April’s ending with a bloom – perennials

In any garden there are difficult areas, poor soil, too dry, soggy, too many roots, sun baked, or dark as a dungeon. In my garden I have spots with some of all of these, often with a combination of issues that makes plant selection tricky. Mostly through trial and error I’ve discovered trees, shrubs, and perennials…

April’s ending with a bloom

The last weekend in April is drawing to a close, and blooms in the garden couldn’t be more abundant. The flowers of redbuds (below, the glossy new leaves of ‘Forest Pansy’ redbud) and dogwoods have faded, though there are a few remaining on dogwoods in the shade, but fringetree (Chionanthus) and ‘Ivory Silk’ tree lilac…

Pity the poor azalea

In today’s garden section of the Washington Post garden writer Adrian Higgins takes the azalea to task, mostly I think, for being so common. I don’t think that he finds any particular fault with them, except that they’re everywhere, and he offers some splendid alternatives. I have a few complaints of my own, and have…

April’s cool

I should not be surprised by the cool temperatures on this week’s end that are not cold, but are a dramatic change from the delightful seventies we’ve had for much of the past several weeks. The weather in the mid Atlantic region in March and April is “variable”, which is to say that there can…

April is blooming crazy

They’re everywhere! Blooms, blossoms, flowers, everything that can bloom is blooming. The magnolias, cherries (above), and serviceberry blooming in March are long past, victims of the ninety degree temperatures a week ago that accelerated their cycle from flower to leaf. I feared the same fate for the redbuds (below)and dogwoods that flowered earlier than is…

Earn your gardening merit badge

Everything you plant dies? You think you have a brown thumb? I’m sorry, there’s no such thing. Anyone can grow plants, even you! In nearly four decades in the landscape business, and longer as a gardener, I’ve been amazed and confounded by the complexity that people attribute to the simple act of selecting and planting…

That’s more like spring

I think that I’m a happy person. Of course, I also think of myself as laid back, and people who hear that chuckle in disbelief, so perhaps I’m not qualified to judge. I consider myself a lazy gardener. I’m quite content to put important tasks off as long as possible, sometimes until the time to…

Not ready for Summer

Good grief, ninety degrees! In early April. Two weeks of warm, but pleasant weather has passed, and now it’s just hot. Too hot! The spring bulbs are fading quickly in the heat, as are the flowering cherries, peach, and magnolias. Royal Star magnolia and Dr. Merrill are more accustomed to winter’s cold than summer, so they…

Scraped, scratched, bloodied, and bruised

I’m in bad shape, broke down, beaten, and bewildered! One minute I’m feeling hopelessly behind in my garden, the next that I’m nearly caught up. Then I walk around any corner, and I have a lot of corners, and there’s lots more to do. There’s no fooling myself, I have a lot of chores ahead. After…