“A Rich Spot of Earth”

Until yesterday I had no idea that Thomas Jefferson was the first American to grow rutabaga. According to Peter Hatch, recently retired director of Monticello’s gardens and grounds, author of “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello, and speaker at yesterday’s Garden Design Luncheon (an annual fundraiser for Blithewold’s education programs), […]

Where are all the butterflies?

The airspace over and through the gardens should be all aflutter right now. The garden is alive to be sure — it buzzes and hums; it zings and whooshes and pips (we still have hummingbirds), but its flying flowers — the butterflies — are strangely absent. I have seen black swallowtail caterpillars on the bronze […]

Why grow THAT?

I have been very remiss in following through with a particular intention. I meant, weeks ago, to post a Save the Date! for a very special event this Sunday the 21st, from 1-3pm. Please tell me you’re not otherwise engaged or that you can change your plans to come hear author, blogger, podcaster extraordinaire, Andrew […]

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 […]

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 […]