It’s a big, wonderful world of garden-related jibber-jabber out there, and now that it’s winter, I have a lot more time to explore it. Here are some choice bits:
The great glossy con trick about Wonderful Winter Gardens in the UK is tiresome. The magazines justify their thesis with close-up pictures of A Snowdrop Taken on Sunny Day (ha ha) or equally juicy pictures of A Garden Under Snow in Bright Sunshine – i.e., one that is completely covered. Winter is not a good time for gardens in the UK …
—Jane Owen’s Gardening Forum, Times Online, 1/24/08
Ms. Scott writes beautifully and compassionately about the rose-afflicted. Fascinating facts emerge in her profiles, such as how the world of roses is dominated by men, how rose aficionados hold more meetings than any other group, how old roses (those hybridized before 1867) have virtually no value to rosaholics, how hard it is to cross red roses and how rattlesnakes use rose bushes to shed their skins.
—from Bill Sheick’s review of Otherwise Normal People: Inside the Thorny World of Competitive Rose Gardening in the Dallas Morning News. This sounds like a must-read!
This is the secret of gardening. The planet does not want to give you anything. Mulching the soil is like waterboarding Gaia. It’s the Human saying to the Planet, “give me what I want or I will continue to drown you in handfuls of shit.”
—Warren Ellis, comics writer
For those whose tastes run to the eccentric, giant white squill is the bulb to try. It is huge, 10 pounds at maturity and the size of a volleyball. Its flowers resemble giant candles in the landscape. As the plant divides and multiplies, the scaly bulbs may push up through the soil and form clumps, creating natural sculptures.
—From a piece in the Los Angeles Times, 11/29/07; the bulbs can be had from EasyToGrowBulbs. Giant White Squill (urginea maritima) is shown above. Has anyone grown this? It’s only for warmer zones, sadly.