garden angst

When little becomes big – Avoiding the headache.

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  It’s disconcerting to realize your plants are bigger.  A lot bigger. When a tree or shrub finally grips the earth with a committed heart and gets down to the business of seriously growing, the gardener can instinctively feel the change.  And it’s frightening.   This Edgeworthia chrysantha doesn't look like much its second [...]

Here We Go Again….Or Will We?

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There’s an extremely serious discussion going on at my place right now.  At issue is whether or not I go to the trouble of setting up a large water feature on the deck and create tropical madness for future August dinner parties.   It was lovely, lush and tropical, but I'm itching for something [...]

The Beauty and Balance of a Small Garden

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As is usual at this time of year, I am touring other people’s gardens one day only to spend the next 48 hours in mine, rethinking everything from plant choices to maintenance plans. It’s one of the best ways I know of re-charging the batteries during a season that doesn’t stop for stragglers, but it [...]

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 [...]

The Price of Greenery is Eternal Vigilance

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In August, the gardener can be forgiven for wanting some time off.  Forgiven that is, by other gardeners – the garden itself does not forgive and does not arrest the march of progress just because you’re tired of picking beans in 70% humidity. I am not for a minute implying that you go on vacation.  [...]

Leaving Under Duress: The Gardener’s Vacation

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Visitors by the millions are heading to beaches worldwide during these weeks of summer, and no doubt there are a few who, while enjoying the sun, surf and sangria, are wondering how their garden is getting on without them.  I don’t have a comforting platitude for them any more than I have one for myself [...]

Mid-Atlantic Gardening – Not for The Faint of Heart

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I can’t remember which of the many gardening books I was reading the day I jubilantly came across the statement, “If you can garden in the Mid-Atlantic you can garden anywhere.” My self-satisfied smirk widened further when I realized that the author wasn’t even a Mid-Atlantic gardener himself.  This gave his words great gobs of [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]