Winter

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 [...]

‘Easy’ Is a Matter of Perspective

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Well this is one of many 'white alliums.' But I can assure you, at 3 feet, 'Mt. Everest' does not make a dainty houseplant. With millions of innovative gardeners on this planet, differences of opinion and horticultural hair-pulling sessions are bound to erupt. Most of us look forward to a little good-natured thrust [...]

Digging Into Cuttings

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Winter is a time for research, and not just of the deeper contents of one’s drinks cabinet. Are there techniques that you’ve been wanting to know a little bit more about? Perhaps you want to familiarize yourself with some of the great garden essayists, or prepare yourself to visit a few of the big name [...]

First, Do No Harm: Coping with Snow on Trees

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This extremely rude specimen has been affectionately named "Happy" - and I always avert my eyes when brushing off the snow. I'd like that bit of errant bark to make me smile just as broadly in ten years as it does now. An end-of-days snowfall is coming to the Mid-Atlantic this afternoon, if [...]

Notepads and Jackets

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Have you been walking through your garden? I hope so. At this time of year we are as clearheaded as we will ever be. Winter may not afford us congenial temperatures, but what it lacks in warmth, it more than makes up for in perspective. Any issues due to poor spacing stand naked before the [...]

Neither an Influencer Nor a Follower Be

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[ed. The following article can also be found stirring up comments at Garden Rant later this week.] Tesselaar’s Blue Storm Agapanthus is worth growing because it’s a high-impact, no-nonsense plant, not because it typifies the 2016 Color of the Year “Serenity” – photo credit: Tesselaar Plants, 2006 Though I enjoy dressing well, I’m [...]

Old Man Time Meets Mother Nature

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Lately I am of two minds regarding the passage of time. In one, I stare out of my bedroom window in the early morning at tiny junipers and Japanese maples, and yearn for additional seasons of growth and maturity to flesh out designs still in their infancy. Not a minute later however I have turned [...]

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR GARDENERS

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In my part of the world, Winter arrives as a gentle jolly spirit and departs like a raving banshee. However, before I start navigating three-inch ice with an ancient Land Cruiser, I plan to enjoy the next month of merry merry merry. In order to do that, I need to be organized. In order [...]