Meet Peter Kolster; the People Behind the Plants. The Kolster family has been breeding flowering shrubs for decades. Learn about their passions and history.
The Pharoah of Foamflowers – meet Sinclair A. Adam, the breeder of our River and Diva-rella series of faom flowers.
A Cemallia to Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Introducing a Camellia to honor Susy Dirr, Camellia hiemalis ‘Susy Dirr’ PPAF. During the 2012 OFA Short Course, we unveiled one of our newest introductions, a Camellia to benefit Cystic Fibrosis and the daughter of one of Horticulture’s great teachers.
Plantspotting in 2012 – (1.10.12) These plants are all a little weird. Either in color, shape of their leaves or bloom or in their habit. I like weird. Weird is good. Weird is what makes the world exciting. If there weren’t weirdos and weird things to look at – I’d be bored. Wouldn’t you?
Time To Be A Little Selfish – (12.22.11) I want to study the land and know all of its good and bad traits before I dig in. I want to know where the dry and wet spots are. I want to search out any microclimates so that I can stretch the hardiness zones a little. I really want to get to know my land this time. Maybe it will mean fewer adjustments later on?
A Few of My Favorite Things – (12.12.11) One of my favorite plants this year would have to be garden phlox (Phlox paniculata). We have a new selection called ‘Thai Pink Jade’ that smells like sweet candy. Not your typical phlox fragrance and it is a compact, really disease resistant plant to boot. A winning combination.
The Horrors of Moving and Don’t Feed The Trolls – (12.02.11) When a social media jerk unfairly indicts your company (or you personally), it’s tempting to crush them. If attacked, take a moment and decide if the angst is necessary. Feel the fire turning your cheeks red and raising your blood pressure and force yourself to take the high road.
In Defense of Coneflowers – (09.30.11) There’s nothing non-hardy about these hybrids if they are planted in well drained soil and allowed to establish. Clay soil can be death. Planting too late can also be a problem. Too much mulch is bad. And please – remember to remove your leaf litter in the fall. Don’t take it all away, but keep any piles away from the crown.
The Hydrangeas are in the Bathtub – Again. – (08.25.11) The bathtub is full of hydrangea and hypericum blooms and it won’t hold water. I’ve been filling and filling it all week to keep them alive because we have really big plans for Garden Writers on Friday. I’ve had nightmares every night about them drying out. It’s that bad or maybe I’m that crazy. Don’t answer that…
QR Codes: Kiss of Death or Everlasting Hydrangea Love? – (08.04.11) If consumers aren’t tech savvy enough to type a URL into their web browser – do you think they are tech savvy enough to download a QR reader app and scan QR codes? Will today’s hort consumers ever get it? Do they even want it? We know future generations want this, but will new technology be invented that kicks the QR code out by the time the next generation is our consummate consumer?
Totally New Plants – (07.09.11) Each one of our plant label signs in the booth will have a QR or Quick Response code. So now when anyone with a smart phone comes into the booth or the visits the New Varieties area, they can scan the code on the label and be taken directly to that plant’s web page.
Look Beyond the Gnomes – (07.06.11) Our house is on the market… We’ve de-cluttered our house to the point where we have only the basics and all of our personality is gone. Most of the office is in storage and the worst thing of all is my gnome collection is in a box in the basement. That’s right, I said, “The gnomes are in a box.”
Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes… Linda Guy Joins Plants Nouveau – (04.22.11) Combining the knowledge, experience and new plant contacts of Linda Guy with founder, Angela Treadwell-Palmer’s existing contacts, breeder relationships and marketing expertise, Plants Nouveau will be positioned to be an industry leader in new plant introductions. With two plant savvy, forward thinking leaders, they’ll have double expertise and double worldwide contacts. This new “double-trouble” partnership will make for some clever, innovative competition to other large new plant introduction companies.
There Are No Magic Mushrooms, Unless You’re Killing Zombies – (04.15.11) When industry experts and your peers are telling you to look on the bright side or worse, that there is a magic mushroom that can fix it all… you need to run the other way. I’m a firm believer that plants and the people who grow and love them are magical, but if I’ve learned anything through all of this, it’s that there’s no magic mushroom that will bring customers through your door.
Open Mouth, Insert Foot and Have Montezuma Take Over – (03.28.11) Being a plantweenie, I always explore homeopathy before I take antibiotics. Plants rule, right?? As most people of my generation, I’ve have enough antibiotics in my life, so I try to avoid them and their intestinal flora robbing robots. Honestly…why rob your gut when that’s why you’re in this mess in the first place. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but I went the natural route to evacuate Montezuma and his force.
Gnomeo and Juliete – a Garden Love Story – (02.14.11) So here’s my advice and my new mission because I think fresh cut flowers and gift plants are so cool and so important during the dark, dreary months of winter: Let them die! Teach your customers it’s OK to let them die. Sadly, they’ll use a plastic baggie in their lunch, barely get it dirty and have no qualms about throwing it in the trash – we need to teach them to do the same (after they enjoy the beautiful flowers, of course) with gift plants.
Gazing Bunnies, Tag Pasties and Old Toilet Paper – (01.30.11) I have no recollection of being impressed when I attended the IPM last time. This year, I was absolutely bowled over by the creativity. It’s as if they read my mind and took all of my ideas that have been swooshing around in my head over the last year and they made them come to life.
The Peeps Behind the Plants – Fall in Love with Natives – (01.24.11) Many in the industry refer to Sinclair as the honorable Pharaoh of Foamflowers. I think the name fits quite well. His love of native plants and his passion for finding solutions to common landscape problems like water and pollinator conservation as well as finding substitutes for commonly invasive plants has put a depth into his plant selection process that doesn’t exist in many other breeding programs.
I Am The Lost Child of Steve Jobs – (01.11.11) The road to being exceptional is a tough one. It’s much easier to be average… and most businesses in the horticulture industry are milquetoast at best. Few are extraordinary. Outsiders might call us beige. What a dreadful color… Can we make this industry more exciting? Can we make it a world of pure imagination?
A Very Gnomie Christmas – (12.24.10) ‘Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house, the gnomes were all joyous and having loads of fun. They were posing for pictures and giggling out loud. They were singing and dancing and acting quite proud.
Just Call Me Martha Griswold – (12.16.10) During this terrible time of world and nursery turmoil please know I’m thinking of all of you and hoping something brings you joy this holiday season. Whether it’s helping the homeless or less fortunate, baking and cooking with your family, finding the perfect gift for the ones you love or going mad trying to outdo last year’s holiday decorations, (you know who you are!), let there be joy in whatever gets you going and keeps you afloat and happy during these cold, dreary winter months.
Sustaining Through Dark Times – (12.03.10) If IGC’s only make up 35-40% of the business in the U.S. , how can a large wholesaler like Monrovia ever expect to make ends meet without selling to the chains? I believe, as a whole, our industry needs to do a bit of soul searching. Those that figure out the key to survival in this mess of an economy will no doubt come out on top, but who will survive?
Giving Thanks 2010 – I will remember this Autumn as the year of extremes. With the wretchedly hot, nearly rainless summer we had, I was expecting little or no fall color. But I swear, it’s one if the best I’ve seen in the last 6 years here in Baltimore… I’m very thankful for you, my readers, who endure my rants and join me on my crazy plant related journeys. Thank you for loving plants and the people who make, grow and sell them.
Social Media: Everyone Needs a Little Geek – Something’s got to change because what you are doing right now isn’t working. Garden centers and nurseries around the US are failing. The “chin up, things will get better if you have a positive attitude” plan isn’t going to work in the future. If you want to be in business five years from now, you MUST embrace the online/social world or you will be on the ever-growing lists of bankruptcies and closings.
South African Adventures, Part III – As we drove over the mountains, and the savannas, I strained my eyes looking for baboons, zebras and gazelles. I saw nothing. We stopped for coffee in a small town along the way and they were out of sweet treats to go with their coffee because, get this…baboons came in and stole them overnight.
South African Adventures, Part II – If you ever get to South Africa and you love plants and you don’t stop in to take the private, three hour tour of the Soekershof garden. Maybe it’s because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE plants with spines. Maybe it’s because Yvonne and her whimsical husband and partner Herman are so kind and knowledgeable. Or, just maybe, it’s because it’s one of the most magical plant collections I have ever seen, but all I know is you HAVE to visit.
From Ohio to the end of the World and back – But, being in South Africa gave me hope and I was inspired once again to try and make a difference. Healing this summer’s wounds won’t be easy, but with the failures comes just as many hopeful, forward thinking people to balance it all out. While there, I experienced more happiness from the people and more positive attitudes than anything I’ve seen locally in a good long while.
Happy Spring! Really? – Perhaps this trip to South Africa will revive my spring-like optimism. After 27 hours, between time on a plane & layovers, I’m not sure that’s possible but I am happiest in spring when everything wakes up and starts blooming.
As The Culture Shifts… – Social sustainability issues go up in ranking as gardening levels went up in the folks who responded to the survey. Gardeners are the best, aren’t they? Knowledge and time are the key barriers to conscious consumption. So, we must continue to educate to help people achieve their goals. Kierstin De West affirmed my thoughts and desires of late to shake this industry up and how to get everyone more connected to their community.
Changing of The Guard – There’s a whole new generation of fun-loving, energy-filed, young garden bloggers out there and they were in full force at this years Garden Writer’s Symposium. It was great to see new faces and to finally put names, and faces to my Twitter followers. Social media was such a huge part of this symposium that our name badges also had our Twitter and Facebook names on them, so your could connect the social media dots. How cool is that?
Garden Candy… It’s OK to Drool – My tutu is fluffed, my shoes are polished, my tiara shines, and my suitcase is packed full of delectable treats for the 62nd Annual Garden Writer’s Symposium this week in Dallas. I’m dressed somewhat like a raspberry truffle to celebrate the debut of our latest, greatest new coneflower from Arie Blom of AB-Cultivars called ‘Raspberry Truffle’.
The Plantarium Catwalk – Europeans are certainly not afraid of color. Everything is so colorful. There’s never this much color at a trade show in the U.S. Imagine lime green walls and purple carpet. I always get the same comment about every booth I’ve ever set up. People say, “It sure is colorful”, as if that’s a bad thing.
Where Have All the Flowers (I mean tall plants) Gone? – Why IS shorter better? It isn’t always. Successful gardens require plants in various sizes. Big and small, narrow and wide. They meld together like pieces of a planting puzzle to make the most glorious architecture. God forbid there be a coneflower over two feet tall these days or a lily that towers over you, dousing you in sweet fragrance.
The Hottest Summer Ever – I just can’t say enough about Heuchera Dark Chocolate during this record setting hot summer. Is this plant made of plastic? I haven’t paid much attention to watering it since planted. It’s covered with super tough, deep maroon and chocolate colored foliage. Once planted, it requires nothing. Talk about a carefree plant.
A Harlequin Romance in the Vegetable Garden – People don’t realize how beautiful vegetables can be. What a great complement to the Pansy crop. I’m not talking those funky, colored cabbages and curly leaved kales that everyone sells. How about a ‘Red Russian’ or ‘Redbor’ kale? Redbor, or Side Show Bob hair kale, as I call it, is one of the most ornamental vegetables you can grow. It’s deep purpley-red and I think it’s much more attractive than any of the ornamental kales offered in the spring. Plus, it’s much more edible.
Are We Chasing Our Tails? – My take on all of this is maybe the big boxes have the right idea. Buy local. It’s all the rage for food right now. It gives people a warm and fuzzy feeling to know they are supporting local business. Supporting local growers who have a limited shipping range, but grow plants adaptable and good for their shipping area would be a really great thing.
Pancakes for Dinner and a Flower Shop on Each Corner – Imagine the how helpful it would be to shop the houseware departments if they were merchandised by color? If you needed a lime green accent, you’d go to the lime green section. It’s sort of like gardening for dummies or paint by number, but guess what folks…most consumers are “dummies” when it comes to buying plants. That’s why it’s often intimidating for them to walk into a garden center. It’s like me walking into the Apple store at the mall.
I’ve Given Up On Getting Ahead… – My journeys took me to West Virginia and back. Boy, is it beautiful down there, but don’t count on using your cell phone. There’s NO cell service there, so you’ll be driving up and down and up and down and up and down the mountains to find one service bar. Thank goodness the mini is great on gas.
The Nursery Business Is In A Mess… – We select and grow plants in this country so they fit on the specified racks and look good on the shelves of the big box store. Big growers especially only want plants that fit on the racks. They only want plants that are in bloom. That means if I want to buy a purple coneflower (Echinacea sp.) in May, so I can get my perennials planted and established before it gets too hot and dry, I’m out of luck. That plant will most likely only be for sale in June and July, when it is blooming. Isn’t that sad for gardeners?
A Week of Planting, Planes and Peonies – I hope to have the opportunity to show this brilliant breeder that people in the horticulture industry are honest and they do care. I hope to get the chance to make it all right, make him famous for the talented breeder he is and to make him some money for all his hard work.
The Dreaded Return of Dracaena Spikes – Do the buyers even know others exist and that there’s not a law stating you must have a spiky green thing in the middle of every container? Creativity is such a wonderful thing and mixed containers should be creative expressions of those who display them. If they are all alike, our neighborhoods will start to resemble Stepford communities.
Anti Social Media and Old Fashioned Nursery Folk – I love social media. I also love a good print ad too because in this industry, there are many ludites and old timers who just plain refuse to jump on the technology bandwagon. Until they do, we must have a strategically placed presence in both.
Jury Duty & the Small Business Owner – I was selected to serve in Baltimore City on a murder trial jury. That’s right, a horticulturist with more things on the “to do list” this month than most people accomplish in many months, was chosen to be a juror. No rest, and no break for the small business owner living in the city.
Advertising: Living In The Peaks Not The Valleys – …the best time to test a new campaign is when you have a working control. The company that waits for the results to diminish before thinking about change is the company that sees valleys in their profits. I only want spikes… Don’t you?
A Bittersweet Celebration of Life and Death – Earth Day celebrations cherish life in nature, in the garden, and the life of those who care about the Earth. I was fortunate enough to attend the Earth Day festivities at my son’s school yesterday morning. We just finished construction and planting on a new 1200 square foot school vegetable garden for grades 1-5. It was an amazing project from beginning to end.
Ups, Downs & Foamflowers Follies – In the video, you’ll find out why Sinclair Adam is so passionate about foamflowers and you’ll see why he was named the Pharaoh of foamflowers by his peers. He’ll show you some of the foliage forms he is searching for and explain why the ground covering selections are the prefect replacement for the ever-invasive English ivy (Hedera helix) and periwinkle (Vinca minor).
From Blizzard to Blooming Redbuds in Eight Weeks – In one week, all of my roses leafed out, the much awaited, and might I say, well-deserved after the blizzards we had, cherries (Prunus sp.) bloomed, the redbuds (Cersis canadensis) quickly came and went, the pansies (Viola sp.) fried, the ferns unfurled and the oak (Quercus sp.) pollen coated everything insight with a yellowish-green film.
Why Is It I Adore Skunk Cabbage So? – Each spring, about this time, I stop the car and make my son walk the stream banks to see the first skunk cabbage. He loves it and looks forward to it each year. The leaves smell like skunk – what seven year-old boy wouldn’t love that? I get so excited to see their leaves emerge. It makes my day. Somehow, that signals the official start of spring. And for some reason, it reassures me everything’s all right in the world.
Why Do People Hate Forsythia? – Perhaps it’s because it is so common. Perhaps it’s because they are quite possibly one of the most tortured ornamental plants in America’s gardens. When I studied landscape design in college, we would rather have died than spec something as common as forsythia in a design. It was taboo… and we thought we were way too cool.
Mama, Do We Always Have to Look at Plants? – Most resorts in this area are clear cut and then planted with assorted tropicals and lots and lots of grass. We chose Xpu-Ha because it won an award in 2009 for being one of the best ecologically conscious resorts in the World. Since there’s no grass, we wandered the edges of the mangrove swamps, and the savannahs, looking for plants.
Natives are Easier. Yeah, Right! – There is no such thing as an easy, foolproof plant – unless it’s a weed. They are easy, they’ll grow anywhere AND they need no water or fertilizer… Teaching people about natives is terrific. I support anyone who tries. I teach and lecture all the time on native plants. But teaching naive homeowners, and in most cases, virgin gardeners that natives are easy is wrong. It’s so wrong, that they will surely fail and never plant natives again.
Sugar Feeds Cancer, Plants Come to the Rescue – Do doctors tell people who get cancer they shouldn’t eat sugar? I know most doctors care nothing about nutrition. I have worked really hard to find a family doctor and a vet who do care. Both practice Eastern (Chinese) medicine first and then resort to Western medicine if all else fails. It’s not just Echinacea any more folks, just about every plant we grow in the nursery industry has some herbal-medicinal use.
If Plant Carnage Has You down, Pull Out Your Tiara – Outside of my garden, deciduous shrubs and small trees have taken the brunt of this monumental storm. Many are just now popping up from the massive snow mountains that have held them captive for the last three weeks. Evergreen foundations are toast from the crushing weight of snow falling from rooftops. Rain gutters are bent from the weight of ice and melting snow and lots have broken off. I’ve not seen anything like this.
Coral Bells and Other Happy Spring Thoughts – I dream of new plants that were planted last fall coming up for the first time, poking their heads out of the soil or leafing out for the first time in my garden. I am so happy to be representing Charles and Martha Oliver of the Primrose Path and their glorious new coral bell selections. The scrumptious new selections, Heuchera ‘Dark Chocolate’ and ‘Stainless Steel’, are touted for their ability to withstand tough, drastic climates and have the most beautiful, florist quality cut flowers.
Don’t Take Social Media and Trialing New Plants for Granted – In order to be a visionary in any industry, you need to be visible in many places. Social media, if done well, can increase your visibility to a nearly endless audience, so why ignore the potential power? Social media will not save a failing business, but for a business to grow, it must incorporate online marketing into the business strategy. AND Social media must be a active component of any businesses online marketing strategy.
Who is going to be the Next Garden Idol? – I went for a groovy outfit instead of a hippie chic outfit, donning canary yellow go-go boots and a large, reddish-brown “fro” wig. With a tie-died background to all my slides, the crowd was certainly feelin’ the groove. They totally got into the music and would have rushed the stage to join me as fellow twirlers, (total Deadhead reference here – sorry if you’ve never been) had the music played longer.
Towanda! Empowering Gardeners to Plant Cardinal Flowers Again – If I hear one more person tell me cardinal flowers MUST have wet soil and that they are weak and not hardy, I think it’ll drive me to drink hard liquor, do my best to impersonate Kathy Bates playing the unfulfilled housewife, Evelyn Couch, and shout, “Towanda!”
No One Puts Orchid in the Corner, aka a Box – I had the great fortune to attend the TPIE (Tropical Plants Industry Expo) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida last week and it was a great show. There was lots of marketing going on, some of it clever, and it was easily walked in a day, which is nice. I did notice a LOT of money being spent on marketing to the attendees. For goodness sake, there were two hot air balloons!
Readers Speak Out – Friday nights are so exciting because I get so many cool and often heated responses from readers who agree and sometimes disagree with my opinions. No matter the opinion, I love reading them and I really do look forward to getting the comments, so keep them coming!
Time To Change… My MANTS Epiphany – If you are not willing to change your selling and marketing style to entice the touch screen, app using, traditionally “unsocial” group that will make up the market place in just a few years, then you have no idea what’s going on. We’re talking about a generation that has been taught to be social in a completely different way. It’s virtual social, imprinted by technology.
Echinacea Hot Papaya For Everyone in 2010 – Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’ really DOES exist and I’ve seen them with my own eyes. They’re out there and they will be for sale in full force this year at garden centers and home stores all over the US. I know you’ve been waiting patiently, but your time has come, so come this June, open your wallets and head to your local garden center and be one of the first gardeners in the US to have this amazing plant in your garden.
Happy Christmas Everyone – On this, Christmas weekend, I would like to thank my loyal readers for reading this new weekly e-letter. I enjoy writing The Weeding Gnome rants very much. It’s therapeutic at times. I do also enjoy talking and writing about new plants. We really are setting the stage for introducing sustainable fashion for the world to plant and we couldn’t have done that without your support.
Gnomes Celebrate Christmas While Corn Ruins Your Engine – What I really despise more and more are really popular, yet invasive plants. Corn reminds me of an invasive plant. It’s something we really need to stop growing, yet so many people are depend on it for their livelihood. Take Hedera helix, for example. I was disheartened to see a house up the street that just sold had someone plant a brand new crop of ivy plugs in the same spot that they paid (a lot, I’m sure) to have a landscape company remove 50 years worth of ivy that was taking over their house and every tree on the property. Ugh… and double ugh..
Spiders Aren’t Scary and Public Gardens Deserve Less Tomfoolery – Children these days are also taught to fear spiders, bats and bees. There is no respect for the work they do to keep us safe and fed. We sit on our patio at dusk just to watch the bats zoom and zip through our yard. It’s super cool and the kids (2 and 7 years old) now know that bats eat mosquitos and they are our friends. I also purposefully surrounded our patio with Clethra virginiana ‘Hummingbird’ (summersweet) so we could watch the bees in the summer when it’s in full bloom.
Holiday Decorations: Sparkly, Spray Painted Coneflower Seed Heads – …really cool holiday decorations include: dried coneflower (Echinacea sp.) heads, red twigged dogwood (Cornus sericea) branches, winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata and serrata) berries, seed pods from Kentucky coffee trees (Gymnocladus dioicus), seed pods of sweet gum trees (Liquidambar styraciflua), seed pods from southern magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora), and many more…be creative and make your garden work for you.
Thankful for Thanksgiving Supper & New Plants – I love celebrating the harvest. Thanksgiving is all about the harvest and celebrating with family and friends. My extended family thinks I’m crazy to do all of this. It’s fun for me. I am also thankful for the people that have found plants and/or created them, for without them, I would have no business. Without their trust, I would have no plants to promote.
Burn the Burning Bushes! – Bright red fall color is hard to come by. The brightest red fall color is, of course, the horribly invasive burning bush (Euonymus alatus var. compactus or EAC as it is affectionately termed in the nursery industry). It’s so dang beautiful that everyone wants to plant it. The problem is, this plant is an invasive species of woodlands…
Nothin’s Tacky in Baltimore, Hon! Garden Art 101 – If you hide gnomes in groundcover plantings and under shrubs, people visiting your garden will happen upon them. Grouping them is fine, but I hear they like to work alone. Just don’t ever leave them sitting out in the middle of a bed or in the grass alone. They need shelter. Plus, you never know when a new version of the Gnome Liberation Army will pop up.
Milk, Corn and the Next Generation of Gardeners – Maybe this new generation of Eco-loving, earth and body mindful adults will be the generation that brings back the importance of flowers and plants in the home. Someone needs to start a marketing campaign now! Can you smell a new macramé generation?
New Plants Cause Manic Behavior in Gardeners – Folks who collect echinaceas are certifiable when it comes to having the latest, greatest selections in their gardens. They foam at the mouth. They’ll try anything to get the new selection, even if it hasn’t been trialed.
Winter Hardy Echinaceas, You Betcha! – Once established, Echinacea can survive many horrific winters. Their taproot stores food and helps the plant to over winter. I don’t advise planting a young Echinacea purpurea much beyond July.
Let’s Talk About Trees, Baby… – My favorite coffee mug from Muir Woods says, Keeper of the Trees. I gladly assume that role everywhere I live. How do I get this message across to homeowners who only call the tree care experts when their tree falls?
Going Rogue, Part II: Innovation Not Dracena Spikes – Garden centers should be teaching people how to do really cool, different things, but they’re not. We need to change the way people think about the seasons, about what’s available… the industry needs to get out of the boring cycle of pushing the same old crap and start innovating. I like to compare this to a dracena “spike” in every mixed container…
Going Rogue, Part I: Mums & Pumpkins – I get so sick of seeing pot mums, perfectly shaped and ready to burst into bloom, along with perfectly round pumpkins and very boring selections of pansies in every store. They even sell fake versions of all of these at Michaels for people who don’t want to have to water them…geesh!
The Purple Gnome Has Left the Building – If you want to reach out to professionals who write/blog/tweet about new or even just cool plants, this is the crowd. Exhibiting in the new products expo at Garden Writer’s each year is all about creating a buzz…in more ways than one.
What’s in a Name? – The Weeding Gnome, we may be small but we live in the garden (sic) and unlike my college days we know how to recognize a weed from a knockout.
My Milkshake Brings All the Boys to the Yard – Who talks about Echinceas in bloom in September? I do. The unique thing about Milkshake is how long the fully open blooms last. Most purple and nearly all white coneflower blooms turn brown soon after they mature. Not Milkshake…
My Favorite Plants This Month Are… – We strive to select plants that make your gardening life easier. Plants that adapt to normal garden sites easily is the goal. Not all plants are drought tolerant, that would be way too much to ask but having a few good selections you can count on is a nice respite from the dog days of watering in July and August…
Diversity in everything is the key to life. In our natural landscapes, in gardens we plan and plant ourselves, in the food we eat – diversity is the true essence of life. Even in my neighborhood, while walking around, you find the same old plants over and over again. It’s such a treat to see something special.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth…Killing All the Bugs? – Preventative health care is preached by teaching people to treat their plants with toxic chemicals that kill (mostly) every possible disease and insect- even the good bugs like fireflies, ladybugs, lacewings and praying mantis…even bees and butterflies. This can’t be good…
Ah…Ignorance Is Bliss, Isn’t It? – Anyone who knows even the tiniest bit about ecology and plant populations knows too much of anything is a true sign something is wrong. The thickets – and I do mean thickets, so tightly woven you could hardly put your hand through them – of pear seedlings are so abundant…
I’m Surrounded By Yellow Flowers. Sunshine? Daydreams? – Time for all of the yellow flowers to burst open and brighten your day. In my garden, the first is witch hazel (Hamamelis sp.), ‘Primavera’ , then we move onto uncommon selections of forsythia like ‘Golden Peep’ and ‘Lynwood Gold’…
There wouldn’t be any breathing without plants! There would be no oxygen for use to breathe without plants. This is nothing new, but how many of you knew breathing correctly was the key to peace of mind, sustaining your health, and…
City Hall Garden Plots Planted In Veggies – Baltimore, which sometimes carries a poor-cousin chip on its shoulder when it comes to the nation’s capital, is about to trump the city to the south by turning the formal gardens in front of City Hall into vegetable gardens covering about 2,000 square feet.