Fall

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 [...]

Order Bulbs for The Spring Garden (Before Everyone Else Has)

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Few things motivate a gardener the way that getting a plant ahead of another gardener does;  and by the end of August we need motivation more than we need food and water. To that end, I would like to draw your attention to the random assortment of bulb catalogs that started showing up two months [...]

Plant Those Trees!

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As we begin to move later into the year and approach the fabulous fall planting season, it’s time to think about the trees we’d like to see sharing our space.  Time flies by quickly and you don’t want to find yourself saying “Why on earth didn’t we plant that oak thirty years ago?”   [...]

The Food-Waste Disconnect

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A perfect storm of circumstance ended in a coffee-filled rant on Facebook on Friday, and while I stand by those words (many of which were capitalized, and none of which were sensitive), it is convenient to have the luxury of a newspaper column to formulate a more civilized, if no less provocative, response. The topic [...]

When It All Starts to Weigh a Little Heavy: Rest.

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The wind storms of late have added substantially to workloads out here.  I’d only just finished with the last of the planting when toppled pots forced me to dig two large holes yesterday to house now homeless dwarf arborvitae. I resented every minute of it – not least of all because there are two far [...]

Coming Around to Canna

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There are few persons more strident as those who have once loved a thing only to turn their backs upon it, unless of course it is those who have hated, and now love with equal fervor. In time, both groups will suffer the well-deserved jabs of those who knew them before their evangelization, but such [...]