NEW Trips to Take!

Myrtle's easy when the conditions are right.


NEW Plants to Try!

Louis tries to capture the exact words to describe the fleeting but deep pleasures to be found in these Summer-into-Autumn incredibles.


New Gardening to Do!

Allergic to bees? You can still have an exciting garden, full of flowers and color and wildlife.


A Gardening Journal

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Dead-of-Winter Vase

Not even witch hazel is in flower. Snow drops may well be out but, since they're buried beneath a foot or two of snow, who can tell? With such deep and sustained cold, the expression "dead of Winter" seems all too appropriate. 

Winter Vase looking NE 052815 320

It's just the time to go out into the garden for a huge bouquet.


Must Have: Giant Cigar Bush

Last Summer, I planted one of many large pots by a client's pool with what I still think is a winning combination: Pelargonium 'Occold' and Cuphea micropetala. These two sunlovers share such similar coloring that their contrasts in habit, texture, and geometry were all the more dramatic.

Cuphea micropetala Geranium Occold Shield closer Chornyei 092514 320

The pot looked great the day of planting in late May—and even better in early October, when I returned to dismantle everything and take pictures. This Summer, both of these annuals will pay a seasonal visit to my garden, too.


Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: 'Bracken's Brown Beauty' Magnolia: Brown, Indeed.

With this month's extreme deep freezes, it's no surprise that plants growing at the lower limits of their hardiness are showing it. Expect to be dealing with more than the usual amount of damage by Spring. 

Magnolia grandiflora Brackens Brown Beauty winter damaged foliage 022515 320

And yet, the real news is not that some plants—like this southern magnolia—are injured. It's that, for all of this Winter's bluster and tenacity, the injuries are not only merely superficial. They're attractive.


Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Pruning the Japanese Yew

In the garden as in life, one thing leads to another. Now that I was done with pruning the various lengths of American beech hedge, it was clear that the trees making up its far corner—where two runs of it meet in the distance, almost directly under overhanging branches of the old Japanese yew—are slower, shorter, and scrawnier than the rest. Well, duh: Those beeches are growing in the shade of the yew.

Taxus cuspidata overhanging Fagus grandifolia hedge 020415 320

No problem! Nothing here that couldn't be handled with a ladder, a pruning saw, and some grunting.


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