06/09/17 8:00am
SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Beautiful and beneficial Monarda

SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Beautiful and beneficial Monarda

Monarda is a popular perennial plant used in bee and butterfly gardens. Fragrant patches of it emerge throughout my yard and landscape. I pick a leaf off of the square stem of the plant, crush it between my fingers and release the citrus-like aroma. I am reminded of why the plant is also called bergamot, due to its rich aroma reminiscent of bergamot oranges. I put the leaf in my mouth and savor the pungent, spicy tones.  (more…)

05/12/17 10:00am
SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Bees and their queen on the move in May.

SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Bees and their queen on the move in May.

I have learned that there is no hiding when Mother Nature has something for you to experience. There are moments to witness and lessons to learn within each and every season.  If you are willing to be present, you will find that nature is full of surprises.

I have been quietly working in my garden, the May morning is warm and clear. Birds are singing, and the essence of spring is awake with every flower unfolding.  (more…)

04/09/17 3:00pm
SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Plantain may be considered a weed, but it is a powerful ally in the first aid kit.

SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Plantain may be considered a weed, but it is a powerful ally in the first aid kit.

You have seen it. You may have stepped on it. It is a very familiar, perennial weed that will penetrate a crack in a sidewalk, or diligently follow alongside a walkway or trail.

With common names such as “Snakeweed” or “Englishman’s Foot,” in some circles plantain, Plantago major, is regarded as a weed.  One of the “Super Weeds” that the chemical lawn industries have declared war on. (more…)

03/09/17 8:00am
SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Bees visiting an amethyst crystal in Sarah Shepherd’s garden.

SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Bees visiting an amethyst crystal in Sarah Shepherd’s garden.

The countdown is here. Spring is around the corner. You can feel it with the readiness of the tree buds, and the burst of new beginning spring beauty. It has been a long winter for the honeybees I keep in my yard. One of my top bar hives allows me to remove an outer piece of wood and peek into a side window that offers a glimpse into the inner world of the residents.   (more…)