Light in August

The light changes in August, and so does the feel of the garden. The days have begun to shorten and the sun is lower in the sky. The light still brings heat, but there is a softening, especially in late afternoon.

The Case of the Mistakenly Labeled Lobelias

I love Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia cardinalis), but they don’t love me. Which is to say, they always die on me after a couple of years. They’re fairly finicky. They like lots of sun, lots of moisture, and bed sheets with a thread… Read More

And Now, the Onion Patch

Remember that song, “I’m a Lonely Little Petunia in the Onion Patch”? That Judy said everybody knew? Well, I asked people at my office and not a single one had heard of it, though they did think it was pretty catchy. Be… Read More

Little Wild Petunias Near An Onion Patch

Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis) is a lovely little perennial native to most of the eastern half of the United States. It has Petunia-like lilac flowers, but it is not really a Petunia. It’s not even in the same family of plants –… Read More

More Grist for the Natives versus Nativars Debate

Recently, the blog Humane Gardener published an interesting interview with Vermont ecological garden designer Annie White. For her doctoral research, White had conducted an experiment to determine whether pollinators had preferences for straight species native plants as opposed to named cultivars bred… Read More

Euphoric Over Euphorbia?

No, not euphoric really, though I found it impossible to resist the double alliteration. But I am pleased that the Euphorbia corollata I planted about five years ago is finally establishing itself. This plant is native to Illinois and goes by the… Read More

A Plant Called … Golden Glow

So remember those two substantial-looking plants that were growing in the Driveway Border, except I had absolutely no memory of ever planting them? Well, they’re blooming now, and they turn out to be Rudbeckia laciniata, which also goes by the truly wonderful… Read More

Iron and Purple Fuzz

I planted Prairie Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata) all the way back in 2010, but it wasn’t until the last couple years that it started to be a real presence in the Driveway Boarder.

Cup Plant: A Plant You Can Look Up To

Judy and I like tall perennials, and we have lots of them in the garden. I mean really tall, like you have to look up to see the flowers. We’ve considered starting an organization for ourselves and others who admire towering plants…. Read More

Taking The Long View: July 23, 2017

So I know I said I wouldn’t do the long views as a weekly thing, but I changed my mind – at least for now. So sue me. Here’s a view from the street in front of our house. The Clematis is… Read More