cucumbers that I was giving them away in buckets and still had more than I could possibly use. Oh, and I've also had great success with planting flower seeds here and there--morning glory, zinnias, cosmos....just stick them in the ground, water occasionally, and voila!


I have the answer to making a productive and lovely garden happen: hire a professional gardner.

Actually, there may be creative and mutually beneficial ways to have someone else garden in your space. Near-by apartment dwellers, retirees who have expanded beyond their own plots, or my mother's favorite - child slave labor.

Melissa Nelson

Try a raised bed. I bought a 3 x 3' kit from Gardners Supply Co. I never have to water--even during super dry conditions--and the kids love to get involved too.


Where I live in NC the soil is mostly clay and as the weather warms, just like clay in a kiln, it hardens rock hard. I've actually used a pick ax to dig a hole. My solution was to make a container garden. I don't plant much but I have five large pots I've bought at Lowe's hardware and usually plant two with herbs and three with vegetables. My family loves cherry tomatoes and these plants fit nicely in a large pot. One plant yeilds an entire summer worth or tomatoes. Peppers are another favorite. This way, too, I can move them around my yard from year to year depending on what we have going on in the backyard. The raised garden is another nice solution to poor soil conditions.


Well, I like the links. I like to quibble with the Amazon list (although one wonders why I would bother, really, since those lists are always controversial), and I am super pleased to see the Springsteen covers. Not only am I devoted to the Avett Bros., but I also like Ted Leo a lot (he's not folky/alt-country, just to mention). So your post today was broadening. And Michael Pollan was talking about the concept of a "victory garden" in these troubled times, and it's making me think I should plant a few zucchinis. Or similar.

David Brociner

There's a lot of good stuff on that list but how does Nick Drake rate so high? One Volkswagon commercial and he pulls in at number 4, for what I would argue isn't even his best album (Five Leaves Left, imho). Like most of these lists there is too much emphasis on recent releases. Do you think in 5 years anyone will mention Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, the Mountain Goats, Cat Power. The Patti Griffin album they picked is far from her best, Living with Ghosts, etc. Plus, how do you have a list like this with no Wilco and no Richard Buckner?

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