This spring has tested the hardiness of my hardy soul. I bet it's tested yours, too, especially if you live in the Northern Plains and parts east that were bombarded by "Winter Storm Xanto". In light of what my fellow cold climate gardeners are enduring, I'm not going to complain about my weather, which seems [...]
The tagline of my blog is "Hardy plants for hardy souls," because you have to be a hardy soul to endure the fits and starts of winter ending and spring arriving. Cold climate gardeners are resilient in the face of adversity and prepared for setbacks before winter is gone for good. Here's how I'm coping. How about you?
A January thaw I expect. A thaw in February--however pleasant--makes me nervous. Last year we had a mild February--and three feet of snow in March. But whether or not I approve, it appears we are having a thaw. In February.
Move over, hyacinths. Stand back, amaryllis. It's time for lily-of-the-valley to take center stage. Yes, lily-of-the-valley! Did you know you could force lily-of-the-valley indoors during the winter? It's not too hard at all, if you buy specially prepared roots. And the fragrance is wonderful, not to mention the pleasure of actually watching plants grow while it's snowing outside.
November started out marvelously with highs in the 50s(F) and one day even hit 66°(19C). The second week the switch flipped and the real November showed up with a vengeance. Most nights have been in the teens, but we also got two nights that dipped into single digits (9F=-13C)--that's unseasonably low for November and was [...]
Visitors asked about two plants at my Colchicum Open Garden. The first one is readily available at garden centers or online. The second one is a little trickier to find--it helps if you know someone. But visitors were also surprised to see so much in bloom at the end of September. It helps if you know my special plants and (not so) secret techniques. Click over to my blog post and I'll share them with you!
In my mind there are two kinds of fall: "Good" Fall and "Bad" Fall. Good Fall is what we have now. The leaves on the trees are starting to turn color, temperatures have moderated so that you want to work in the garden again, the colchicums have started blooming and the many native autumn-blooming plants are at their peak, summer annuals are still going strong and some perennials are having a second flush of bloom. (Bad Fall is after the leaves drop and it's cold enough that they'd call it winter down South.) In this blog post, I'd like to share some of the best that autumn has to offer.
There is a comfort in seeing plants bloom when you expect them to bloom. You sense the rhythm of the seasons that is one of the pleasures of gardening. But if the garden were totally predictable it would get a little boring. That's why even though my garden is supposedly full, I continue to add new plants, even if it means taking out others. Read on to see the plants that are either new to me this year or just hitting their stride this August.
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!
Two and a half years ago I acquired a couple of peonies through a members-only sale of my local chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS). You may not realize this, but most rock gardeners get interested in alpine plants after years of gardening experience. They are all plant geeks and expert (or [...]