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the daily gardener

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…

snapdragons

If you ever create a garden for children don’t forget the snapdragons. The little ones love to pinch the “dragon mouths” to make them snap open and at times the plant looks like it’s pouting with indignation against the uninvited pestering. It releases delightful fragrance as it snaps back shut, relieved to be finally left alone. Read more…

the fountain at the center of the garden

The fountain at the center of the garden was a staple of medieval landscape design. Its simple yet powerful symbolism was derived from necessity, but speaks to that part of the soul that envisions water as healing and life giving. Nowhere is a tiny fountain more at home than at the center of a medicinal herb wheel. Read more…

garden imagery

There are the rare moments when simple images like these are more than enough to justify dripping sweat over organic fertilizer in 100 degree heat.

It rained last night, it was a powerful and earth drenching thunderstorm, like only summer knows how to bring. The sky was ablaze with white lightning and thunders boomed so strong they made the earth tremble. Read more…

mighty cleome

Judging by the amount of seed these garden prodigies generate I won’t need to worry about next year’s annual flower selection. I am going to have a very exclusive, cleome only garden, where said plant will multiply exponentially to eventually cover the world. Read more…

stormy weather, sort of…

It is summer already, I think. Certainly feels like it most of the time, which is why the clematis didn’t stay in bloom as long as it usually does.

I spent the last two days waiting for rain, but despite stormy clouds the sky is reluctant to release the water it promised. I can only hope the high humidity in the air will keep the plants from wilting for now. Read more…

perennials

When you had a perennial garden for many years you’d think there can’t be many plants you haven’t tried but that is not true. New varieties appear every year, better adapted to your growing conditions than their uncooperative kin, more fragrant blooming plants for the shade, more cottage perennial cultivars to substitute those you previously thought too demanding. Read more…

fresh growth

There is great agitation in the garden in anticipation of summer. Plants develop at great speed and at some point the boundaries of which plant is what become blurred. Read more…

the fullness of spring

I got out the door this morning and it smelled like summer. Most of the trees haven’t even started to bloom yet, but the perennials, faithful to internal calendars only they understand, decided to fill up at full speed.

In only a few days the garden sprouted flowers and foliage all at the same time, rushing to get to mature size as fast as it can. Read more…