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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 […]

Bad Pruning

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – October 12

I spoke to two delightful garden clubs today, and touched on pruning practices in both talks. Truth be told, pruning is a topic that could fill two or three meetings and at least one on-site demonstration if you want to do it right. Or make it clear. […]

My Bad…

Report From PIA – August 27

I think that most gardeners could tell you about a plant that they wish they’d never placed in their gardens. If you’ve grown gardens in more than one location, you will be able to list plants that you were careful not to take from the old property onto the […]

The Last Peonies, At The End Of The Day

Report From PIA – June 14

I was determined to get some garden time in tonight, despite a long day of consultations. After spreading mulch five to six my body demanded some lighter work, so I headed to the lakeside perennial border to deadhead the peonies.

In addition to developing seedpods and scatterings of pink […]

Partners in Planting

Report From PIA – September 6

When I was a teenager I used to read the copies of my mother’s Ladies Home Journal. I’d pour over a column titled “Can this marriage be saved?” and wonder about the couples featured there. Why is he unable to bend, I’d wonder, and why is she so unwilling […]

Pet Peeve: Ever-Ugly Evergreens

It’s time to look at the plants in our landscapes with a clear eye. From foundation plants to the medians in parking lots, there are plants that are left in place for years after they have lost their attractiveness. Those malpruned junipers, hacked arborvitae and scalped yews that we leave in place because they are… […]