Mulch ado

After something like 9 inches of rain fell on the gardens in the last week or so we haven’t had to worry too much (too mulch?) about soil moisture. But we’re nearly done planting (wahoo!) and mulching the gardens gives them a lovely finishing touch. Aesthetics is one good reason to spread mulch. Insulation and […]

Free bees

This past winter was a rough one for honey bees. Word is, across the country about a third of the population didn’t make it though. Blithewold’s beekeeper, Brendan Kennedy lost most of his hives including the two at Blithewold. When he opened our hives for their first spring inspection in April, there was still honey […]

Marjorie’s dove tree turns 40

It’s a lucky visitor whose gaze turns east along the path between the mansion and the Enclosed Garden, instead of west across the blooming North Garden and Great Lawn to Narragansett Bay. The western view is a compelling one to be sure and even I am caught up short by it every time I walk […]

Friends don’t let friends plant impatiens

I have bad news and good news. The bad news is there’s a fungus among us. Impatiens downy mildew (Plasmopara obducens), the mysterious ailment that denuded and killed almost every busy Lizzie (Impatiens walleriana) back in July or August of last year, is here to stay. It’s in our soil now and unlike other downy […]

Merry Christmas cactus

I can’t imagine any other plant that embodies the abundance and exuberant excess of the holidays quite like a Schlumbergera. Blithewold’s recently gifted Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus in particular maybe — though I did hear that it was a good year for Schlumbergera all around. My two at home bloomed their little arms off too – but […]