The Garden Renovation Primer: In the Beginning There Was… A Lovely Old House

So many of you have asked me for advice on how to renovate old rundown landscapes over the years that I thought I would start a new series of postings taking you through the process step-by-step with one of my … Continue reading

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The Great Fall Scavenger Hunt

If you’re like me, right about now you are casting a fairly critical eye around your landscape. Of course there are still all those wonderful fruits and vegetables to harvest, and many flowers are still going strong, but September is … Continue reading

Garden Refreshers

My grandfather used to say that anybody could garden in the automatic abundance of June: it was the rest of the year that tested the gardener’s mettle. This is especially true in August, when the heady display of spring and … Continue reading

Weed Barrels

This isn’t a sexy subject, but it’s a very practical one: weed barrels. Yesterday it was 103º in my garden, and for me at least, that doesn’t inspire much desire for working outdoors. But even on the very hottest, or … Continue reading

Perfect for Shade – Hosta ‘Praying Hands’

There was a lot of interest in my last column about shade gardening, which reminded me: a couple of months back, the good folks from Scotts were looking for a gardening project to support in Boston, and I recommended the … Continue reading

Shade Gardening 101

Mention the world shade, and average gardener’s brow will start to furrow, already calculating ways to escape the dark menace. That’s really a shame, for while gardening in the shade often presents a number of challenges – poor soil, competition … Continue reading

Dahlias

Hurrah! ….it is a frost! The dahlias are all dead! Surtees, Handley Cross 1843 Alas the poor dahlia has been something of a garden misfit since it first departed the New World for the Old. Beloved by the Aztecs as … Continue reading

Lawns 101

Oh, the first blush of grass in the spring. How I’ve longed for it! As I sit this evening, looking over the lawn beneath the pale pink apple blossoms in the orchard, everything is verdant green at last, fresh and … Continue reading

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