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the daily gardener

8degF

Usually the feast of St. John brings the coldest day of the year, and this year was no exception. I cozy up indoors with a hot cup of herbal tea and dreamy gardening books as the thermometer indicates 8 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

No matter how enthusiastic one is about gardening there are limits to what’s possible and temperatures approaching 0F definitely rule out any outdoor activity. Read more…

along the garden path

Heavy snow and ice brought down the last leaves left hanging on the branches, together with a host of brittle twigs. Despite the annoyance factor of having snow early and the glut of sticks and debris that will need to be picked up later, I can’t help but wonder at the beauty of the winter landscape, whose soft contours look almost unreal. Read more…

december musings

It’s been so warm this week, with temperatures in the sixties and thick summer downpours, that I almost forgot we’re in the middle of December. A few days of rain brought the plants out of their winter slumber, and now everything is lush and green again, under blue skies and sunshine, just like it is supposed to be in spring. Read more…

out of focus

The weather is fickle, leaning on the side of bright and sunny right now. It rained hard yesterday, and the sky was so dark it looked like dusk in the middle of the afternoon. Sunshine, rain, sunshine again.
The temperatures rose and fell with the moisture levels, trying to stabilize into a more seasonally appropriate range. Read more…

garden love

It’s been so warm this week, with temperatures in the sixties and thick summer downpours, that I almost forgot we’re in the middle of December. A few days of rain brought the plants out of their winter slumber, and now everything is lush and green again, under blue skies and sunshine, just like it is supposed to be in spring.

Read more…

about sun exposure

Even though the three basic sun exposures are full sun, part sun and shade, the latter comes in so many variations, all with their own little quirks, that it deserves a full chapter all to itself. Read more…

beautiful and strange

I woke up to a fog so thick I couldn’t see the house across the street. Fall granted us a little delay, but when it arrived, it did so in style. I braved the ghostly mist, cool and soft like, well, fog, and went about my morning schedule, greatly entertained by nature’s dramatic decor. Read more…

october weather

The weather is fickle, leaning on the side of bright and sunny right now. It rained hard yesterday, and the sky was so dark it looked like dusk in the middle of the afternoon. Sunshine, rain, sunshine again.

The temperatures rose and fell with the moisture levels, trying to stabilize into a more seasonally appropriate range. The days are too short already, passing by faster than the leaves carried by the wind, and in the middle of a somewhat uncoordinated schedule I almost missed the spring bulb planting. Read more…

country gardens

The country garden relies on scent just as much as it does on color and texture. Gertrude Jekyll popularized this garden design, praising the care free style of cottage perennials.

Old country favorites don’t always enjoy the extraordinary blooms worthy of flower shows, but they each have particular qualities that define them and with which they are identified Read more…

water harvesting

Harvesting the rain doesn’t stop at installing rain barrels, it involves the entire garden and its principal goal is to keep the water from running off the plot onto paved areas, only to eventually end up in the storm drains.

Careful planning can create places for the rain water to slow down enough to percolate into the soil, as well as ways to move it through the landscape and places for it to settle in. Depressed spots are not desirable features, since nobody wants to end up with a lawn full of puddles, so the water catchment area needs to blend naturally into the design and be populated with rain garden plants. Read more…