Sunday, December 28, 2008


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The starkness of winter means the trellis is bare. Here it is in late afternoon light just before Christmas.

Signs of spring

I know, winter has just barely arrived, with its 60 degree days, but doing a spot of garden cleanup, I found these signs of spring.

Surprisingly robust leaves of oregano springing up from the ground below the dried stalks

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Pink buds of the unnamed peonies Susan Hepler passed on to me, though no signs of life from the 'Sarah Bernhardt' that was so floriferous this spring; I'm hopeful that next spring the Hepler peonies will finally bloom and I can discover what they are.

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But just to show that it's not spring yet, here is the harvest of stalks from the front garden: black-eyed Susans, oregano, lilies...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Learning from television

Every week my DVR faithfully records A Gardener's Diary and then, months later, I actually watch it. This afternoon I've learned that I could cut back the amsonia by half after blooming to keep it full but not sprawling. Good to know.

All of the gardens Erica introduces are magnificent in one way or another. I'm most amazed by the gardens that are less than an acre but so thickly and imaginatively planted that they seem four times the size. I'm also drawn to the gardens with a sense of humor. My favorite garden of that type was a hillside garden flowing down to a lake and dotted with strange little doors and benches that appealed to the gardener's grandchildren. The gardener, a Southern lawyer who obviously enjoyed the good things in life, showed a wry sense of humor that made his creation intriguing rather than too cute.

Erica herself, despite her obvious enthusiasm for gardening, is a little prissy, but she's grown on me over the years.

Winter blooms

Yesterday was the shortest day, and today it's bitterly cold but bright. I need to get out in the garden and do some clean-up, but it's way too cold, Instead, here's a glimpse of paper whites in bloom and a few begonias wintering over on the windowsill.
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Margaret Roach over at A Way to Garden is complaining about her paperwhites, but she should just get over the smell - aroma! - and cut her flopping blooms and put them in a vase, as Mom recommends.