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The mailbox mouse
08 November 2016| Bees + Bugs + Wildlife, Stories

Something is alive in the mailbox. A few months back the door of the mailbox rusted to the point that it just fell off. But the rest of the box was fine and I see plenty of boxes around that don’t have doors at all – so I opted to not add this to my lengthy list of things to worry about. After some windy weather a few days back, I noticed a few leaves way in the back. I figured that they blew in. And since I generally drive...

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03 November 2016| Art, Stories

I’m on a word diet.  It’s just like Atkins, but instead of eating steaks slathered in butter, I have to string together two thousand five hundred original words a day, for 30 days.  I’m purging all inhibitions, negative thoughts, procrastination tactics, and lame excuses. At the age of 43 I’ve finally come to the conclusion that all those people who say you shouldn’t diet just need to shut up and mind their own business. Some of us need weird diets – because they actually work. I need simple straightforward rules...

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White house kitchen Garden Michelle Obama - Show me a movement - www.pithandvigor.com
01 November 2016| Edibles, Family Gardens

I am very excited to welcome a guest here today. Linda Bilsens is the Community Composting Manager at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and earlier this year, Michelle Obama paid a surprise visit to her garden.  (I. Would. Die. – And I’d need weeks to prepare!).  Linda wrote this in response to her experience and I am happy to share it with you in these final days before this election season ends.  -R   On a chilly day in late-February, my husband and I received an unexpected visitor to our backyard: First Lady Michelle Obama....

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Urbana illinois bat house project
22 October 2016| Art, Bees + Bugs + Wildlife

So everyone knows that we need to save the bees.  And pollinators too.  But what are all the pollinators? Well, the list is long and it does include lots of butterflies but it also includes bats. Bats are fascinating. To watch their jagged flight patterns as they dart and dive for mosquito food is a fascinating way to spend an early summer evening.  They don’t come out until the light is low, so you only really see their shadowed outline but you can tell what they are by the way...

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Re-planting the Christmas Cactus with Method Hand Soap by rochelle greayer
12 October 2016| Houseplants, method

My christmas cactus is kind of disgusting. Many years ago, I had this (less than) genius idea to plant my cactus in a clear glass vase.  I thought that the layers of rocks at the bottom with soil on top, permeated by the roots would be some sort of beautiful ant-farm-like terrarium of underground interest. I was wrong, in fact it almost immediately got cloudy, then the roots and dirt starting mixing a little too much.  Some algae grew, other wierd and ugly stuff happened and ultimately I’ve had this...

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@doyoutravel in montserrat spain
11 October 2016| Gardens To Visit, Spain

I spent a week in Barcelona this summer and now I have a new top five favorite European cities list.  It now goes like this – Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, London, Barcelona.  Rome fell (to number 6). I had no expectation to love it as I did. I’ve been to Spain a few other times. While I think it is a lovely country, the magical combination of food, landscape, history, architecture, culture and that intangible magic that happens when you travel just never fully conjured on previous trips.  Barcelona was different and...

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Direvilla Kodiak Orange by Rochelle Greayer www.pithandvigor.com
06 October 2016| Plants, Proven Winners, Water Gardens

It goes with the territory that get to try out lots of new plants.  Most are nice – but if they can’t pass muster then they don’t stand a chance of getting a write up here. Definition of Passing Muster: They have to survive and thrive without any special care, which might not even include regular watering. I’m tough to please when it comes to low maintenance but still looking nice and thriving. This fall (2016), follows an unseasonably hot and dry summer. Lots of plants struggled more than normal but there are three plants...

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Le Riad Jasmine pool marrakech morocco islamic pool garden

I’ve got to scratch an itch – my travel itch.  Today Marrakech, Morocco is enticing today… tomorrow it might be Sweden – it doesn’t matter where, I just want to go. Lately, my town seems too small and my whole world is just a little too familiar. My desperation for a little excitement and intrigue is going to get dangerous if I don’t let off a little steam…. at least in my day dreams. They say that much of the joy of travel is the anticipation and planning (a data point I...

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22 September 2016| Art, Botanical Illustration

I gave up cross stitching after some serious burnout from making a pillow for a sorority sister back in college. But with colorful cording and fencing wire, I think I might be back in the game.  I need more flowers on my house and I love the way Raquel Rodrigo’s Urban Garden Cross-Stitching looks on a black garden wall. And you know how gardeners and garden designers are always trying to come up with good plant pairings?  Well a whole new world of combos just started swirling in my mind. Check...

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condessa coffee by rochelle greayer www.pithandvigor.com art by andrew catanses titled: Revelation in the Garden
20 September 2016| Garden Travel, Gardens To Visit

Two days in Atlanta at the Garden Writers Association conference are in the rear view mirror.  But before I forget, I want to share three quick travel thoughts related to Atlanta, Georgia. Check out Gibbs Gardens. My visit to Gibbs was the last thing I did in a very long wet day.  I was completely saturated by rain by the time I got there.  My clothes were soaked and my shoes were puddles. I was fearful that my camera might get water damaged because my phone had already stopped working. I had...

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Rochelle GreayerFounder/ Editor

Rochelle Greayer runs PITH + VIGOR, an adaptive publishing project that encourages a greater connection with nature and the environment through gardening, art, design, regional food and meaningful travel. This online platform is a showcase of thoughts and ideas as well as a springboard for creative collaborations, events and classes, and a magazine. In the fall of 2014, the print version of PITH +VIGOR, was launched with a successful crowdfunding campaign. Issue 6 is currently in production. Greayer’s “Cultivating Garden Style” was published by Timber Press in the Autumn of 2014.