Guest Columns


Hear, Hear

One of the signs of aging, in addition to getting older, is that parts of our bodies don’t work nearly as well as they used to. It’s possible, in fact, that some parts will even fall off occasionally…





The Mother Road

I had read the explanation in enough different places by enough different writers to believe that it must be true. Bobby Troup, whom we last saw in the movie “M.A.S.H.,” was driving west — in a ’41 Buick…


Stop Digging

“Your garden’s so pretty! How do you do that?” my neighbor gushed. She: stylishly dressed, walking her dog; me: wet and muddy squatting down with my hands in the soil. I was about to explain that I enjoy tending my garden and that, with a little effort…



Echinacea Worth Meeting

Let me introduce my latest fascination — Echinacea x hybrida ‘Red Ombre.’ I know what you’re thinking: What could possibly be special about an Echinacea? Readers of this column may recall that I like to meet new plants by first learning their botanical name, so let’s start with the genus Echinacea…






Welcome Back

Orange County is beginning to feel like its former self. Restaurants and bars are open, buzzing with students, visitors, and townies. The simplest things – a drink, a meal, a walk downtown – feel celebratory.





Open Letter to: Mayor and Town Council

First, I wish to thank mayor and council for the time and energy they have spent on Trinsic’s application for a Conditional Zoning Permit. It has become a deeply controversial process, aggravated and obscured by SARS-CoV2 restrictions on public meetings and information.



Hop on Pop

Roly-poly on the beach, a tow-headed cherub clambers on his disarmed father like the man is his personal playground jungle gym. Of all the snapshots hiding in dusty closets glued to old-school, black-paged photo albums from the ‘40s labeled “Snaps,”…



Responsible Gardening

A packet of seeds, meant to catch my eye, arrived in the mail. A seed company in a faraway state, trying to get my business, wants me to look at their catalog. Its strategy backfired. I’m not happy with the little gift; in fact, I’m rather huffy about it. The colorful packet featured a watercolor image of several different unidentifiable….


Vote Yes on Aura

On Wednesday, the Chapel Hill Town Council will be considering the Aura project, a mixed-use infill project at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Estes Drive. We believe this is an excellent and appropriate project on a rare, transit-convenient piece of Chapel Hill land.





What Makes a Great Plant?

As any gardener will tell you, there are lots of good plants out there but few truly great plants. This got me thinking: What makes a plant great? Bob Solberg, hybridizer extraordinaire of hostas and owner of Green Hill Hostas in Franklinton, wrote an article on great hostas…




Shopping for Life Advice

Every parent wants to pass down words of sage advice to their graduating high schoolers. And while I’m currently on my last graduating high schooler, I’m still on the first draft…