Some New Plants for a Difficult Bed

The Back Island Bed has never quite clicked. Lots of different plants have been tried in it. Some have worked, others have not. I suppose part of the problem is that the bed, which is in light shade most of the year,… Read More

Fall Friends For Ferns?

Everybody knows that ferns can make good companions for spring ephemerals, like Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica).

First White Turtlehead Blooms

So not every bloom in the garden is yellow. For instance, I’ve got a single White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) blooming in the Front Island Bed. This is my second effort to grow White Turtlehead, and I hope this time it settles in… Read More

Yellow is the Color of August

  If each month were assigned an official color, August’s would be yellow. This is when yellow daisies of all sorts come to dominate, at least in our garden. Some cranky botanists refer to the ubiquitous yellow daisies as DYCs, or Damn… Read More

Turf War

About 10 days ago the Washington Post had an article about a fight over one couple’s right to maintain a meadow on their property, which sits within a subdivision consisting of large homes on very large lots. This is in Loudon County,… Read More

Milkweed Surprise

So my friend and coworker Joanna was telling me about how excited she was to be finding Monarch butterfly eggs on what she called a “milkweed vine” in her backyard. That’s great, I told her authoritatively, but if it’s a milkweed it… Read More

Random Notes From The Front Garden

Aside from the Jolly Yellow Giants, there are a few other goings on in the Front Garden.

The Jolly Yellow Giants

Some say that Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum), or any perennial that can top 10 feet in height, is unsuitable for a small suburban garden. I disagree.

Prairie in the City: West Ridge Nature Preserve

On Sunday, Judy and I met our son Daniel for lunch. Afterwards, we crossed the street to visit the 24-acre West Ridge Nature Preserve. Judy and I had been here in February last year, but there wasn’t much plant life to observe… Read More

Prairie in the Garden: Mettawa Manor Part II

Let’s continue our visit to Mettawa Manor, the garden of Bill Kurtis and Donna LaPietra. For me, the highlight of the trip was wandering through their 20-acre Tall Grass Prairie.