I broke a garden rule today

– Posted in: Design

The garden rule I broke today is: Don't plant flowers in a straight line. And I did it for a very good reason: I wanted a straight line. I've looked at the scene above for many years, and frequently thought to myself how much better it would be to have that swath of daffodils swing [...]

Hitch Lyman’s Temple Nursery Garden

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

I visited Hitch Lyman's garden in Trumansburg, NY. on May 8th. It was one of the Garden Conservancy's Open Gardens, as I mentioned previously. His Temple Nursery is the only U.S. nursery that specializes in snowdrops. The snowdrops were long gone, but lilacs and species peonies were blooming. Hitch Lyman has a wonderful Greek Revival [...]

The Great Houseplant Census of 2010

– Posted in: Plant info

Mr. McGregor's Daughter, in an effort to promote domestic harmony*, has requested gardeners everywhere to tally up the number of plants they currently have growing inside. Here are my results: Outdoor Plants Wintering Over 1 rosemary 1 'Rehoku Sunrise' carex (an experiment) 1 apple seedling (my middle daughter's experiment) 1 orange tree grown from seed [...]

When is my last spring frost?

– Posted in: FAQ, Weather

Usually, when you want to know your last spring frost, the experts send you to a hardiness zone map, a chart, or even the NOAA records, conceding that this will only give you a ballpark figure. If you really want to know your local last frost date, consult a neighbor--at least until you've kept records [...]

Our best apple recipes

– Posted in: Fruit, Recipes

We have three apples trees. They came with the place. That is how I know the secret to good apple pie and crisp is to start with delicious baking apples. When I started using these apples in the same recipes I'd always used, the compliments increased dramatically: "This is the best apple pie (crisp) I've [...]

Sights, Sounds, and Smells of Spring

– Posted in: Meditations

Sights One of the many good things about spring is that without it, and without the absence imposed by fall and winter, we flawed mortals might fail to appreciate the beauties around us. So much of the wonder of spring is found in the return of what was absent. Would the appearance of new leaves [...]

Early Pruning

– Posted in: Garden chores

Pruning the apple trees is a rite of spring. In past years I had a tendency to get started late and finish in a somewhat hurried splurge of activity—tinged with a bit of panic that perhaps I wouldn't get it done in time. This year I had to take a different approach. Since I'm no [...]

Signs of Spring

– Posted in: Garden chores, What's up/blooming

The Gardener in her Garden Here I am this past Sunday transplanting Lemon Lilies (Hemerocallis flava) from the back of the Birthday Garden to the front of it. They are a very old-fashioned daylily, but not as vigorous as the Tawny Daylily (H. fulva). Although they bloom early for a daylily, they are shorter than [...]

A Hard Day

– Posted in: Fruit, Pests, Plagues, and Varmints

While pruning the apple trees this spring I noticed extensive bark damage on two trees, similar to damage I saw on the third apple tree last year. Since the problem was mostly located on a single tree last year, I simply removed the affected bark and took a wait-and-see attitude. That was probably not a [...]