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Why Did My Zucchini Squash Die?

When summer squash does well the gardener is usually overrun. We look for recipes that use lots of zucchini or patty-pans and give them away to friends, coworkers and the teller at the bank’s drive-up window. But all the summer and winter squashes are prone to particular problems. Here are some of the most common […]

Exclamation Points in the Garden

Writers are often warned to use exclamation points very sparingly. In fact, some say that every writer should only be issued three to use for that writer’s entire life! Whoops, there’s one! OMG…now I’ve used up two! No, three…I haven’t even started to rave about a plant and I’ve squandered my life’s quota.

Using this […]

Does A Perfect Garden Exist?

A Gardening Life – July 8

You know the answer, right? Of course not. But sometimes I think those of us in the garden communication business are prone to pretending that it does. We take photos of our gardens when they look great and we write at length about our successes. This is understandable since […]

Growing Blueberries

A Gardening Life – July 7th

I picked blueberries yesterday. The early bearing varieties are now filled with large, ripe fruit that needs to be harvested daily. Last year we picked these early berries and looked forward to the others that mature later in July, but we never saw that second and third crop of […]

Independence From Hum-Drum Shade Plantings

You can grow that!

For too many years we’ve fallen back on the same old same old for shade: Impatiens. The arrival of Impatiens downy mildew has pulled us out of our comfortable ruts and forced gardeners, homeowners and landscapers to try something new. On this Fourth of July gardeners can declare their independence […]

Peonies and Rain

A Gardening Life – June 7

It is peony season and rain is in the forecast. If you’ve grown this wonderful perennial you know what happens to the huge flowers in the rain. Before the storm you had a beautiful, colorful garden and afterwards you have heavy flowers in the mud.

Those who stake their […]

Color in Dry Areas? You Can Grow That!

A Gardening Life – June 4

If your garden is near the road, chances are it’s hot and dry. Asphalt and concrete absorb heat so the soil near these surfaces is usually drier than gardens located elsewhere. And then there’s the matter of the hose or irrigation reaching that far…

When we moved to Poison […]

A New Cutting-Garden Perennial

A Gardening Life – June 2

We know that the gardening season is well underway when there is finally a choice of cutting flowers for bouquets. Peonies, Nepeta, lady’s mantle, and Salvia are old favorites for early summer bouquets. But this year I’ve discovered a new must-have plant for this group of classic cutting garden […]

A Garden Must: Spring Color

A Gardening Life – May 8

Nearly all of my consultation clients want more color in their landscapes and who can blame them. Nature’s neutral is the color green…a lovely hue but so ubiquitous that we take it granted as the background of our lives. Green is the perfect setting for all the other colors […]

Anemone blanda

A Gardening Life – April 14

Every year in the early spring I fall in love with Anemone blanda. “I should plant more of these,” I say to myself. The intense purplish blue flowers would be appreciated any month that they might open in the garden, but they are especially valued in April when flowers […]