Living in one place for a long time, I've begun to develop my own phenology (not phrenology; the bumps on my head are from looking at plants without watching where I'm going). Definition: the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life. The USA National Phenology [...]
We all fall in love with plants - and then at some point, we're so over it. I've loved and lost many plants over the past 30+ years. But I've loved and tossed plenty of them too. Sometimes a plant just isn't as interesting as I first thought. Or it was a hot new release [...]
My "there are no rules" attitude and "keep throwing color at it until it sings" way of gardening doesn't work for everyone, especially beginners afraid of making mistakes. There are no mistakes. That's how you learn. But it does help to have some guidance. Although Stephanie Cohen and Nancy Ondra's Perennial Gardener's Design Primer was [...]
I got out of the houseplant habit for a while. Except for the odds and ends and amaryllis bulbs I grew in the greenhouse window over my kitchen sink, my windowsills were bare. For years, I had enough creatures to take care of. I put houseplants outdoors in summer and pretty much forgot about them [...]
Early winter is time for musing and making notes. For assessing successes and failures in our gardens while they're still semi-fresh in mind. We can change course and leave failures behind - there's always next year, right? Why not cozy up with a good book and let some new ideas take root. Winter is a [...]
Red hues in fall are caused by anthocyanins, plant pigments with many protective functions.
While you're outside planting bulbs and cleaning up gardens, here are some things to keep an eye out for that are easier to take care of before they get out of hand.
Nancy DuBrule-Clemente and Karen Bussolini have a conversation about our mutual struggle between planting as many native plants as possible to support the entire life cycle of diverse co-evolved wildlife, versus planting ornamental plants that just give us joy, even if they're not native. We discovered that the two are not mutually exclusive. In September, a time of year when many gardens are limping along, Nancy's are as exuberant as she is, She has enough flowers to feed wildlife and cut for arrangements too.
My elderberry bloomed this spring, but didn't set berries. What happened? Here are some clues for growing a crop of bountiful berries.
Favorite pollinator plants bloom for a long time and attract all manner of beneficial insects. Learn what to plant for July and August flowers for pollinators.