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Featured Blog: Dave

Planting a tree

Featured Blog: Dave

Tall camellias

Clean? No chance

Being on the backside of the aging continuum, I am more often confounded by goings on in this modern age. I don’t think I’m out of touch, but perhaps I am. The rock and roll vibe passed me by in the eighties, and amongst current mysteries is the “clean food” movement. Always, I’ve advocated that…

Houseplant Highlight: Sansevieria

By Mike

Have you struggled with houseplants in the past? That expensive palm tree for your living room turns yellow and brown no matter how well you try to take care of it? No matter what you do or how hard you work, your African violets wilt, your peace lilies droop from thirst, and everything in between fades…

Evidence of spring’s approach

Evidence of spring’s approach is scant, typical for this part of Virginia in late January, but of course, less than hoped for. Without a doubt, the winter hiatus from the garden’s chores is appreciated, three weeks seems adequate, and now I’m anxious for winter to be over. But, wishing doesn’t make it so. While flowers…

Better every year?

I’m nearly certain I’ll be pleased with the progress made in the garden in the past year, though I have little recollection exactly what changes were made other than a few (or a lot of) things were added and plants are a year older. I’ll be more certain once ephemerals, bulbs, corms, and rhizomes that…

Houseplant Highlight: Fiddle-leaf Figs

By Mike

The Fiddle-leaf Fig, or Ficus lyrata for us nursery folk, is a houseplant that has risen in popularity over the last few years. It’s tree-like form, sculptural habit, and large, waxy, violin-shaped leaves have made it a popular houseplant for indoor gardeners and a trendy topic for design blogs and articles. Despite the high praise, Fiddle-leaf…

Vernal witch hazels

Flowers of the largest of three Vernal witch hazels (Hamamelis vernalis, below) in the garden vary in color each year, from faded and dull to this winter’s yellow that will nearly match the brightness of the hybrid ‘Arnold Promise’ (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’) that shows the slightest color as buds swell this third week…

Quite a commotion

Typically, I see no robins in the garden from late autumn until the period in February when temperatures become more mild, promising that spring is near. But today, in mid-January dozens jump anxiously from a large holly halfway across the garden to the edge of the forest, and back again, repeatedly. I wonder what is…

Planting in midwinter. Possibly

Unfortunate timing has landed a variety of native orchids, ferns and other minor treasures on the doorstep concurrent with the arrival of ten inches of snow. A week earlier, soil was chilled, yet soft and moist, but recent cold temperatures have frozen a thick crust which is now frosted by this cover of white. Dozens…

Flowers in the snow. Why bother?

I suspect that few gardeners are out today, stomping through ten inches of snow, except to rescue arching branches of evergreens from permanent disfigurement. Today is not ideal for surveying flowers in the garden, though the sun pokes through occasionally and the day feels warmer than the thirty-five degrees (Fahrenheit) that the thermometer indicates. Blooms…

Overnight snow

I am hearing of accumulations of five to eight inches of snow in the area, which is borderline, but just enough to cause concern for branches that are arching under the weight of the wet snow. Occasionally, snowfalls are accompanied by breezes that blow snow out of trees and shrubs, but today has been relatively…

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