northpearl

Livin’ the dream on my Buffalo junket

When a New York City-based P.R. firm sent me an invite to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to Buffalo to explore that city’s “passionate garden culture,” I must admit I had some hesitation.  These trips are fun, but the fact that they’re underwritten makes them an ethical problem. It can be difficult to convince readers […]

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Posted by on June 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm   This post has 19 responses.

New Garden Ready for its Debut

Readers may be remember that I recently moved and downsized, especially in the size of the garden.  Above is the “before” shot of my new front* yard – a lawn with a couple of oversized boxwoods and a few ungainly azaleas. While indoors is still a dirty, messy construction site –...

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Posted by on May 10, 2012 at 6:51 am   This post has 10 responses.

The Fence Line

Do gardeners want to put down deep roots, plant trees, and watch them ever so slowly become massive and still presences in the landscapes of their personalities? No, the people who do that are not gardeners. Do gardeners strive to take a slice of earth stuck in this noisy...

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Read related articles in: It's the Plants, Darling, Real Gardens
Posted by on April 27, 2012 at 7:02 am   This post has 40 responses.

What I Learned from Margaret Roach’s Garden

These days most of my blog reading is off-topic to gardening (sites like Apartment Therapy and Houzz) but I do listen togardening podcasts and wish there were more good ones, like Margaret Roach’s – she’s the author of the excellent blog A Way to Garden and former garden writer/editor for newspapers and Martha Stewart.  So...

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Posted by on April 17, 2012 at 5:37 am   This post has 13 responses.

Gardens of the Candidates

Didja see this slide show of the homes of Republican presidential candidates?  Check them all out – for their sheer size, if not any landscaping of note.  Only Newt Gingrich’s landscaping stands out – and not in a good way, to my taste.  If our homes say anything about...

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Posted by on January 2, 2012 at 6:29 am   This post has 36 responses.

From Compost to Compost

I've always taken a very relaxed approach to composting. If it's organic and it's not something the chickens find delectable, it goes in the pile. Ten years ago, a friend gave me a copy of Joan Dye Gussow's lovely garden memoir This Organic LIfe.  Gussow is a longtime professor...

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Posted by on December 16, 2011 at 4:52 am   This post has 31 responses.

Nashville’s Cheekwood is good to the last drop

I recently visited Nashville for the first time and, like any avid gardener, made sure I saw its premier public garden while I was there. Without a doubt, that's Cheekwood Garden and Museum, a grand place that exists thanks to Maxwell House coffee money.  My regular brand. On a...

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Posted by on November 1, 2011 at 5:10 am   This post has 11 responses.

Ken Druse’s Underwater Garden

Ken’s garden before Hurricane Irene Ken’s garden during the Irene-caused flood Gardening on an island in a river in Northwestern New Jersey, Ken Druse is used to floods, which he stopped counting after the 12th.  But Hurricane Irene was different.  As Ken recently told the Annapolis Horticulture Society, Irene...

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Posted by on October 18, 2011 at 3:04 am   This post has 10 responses.

A gardener’s tour of the U.S. Capitol Grounds

I recently attended the annual conference of America in Bloom, where I got to hang out with such long-distance gardening buddies as Joe Lamp'l and Paul Tukey – more about them coming soon.  But a special treat for this local was my first-ever tour of the U.S.Capitol Grounds with...

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Posted by on October 11, 2011 at 5:06 am   This post has 5 responses.

Who will buy my lawnless garden?

Breaking news – to anyone who knows me and assumed I’d never, ever leave my garden – I’m selling it and the house it surrounds.  Time to move on. Selling the Complicated Garden Any realtor will tell you that nice gardens may or may not be advantages in selling...

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Read related articles in: Lawn Reform, Real Gardens
Posted by on September 27, 2011 at 6:25 am   This post has 19 responses.

The Ornamental Gardens of Monticello

Here’s something you’ve all seen a million times -  the view of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello shown on the American nickel – and it’s been preserved and/or restored to its condition at the time of Jefferson’s death.  What’s changed are some of the plants, and even more so, how they’re...

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Posted by on September 6, 2011 at 6:21 am   This post has 15 responses.

What’s up with the watering and mow/blow practices at Bloedel?

Okay, this will be a test of what happens when someone (me, the guinea pig) criticizes a garden – a beloved public one, at that.  But come ON, all the gardenbloggers visiting the Bloedel Reserve during the recent Fling noticed the sprinklers going off while it was raining, and...

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Posted by on August 9, 2011 at 11:49 am   This post has 28 responses.

Google-mapping front-yard gardens

What did we DO before Google Maps and Mapquest?  I have only vague memories of trying to read folding maps while driving, a chore that's now almost unthinkable (good thing, too – drivers are way too busy texting and calling to fuss with maps).  But there's something I hadn't...

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Posted by on July 12, 2011 at 4:37 am   This post has 21 responses.

Front Yards are for Partying!

Especially front yards along July 4th Parade routes.  Here's a sampling of people-filled front yards in Takoma Park, Maryland yesterday morning.  The weather was perfect. Note the swimming pools. Okay, this one is actually a front porch and balcony party. Even in a nonelection year, residents show their support...

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Posted by on July 5, 2011 at 3:46 am   This post has 9 responses.

Ball vs. Bob

Under some of the most rigorous testing conditions possible, I have decided to try the mettle of some Ball FloraPlant starts against basement-grown seedlings provided by my neighbor Bob. Most of the Allentown street planters have been filled with Bob’s seedlings. I usually add in some storebought plants just...

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Posted by on July 4, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 6 responses.

A green roof with a view

I spotted this in Lake Placid last week. It's prominently placed on a building owned by the Golden Arrow hotel and there's a sign installed near the sidewalk that explains it to visitors. Keep in mind that it is relatively early in the season this far north, so the...

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Read related articles in: Gardening on the Planet, Real Gardens
Posted by on July 2, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 7 responses.

The experiment

Over the past week, Ball FloraPlant has sent me* 4 big boxes of annuals, most of them brightly colored petunias, osteospermum, verbena, calibrachoa, and other sun-loving container plants. To test, I guess—but both the amount and (to some degree) the type of plants are inappropriate for my small, mostly...

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Read related articles in: Real Gardens, Taking Your Gardening Dollar
Posted by on May 23, 2011 at 4:13 am   This post has 15 responses.

The title says it all

Here’s a column in the Minneapolic Star-Tribute called Winter Interest, Yeah, Right. Interesting And I couldn’t agree more. There are many magnificent winter sights throughout Western New York, but my garden isn’t one of them. If I want winter interest, I’ll drive up to Niagara Falls to check out...

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Posted by on January 27, 2011 at 5:00 am   This post has 20 responses.

Tropically speaking

Sometimes I carelessly throw around the word tropical where it doesn’t apply—referring to plants that merely require warmer temps than I’ve got. But when you’re as far south in the Caribbean as Barbados, you can use the word tropical with a fair amount of confidence. I saw plants here...

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Posted by on January 18, 2011 at 5:04 am   This post has 15 responses.

A Question

Why is shovelling snow so much less enjoyable than shovelling dirt?

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Posted by on January 14, 2011 at 4:08 am   This post has 23 responses.
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