Deer in the autumn garden

With a one acre garden chock full of flowers, berries, and leafy treasures, I am pleased to do my small part to feed the neighborhood wildlife. Like it or not, and I don’t, the koi pond should be mentioned for attracting a variety of herons and snakes looking to feast on frogs and small fish. While…

A bit out of control

The edge of the koi pond is getting a bit out of control. Not all of it, but of one hundred twenty feet of stone partially submerged in the pond, a section of perhaps thirty feet of mixed irises has been infiltrated by Japanese silt grass and other annoying weeds. Two circumstances contribute to this…

Returning to the garden

While traveling for a few weeks on business, my wife reported regular sightings of a blue heron by the garden’s smaller ponds. The large koi pond is too deep, but in the shallower ponds the heron can stand on the bottom to wait for fish to come out of hiding. I prefer to keep koi…

Hounds on the loose

A week ago, my wife and I enjoyed a visit with our loaner dog. On occasions far too rare, we welcome a visit from our son’s greyhound while he and his wife travel. The long legged hound carefully steps through the garden’s uneven stone paths, a remarkable contrast from the floppy eared sister hounds (Daisy…

Not quite a weedy mess

Clumps of Japanese iris (Iris ensata) at the pond’s edge have been infiltrated by stilt grass, seedlings of Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum, which, for now are tolerated because they mature long after the irises have faded), and a jumble of other weeds that cannot be identified. Difficulties in access to remove weeds along the pond’s…

A work in progress

Perhaps someday, the garden will be complete. After twenty-seven years, much of the property is covered by ponds (below) and plantings, but the gardener’s work is never done, it seems, and much remains to be done along the edges. If all goes well, in another decade the garden should be perfectly satisfactory, though setbacks are…

Memory lapses

Seemingly, I am incapable of recalling the dates of most events in my life without an unforgettable reference point. I’m quite certain I would not remember when I was married if it was not the year after I began to work full time after college (Egads! In the same place since 1976. It seems like…

A week away from the garden

A week ago, I left the garden in reasonably good order to travel to the west coast. Weeds were mostly under control, and I even fit in a bit of planting before leaving since a few afternoon storms were forecast. The storms faded, so the small perennials barely survived the week, but otherwise the garden was in…

Glimpses from the garden

While traveling to visit nurseries in Oregon, I offer random glimpses of the garden. With any good luck, I’ll find a treasure or two to add to the garden.  

Where the wild things are

Perhaps the wildness of this garden has gone a step too far. Yes, Japanese beetle populations are mostly held in check by birds, and mosquitoes are minimized in the rear garden by dragonflies that perch on tall irises and sweetflags bordering the koi pond. The gardener will argue against the spraying of poisons, figuring that nature will find…

The spring garden tour

Collector’s gardens are frowned upon by designers, most likely because the parts are of greater importance than the sum, and that is true to some degree in this garden. Sacrifices, most very minor (I think), have been made to cram in another Japanese maple, or any of a dozen (or more) other small collections. Hopefully,…

The same, but different

A lack of space has dictated that no significant changes have been made to the garden in recent years. While hardly noticeable, dozens of low growing perennials have been planted to cover open ground beneath trees and shrubs to help prevent weeds that require too much time to keep up with. This has been moderately…