It's so easy to think that nothing is living or growing under the snow, but all you need is a January thaw and a stroll in the woods to see that there are plants that have not given in to the onslaught of cold and snow. On my strolls over the years I have noticed that there are two ferns that remain evergreen in our woods during the winter. I know a fern when I see one, and that's about it. I thought it was about time I taught myself a bit more. Join me as I try to identify these two ferns.
Can anyone improve on nature? Maybe it's better to admit that what I'm doing isn't natural--it's gardening. Gardening in the most naturalistic way possible. Gardening to make the woods more easily enjoyed by humans. Tinkering and tweaking to yes--make it more beautiful.
Every flower is a wildflower--a native plant--somewhere, though this is easy to forget when that "somewhere" is on the other side of the world. On the other hand, it's easy to take our own native wildflowers for granted, or even despise them as weeds. And many popular garden plants native to North America had to be recognized as garden-worthy by gardeners in other countries before they were adopted by gardeners here. So, how do you tell if a plant belongs in the garden, or is a wildflower--or a weed?
If you have to have a weed in your garden, jewelweed is a great choice. In fact, if it doesn't grow in your garden, I feel a little bit sorry for you. It's as nice a weed as a gardener could wish for--if a gardener needed to wish for weeds. Read more to find out why!
I get so engrossed with gardening around the house during the summer that I tend to ignore the wilder parts of our property. I decided to remedy that and take a walk through our damp meadow, and I'm glad I did. Why don't you join me, and we'll see what we can see. There are a few plants I didn't realize were growing on our property, and plenty of the usual suspects. Maybe you can help me identify some of them!
What would happen if you didn't mow your lawn? We often let the grass get pretty shaggy before we mow for the first time, and you might be surprised at how pretty it looks. Also, learn the difference between a flowery lawn and a cropped meadow.
I've lived here over five years now, but just when I think I've seen all the plants that grow wild here, another one catches my attention and arouses my curiosity. Several people suggested it was baneberry, and baneberry does bloom around the same time, with a similarly shaped flower. Only one problem: Baneberry is herbaceous, and the flowers were blooming on a woody plant. Hmm, what could it be?
Take a stroll with me through the Secret Garden and admire the flowers I recently planted to make this garden even more beautiful. I hope it delights you as much as it delights me!
I know rock gardeners who can coax rare alpine treasures into bloom, but have been stumped by trout lilies. They are common in the woods of eastern North America--do you know these ephemeral charmers?
Our house "was built for a newlywed couple in 1885. The big oak tree in the front yard was planted the year they moved in and the maple tree was also one they planted," according to information provided by the previous owner. I was thinking about this oak tree as I drove home from a [...]