How Do You Like Them Onions?

More specifically, Alliums – which is to say, ornamental onions.


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Thoughts About Wild Columbine

The Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is at its peak in our garden right now. Judy took some pictures on Sunday that are much better than the ones I took and used in my Bloom Day post. So mostly I just wanted an excuse to show Judy’s Columbine pictures.


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Foliage Appreciation Day for May

Many of us set aside the 22nd of each month for taking note of the foliage in our gardens. Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day is hosted by Christina of My Hesperides Garden. However, I prefer to call it Foliage Appreciation Day (FAD), as it makes a more nifty acronym.


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A Happy Clematis Recovery

When I left home Monday morning I was not hopeful about my ‘Multi-Blue’ Clematis. Returning home on Friday, I expected the worst: a vine full of drooping buds and brown, wilted leaves. Instead, ‘Multi-Blue’ did not have a single drooping flower bud. There were a few wilted leaves, but the foliage was mostly clean.


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The Garden at Dumbarton Oaks

So back in April Judy and I visited the garden at Dumbarton Oaks in the Georgetown section of DC. We were visiting our friends who live outside Baltimore and wanted to see this garden in part because it would be closed for almost a year starting in July.

DSC_0005Dumbarton Oaks as it exists today was created by Mildred and Robert Bliss. Robert was an American diplomat, but it was Mildred who took the lead in the garden. They bought the property in 1920, and over the next decade Mildred worked with the garden designer Beatrix Farrand.

DSC_0006The property was handed over to Harvard University in 1940. We entered through the South Lawn, which was unremarkable.

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The Heartbreak of Clematis Wilt

I was feeling pretty good about the Clematis ‘Multi-Blue’ I have growing on a tuteur in the Herb and Tomato Bed. By May 1, it had reached about 6′ and had a respectable number of swelling flower buds.

wilting clematis
A healthy bud (left), and a droopy sick bud (right). 

Then I noticed that some of those buds and leaves were alarmingly listless and droopy. After a little research, I came to the conclusion that the plant was suffering from Clematis Wilt. The good news is that I don’t have to dig the plant up and throw it away.

Instead, I removed the diseased parts of the plant. That was on Sunday. If the disease has spread to other parts of the plant by the time I return on Friday, I will cut the whole thing to the ground. I’m told that plants can recover from Clematis wilt within a year or two.

2014-07-04 16.20.17 Clematis jackmanii
Clematis wilt, stay away from my Clematis jackmanii.  I mean it!

However, I really don’t want this disease to spread to my other Clematis, especially the C. jackmanii that is just about 20′ away from the ‘Multi-Blue’.  Unfortunately, it’s the large-flowered Clematis like C. jackmanii and ‘Multi-Blue’ that are apparently most vulnerable to this disease.

Have you ever had to cope with Clematis wilt?

The Orange Daisies of Summer

Summer is coming. I know because last Saturday I planted Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia). This is the moment every year when I feel that spring is starting to fade away and summer is coming over the horizon.

tithonia just planted
Mexican Sunflower tucked into the Driveway Border.

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Scarlet Tanagers for Mother’s Day!

Mother Nature gave Judy a very nice gift for Mother’s Day – the first Scarlet Tanagers we have ever seen in our garden. They showed up while we were having brunch on the back porch with our son Daniel – coming and going throughout the afternoon.


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Bloom Day for May

Tomorrow is Bloom Day, a chance for us to give a monthly overview of everything in flower in their gardens. Garden Bloggers Bloom Day is hosted by May Dreams Gardens, where you can find a link to Bloom Day posts from around the world.


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A Top 5 List for Midwestern Gardens

Richard Hawke is the Plant Evaluation Manager for the Chicago Botanic Garden, so it’s fair to say he knows a lot about plants. Recently I was interested to see a post he wrote for CBG’s blog entitled “What Are the Best Plants for Your Midwestern Garden?”

more nepeta may 19 2013
‘Kit Kat’ Catmint with yellow violas and celandine poppies.

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