Japanese iris

In my garden there are five ponds, four that are one hundred fifty square feet and smaller, and a large pond that is nearly fifteen hundred square feet that I call the “swimming pond”, though I do not swim, only float in it. Only the swimming pond is in full sun, and here is the…

Forget the flowers – shrubs and a mention of perennials

I’m not suggesting that flowers be banned, or that fewer be planted, only that there should be more to gardens than impatiens and petunias. There are trees and shrubs that have delightful foliage that’s colorful even when not a flower’s in sight. And don’t forget perennials, for hostas are greatly prized for their colorful and…

Snow damage update

Broken, bent, and battered, the garden in early March was a depressing shambles. There seemed no end to the damage, shrubs crushed under the weight of the heavy snow, and large evergreens with branches broken or bent to severe angles, or completely uprooted. Many deciduous trees were spared the worst, but densely branched Japanese maples…

Forget the flowers

Flowers and more flowers, nothing but flowers every week. Of course, I treasure the blooms in my gardens, but flowers are here today and gone next week, or with some long blooming perennials and annuals, the flowers get tiresome, more of the same day after day. As a practical matter this journal is most often dedicated…

Blooming in mid May – trees and shrubs

The Chinese dogwoods (Cornus kousa, below) are glorious this mid May. The fast growing, but often sporadic blooming ‘Galilean’ and variegated leaf ‘Wolf Eyes’ are flowering more heavily than I can recall. The pink ‘Satomi’ is a dependable bloomer, but it’s flowers have only the faintest hint of pink this year, not uncommon for Satomi…

A place to relax

I wore out my old garden lounge chair, and have had to purchase another, the kind that’s called a zero gravity chair but is really just a recliner. They’re cheap and ugly, but suit my purposes quite well. I’ve tried to “relax” (sleep) in one of the chairs we have scattered on the various stone…

How little I know – Chapter 27

Only a few days ago I whined that the golden chain tree (Laburnum) does not perform well in my Virginia garden despite a favored position to protect it from the late afternoon sun. The sparse foliage and meager blooms  in a photograph substantiated my claim that this European native is poorly adapted to the heat…

A tadpole’s paradise

For a few weeks in April, evenings in my garden are alive with the sounds of spring peepers, so today, inevitably as the course of nature would have it, the ponds are full of tadpoles. Not a few, but thousands, many thousands. I have five ponds in the garden, and a sixth dirt bottom, wet…

May is easy

Nothing could be simpler than to select plants for the garden that bloom in April and May, unless you are utterly confused by the wealth of choices. Walk through your local garden center this weekend and there are dozens of blooming plants, for sun or shade, wet areas or dry, that grow ankle high or…

Ocho de Mayo

I am usually late for the party, if I arrive at all. I have been negligent updating what’s blooming in the garden, so today I’ll try to be as brief as possible and cover as much ground as possible. From one end of the garden to the other there are blooms, with some continuing from…