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June 13, 2024

 

Purple flowers at Sissinghurst Gardens

Purple Plantings

Today, I am quoting from Vita Sackville West who is discussing planting a border with flowers ranging in color from pale mauve through rich purple.

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June 6, 2024

 

Diorama of a calender book with flower growing out of it.

Looking Ahead

Spring is a wonderful season for gardeners. The weather is pleasant outdoors and visiting nurseries is such fun, but as well as popping into the ground plants that will give immediate gratification, also try to plant some fall bloomers.

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May 29, 2024

 

Mihály Munkácsy’s painting “Woman Arranging Flowers,” 1881-1882

Making Bouquets

We have all been guilty of shoving flowers into any type of vase when we are in a hurry. However, we all know as well that just a little bit of effort on our part will make even a few flowers look really special.

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May 23, 2024

 

Scientist in a field of yellow flowers.

Flower Sex

Scientists are concerned that the use of toxic pesticides and the decreasing amount of wild habitat may be affecting flower pollination.

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May 16, 2024

 

Upright bright pink blossoms of Geranium macrorrhizum 'Bevan’s Variety’

Bevan

I am completely in love with bevan. No, he's not a human. He's a plant that has captured my heart...

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May 9, 2024

 

Groundcover of tiny white blooms of sweet woodruff

Carpeting

Here is a long quote by Vita Sackville West about groundcovers.

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May 2, 2024

 

A bouquet of dandelions held by a child

Spring Dandelions

Dandelions light up our lawns each spring with bright yellow flowers.

April 25, 2024

 

Stanhopea quadricornis by Sarah Ann Drake

Early Botanical Artists

Before the invention of photography, illustrations of uncommon plants were crucial. Women were thought to be especially well suited for drawing specimens accurately. They were seen as patient, careful, and willing to work for little pay.

April 18, 2024

 

Harvesting aleum from 14th-century manuscript Tacuinum sanitatis

The Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages in Britain, the monasteries were the places with the space and the knowledge to garden.

April 11, 2024

 

Impatiens walleriana, a.k.a. busy lizzies

Touch-Me-Nots

Most gardeners I know find it convenient to buy this easy-care annual for their pots and shade beds each spring, and delight in growing such undemanding annuals.

April 4, 2024

 

White dogwood tree

Cherry Blossoms

The cherry tree that A. E. Housman wrote about in this poem is commonly known as bird cherry, which alas does not grow well for us in zone 6. A white tree that is a lovely substitute is the white dogwood.

March 28, 2024

 

Easter lilies in a garden

Planting Easter Lilies

Each year millions of Easter lilies are forced in greenhouses so that they bloom early to meet the retail demands of the Easter season. This is obviously hard on the lily, so the plant won't bloom again that summer at its normal summer bloom time.

March 21, 2024

 

Shoveling clay soil

The Benefits of Clay

Clay soil is heavy and hard to dig compared to sandy soil, but it is also more moisture and nutrient retentive.

March 14, 2024

 

Goats beard plant in bloom

Usually Deer Proof

Timing is a factor in what deer eat. I have found that in the early spring when there are plenty of fresh green leafy plants in my beds, the deer avoid my hosta, but in July, they eat every one of them to the ground.

March 7, 2024

 

Pruning a currant bush

Pruning Flowering Shrubs

Pruning woody plants keeps them vigorous and healthy, as well as improving their shape.

February 29, 2024

 

Pinched snapdragon seedling

Cutting Back

Cutting back plants, even small ones, helps to stimulate growth. But don't cut off all of the leaves!

February 22, 2024

 

Blue 'Spiky' clematis vine

Climbing Clematis

A Greek botanist cultivated clematis as early as 50 A.D. The name is from the Greek word "klema" meaning vine.

February 15, 2024

 

forcing flowering branches in water

Forcing

In late winter, after months without garden flowers, we are eager to see flowers in our homes. However, there is a wonderful feeling we get when we force branches of early spring-blooming trees and shrubs.

February 8, 2024

 

Antique floral wallpaper design

Roses From the Past

All of the poems I will read today are about roses and all are from times long past.

February 1, 2024

 

St. Brigid, stained-glass window at St. Mary of the Rosary in County Mayo, Ireland.

February Saints

The flowers associated with St. Valentine's Day were, in Roman times, the yellow crocus and the tricolor viola that both bloom in the early spring in our gardens today. But there are also other saints associated with February...

January 25, 2024

 

British garden designer Christopher Lloyd

Christo's Final Years

Christopher Lloyd and head gardener Fergus Garrett set up the Great Dixter National Trust so that the garden could continue in perpetuity. Christo died in 2006, but the garden continues to evolve, showcasing unusual plants and unorthodox combinations under Fergus's leadership.

January 18, 2024

 

Great Dixter Garden's long border

The Long Border

Christopher Lloyd enlarged the border at Great Dixter to encompass a length of 200 feet and a depth of 15 feet. At the back were small trees, with flowering shrubs in the middle and low edging plants in front.

January 11, 2024

 

Great Dixter house and gardens

The Great Dixter

One of Britain's most celebrated gardens, Great Dixter is a magnificent place where one can learn and be inspired. A trip there should be on every gardener's bucket list.

January 4, 2024

 

Man carrying turnips, Tacuinum Sanitatis, c.1450

Medieval Gardens

In AD 830, St. Benedict said that gardening was appropriate manual labor for monks and that all monasteries should have a psychic garden, kitchen garden, cellar garden, an orchard, and a private garden for monks of high office.

December 28, 2023

 

Bancroft Roman Villa aerial image

1st Century Gardens

The Romans were the first to create pleasure gardens in Britain.

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