Mid-summer shift

The gardens are going through a bittersweet transition from June’s hurrah to a mid-summer huzzah, and although we sometimes experience a “July gap,” the shift seems pretty seamless this year. Delicate oxeye daisies gave way almost overnight to beefy Shastas, echinaceas, and rudbeckias. Sturdy summer phlox are taking over, as we speak, for the elegance […]

Missed stakes

By now we have a pretty good idea of what plants in the garden are going to fall over by mid-summer and we usually plan way ahead to prevent floppage. We have whole sets of peony rings designated for plants like like balloon flower (Platycodon gradiflorus) and speedwell (Veronica longifolia) rather than for peonies. They […]

What’s at stake

I used to really enjoy the challenge of staking top-heavy plants in such a way that their crutches were as invisible as possible but this year, maybe because the ground is dry enough to make shoving bamboo poles in nearly impossible, I’m kind of over it. I’ve discovered (or maybe rediscovered) an appreciation for plants […]

An eye on Irene

Along with everyone else along the Eastern Seaboard, we’re battening down the hatches and doing whatever we can to prepare for what looks to be a sizable storm. Some of us (that’s me) can’t help but remember last year’s hurricane-that-wasn’t: Good old Earl passed us right by and it’s tempting to think that maybe forecasters […]

All grown up

I think I might have an inkling of how parents feel when they realize that their babies have grown up. It seems like the garden is suddenly full of teenagers. I have to crane my neck to look at some of them and a few are clumsily in my way or gangly with giant feet […]