Weeding for the audience

– Posted in: Garden chores

Every year about this time, the Juneberry bed looks like this: This photo was taken last July, but gives you the general idea: milkweed, musk mallow, lambs' quarters, and a weedy form of evening primrose all detract from the daylilies that are supposed to shine here. Being a detail person, in past years I have [...]

My Summer in a Garden

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

A small change in routine can make a big change in the gardenI was the oldest of a large family, and I aspired to be a good girl. Not so much in the sense of morally superior; I wanted to do it right, correctly. Even as a child, I was a perfectionist. Perfectionists: You know [...]

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

– Posted in: Design

Long-time readers of my blog know that I have never shied away from being honest about the poor upkeep of my garden. Sometimes I find beauty in the weeds, and sometimes they depress me, but I've never pretended they didn't exist. I agree with Colleen that fear of "not doing it right," or "not being [...]

Canada thistle, the plague of my peonies

– Posted in: Pests, Plagues, and Varmints

Canada thistle weaves throughout the peony bedObservant readers may have noticed the prickly-leaved weed sidling up to 'Rozella' in my last post. That dastardly villain is Canada thistle, aka Cirsium arvense, and it is one nasty customer. According to the University of California Cooperative Extension, Once established, Canada thistle spreads rapidly by horizontal roots, up [...]

Spring madness: Search and rescue

– Posted in: How-to

If you are short on time, energy, and money, but notably the first two, be conservative. You'll be more pleased with one fair-sized, well-composed, well-maintained bed than with a half-dozen large beds that are choked with quack grass and creeping Charlie. That's excellent advice from The Complete Flower Gardener by Karan Davis Cutler and Barbara [...]