"Most discussions of lily beetles are a little helpful and considerably depressing. Many gardeners have abandoned growing lilies because the battle against the beetles is time- consuming and messy. But may I suggest that if (a) you have lots of free time (as I do) and (b) are willing to get some blood on your hands (as I am) that all is not lost. Many hundreds of lilies grow here so you will understand that we have a major interest in this problem. Here are some suggestions." Tips and a book review from guest contributor Brian Bixley.
‘The fool remembers only misfortunes and past errors...nothing can take away gratitude for past blessings.’ Rudolph Borchardt, The Passionate Gardener. Every fall, as I sit down to write these final Notes of the year, I am convinced that this gardening year was unique, that it resembled no other and that it was, simultaneously, much like [...]
‘More and more I am coming to the conclusion that rain is a far more important consideration to gardens than sun, and that one of the lesser advantages that a gardener gains in life is his thorough enjoyment of a rainy day!’ Margaret Waterfield, quoted in The Penguin Book of Garden Writing What kind of [...]
Almost exactly a year ago, I visited Lilactree Farm, the home and garden of Brian Bixley. In 2014, I would have considered this visit quite improbable. I am not a frequent traveler nor an adventurous driver. The only trips I take are ones where all the planning is done for you and all you have [...]
What a dark fall and early winter this has been, cold too, now. Hal Borland was right when he wrote that ‘as the day lengthens, the cold strengthens.’ This morning is a brief reprieve, grey again but calm and mild, impossible to resist taking the camera into the garden.
‘How (my characters) look and move and speak and behave, always in the setting I have found for them, is my account of them – of which I dare say, alas, que cela manque souvent d’architecture. But I would rather, I think, have too little architecture than too much – when there’s danger of its [...]
…a large number of people over a certain age would insist that spring no longer exists… E. A. Bowles, My Garden in Spring(1914) This week (April 26-May1) has been perfect gardeners’ weather. Cool enough to hold in flower the earliest bulbs, warm enough to encourage new growth. Snowdrops linger throughout the South Jungle and in [...]
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. ~John Ruskin, quoted in Adam Gopnik, Winter. It is a truth almost universally acknowledged that this has been a bear of a winter, battering to the body [...]
“One should always plant trees in the expectation, however unlikely, that one will live for ever or at least see them in their maturity.” Allen Paterson, Best Trees for Your Garden “Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not [...]
“I think we may have a wider approach to garden design if we have been helped to appreciate other forms of art; to be aware of basic principles – balance, repetition, harmony and simplicity – which apply to all forms of creativity. To look for these ideas in painting and architecture, or hear them in [...]