Stella d'oro courtesy of Shutterstock

Stellaaaaa!

Sometimes even ProfessorRoush tires of his opinions, his interminable rants about disease or weeds or flower color or poor performance that keep him from enjoying the garden.  Is it really necessary to constantly pontificate about whether this rose is better than that one, or how one grass is a thug, sprawling over everything in its vicinity, […]

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Posted by on July 7, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has no responses.

Lessons from a Portland Hellstrip

Garden touring season has given way to what I’m learning to treat as a second dormant period here in the high desert: the extreme heat of midsummer. And how convenient that is, since now there will be time to mull over the many photos of gardens that I’ve accumulated...

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Posted by on July 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm   This post has 13 responses.

Colors of equality

Those lanterns weren’t nearly gay enough. In celebration of Friday’s SCOTUS marriage equality decision, and in solidarity with all of my friends and colleagues who have already availed themselves of this freedom or who are now able to, here is some rainbow/garden imagery I found on Shutterstock. Like Susan,...

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 11 responses.

Tales From the Droughtside or THE DROUGHTPOCALYPSE!!!

It is pretty bad out here, folks. People seem to be using the drought as an excuse to GIVE UP. Clothed in the the dry, tattered, unwashed rags of self-righteousness (they only run their washing machines once a month), they zealously save water, and they let their yards go...

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Posted by on June 24, 2015 at 12:36 pm   This post has 25 responses.

Natives and invasives—observations from Toronto

On the first day of our Toronto garden exploration, we spent an hour or so in High Park, the city’s largest public park. It features 399 acres of public space, including picnic areas, a playground, formal and informal gardens, an ornamental lake, and a mini-zoo, but we spent our...

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Posted by on June 23, 2015 at 9:17 am   This post has 4 responses.

Gardens and gardening on tiny Toronto Islands

My favorites of all the gardens we saw on the Gardenblogger Fling in Toronto weren’t grand – anything but. They were the small funky ones on the just-offshore islands known collectively as Toronto Islands, which we reached by ferry. We toured gardens on two residential islands – Ward’s and Algonquin, and I might have...

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Posted by on June 19, 2015 at 8:48 am   This post has 12 responses.

“Nature rewards the bold”

The quote comes from the last words of a recent essay by Umberto Pasti in the New York Times. Many of you will also recognize his inspiration—Fortune favors the brave, a Latin proverb that’s been used as the motto of regiments, clans, battleships, and many other entities. However you say...

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Posted by on June 16, 2015 at 8:38 am   This post has 11 responses.

Mad May: No Fury

My excitement for wild plants is as far afield from Mad Max: Fury Road as you can imagine. My best botanizing adventures, by comparison, would be more like an open-air My Dinner with Andre. An afternoon with my plant-obsessed compatriots would bore the bejesus out of most Americans or,...

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Posted by on June 10, 2015 at 7:12 am   This post has 4 responses.

Strategies for a new age

It’s not just what’s happening “out west.” Water management of every kind is a huge issue for everybody, so I have been listening and reading with great interest to all that’s happening around water. On Thursday, as I was driving up to Toronto to attend a truncated version of...

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 at 7:40 am   This post has 6 responses.

A Better Garden Tiller

I like the versatility of my BCS two-wheel tractor with all the different implements it can operate, but if I were shopping for a dedicated garden tiller, I would certainly get the new vertical tine model from Troy-Bilt. Properly known as the “Bronco Axis Vertical Tine Garden Tiller,”  this...

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Posted by on June 4, 2015 at 10:27 am   This post has 4 responses.

A Tale of Two Mulches

When I began making this new garden, I was able to get large quantities of bagged leaves and grass clippings free, so I used them to smother the lawn and to mulch around new plants. This year, I found a source of cheap wood chips, so I am employing...

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Posted by on June 3, 2015 at 2:36 am   This post has 17 responses.

Favorite evergreen natives – Ragwort and Bignonia

Today I’m showing off two plants that are not only native to me in Maryland but share two traits I wish were more common among native – they’re evergreen AND vigorous growers in the garden. First up, the unfortunately named Ragwort, a/k/a Golden Groundsel, officially Packera aurea. Here’s what it looked...

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 at 7:36 am   This post has 14 responses.

My Favorite Flower Show

  We got tipped-off about Celesta McComas’s flower show last year at Thanksgiving dinner. My wife Rose told Bobbie Ann Mason that we lived, part-time, in Salvisa, KY. Bobbie Ann lives a few miles away in Lawrenceburg. Clearly suffering from separation anxiety, Bobbie Ann confessed that Celesta had moved...

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Posted by on May 27, 2015 at 7:20 am   This post has 11 responses.

Groundcovers Make the Rose Garden

I’m happy to see that (some) rose gardens are looking better these days, thanks to their good-looking and super-performing groundcovers. To my eyes, they cover all sorts of rosebush deficiencies throughout the year.  (Love the blooms; the plants not so much.) Here are some of my favorites, all appearing now...

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Posted by on May 22, 2015 at 7:15 am   This post has 14 responses.

Saving Spiders

Last year, I was organizing my new home and found myself in the bathroom doodad aisle of the local “everything” store, holding a blue glass jar with a fitted glass lid. It was just the type of item I usually talk myself out of buying. Years of decluttering have...

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Posted by on May 20, 2015 at 1:52 am   This post has 22 responses.

It wouldn’t be spring without them

Gardeners give up on tulips for good reasons. They’re prime deer food, coming at a time at the end of winter when I suppose the creatures are extra hungry. The hybrids don’t reliably perennialize, generally faltering and disappearing after two or three years. The foliage is unattractive as it...

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Posted by on May 19, 2015 at 8:30 am   This post has 6 responses.

Scenes from the Georgetown Garden Tour

I recently attended the Georgetown Garden Tour in DC’s toniest neighborhood to find out how the other half gardens spends money on their yards, and naturally I have some comments about all that. Let’s start with the estate above, which was built as a home for the son of...

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Posted by on May 15, 2015 at 7:58 am   This post has 15 responses.

Year Three in my Garden: Are the Perennials Leaping Yet?

You know what they say about perennials – that in year one they sleep, in year two they creep and in year three they finally leap. So let’s see how that’s working out in my new(ish) garden. Even with a small townhouse garden like mine, going lawn-less is much...

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Posted by on May 8, 2015 at 6:41 am   This post has 19 responses.

Two-wheeled tractors

The most useful, and versatile, gardening tool I own is my two-wheel BCS tractor.  This Italian-made tractor was designed for small farms in hilly areas areas where riding on a tractor risks a roll-over, so with a BCS you walk behind the tractor, steering it with handle bars.   It...

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Posted by on May 7, 2015 at 2:16 pm   This post has 6 responses.

How I Spent My Spring

Spring is always a whirlwind. Here are some things I’ve been doing lately in my 2-year-old garden. Feeling grateful and extremely lucky that the previous owner of this land planted trees decades ago, and now I get to live with them. Planting young trees, looking forward to watching them...

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Posted by on May 6, 2015 at 3:49 am   This post has 6 responses.
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