December 2006

What does a zone map really tell you?

– Posted in: FAQ, Weather
The 1990 USDA hardiness map for New York State

History repeats itself. According to this article (in pdf format) by Peter Del Tredici* on the history of plant hardiness zone maps, there used to be two hardiness maps floating around, the Arnold Arboretum map and the map put out by the USDA. Donald Wyman first created what would come to be called the Arnold [...]

In the Garden of Resolve

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

Gardeners know that the calendar year is an artificial construct. It's not even so much that the new year really begins in spring, as that to everything there is a season. Consequently, I find the concept of New Year's resolutions rather alien to my thinking and way of life. I am resolving to do better [...]

New England Garden Events

– Posted in: Events, Recommended Links

Lookee here: a blog devoted to New England Garden Events. Events with big names, like Dan Hinkley, Rick Darke, Sean Conway, Gordon Hayward, Fergus Garrett . . . need I go on? If New England is your territory, or you're going to be in the neighborhood, this is worth checking out. And just think, you [...]

A Vegetable Wishlist

– Posted in: Catalog review, Vegetables

In her latest Washington Post column Barbara Damrosch writes It's raining seed catalogues and the forecast is for the downpour to continue well into January. She then starts in on her vegetable wishlist, what she would like to see the "elves" at the "North Pole Experiment Station" tinker with in her favorite vegetables to make [...]

Pushing the Possible

– Posted in: Book reviews, Vegetables

When growing food, the greatest obstacle a cold climate presents to the gardener is the short growing season. In a classic example of great minds thinking alike, here are two books that address that obstacle with similar approaches. All of the authors live in New England and were influenced by Scott and Helen Nearing and [...]

The Vermont Gardener

– Posted in: Recommended Links

I owe it to Rick Anderson of the Whispering Crane Institute to finally nudge me over to The Vermont Gardener and take a look. I had seen VermontFlowerFarm join the Gardening group at LibraryThing and had checked out the profile, but never got any further than that. Turns out I've been missing a real gem. [...]

The Million Dollar Garden

– Posted in: Book reviews, Design

I've often thought my biggest hindrance to becoming a professional garden designer is my aversion to spending money, mine or anyone else's. Consequently, I tend to filter out great-but expensive-ideas almost as soon as I've thought them, even at the risk of being penny-wise but pound-foolish. So it should surprise no one that I find [...]