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Featured Blog: Dave

Tidying the ivy

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…

Potting seedlings

I am determined to pot up more of the garden’s seedlings next year to give away, in particular Japanese maples, hellebores, and toad lilies (Tricyrtis) that some gardener might find valuable. While these have become overly common in this garden, I do not forget that many were once obtained at a considerable expense. Certainly, all…

Standing sentry

There is no better way to stir the garden to life than to fill the bird feeder after it’s been empty for a few days in December. Bluejays are first to arrive, then a variety of smaller birds, though no cardinals yet this morning. Squirrels are beginning to move in, but retreat as a red…

Quiet members of the garden in late December

In winter’s dormancy the gardener becomes more aware of less flamboyant  members of the garden, not only bark and buds, but also simpler plant forms. Damp conditions this year have been beneficial to naturally occurring bryophytes, mosses and liverworts that thrive in gaps between path stones, and also transplanted club and spike mosses.   

A warm December afternoon

Another inch of rain, and perhaps a bit more before the day is over as this unusual front of warmth departs. The high for the day was sixty-four, and with Friday the first day of my extended holiday break I was out in the garden every minute between storms. A short tour took me through…

Hey bud

In late autumn and early winter, flowers of camellias are seen every day that I can possibly get out into the garden, braving the cold. One day, a pink tipped white bud begins to show color as fully opened flowers turn brown following a twenty-three (Fahrenheit), or eighteen degree night. This cycle will continue for…

More rain

With each day of rain, browned leaves are shed that cling to nearly bare branches of the garden’s Japanese maples. Most years, leaves fall in a shorter period long before the start of winter, but this typical process was somehow interrupted, so leaves that have been raked and gathered to clear walks and patios must…

A bit of color

Several hellebores are showing a bit of color, though flower buds could remain in this state for another six weeks, and probably will. A time, possibly two, in twenty years the same hellebores began flowering the third week of December, with full bloom following shortly before the new year. As I recall, that early winter,…

More evergreens

It occurs to me that in a recent listing of evergreens, several notables were left out, most significantly two Japanese Umbrella pines (Sciadopitys verticillata, below) planted at the far corners of the front garden. I am uncertain what it is about the Umbrella pine that makes it treasured by so many, but there’s something about…

Gold Cone ready to go

In recent years, ice, snow, and wind have irreparably damaged and tilted a tall ‘Gold Cone’ juniper (Juniperus communis ‘Gold Cone’), that must now be removed. No matter that ‘Gold Cone’ was never gold, with barely a trace of yellow new growth in spring that faded quickly in the first spell of heat. It was…

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