Ornamentals

Air Plants, Demystified.

By | 2018-03-12T20:25:25+00:00 March 9th, 2018|

Air plants are the new It Girl.  From the common grocery store checkout aisle to the upscale garden center, they’re pretty much everywhere.  They’re even turning up in the houses of your less-horticulturally inclined friends (which was probably your first clue that this particular plant trend isn’t just for those who know a hydrangea from [...]

10 Reasons to See The Philadelphia Flower Show

By | 2018-03-23T14:40:18+00:00 March 7th, 2018|

It’s Flower Show week in Philly, and refreshed by the excitement of our electricity being restored after four days and the roof tarped against further storms, yesterday I decided to stop moping around in fourteen layers of fleece, shower off the pervading smell of wood smoke and un-cancel somewhat cancelled plans to grab a friend [...]

Houseplants and Insects: A Few Tips From a Pro

By | 2018-03-02T21:39:55+00:00 March 2nd, 2018|

By this point in the winter, most houseplants have endured months of sub-optimal conditions, not to mention sub-optimal care, and insect levels may be higher than we think. We’ve still got at least two months before these pots can safely hit Mid-Atlantic patios and decks for the summer season, and if we want to have [...]

My Soil / My Self

By | 2018-02-23T21:12:45+00:00 February 15th, 2018|

Whether you like it or not, planning what you’re planting in the season ahead is less important than figuring out what you’ll be planting it in. Soil matters, and can spell the difference between healthy, beautiful plants that resist the malevolent forces of Mother Nature, or weak, pest-infested plants that you have to stop yourself [...]

East Coast / West Coast: We’ve All Got Our Issues

By | 2018-02-23T20:15:17+00:00 February 9th, 2018|

If you look carefully, there are very few places teeming with more stories than an airport terminal. In more innocent days when such things were still allowed, I’d hang out occasionally at the international arrivals gate watching people reconnect after time apart. The idea that I should have so much free time on my hands [...]

I’m Not Starting Seeds This Year. Here’s Why.

By | 2018-02-20T20:40:42+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|

I’ve got better priorities. Granted, this is a pretty gutsy thing to say as a garden columnist, but before you revoke my license, let me tell you exactly why I think it’s critical to share this with you.     I try very hard to live what I write. That is, if I spend an [...]

Sorting, Testing, and Storing Those Seeds

By | 2018-02-20T20:40:42+00:00 January 26th, 2018|

My mother has seed packets that are older than I am. Frugality plays a role here I am sure, but nostalgia is probably at the heart of it. I still keep a somewhat crumpled Martha Stewart packet, long emptied of its thyme seeds, just to remind me of how high-end marketing and softly lit photos [...]

Just Starting to Plan? My Top Five Tips for Beginner Gardeners.

By | 2018-02-20T20:40:43+00:00 January 19th, 2018|

This week, five tips for beginner gardeners just starting to plan their spring gardens.   Tip #1. Keep it small Whatever else I try to do in this column, my overriding goal is to encourage more life-long gardeners, and nothing makes a person feel more inadequate and exhausted than biting off more than they can [...]

My Stiff Upper Lip Has Frozen In Place

By | 2018-02-20T20:40:43+00:00 January 5th, 2018|

Well, that’s December over with.  I say this with a great deal of regret, as December is my resting month in the garden and it is always too short. Last night I happened across a differing opinion in an early essay* by British celebrity gardener and writer Monty Don. He sharpened his tongue against the [...]