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Featured Blog: Dave

November planting

Featured Blog: Dave

A chill in the air

November planting

A modest order of bulbs should arrive in the next few days, and if it’s not raining, a rarity in recent months, perishable dogtooth violets (Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, below) must be planted this weekend. Planting of dwarf irises (Iris bucharica) and Winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) can be delayed, but why wait, in particular since there are…

A chill in the air

There are excellent reasons to garden in an area with distinct changes of seasons, but that doesn’t mean I must be happy that nighttime lows are now falling regularly into the twenties (Fahrenheit). I prefer the milder temperatures of October, but my vote counts for nothing on this matter, of course, and I’m uncertain if … Continue reading

That’s more like it

Until a few weeks ago, days were getting shorter, but not colder, so that autumn leaf color has not been much for folks in the area to get excited about until this week. I don’t get too excited about autumn foliage. I’m not very excitable, I suppose, but it’s more or less the end of … Continue reading

There’s sun

Today, there’s sun in the usually shaded side garden, with sunlight streaming into rooms of the house that have been dark for months. Of course, this also means that there are now mountains of leaves covering parts of the garden, ripped from trees by another inch of rain as a chilly breeze pushed out a … Continue reading

In my younger days

I notice that dry stacked columns constructed from blocks of limestone have gone out of plumb after too many years of freezing and thawing. A couple columns remain relatively straight, but several aren’t, and I vaguely recall seeing this some time ago. Then, as now, I hoped that evergreen foliage would disguise the crookedness so … Continue reading

After twenty-eight degrees

Following two nights of twenty-eight degrees (Fahrenheit), the garden was hurrying into winter dormancy until the process was interrupted by another inch of rain and a turn back to a week of milder temperatures. With abundant blooms remaining in late October, I now have a better idea where slightly protected microclimates are in the garden. Flowers … Continue reading

Big leaves

Falling leaves of the Bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla) are a significant event in the garden. Immediately, a widespread area of ferns, hostas, and a young patch of Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens) are buried beneath a deep cover of the huge leaves, which will remain in place until decay begins in early spring. Other leaves are … Continue reading

Plants often grow larger than expected

I must be careful not to presume that every gardener is as carefree, and sometimes careless as I am when selecting and positioning plants. Not always, but often I plant first, think later. Of course, others are also guilty on occasion, I suppose, but this is of little comfort when one plant begins to overwhelm … Continue reading

The buffet line is open

Imprints from deer hooves are four inches deep in the swampy rear garden. The muck seems not to deter their visits, and as the garden enters winter dormancy, deer are invited to dine at their leisure. The repellent was last sprayed in early September, I think, though perhaps it was August. Now, several hostas and … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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