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Seeds of Destruction

Without human intervention, most of New England is inclined toward becoming forest. But humans have intervened. When managed land is abandoned, meadows are not periodically mowed and invasive plants are not managed, it is not a pretty picture. If you "let nature take its course" invasive plants will take over.

By |2021-01-03T08:46:13-05:00December 14th, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Seeds of Destruction

Plants Full of Promise at Season’s End

Plants that look good in fall and winter abound in prairies. Travels to The Olbrich Botanical Garden, Curtis Prairie and Northwind Perennial Farm in Wisconsin show how to use them in the garden.

By |2020-11-30T05:56:32-05:00November 6th, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Plants Full of Promise at Season’s End

The “Self-Taught” Gardener

Having studied painting rather than horticulture or landscape design, I long thought of myself as a self-taught gardener as I felt my way along the convoluted path to where I am today. But that's not quite right. Gardens and other gardeners have been my teachers. The gardens that most intrigue me were made by similarly "self-taught" gardeners who spent serious time looking, developed their very personal gardens over time and who never stopped learning, looking and sharing.

By |2020-11-01T12:47:52-05:00October 10th, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on The “Self-Taught” Gardener

Wrestling With the Good Guys

Among the many native perennials in my landscape, goldenrod has the highest ecological and wildlife value. It's a standout "good guy," a beneficent prince. It's also one of the worst thugs in the prime real estate of my gardens. I've had to draw the line between garden (where I don't want them to seed in) and landscape (where they can run rampant).

By |2020-09-27T17:45:11-04:00September 19th, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Wrestling With the Good Guys

Looking Into Sumac

I’ve always loved staghorn sumac’s tropical-looking leaves, young stems resembling velvety antlers (hence its common name), plumy cream-colored flowers, spectacular fall color and fuzzy red berry clusters (only on female plants - they’re dioecious). But I had no idea how much interrelated life, drama, trickery, sex, life and death went on in its embrace until the show was right under my nose.

By |2020-08-31T13:06:57-04:00August 11th, 2020|Categories: Great Plants, Views|Comments Off on Looking Into Sumac

Pollinators – View from the Farm

Creating a reliable food system calls for a shift of priorities from efficient and as cheap as possible to reliable and local. It needs to be about reliability and nourishment. The big threat is lack of pollination services. To protect the pollinators we must plant native plants and protect habitat.

By |2020-07-31T11:32:30-04:00July 31st, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Pollinators – View from the Farm

Allium Christophii – A Garden Goldilocks

Showy Star of Persia (Allium christophii, aka A. albopilosum) is a garden star. It's a Goldilocks plant - not too tall, not too short, with easy-to-hide foliage, just the right-sized flowering globes - and pizzazz to spare.  

By |2020-07-14T14:39:20-04:00June 12th, 2020|Categories: Great Plants, Views|Comments Off on Allium Christophii – A Garden Goldilocks

Eating Really Locally

I've been making a game of seeing how long I can go without going to the grocery store. That means not just living in the garden, but living on what grows in it.

By |2020-07-01T15:51:04-04:00May 15th, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Eating Really Locally

Do Native Plants Have a P.R. Problem? Depends How You Look At It

In this season of rapidly emerging garden weeds, Doug Tallamy's recently published Nature's Best Hope really got me thinking about how subjective and value-skewed the word "weed" is. We want plants with wildlife value but get tripped up with words that carry a lot of baggage. The common definition of weed as a plant out of place is subject to all sorts of interpretations. It depends on your point of view.

By |2020-07-01T15:51:04-04:00April 4th, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Do Native Plants Have a P.R. Problem? Depends How You Look At It

It’s Hellebore Heaven in March

After such a mild winter, my 'Brandywine' strain hellebores (Helleborus x hybridus 'Brandywine' ™) are especially lovely. Time to give these  Lenten roses, aka Oriental hellebores, center stage. Even my cut-leafed stinking hellebores (Helleborus foetidus) look pretty good this spring.

By |2020-07-01T15:51:04-04:00March 31st, 2020|Categories: Great Plants, Views|Comments Off on It’s Hellebore Heaven in March