brian bixley

Tour Brian Bixley’s Garden

– Posted in: Lilactree Farm

As a result of reading my book review, Deborah of Garden Theatre wound up visiting Brian Bixley and touring his garden. Since her visit was in early spring, her photographs clearly illustrate the underlying design of Lilactree Farm. If you have been enjoying Brian's occasional pieces here, you will want to go over to Garden [...]

Essays on Gardening in a Cold Climate: Book Review

– Posted in: Book reviews, Lilactree Farm, Things I Love
Essays on Gardening in a Cold Climate by Brian Bixley

Living in Ontario, Brian Bixley has the well-earned ambivalence of the cold climate gardener, calling winter “the icicle in the soul of the gardener” and yet acknowledging its “shivery perfection.” But the range of his thought and the dry subtlety of his wit in Essays on Gardening in a Cold Climate go beyond the confines [...]

Garden Lines

– Posted in: Garden chores, Lilactree Farm

........................................The curious stranger roves, With grateful travel, through a wild of groves; And though directed, oft mistakes his way, Unknowing where the winding mazes stray; Yet still his feet the magic paths pursue, Charmed, though bewildered, with the pleasing view. Stephen Duck, 1731 The hedge clipping was finished yesterday (October 5). We have a variety [...]

From Here to There

– Posted in: Design, Lilactree Farm

Maureen and I spent the first weekend of October in Pittsford, a suburb of Rochester, NY. We did the usual things that starry-eyed visitors do, going to a Wegman’s store, where the range and quality of merchandise in a giant super-market made me feel that I was still living in the nineteenth-century, and whose theatrical, [...]

Native Enthusiasm

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

At last.  Finally. Why chicory, Cichorium intybus, the blue flower of August roadsides, should have avoided our rural road for so long, is a mystery to me. So forlorn have I been made by its absence, when all neighbouring roads were bright with its sky-blue gaiety, that I have from time to time been tempted [...]

Summer’s Stillness

– Posted in: Lilactree Farm, What's up/blooming

…………When you do dance, I wish you A wave o’ th’ sea, that you might ever do Nothing but that; move still, still so, And own no other function. W.S., The Winter’s Tale (4.4. 140-43) Neither Maureen nor Roan has found this to be a companionable summer; too hot, too humid. But for the garden [...]

September at Lilactree Farm

– Posted in: Lilactree Farm, What's up/blooming

The caramel-fragrant leaves of the Katsura tree have already fallen, as have those of three horse chestnut kin, the two Ohio buckeyes (Aesculus glabra) and the Yellow buckeye (A. flava). Both the Yellow and the Ohio buckeyes have similar foliage and pale yellowy-green flowers, and the only way I can distinguish betweeen them is by [...]

Colchicum Design Ideas from Montrose Gardens

– Posted in: Colchicums

Many gardeners complain that it is difficult to place colchicums in the garden because of their unusual growing cycle, in which their leaves grow in the spring, die down in the summer, and then the flowers emerge in the fall. The colchicum bed at Montrose Gardens in Hillsborough, North Carolina, pictured above, contained many colchicum [...]