Early Snowfall

So here’s a truly beautiful sight: the tumbles of white are what most of us would call Clematis paniculata,  formerly C. maximowicziana and now C. terniflora. This plant, first discovered by famous Swedish botanist Carl Thurnberg (1743-1828), was originally christened … Continue reading

Drying Flowers

I was raised in a family where every penny needed to do double duty, so I learned early the value of preventing waste and preserving what you were given. These lessons followed me into the garden, where I’ve generally been … Continue reading

Thalassa Cruso Returns!

A few weeks ago I went to see Julie/Julia – which was terrific by the way – and I was reminded again how much I enjoyed watching PBS when I was a boy, and, how formative  good television could be … Continue reading

The Storied Ivy

That headlong ivy! Not a leaf will grow But thinking of a wreath……. Elizabeth Barrett Browning  Aurora Leigh, 1856 Looking for a task that was not too trying in yesterday’s 90º heat, I decided to trim the ivy that had … Continue reading

Raising Backyard Chickens

I recently read a piece in the New York Times about the increased popularity of raising backyard chickens. Citing Americans’ desire to control both what they eat, as well as the cost of food, the article notes that raising poultry … Continue reading

Of Beans, Poles, and Other Lessons Learned

I just got in from harvesting a hefty batch of green  beans (one of the few crops that seems to have done well this season) and I have a few lessons to share. 1) Forget about those quaint looking traditional … Continue reading

Yellow Yews, and other Gardening Myths

Well, the day has dawned bright and beautiful here, and I’m shortly to decamp my office for the garden, but before I go, I wanted share with you an interesting discovery I made recently: yews prefer alkaline soil. This may … Continue reading