The Garden

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 [...]

Facing, and Enjoying, The Garden in August

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Where do you and your garden stand right now?  Let me take a wild guess. The spring flush of puppy love is gone, obviously.  That was so yesterday. I’m betting your excitement over a summer romance is also over. These things never last. In fact, with the first volunteer pumpkins ripening on the compost pile, [...]

Every Garden Has Its Weakness: Here’s Mine.

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For all the successes I have had with our new garden at Oldmeadow, there are parts of this space that defy any attempts to create beauty.  They are so awkward, so large, so weedy and so uninspiring that had I ten times the budget I am not certain I could solve them, unless that budget [...]

Gardens Bring Buffalo Back to Life: A Story of Urban Renewal

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Are you struggling with the neighborhood in which you live?  Are the 'cons' besting the 'pros' no matter how long you make that list?  Are promises of 'urban renewal' by elected officials merely promises, or worse, unsophisticated attempts lacking vision and funding?  Most importantly, are you unable or unwilling to move? Maybe you have more [...]

Time For a Tomato Tasting!

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Are you proud of what’s coloring up the garden this year?  Are you wondering if all the time, energy and money you have spent on growing the perfect tomato is worth it?  Perhaps it’s time for an outside opinion.  Perhaps it’s time for a tomato tasting. 'Midnight Snack' - (Park Seed) An All-America Selections [...]