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Featured Blog: Dave

Tidying the ivy

Late autumn flowers

Autumn flowering, hybrid mahonias (Mahonia x media) are a bit late, usually beginning bloom in mid-November, but today showing only yellow through the buds on elongated panicles. I expect buds to open soon, in a few days, but it could be another week. With late autumn flowering, I’m uncertain if it’s cold, heat, or hours…

Top 6 Reasons to Buy Real vs. Artificial This Christmas

By Mike

The Christmas tree is one of the focal points of your Christmas decorations. It’s the place where you gather with family on Christmas morning to open presents and enjoy each other’s company. Buying a Christmas tree can be an overwhelming process. One of the choices you’ll have to make is whether to go with a…


There will be time for that later, I rejoice, as I do nothing and leaves accumulate beneath maples and tulip poplars, and the dozens of various trees I’ve planted in this mostly shaded garden. Why hurry, I question? There is no purpose in haste with months of the garden’s dormancy ahead, and so I stay…

Berries are hit and miss

Again, there are few berries on the tall, seedling American holly (Ilex opaca, below) in the rear garden that can positively be identified as female. There are handfuls of the native American hollies in and near the garden, with many smaller seedling hollies at the edges, and others deeper into the forest that borders it….

Too cold?

I debate taking actions to protect marginally cold hardy evergreens planted this year. The overriding philosophy of this garden has long been “survival of the fittest”, and without a doubt, constructing leaf filled cages to insulate fatsias and Anise shrubs (Illicium floridanum ‘Pink Frost’, below) is contrary to three decades of trial and error in…

Yes, there are flowers

In mid-November, leaves have fallen, seemingly wrenched from trees’ grip by persistent autumn downpours and chilly breezes. Leaves colored late, then fell in a huff, accumulating in soggy heaps in this garden, a less than graceful entrance into dormancy. Unquestionably, there is beauty in the garden through the year. If not a flower or brilliantly…

A wet snow

A quick tour of the garden revealed no surprises following several inches of snow this morning. Fortunately, three inches of very wet snow, and maybe a fraction more, is hardly enough to bend or break evergreen branches to cause permanent damage, and I expect that when the sun comes out tomorrow, all will be fine….

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

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