It could be worse

In review of the past year in the garden there is adequate cause for complaint, with deep and persistent snow that was followed closely by prolonged and miserable heat. Injury from the winter’s snowfall remains in evidence, though a large cypress was removed in its entirety, and other evergreens with sagging branches have been discretely tied…

The year end deer end report

This autumn deer have worn a path beneath one of the large ‘Sekkan Sugi’ cryptomerias, a passage through thick grasses and plume poppies (Macleaya cordata, below) that begins near the swimming pond, where deer often stop to quench their thirst, and ends at the neighbor’s garden. Along the short path there is a wider area…

What a mess we’re in

Today I’ll step in from the frigid breeze howling through the garden to comment on the sad state of the nursery industry. I have worked in the landscape business for nearly thirty-five years, and have gained friendships with many fine people, both local competitors and vendors from across the country that our garden centers purchase…

Let it snow!

Here we go again in the snow capital of the upper south. The season’s first snowfall is only a few inches, and barely worthy of mention in comparison to last winter’s blizzards. I expect that there will be more as the winter progresses, but there is no reason to expect a repeat of the snowfall…

A chilly December

With overnight temperatures dipping into the teens the scattered buds of Encore azaleas and Knockout roses that showed a hint of color a week ago have turned to brown, and their foliage has faded so that there is no doubt that they are now dormant. The blooms of ‘Winter’s Joy’ camellia have changed to a…

December color

Today I’m on the road, traveling through nurseries in the southeast searching for plants to fill the garden centers in March. In setting travel plans for the second week of December I presume that the weather will be warm, even if not sunny, but temperatures have been cold and breezy, and southerners are bundled in…

A surprising number of evergreens

Now that the fairweather deciduous trees and shrubs have dropped their leaves and gone into hiding for the winter, the steadfast and stalwart evergreens march to the forefront. If I were to guess, and I’m guessing, I would figure two-thirds of the garden’s trees and shrubs to be deciduous, with the remainder evergreens, both conifers…

Eleven months of bloom

The year’s blooms began late in February with the fragrant yellow, ribbon-like blooms of  ‘Arnold’s Promise’ witch hazel, despite a few feet of snow that covered its base. Nearing the year’s end in early December there are blooming camellias and mahonia, and a few scattered and battered flowers on the Knockout and Drift roses and…