Spring

Big Dreams, Small Garden

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Over the last eight years, I have written many columns encouraging people to face the space in which they find themselves and to create the garden that lives within them. Particularly in the midst of the difficult economic period of the last decade. Disturbingly, one of the things that I often heard when I initially [...]

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) [...]

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 [...]

My Romance with Becky

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Given sufficient provenance, the memory of a plant can hold a place in our affections just as the memory of an old love affair. In fact, such floral memories are perhaps sweeter, for they do not carry the attached nonsense of end-of-the-line supernovas or unresolved conversations – the bitter that always taints the sweet.  They [...]

Let the Garden Soften the Journey

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  We'd had a bad day, he and I. Not together mind you, but each in our separate lanes, navigating the daily demons that divert us all from enjoying the precious days we are granted on this Earth. Broken water lines, missed deadlines and a pointless conversation with a computerized banker featured heavily in that [...]

Smile and Adapt: Gardening the Unexpected

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A dry hot April, a wet cold May.  What is the world coming to?  Late April freezes have nixed the wisteria show for gardeners, yet month long May rains would have made the whole thing fairly pointless anyway. Ye Gods! I am in turns content with a forced respite from the garden as I finish [...]

The Garden Tchotchke Conundrum

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We’ve all got them. Tchotchkes. Knick knacks. Doodads. More kindly put – and through squinted eyes – objets d’art. Unless you’re a minimalist with an inflexible disposition, your rooms and shelves are probably home to many ‘little bits’ that make you smile and evoke a memory (or the image of a dust cloth). From where [...]

Conquering Prejudice One Plant at a Time

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I’ve never liked Rhododendron. There, I’ve said it.  I’ve opened myself up to the maelstrom of indignant rhodo-lovers who up until this moment thought I was a dedicated advocate for all things green. Nope.  I’ve got likes and dislikes just like everyone else. Some of them are irrational.  For instance, how can I love the [...]

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 [...]