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 [...]
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?
It's like Christmas, except instead of tumbling downstairs to see what "Santa" left me under the tree, I'm dashing out the door every day to see what's blooming in each garden bed. Believe me, I know where to look, and I usually spot each emerging plant when its tip first pierces the surface. Yes, it's spring! Wanna see what I got?
I just knew a mild February would mean trouble later on. Spring in February doesn't happen here without some sort of counterbalance later on. But even I couldn't guess it would be the snowstorm of the century. I thought those sub-zero temperatures the week before were punishment enough. Read on to learn what was blooming before Snowmageddon and what is currently cheering me in the house.
Sometimes plants surprise me. It surprises me that this 'Sweet Nymph' amaryllis is blooming. Why? Because I didn't follow any of the "rules" for getting an amaryllis to re-bloom. I did not put it (or my other amaryllises) in a closet in mid-August or early September. Why would I, when the plants were growing lushly? [...]
The January thaw is an accepted part of weather lore around here--thaw being a relative term--meaning warmer than you would expect but not necessarily warm enough to melt all the snow. But this year almost all the snow did melt, save the piles that accumulate from removing it from the walk, driveway, and road. As a matter of fact, it was 58°F(14°C) on Sunday as I glanced at my phone and read "Winter Storm Watch in effect for Monday." What? It's gorgeous out! But--it is January, after all.
It's January, and here in the northern reaches of North America we don't expect to find flowers blooming. And yet one plant in my garden is trying to do just that: Helleborus niger, commonly called the Christmas rose. It blooms at Christmas for gardeners in Great Britain. They were the ones who named it. My [...]
What's missing from this picture are the autumn crocuses. They should be blooming now. No, I don't mean colchicums--they're done. (And they're not crocuses!!) I mean bona-fide crocuses that bloom in the fall. Crocus speciosus, to be precise. I planted more than one hundred of them four years ago, and for the last three years [...]