A Pocket Meadow of Pennsylvania Sedge

There’s a small area between our Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) and the border along the back fence that is like the Valley of the Shadow of Death for standard turf grasses. The moisture gets sucked out of this shaded patch by the… Read More

Season of Seedheads

As the days get shorter, flowers become scarcer and the garden fills with seedheads.

A Galaxy of Asters

Aster means “star”, which seems appropriate. They look like the heavenly stars that we see from an earthbound perspective. And so they are at their best when blooming in great masses, a Milky Way of asters.

3 Goldenrods for the Shade Garden

Too many people still think of Goldenrods (Solidago sp.) as a weed instead of a garden plant. Resistance to Goldenrods in the garden is built around three misconceptions: 1) Goldenrods cause hay fever; 2) they spread like crazy; and 3) they tend… Read More

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