The Garden

End of season wrap up: My favorite plants of 2017

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  Now that the garden has gently shifted into architecture and mush, it’s time to reflect on the plants we grew this season and decide whether we’ll continue to grow them for seasons to come. Whether sexy new introductions or old favorites, plants excite each one of us for totally different reasons and what lights [...]

Plant Hoarding: When Too Much is Not Enough

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A little shifting of the pot ghetto yesterday revealed one too many plants happily rooted in the soil beyond their pots. It is good soil certainly, and I do not blame them, but the discovery is an inconvenient one.  I have been quite content to believe that a healthy three foot dawn redwood was satisfied [...]

An Easier Way to Overwinter Tropicals

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Hopefully by now you have brought in the majority of your tender succulents and tropical evergreens for the [presumably] long winter ahead.  And hopefully by now, you have found room for them in living spaces that will soon bear the clutter of holiday decorating and higher-than-average persons per square foot. Dealing with this chaotic shuffle [...]

One Last Tomato Harvest: Three Ways of Dealing With It.

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The last of the tomatoes are ripening on the vine. Many more are currently ripening on the ground after a spate of blustery weather, and it takes a Herculean effort on my part to pick them this morning, as it is not just the harvesting but the promise of preparation implicit in the gathering that [...]

It’s Time To Bring The Houseplants In

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It’s a tough season for the gardener who loves to entertain.  We know that we should bring in big healthy houseplants that have spent the summer outside, such as schefflera, ficus, philodendron and sansevieria.  We know that they will benefit from a smooth temperature transition and react with less leaf loss and yellowing if we [...]

Planning Now for a More Manageable Garden Later

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Many believe wholeheartedly that the time to plan your garden is in the depths of winter. Perhaps this is true in terms of the minutiae; but after years of implementing the overreach that winter weather inspires in the bedraggled, I cannot recommend it.  No, the time to plan next year’s garden is now, before the [...]

Portrait of a Weed: Japanese Stilt Grass

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Usually, a couple of hours outside on my hands and knees is all it takes to get the wheels of the mind careening toward a publishable, if highly editable, product.  This week, it took ten minutes.     Ten minutes of repetitive grasping, pulling and tossing massive wads of reddening Japanese Stilt Grass (Microstegium vimineum) [...]

Succulents: Overwintering a Trend

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No group of plants has been hotter in the last three years than succulents.  They’re on tables, in terrariums, and garnishing everything from delicate wrists to salad plates.  If you never understood the idea that plants ‘trend,’ you did the day your boss came in to work with a tiny green rosette in a pot [...]

Should You Plan (and Plant) a Cutting Garden?

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I have a friend who has always considered a weekly bouquet of fresh flowers a necessity.  She is French however, and they are presumably taught such things at their chic mothers’ beautifully sculpted knees. For years I have secretly admired her resolute stance on the subject, but as the daughter of an English father and [...]

Preserving the Harvest or Preserving My Sanity?

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I have been in and out of canning jars for three days now, trying in turns to preserve the harvest, fulfil my writing deadlines, manage my family’s outrageous expectations of motherhood, and to do all of this without losing my ever-living mind. Oh, and there’s something else…What was it?….Ah yes.  The garden.  I actually have [...]