Ignore the Flowers Day: September, 2016

For me, blooms make the garden. This attitude is considered unsophisticated by some, who say we must pay greater attention to more enduring plant features: foliage, texture, structure, yada yada. Grudgingly, I admit that there is something to what these people say,… Read More

July Fruit’n’Foliage

Don’t you think Fruit’n’Foliage would make a good name for a breakfast cereal? It could be made with kale flakes and blueberries. Or not blueberries – too common. Kale flakes and a├žai berries! You heard it here first. But enough of that…. Read More

A Tale of Two Shrubs

Right now is the showiest time of the year for two very worthy but perhaps unspectacular shrubs: Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) and Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa).

Goats’ Beards and Frilly Flowers

Aside from ‘Sally Holmes’ (already written about here), there are at this moment two flowering plants in the back garden that are likely to grab your attention.

May Day Flowers

In a recent post I shared my mixed feelings about leaving home for a short vacation at a time when so much is happening so fast in the garden. Upon my return, would I feel that I had missed out on some… Read More

I Found My Thrill on Azalea Hill

I am not a big fan of Azaleas. Part of the reason is that they don’t grow well where I now live in Chicago. Even growing up outside New York City, where Azaleas are fairly common, they did not appeal to me…. Read More

Mid-April Blooms

April had a rather wild mood swing during this past weekend. We transitioned abruptly from cold and surly to sunny warmth. Plants went from shivering in their foliage to galloping forward to catch up with the growing season.

Forsythia and Spicebush Update

There are two shrubs in the garden that provide us with cheerful yellow flowers in early spring. First, there’s a single old Forsythia of unknown variety. Second, there are several Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) that I planted at least five years ago.

Is Yellow Just Too Common?

Why is it that Sissinghurst has a White Garden but not a Yellow Garden? Perhaps yellow is just a bit too insistently cheerful, like those morning people who sing and bustle about while you try to burrow into your newspaper. Also, I… Read More

Spring Whites

The weather has just taken a wintery turn here in Chicago. Arctic air has buckled southward, bringing cold and modest snowfall. For the moment there is a blanket of white that covers the ground. Snow provoked thoughts of white flowers, and how… Read More