Coffee With That Blog Archive July, 2010
It wasn't me who decided I ought to have a front porch. I just wanted a nice deck on the side of the house, facing the woods and the wetland and maybe providing a glimpse of Penobscot Bay. The notion of a front porch sprang from the fecundant mind of my architectural designer, an energetic young man named Eric Allyn, who seemed to feel that my otherwise unassuming cottage — less than 1000 square feet on a full stomach, clad in rough-cut board-and-batten siding — could use a touch of grandeur.
A former editor of this magazine was fond of announcing, with a mischievous gleam in his eye, "I'm going on vacation next week." At which point, you could either ask the obvious follow-up question or not. Within two seconds, he'd tell you anyway: "I'm going to Maine!"
When people say that something is both an art and a science, it usually means they don't know the first thing about it. The Mystic Mainer believes that gardening is neither an art nor a science but a glorious, ongoing catastrophe, before which one can only stand in wonder and dismay. This week, we respond to real and imaginary reader questions on the mysteries of horticulture.
Dear Mystic Mainer: Why are there all these earwigs, and why do they look the way they do, which is unpleasant?
— Liz (remember me?) in Lincolnville
Here's the thing about Mainers. We live mostly in these small towns and villages and semi-rural enclaves, and in consequence we may be thought of as ... well, I don't know — insular, homogeneous, unselfconsciously retro, all-of-a-piece. The truth is, we're all jumbled up.