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Featured Blog: Dave

Scenes before the frost

Featured Blog: Dave

A damp late summer

Discredit where credit is due

By Dave
My Garden

Too often, I point to inattention to detail in maintaining this garden, and while the far less than manicured look is undeniable and mostly intentional, I am also occasionally guilty of failing to notice the everyday wonders of the garden. While certainly true, I plead for forgiveness on grounds that wonders (large and not so)…

A collection of mahonias

By Dave
My Garden

Differences between cultivars of late autumn flowering Mahonia x media are not readily apparent despite residence in this garden for a decade and longer. The evergreens’ upright stance and prickly foliage is identical (or nearly so) between ‘Winter’s Sun’, ‘Charity’, and ‘Underway’, and only the lack of spines on the more recently planted ‘Marvel’ is…

A late autumn colchicum

By Dave
My Garden

I am quite surprised to see a ‘Waterlily’ colchicum flowering in this third week of December in the newly planted area by the greenhouse. Several corms were ordered in mid summer to assure delivery and planting well ahead of their early autumn flowering. Instead, delivery of shriveled corms was made several weeks after others flowered…

A witch hazel’s first bloom

By Dave
My Garden

Anxiously, I wait for first color on a vernal witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) planted in late summer. This tree, a stocky seven footer I was fortunate to find, replaced a witch hazel that suffered in last year’s flooding rains, proving that even the sturdiest plants can suffer from too much or little. In fact, the…

A dusting of snow

By Dave
My Garden

This dusting of snow is not enough to call in, to claim that the sloped driveway is too slick and roads are too hazardous. Instead of another hour or two of sleep, followed by a lengthy tour of the snow covered garden, I must go to work. Almost certainly, the light snow will be gone…

Beavers, most likely

By Dave
My Garden

Beavers, I suspect, are the culprits that gnawed two buttonbushes (Cephalanthus occidentalis, below) and a dappled willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro nishiki’) to the ground this week. I haven’t seen a beaver, and it’s too swampy to get back to the farm pond to see the twig hut to confirm it, but it’s gotta be. As…

Camellias in December

By Dave
My Garden

For a second year, the autumn flowering camellias are particularly delightful at the beginning of December. Yes, browned, freeze damaged flowers that remain are unsightly, but there are many lovely pink or white blooms that look out of place in the mostly brown and bare winter garden. A ‘Winter’s Star’ camellia (below) has only a…

Winter colors part 1

By Dave
My Garden

The yellow leafed periwinkles (Vinca minor, below) have long turned to green. It is new leaves that are brightly colored, a splendid contrast to lavender blue blooms. As these colors fade in the summer’s heat, hostas and Japanese Forest grass provide the color, but of course these have all withered by early December. The yellow…

A holly jolly late autumn

By Dave
My Garden

Hollies along the driveway intrude over the asphalt edge, and while my wife has chopped out sections so branches don’t brush our cars, these capture the eye in autumn with clusters of red berries. Other hollies, scattered through the garden, are less evident until trees are naked in late autumn, and a few are buried…

A drab ending to a wet year

A single leaf identifies each of three Putty root orchids (Aplectrum hyemale, below) successfully transplanted. I suspect this has required no particular expertise, though I attempted as much as is possible to duplicate conditions of a local forest where these are scattered about. The leaf, only one per orchid, will persist through winter, but fade…

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