A Nature Walk With: The Violet Fern

The Violet Fern is the story of a garden. Kathy has such a good time planting and maintaining her little corner of the world. She has a beautiful yard and she cares for flowers and vegetables. Those of us that have been following her for a while have watched as she made this beauty from practically nothing but space. Besides looking at the results, we can learn a lot about how to grow our own plants.

I am pleased to have the opportunity to talk to Kathy as we take a nature walk with The Violet Fern.

01. Welcome to Nature Center Magazine. We are all anxious to learn a little bit about you. Tell us what your blog is all about.

My blog is about the making of my garden, but the making of my garden leads to so much more. It is also about the making of a gardener as I gain more experience, especially in growing vegetables. It is also about organic gardening as I learn more about nurturing the earth which then leads to other life changes and decisions. It is also about the making of a mini wildlife habitat as I learn more about native plants, birds, insects, and natural checks and balances.

02. Everyone has their own unique story about what gave them the idea to start blogging. What is yours?

When we moved here to the small village of Clayton, NY in 2007 our lot was grass. It was a seemingly small amount of grass compared to our previous home in rural Maine. I couldn't wait to start a new garden! I needed an outlet to channel my ambitions without driving my friends and family nuts with my obsessive garden commentary. My husband kindly suggested starting a blog. I love that my blog records the making of my garden beginning with all that grass.

03. What do you enjoy about nature and what benefits do you derive from it?

What I enjoy about nature is this — a weed will crack the toughest pavement. Nature evolves, nature adapts, nature prevails. It's what I strive to be as a person and nature has so many extraordinary examples to live by.

04. Each of us has our own way of being with nature. Some people hike, some take pictures, and some climb trees. How do you experience nature?

I like to experience nature in everyday little things such as right now. I hear the hum of a hummingbird and take a moment to watch him sip from the Jewelweed that grows just beyond my screened-in porch. It is a new favorite spot of mine overlooking my garden. I try to spend time in my garden everyday which is now full of nature. When I have more time I do enjoy a hike in the woods with camera in hand. I also enjoy painting plein air with a local artists' group, PAPTIR. We have painted in some of the most beautiful spots in the Thousand Islands area.

05. Tell us about the most exciting or scary nature related thing that ever happened to you.

I think the scariest thing that ever happened to me was when I was a little girl. A tornado touched down on a nearby lake in our neighborhood in WI. It peeled back the roof of our neighbor's house like a can of sardines. I remember standing in their kitchen and looking up at the sky. One of the most wondrous sights I remember are the Northern Lights. I was also a young girl and sat on our cottage dock, near Eagle River WI, and watched them streak across the sky and the lake.

06. If you were to take us on a nature tour of your area where would you take us first? Describe what we would see.

That is a difficult question! This area is so beautiful. You would have to tour the St. Lawrence River by boat, preferably in an antique wooden boat. You would see heavily wooded islands predominantly of wind-blown Eastern White Pine and tall stately White Oaks with Canada on one side and the United States on the other. As you putted through the many inlets, you would see rocky shoals and shores of granite, Osprey nests on channel markers, Great Blue Herons perched on docks, diving Kingfishers and Loons, possibly a Bald Eagle and maybe a large Freighter passing by in the main channel.

07. If you could visit any nature spot in the world, what would it be? Tell us why.

I would like to visit the Galapagos Islands. To me it is an extraordinary example of nature and seems the place to start.

08. Each blogger has gained their own insight into writing a blog. What have you learned that you would like to share with other bloggers?

I think to write what you feel just as if you were writing in your own personal journal. I struggle with that. It's difficult for me to write personally knowing my words will be public. I am still striving to make my blog a true journal experience about the making of my garden. Thousands of people write about gardening and nature but each of us has our own unique view and insights and that is what is interesting.

09. Where can our readers find you? Give us the name and a link to your blog. If you have more than one to share, we would all like that too.



10. Is there anything we have not discussed that you would like to add?

My blog is named after my Grandmother who had the most amazing name, Violet Fern.

Kathy, I enjoyed our nature walk. Seeing your gardens I am amazed. The pictures included in this article were all provided by Kathy so that we can see a sample of her work. Thank you for allowing us to take a nature walk withe The Violet Fern.

 Do you write a nature related blog and you'd like to be interviewed by Nature Center Magazine? Click the link and let us know who you are and that you'd like to be featured in a Nature Walk: Interview Me.


  1. I have come to know Kathy through her marvelous blog...I adore her potager garden and how she creates magic from practically nothing. I garden a couple hours S of Kathy and our gardens are the same yet different...I would welcome the opportunity to visit her garden some year.

    Just getting to know your website Emma and hope to follow it more.

    1. It is good to hear from someone who knows Kathy's blog. Visiting her garden would be a treat. Thank you for looking around at Nature Center Magazine. I do hope you come back many times.


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