It was in the month of October, I believe, when a well known Indian (as in India) mystic decided he wanted to mimic Mahatma Ghandi in his concern for the poor. So, he began praying every day for the less fortunate, and stayed on his knees so long they became calloused over. He went on hunger…
What is your favorite color? Ninety percent of people say either red or blue, with a few greens sprinkled in with pinks and orange. Of course, green is the predominant color in the landscape about eight months of the year. My favorite color(s) change from time to time with whatever is the pr…
It has been a long time — or it seems like it — since your scribe has made any effort to discuss hostas in any depth. They have been mentioned often in passing, but not many times have some of my favorites been listed.
Take a good look at your flower beds and borders and you will find that, most likely, about 80% of the things there have pretty fine foliage, fine in the sense that most of their leaves are relatively small. This results in a somewhat bland look to the overall picture counting foliage alone.
If I said August is hydrangea time, any of you more learned gardeners would take umbrage and say no. We all know, you would claim, that hydrangea time is late spring and early summer, not late summer and/or autumn.
Toward the end of last week’s column, we mentioned, in passing, summer phlox. I must make amends for the brevity of that, and add some more informational help, if you need it.
The Holy Bible tells us the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are war, famine, pestilence and death. It is not the apocalypse, as of this moment anyway, but there are deadly horsemen affecting gardeners, and more than four of them.
In the heart of almost every person there resides a palpable tug for the underdog. I am no exception. For instance, back in the old days (a few months ago) whenever a football game was telecast live, even if was between Slippery Rock and some opponent from a remote stretch of Idaho, I always…
We have fought, or slept, through the past three months of coronavirus all over the world and, with a few riots and many protests here and there, are all fervently hopeful of more peaceful times ahead.
Pinching is an exhilarating pastime, but often depending on whether you are the pincher or the pinchee. In the latter case, males often get a slap upside the head if their pinching is indiscreet, or even if it isn’t. On the other hand, pinching can have a marvelous effect on your garden if p…
If roses are the queens of the gardening world, then clematises must be the princesses. It’s been a while since I have written, other than in passing, about the knock-down beautiful clematis. Who wants to hear much about what someone has failed with? Wait, I ended that sentence with a prepos…
A couple of weeks ago, I bored you here with a detailed description of my oldest mixed border. I call it the rock wall border because it is fronted with a stone retaining wall and is some 35 years or so old.
Occasionally I am asked what my favorite shrub (or tree or perennial etc.) is. On the shrub issue, they are visibly shocked, most of them anyway, when I answer it is nandinas. The usual response is, “You’re kidding” or “Surely you jest.”
I once read a comment by a famous gardener who remarked that there comes a time in spring when in her mixed borders everything is “knee high and purple.”
Our azalea treatise the last three weeks has, so far, neglected the deciduous (not evergreen) so-called “native” azaleas. Most of the ones on the market are not native at all, but may be hybrids with native azalea blood in them.
The last two weeks we have here discussed some of the best azaleas, or at least ones that I think are best, for our region of the country. We considered such criteria as dependable bloom, growth habit for varying situations, and resistance to, or susceptibility to, cold temperatures.
The term “climate change” has been bandied about so much recently that many people think it is something new. No, it has been going on since Day One and will go on after the rapture. Only then, it won’t be as excruciating as it is now.
For fully two months now, we have picked away at spots of color here and there, mostly from isolated oriental magnolias, daffodils, ipheion (you’ve got to get some), witch hazels and a number of other things.
With the ides and the astronomical first day of “spring” fading into the past, we now are faced with all that stuff we should have accomplished last fall or since. There, for instance, lie the oak and sycamore (!$&*#^&) leaves, crouched into nooks and crannies and up under shrubs, w…
March flowers, they are often called. Daffodils they are, though some are jonquils and others narcissus. Here they are mostly (mis)called “buttercups.” Whatever, they are right on time.
Computers are a curse or a miracle. For me they are, most of the time, a curse. Now, however, that I have spent some 25 years or more using them (as word processors, mostly) their blessings have grown to outnumber their bane.
Now that we are securely ensconced into the oft-maligned month of February, I think it would be apropos to take up two of the most distasteful subjects in the gardening world, at least as it pertains to us in northwest Tennessee. The two? Tree topping and deer, or horned rats.
My late, great friend and dentist, Dr. Charley Beard, said to me some time ago that it seems every time we start to tell something we have experienced we preface it by “Years ago … ”
Now that we (I) have adjudged the year 2019 to have rated a crummy grade of D as a gardening year, we should, I guess, give a token of time and ink to what was good about it, if anything.
A wise philosopher once said “As you slide down the bannister of life”. . . .what? Well, he advised us to be sure the splinters are pointed in the right direction. Good advice, I would say.
“Horrors may,” was an old Williams expression that my Uncle Ernest used with considerable efficaciousness whenever some sudden event or awakening occurred. Here it is mid-November and, horrors may, tomorrow will be Christmas.
Many of the questions I get concern faltering plants, from those with meaningless spots on their leaves to others already in the grave, and yet others somewhere in between.
So you think you have weeds? Well, everybody does. It comes with the territory if you do any serious gardening. Everybody thinks their plantation is more weed prone than anybody else’s.
Succession planting is a subject that has been broached many times by many garden writers, including this one. Practiced well, any given piece of ground will yield more with succession planting than when given over to one crop per season, be it ornamentals or vegetables and, yes, even large …
A review copy of a new book with the simple title Moss, made interesting reading during recent hot days. The author refers a lot to mosses in foreign countries, including particularly the Baltic areas and Japan, where mosses have long been appreciated more than in the west.
“Attitude adjustment” is a relatively new phrase that has entered our vernacular English. It has to do mostly with adjusting one’s mien from disgust or disappointment of a day or days into a feeling more appealing.
The subject of mulch is obligatory, I guess, for any garden writer, and I have on a number of occasions fulfilled my obligation in that regard, so, here in the post-dog days it is time again to reconsider the subject.
Happy Independence Day. You remember, July 4 is the anniversary of when we sent the Brits home packing and set this nation up as a republic, just 243 years ago. Thursday will be a time for watermelon cuttings, picnics, fishing, swimming and other hot weather activities. Don’t forget the fire…
Here we are, just five days out of the summer solstice, and the days are already (minimally) getting shorter. Sure enough, summer is here at last, and the few people who thrive on horrible heat and stifling humidity are happy. Those who dote on cool breezes and crisp nights will just have to…
Yes, I know it is a bit after the fact, and yes, I know that the flowering of almost all azaleas has passed, but I can’t help but put in a word for a few kinds that flower at the end of spring, which doesn’t expire, astronomically, for two more days.
Even as daffodil season fades from memory, catalogs for fall bulb planting begin to arrive. There are a couple of reasons for that. The merchants want daffodils and other spring blooming bulbs to be fresh on your mind in hopes you will order soon and also because they would like to have orde…
You’ve heard before on this page about my considerable inefficiency at growing azaleas. We used to have an annual azalea pull every spring and roast weenies over the resulting funeral pyre of dead specimens.
It must have been some quarter of a century ago in April when I was driving down the hill on West Wood Street west of the court square. A patch of bright mauve (an oxymoron?) caught my eye in a front lawn. The grass was almost obliterated with little star-shaped flowers of pale blue or, more…
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