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15 Things I Hate About Your Yard – #12

Garden Reports and Rejoicing – December 24

Hacked Plants

This pruning style makes shearing (see 15 Things #1) look artful. In fact, you can’t really call this pruning at all. This isn’t even renovation cutting…hacking or butchering is more accurate.

A renovation pruning is when a shrub gets cut down near the ground. On some […]


Garden Reports and Rejoicing – September 14

Here’s something that most people don’t know about me…yet: I’m a bean snob. Yes, when it comes to garden grown green beans, I am picky about what I pick. My beans need to be thin and tender, or I don’t want to eat them.

This is fine as […]

Local Plant Shopping

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – August 4

It’s just a small rant, really. Think of this as a word in your ear, especially for those who haven’t thought about how your plant shopping habits might be important. Maybe this post has been triggered by hearing that the stock market has plunged, and the resulting […]

Signs Of Hope

Report From AN Opinionated Gardener – May 23

I’ve long despaired that many people aren’t willing to buy plants in a garden center unless they are in bloom. While I understand both the attraction to flowers and the desire to know what you’re buying, this “color sells” works against all gardeners.

First of all, there […]

Puddles vs. Borders

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – May 4

As I walk around my gardens at Poison Ivy Acres and past neighboring properties, I’m reminded that planting in puddles is a practical design choice. Many people choose to use a line of plants as a border but if they’re planting perennials I’d issue a word of […]

It’s a Jungle Out There!

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – May 3

That was part of my response to a professional landscapers’ message board when one of the members asked if the winter moth was out. My answer was yes, this relatively new pest has hatched and the larvae are eating. It’s a jungle out there!

I spent part […]

Good Buds

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – March 28

My Belgica honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’) is filled with swollen buds that catch the light of the setting sun. Once again my heart is captured by this plant. I love this variety of honeysuckle because it blooms throughout the summer as long as I clip off spent […]

Wrong Plant, Wrong Place

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – March 18 I spoke to a delightful group today at the Harwich Community Center. As I walked into the main entrance my attention was grabbed by several lines of boxwood. They drew my interest because most of them were an unattractive orange brown. “This,” I thought to myself, “is […]

The Uninteresting, Untended & Ever-Changing

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – December 22

I got a letter from my friend and fellow writer Charlie Pendergast today, and learned of his appreciation for weeping junipers (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Tolleson’s Blue Weeping’). He remarked about the way people can either love or dislike a plant, saying that he found Oleander totally uninteresting because […]

Violets In The Mountains

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – November 22

Gina, a regular reader of this blog, sent me a lovely email awhile back, and the subject line was from the play Camino Real by Tennessee Williams: “The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.”

“How appropriate to C.L.’s writing!” Gina wrote, and I was touched […]