A little out of the ordinary

Years ago, the developer of our small subdivision harvested tulip poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera) for lumber from the forest that borders the garden. A few that are close enough to fall onto the house were left, and one has a lowest branch that hangs prominently over the side garden. Following a rain, the long branch hangs…

A slow farewell to spring

As May ticks to a close there is much to be joyful about. The garden will continue this spring lushness into June with a slow fade as summer heat inevitably increases. While May is undoubtedly the garden’s peak, June must be a close second. There are continued reminders that this past winter, while mild in…

Even more in May

I mourn the passing out of flower of the Exbury azaleas along the northern border. Yes, the azaleas were in color for a few weeks, and the glorious bloom had to end soon, but flowering ended hastily with a few inches of rain from thunderstorms that turned blooms into damp tissue paper that hung from…

A house in there, somewhere

For years, trees have obscured the front of the house, an egregious design flaw, of course, but of little concern to me. Yes, the house is nice enough. Proper design would frame rather than hide it, but if the front was open to view there’s little doubt that I’d plant something there tomorrow. Such is…

At its best

Abundant rainfall in recent weeks has encouraged lush growth, possibly more than the typical lushness of May. Already, a few branches that veer to obstruct garden paths have been snipped, inevitably with more to come. Today, the highlight of the garden must be the northern border that is colored by yellow, orange, and red Exbury…

More from May

The garden was not dry before the weekend rain, but several inches of rain pushes another spurt of growth and adds a bit of depth to its color. With damp ground, recently weeded beds look as if they have been long neglected, and I hope that an additional burst of growth from hostas will cover…

Marvelous May

Today is the reward for a long winter with few blooms. The garden starts slowly, with scattered flowers through the winter months that increase in March, and then April, but the garden is incomplete until trees and shrubs come into leaf and hostas fill the open spaces. Beginning the second week of May a few…

The view from the kitchen

From our kitchen window, a mass of white blooms shows from behind three huge maples at the forest’s edge. This is the old, dependable Delaware Valley White azalea (below) planted thirty years ago, and now it spreads ten feet or more in deep shade. Through most of the year it is hardly noticed except that…

More and more

The Japanese maples planted in the garden thirty or more years ago were basics, beautiful trees but only the most common that were the only ones to be found at a time when maples were quite expensive and not the staples of the garden that they are today. Somewhere along the way the gardening industry…

Unusual blooms

I am hoping for a bit more growth from the Wheel tree (Trochodendron aralioides, below) this spring. In its first spring a year ago growth was minimal, and while Wheel tree is reputed as slow, I look forward to more than a few inches of growth now that its roots are more established. But, already…

In the wild

Leisure hours not spent in the garden often find my wife and I stumbling down nearby mountain trails (she walks gracefully, I stumble), with many trails selected for their botanical interest in addition to views of the valleys below. Several local treasures are hiked multiple times each year, and of course the glorious, native flora…

Okay, now it’s spring

The weather rollercoaster is not unusual for spring, though a recent coating of snow is out of the ordinary for mid April. Periods of mild temperatures have been interrupted by scattered freezes, and it is fortunate none have dropped low enough to do much damage to emerging leaves. Yes, every new set of camellias flowers…