Winter

Same Old, Same Old? Don’t Groundhog Day Your Landscape.

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Tempus fugit, and it’s currently fugiting at an alarming pace.  I am recently returned from trips and conferences that swallowed up December and January in phases of preparation, execution and recovery, and Christmas is still sitting on the dining room table, neatly compartmentalized and just tidy enough to consider throwing a blanket over it till [...]

Are Garden Kits Right for You?

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I’ve just returned from an exhausting but eye-popping week at MANTS, the annual Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show in Baltimore.  And, 3000 booths and a lot of handshakes later, I am now sitting in a pile of glossy, wildly gorgeous literature and trying to figure out what might be of interest to readers (and to myself) [...]

Forcing Is a Beautiful Thing

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It may be cold. And windy. And fairly miserable at six in the morning when you’ve misplaced the car scraper. But let me remind you that we have already passed the shortest day of the year mark and there is hope yet ahead. If my words seem empty (they certainly do to me at the [...]

Nothing To Lose: Planting LATE

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“So what are we growing right now?” was the question asked of me last week as I escaped hearth and home for a little day-after-Christmas retail therapy.  The questioner: a reader and gardener and beautifully turned out shopper who recognized me in spite of wild hair and two coats.  I made a mental note to [...]

PPA names Asclepias tuberosa 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year

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Though I annually make fun of the design and fashion addicts that sit in rapt attention waiting for Pantone to release their “Color of the Year” (this year’s Greenery might signal a temporary cease-fire to that snark-war), I’m always curious as to the winner of the Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plant of the Year.   Most [...]

So You Waited Until The Very Last Minute?

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Christmas is upon us this week, I have recently added another birthday notch to my leather belt, and now we stand upon the brink of another long, cold winter.  Of the three statements, the first is the only one to bring me any joy, not least of all because my Christmas shopping is done and [...]

Making a Lot Out of a Little, Holiday Style.

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At this time of year there is much advice floating about to “use natural materials” to create amazing holiday decorations cheaply. Indeed I’ve floated much of it myself. When it comes to making holiday gifts and decorations, 'rustic' is the name of the game these days. However it did occur to me this [...]

Holiday Gift Guide for Gardeners

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  Up until last year, I'd never put together a holiday gift guide for readers. Truly useful gifts rarely go out of fashion. Then I was asked by a friend if I had some suggestions for gifts for her gardening mother, and surprisingly I did.  In fact I could easily think of quite a [...]

Ordered Chaos: The Case for a Potting Station

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In every home there is a place where unfolded laundry is thrown and a week’s worth of junk is shoved when guests rap upon the door unexpectedly. For some lucky souls it may be a spare room. For others it might be a more traditional space like a basement, garage, attic, or even a cupboard [...]

When you make your own yogurt but don’t milk your own goats: Finding your place in an age of homesteading fanaticism

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It’s a running joke amongst our friends that our place is the safe house for any type of future apocalyptic scenario. I’d like to believe that they just want to get together, laugh, drink wine, and discuss the mysticism of Yeats before the zombies descend, but in reality, there’s something about owning your own wheat [...]