Doing nothing

I prefer doing nothing, or at least delaying doing something as long as possible, sometimes even knowing that next year’s labor will be increased considerably as a result of my sloth. Long ago, and repeatedly, I’ve learned that winter weeds must be pulled before going to seed, or the next crop (usually ten or eleven…

A day in the garden

Mid-October in northern Virginia is not the best time to visit a garden. A garden group visited my place in early November a year ago, and with a warmer than average first half of autumn there were still a few things to see. But of course, I would prefer visitors to see the garden’s peak…

What does best

Slowly, I gain knowledge about what does best, and where, and conditions in this garden where plants fail to thrive or survive. I can imagine your head shaking, “well, of course, after twenty-nine years in the garden, he should know a thing or two.” And, probably I do, but understanding the garden is a moving…

Crying wolf

Happily, I admit to prematurely reporting the demise of two passionflower vines, which appeared shortly after publishing my sob story, though the long term fate of one remains in doubt. Passionflower vines are known for late arrivals after extended winters, and this year there was no sign of the purple flowered vine (Passiflora incarnata) into…

Surviving the deluge, again

Hopefully, plants have been properly placed to withstand the week’s deluges. All survived our very rainy late spring, so I don’t expect problems, but several additions were made in recent weeks, so we’ll see. How tolerant one or the other is to constant dampness will be seen over weeks to follow. The problem area at…

Snakes, again and forever?

My wife warns that it is incorrect to kill snakes that have taken residence along the margins of our koi pond, but still she wants to be rid of them, by violence or persuasion, she doesn’t care. I remain conflicted. The Northern Brown water snakes are a bit of a nuisance, causing me to be…

Kneel, don’t bend

A code word given by nurses following back surgery nearly two years ago was supposedly an easy to remember warning to lift appropriately, to bend at the knees, not at the waist. I’m afraid I’m not a good student, and besides, who else is there on the premises to bend to pluck the many hundreds,…

Disappointment and joy

A recurring theme in the garden (and in life, I suppose), is that things do not always turn out as you want, or expect. My best guess is that more works out for the better than the worse, and often the bad is not so horrible, just disappointing. Unhappily, the weedy yellow flag iris (Iris…

The rear garden in May

Several readers have asked, so here it is. At the bottom of this page is a lengthy video of the rear garden, taken with the assistance of a marvelous gadget called a gimbal stablilizer, that allowed me to walk without the video jumping up and down. I can’t hold the camera still standing still, much…

A vigorous vine

While many clematis are slow to get started, Clematis montana ‘Rubens’ (below) has been vigorous from the start. To my recollection, this is the third (and best) try for a vine to cover the railing of the deck outside the kitchen window. I’m a bit foggy what the the first was, but the second will…

Unauthorized clean up

The assistant gardener (my wife) has been home this week for spring break, and fortunately it’s been rainy until today when I came home to a trash can filled with a variety of clippings. I don’t dare dig deeper to see what’s beneath the ivies and periwinkle that she is always welcome to snip away…

Distractions

The garden’s inventory gets longer as my memory gets shorter, I fear. Perhaps it’s just today, but I can hardly recall what’s planted where if it’s not up and growing. As I add new plantings this is likely to result in conflicts, and with planting a few Japanese maples last week it occurs to me…