Bad Timing

Timing is everything in the garden. I’ve known this for a very long time, but it was recently brought to my attention again in a particularly visible way. So, short story: For years I have had a wonderful grape vine … Continue reading

Hardening Off

With the price of nursery plantings heading north of the Pole this year, there is every impetus in the world to grow your own annuals and vegetables from seed. (For a complete how-to on that process, click HERE) But now … Continue reading

Mulching Made Eas(ier)

Here’s a dirty little secret your landscaper would prefer you not to know: your annual application of shredded pine mulch is one of their highest mark-up activities of the entire growing year. Why? Because the process is highly labor intensive; … Continue reading

Weather Whipsaw

Predictably, when the weather briefly moved into the 70s last week, my phone began to ring. Excited clients were wondering about getting started with planning (certainly) and with planting (certainly not.) A few seemed disappointed by my lack of enthusiasm … Continue reading

Biennial Pleasures

There’s a whole group of wonderful plants that have fallen from favor in American gardens — biennials. The reason why is not hard to fathom, because there is so much confusion and misinformation out there about how to grow biennials … Continue reading

Frost Against the Panes

It is in the dead of winter that the greenhouse is at its best, for then is the contrast of life and death the greatest. Just beyond the living tender leaf — separated only by the slender film of the … Continue reading

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #7: Using Water Successfully

The seventh in a continuing series of design articles… Walk into any box store or garden center these days, and you’ll find an entire section devoted to water gardening. Tubs, pumps, basins galore; fish, tubing, filters and more — water … Continue reading

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #6: Go Big, or Go Home

The sixth in a continuing series of design articles… Outdoors, it’s all about scale. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of the vignette in small gardens. In large gardens, on the other hand, small features have … Continue reading

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #5: Hardscape

God is in the details they say, and I can assure you that the garden deity dwells most happily where the creator has paid attention to the quality of the hardscape. Let’s face it. Perennials come and go, trees rise … Continue reading

Lessons from English Gardens for Americans #3: The Power of the Vignette

The third article in a continuing series… Little is big. That’s it. That’s the lesson. You can stop reading now. But seriously: that is essentially the lesson. As gardeners we tend to think in broad strokes, and that’s fine, generally. … Continue reading