The Magnificent Pussy Willow

One of my earliest, and fondest gardening memories is of the pussy willow in my grandfather’s back yard. There stood a clump of what Gramps always called “French” willows, which bore incredibly fat, cottony catkins – far bigger than any … Continue reading

Bring In Spring!

I have a complaint to make: spring is far too fickle for my liking. After what seems like endless months of fighting with shovel and blower through head-high drifts of snow, dodging deadly icicles that inevitably seem to form exclusively … Continue reading

Flowers for Free – Forcing Branches

The other day I passed by a florist shop, and sighed. The air was so redolent with the scents of spring with flowers and foliage in carefree profusion, that I was tempted to make a purchase. I paused for moment, … Continue reading

Going to the Birds

As I write this morning, an entire host of robins – and I do mean a host, as I’ve counted over 20 – has settled into the Japanese crabapples outside my study window. (Didn’t robins used to fly south? No … Continue reading

Sad Sack

For those of you wondering about my constant admonition not to plant rhododendrons as foreground plantings in the Northeast, here’s why: This is one of my favorite rhododendrons ‘Sensation’ this morning in 15º weather… (The picture is a bit blurry … Continue reading

Antique Gardening Books

OK. I have to admit to an addiction: It’s almost impossible for me to pass up old gardening books, especially Victorian ones. I’m not quite sure exactly how I fell into this trap. Somewhere along the line I came across … Continue reading

2011 Seed Catalog Awards

Well, it’s that time of year again; the seed catalogs are arriving fast and furiously.  How to choose among all that gloss? No worries, I’ve done it for you. Here are my 2011 top catalog picks. For the second year … Continue reading

Plants With a Past: The Yew

Ah, the poor, benighted yew. Once the subject of reverence and worship, this magnificent tree (please note I did not say shrub, more on that later) has come to play an almost comically insignificant role in the modern landscape. In … Continue reading

Last Minute Tips for Small Bulbs

OK, admit it. Like me you probably have a few packages of bulbs languishing around the garage or shed, still waiting to be planted. If they are not totally dessicated or moldy (and they are probably not – can’t get … Continue reading

Stop the Presses: A Hose-Repair Kit That Actually Works!

One of my annual fall tasks is putting away the hoses, sprinklers, and other watering paraphernalia, and this year, I decided to get a jump on spring and repair the problem hoses BEFORE they were urgently needed. (‘Bout time!) However, … Continue reading