September 2006

What the hay?

– Posted in: Miscellaneous, Recommended Links

Often gardeners are encouraged to mulch with straw, especially for food crops like, um, strawberries. Too often, the gardener, severed from his or her agricultural roots, mulches with hay instead. In Missed stacks and mistakes: distinguishing between hay and straw and other heaps, Alan Ritch explains the difference: Hay, of course, is fodder for the [...]

No, the other Dirt Divas

– Posted in: Recommended Links

I was catching up on a few garden blogs when I happened upon a comment from one Brooke, who alluded to gardening in Alaska. Oh, goody, thinks I, another cold climate gardener. Once I get there, I realize she's Dirt Diva One at Dirt Divas Gardening. Huh? I thought the Dirt Divas were down in [...]

My miracle flower

– Posted in: Colchicums, Plant info

Colchicums as a whole are pretty miraculous, emerging from out of nowhere and blooming without leaves, but this particular variety (Colchicum agrippinum) takes the cake. I planted it in autumn of 2004. It didn't bloom then, and it failed to send up leaves in 2005. Not surprisingly, it didn't bloom in 2005, either. When it [...]

Wicked Beauty

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, Pests, Plagues, and Varmints, Plant info, What's up/blooming

Isn't this a stunning specimen of Polygonum cuspidatum? The generous rainfall we've had this season has brought it into top form. Too bad it's on America's Most Wanted list. Yes, this is Japanese knotweed, aka Japanese bamboo, Mexican bamboo, fleeceflower, and Fallopia japonica. (I've been told that it's also known as privy weed, but I [...]

Autumn Mornings

– Posted in: Miscellaneous, Weather

Autumn mornings here are foggy. It seems, on first glance, that we are in for another cloudy day. A consultation with online weather reveals that it's supposed to be clear. Then you realize that the hillside across the street is shrouded in mystery. By ten o'clock the fog will have burned away and the day [...]

The Wedding Gift

– Posted in: Plant info, What's up/blooming

Some plants are bold. They would like nothing better than to be planted in the middle of the garden, flailing their leaves, emitting impossibly sweet fragrances. Others are more secretive, more sinister, skulking in dark places and hidden ways, hoping to be overlooked by humans while they continue with their mystifying activities. And then there [...]

Winter Reading, Courtesy Google

– Posted in: Book reviews

Carol of May Dreams Gardens made a wonderful discovery. Google has made several old gardening books in the public domain available for download. This sounds like a great project for the winter, once the seed and plant catalogs have been thoroughly marked up. The quotes she pulled from various books certainly make them sound enticing.