Right place

I am pleased that the Seven Son tree (Heptacodium miconioides ‘Temple of Bloom’, below) planted a year ago has grown vigorously, but most importantly it is now developing flower buds for its August bloom. After a large Seven Son was lost in a summer storm several years ago I was determined to plant another, so…

A glorious weekend

With fresh memories of stifling heat and humidity, this weekend has been an absolute joy. Forecasts days earlier promised cooler temperatures, but Virginians know that mid seventies can be joined by high humidity to be much less comfortable. Stepping outdoors early Saturday morning I could hardly believe the cool breeze. I hesitate to say cold…

Another, and another

Undeniably, I’m an addict. The first step towards a cure must be admitting the problem, but I’ll proudly fess up and continue planting with no hope for rehabilitation. Knowing that I will not stop, my wife suggests planting on the neighbor’s property, but still I can find plenty of places to plant in the garden,…

No flowers in the Moonlight

I don’t recall when the ‘Moonlight’ Japanese hydrangea vine (Hydrangea hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’, recently in the genus Schizophragma but helpfully changed to Hydrangea, below) was planted, but not in the recent past. Newly planted hydrangea vines often do not flower for several years, and whatever the timing a year ago was the first time it flowered….

Home again

The trip to Washington and Oregon was a joy, but as always following a week away I’m happy to be home. The past week I’ve hiked mountains, visited gardens and seen more nursery plants than most will see in a lifetime, but I’m thankful to be back home and in the garden. Yes, there are…

Heading west

With a full time work schedule, hours of labor spent keeping weeds from taking over the garden, and frequent hikes in the nearby Blue Ridge mountains it is difficult to arrange visits to the many local public and private gardens that I enjoy so much. When I can get out, I’m inspired by all, which…

And then it’s June

Today feels like summer, and while cooler temperatures are forecast, it will not be long before summer heat returns for a longer stay. Spring has slipped by too quickly with too many chilly and damp weekends, and now it is ninety degrees. The wet spring weather, however, has suited the garden perfectly. Today, there are…

Dogwood under a dogwood

The variegated leaf ‘Samaritan’ dogwood (below) grows tall and upright, similar to the shrubby ‘Wolf Eyes’ nearby in foliage and flower except one is upright growing and tall and the other spreading and short. Unfortunately, with few low hanging branches the view of the tall ‘Samaritan’ is best from above, from our bedroom window looking…

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…