What is a cold climate?

– Posted in: FAQ

This photo was taken two days before the digital thermometer bottomed out in January 2005Quite a while ago, someone emailed me, asking what was a cold climate. I never did answer them, because I thought it was obvious. A cold climate is any climate too cold to grow the plants you really want to grow. [...]

The Intimate Garden: Book Review

– Posted in: Book reviews, Design

The Intimate Garden: Twenty Years and Four Seasons in Our Garden by Gordon and Mary Hayward belongs to the rare breed of landscape design book that is actually helpful: One private residential garden--not little glimpses of a dozen gardens The garden was developed over many years. (They figured it out as they went along) They [...]

Blooming in March

– Posted in: Weather, What's up/blooming

I took this photo yesterday, a day ahead of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. I knew that rain was predicted for Wednesday afternoon and throughout today, but late yesterday morning it was merely overcast and quite mild, and I thought, "Go looking for flowers now, or forget about it." So I went galomphing about in the [...]

What does a zone map really tell you?

– Posted in: FAQ, Weather
The 1990 USDA hardiness map for New York State

History repeats itself. According to this article (in pdf format) by Peter Del Tredici* on the history of plant hardiness zone maps, there used to be two hardiness maps floating around, the Arnold Arboretum map and the map put out by the USDA. Donald Wyman first created what would come to be called the Arnold [...]

Cabin Fever in Extremis

– Posted in: Meditations, Weather

I wrote this essay several years ago after the winter of 1993-1994 and I dig it out to reread every winter in which I feel I'm suffering excessively. Of course, no matter how bad your winter is, someone else can top you, so I don't promote this as the worst cabin fever anyone ever had, [...]