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 […]

Handmade Christmas

Why buy something when you can make it? Especially when you can make it so much more interesting and unique? Our wreath classes sell out every year to people who want to hang something on their front door that will be unlike anyone else’s. A handmade wreath is as special as a snowflake. And so […]

Deadheads in the garden

Our Tuesday volunteer group has been known for years — for ever? — as the “Deadheads” because they work in the Display Garden and traditionally, the biggest summer chore in these gardens has been to deadhead flowers to keep them from quitting and going to seed. While we still ask for help deadheading the annuals […]

The sweetness of Concord grapes

There’s a particular scent in the air evocative of childhood and candy treats: grapes are ripening on arbors all over town. Almost every garden in Bristol has at least one grape arbor and Blithewold is no exception. Our grape is an one-hundred (plus) year-old Concord, bred from native grapes and selected for early ripening and […]