Thursday, December 22, 2011


"Here's the plant, Madam.  Is there anything else you need done today?"

Monday, December 19, 2011

Aponovich 52

Week 38 of 52.  A Bunch of Radishes.  Oil on Canvas 9"x9" 2011

Gardening friend, James Aponovich is in the middle of a grueling marathon.  And, he's not running, swimming or cycling.  He's painting!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Like Hand in Glove

Still haven't found the right gift for that special gardener on your list?  Here's a suggestion from guest blogger Gordon Hayward who recommends a pair of Green Mountain gloves:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green

It's not easy being green.  And it's even tougher being evergreen!  During this time of the year when we are left with little in the way of flower power and the garden's color palette consists mainly of browns and beiges, it falls on the shoulders of the evergreens to provide the needed color boost and, in many cases, define the winter structure for the entire garden.  As I look out on our own garden today, most of the boundaries of the garden areas are delineated by the subtly different shades of green yew, boxwood or arborvitae. And, in the wider landscape the rich greens of the pines, firs and hemlocks really stand out now among the leafless oaks, maples and birches. I think most of us would agree, it would be hard to get along without green during what can feel like interminable periods of dormancy.  Our need for it is re-affirmed and celebrated every winter when we adorn our homes with evergreen wreaths, trees, and garlands, thus continuing a custom of holiday decorating begun by the Greeks and Romans.

Yesterday, I photographed clippings of some of the "evergreen heroes" in our own garden; those stalwart plants that not only define it architecturally but also punctuate the landscape with that most soothing of nature's colors.  Here are a few of the photos: 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shopping Outside The Box: Unique Holiday Gifts Not Necessarily Destined for The Potting Shed

Franz and Bottom, porcelain figures in linen and silk by Mona Adisa Brooks

There's no doubt that a gift of a nice clay pot, a comfortable pair of gardening gloves, or a good gardening book to chase away the winter doldrums will bring a smile to a gardener's face this holiday season.  However, gardeners are not one-dimensional when it comes to gift giving and receiving; they also appreciate finely crafted items that are not necessarily destined for the potting shed. So, if you decided that you've wrapped your last pair of pruners for that special gardener on your list, and you're looking for a unique gift this year, something hand-made that you can also purchase locally, look no further than the artists and craftsmen of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Flora, Fauna and Fencing


It's that time of year--when the grass has grown its last inch--to think about making the garden exclusive once again.  I hate doing it.  It goes against the grain. It's contrary to the very concept of openness and how a garden should be inclusive and welcoming.  I always feel constrained, even a little imprisoned, afterward. However, the flora here will soon become too tempting for the fauna (no pun intended), and so I can't put it off any longer.  It's time to erect the Bambi Barricade.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Garden Media Guild Awards

Yesterday, The Garden Media Guild of the UK announced this year's winners of the GMG Awards.  The Garden Media Guild Awards celebrate the best in UK garden writing- including books, newspapers and magazines-photography, broadcasting- TV and radio- and new media- including gardening websites and gardening blogs.  Certainly within the UK they are the equivalent of the garden media 'Oscars.'

Monday, November 28, 2011

Garden Notables- John Tradescant

Who are these people and why are they in my garden?

John Tradescant the elder (1570-1638)

John Tradescant was a naturalist, gardener, and collector who travelled the world collecting seeds and bulbs.  He introduced many plants into English gardens that, to this day, remain part of almost every garden designer's repertoire and, in a strange twist of fate, he has reached out from the grave to continue to shape the direction of English gardening.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Behind The Lens

Behind The Lens- Local Food and Giving Thanks

Giving thanks is what many of us do this time of year as we gather with our family and friends around the table on Thanksgiving day. Often we forget to remember the significance of all the hard work and effort given by our local farmers every day of the year. It is my hope that through my artwork, I will raise awareness regarding the importance of eating locally grown fresh foods not just for our own health, but also for the positive benefits that buying locally can have on our own communities both economically and socially.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Gallery

Garden Art: Magic Carpets as Mobile Gardens

I don't usually think of carpets when I think of garden art but perhaps I should.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rachel's Garden- Basket of Apples

For more art from Rachel's Garden, click here.

To see what this is all about, click here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

From The Garden Bookshelf


Garden People: The Photographs of Valerie Finnis

by Ursula Buchan with Anna Pavord and Brent Elliott
Thames & Hudson 2007

I simply loved this book!  Although not a recent release--it was published in 2007--it's a photographic history of a class of gardeners who pre-date the "age of the garden designer."  These were real plantsmen, as both men and women were referred to in those days, whose knowledge of horticulture was only complemented by their eccentricities.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guest Blogger- Gordon Hayward

The Fall Garden on November 7

I was walking in the garden yesterday late afternoon. With sunlight raking in through a cloudless sky, I was struck by the fact that this is one of my favorite times of year out there. Leaves on native trees such as maples and ashes have fallen yet the garden glows. (In large part this is because so many garden worthy shrubs and trees hold their foliage in the autumn well beyond those of native plants.) We’ve cut back all herbaceous perennials and stored pots, garden ornaments and furniture in the barn. In doing so, we’ve revealed the pure structure of the garden: trees, shrubs, hedges and built structures all set on a much more apparent lawn. The garden at this point in the year is so spare that the clarity of the late afternoon light reaches every corner.

Monday, November 7, 2011


It's that time of year when the winterberries are beginning to stand out like bright red flags along the edges of many of the wetland areas.  I have already seen several people in their wellies, wading ankle deep into the marsh, with pruners in one hand and a copy of Martha Stewart Living in the other, cutting them for holiday decorations.

Friday, November 4, 2011

New Hampshire Wool Arts

photo by Andrea Geesaman 
Columbus Day weekend was the 28th annual New Hampshire Wool Arts Tour. This is a wonderful gathering of folks who get together every year to share with the public their love and knowledge of fiber and the animals that produce it.  New Hampshire has become a hot spot for the raising of fiber producing livestock, like sheep, goats and alpacas, as well as a center for hand-crafted fiber arts.  Most of these small farming, spinning and weaving enterprises are home-based operations and often involve the entire family.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dig In- Tips from Nettie at Uncanoonuc


Wintering Roses in Colder Climates

Not all roses need winter protection.  Rugosas and their hybrids, ‘The Fairy’, the Meidiland Shrub Roses, the Canadian Explorer series roses, as well as the Redleaf Rose and many of the older roses are rock hardy and do not need any winter protection.  All the modern roses (Hybrid Teas, Floribundas and Grandifloras) and all of David Austin’s English roses do.  When in doubt about whether or not a particular variety needs protection, we err on the side of caution.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The table and four chairs in the courtyard right after dawn.  That's 25" of snow on top of the table!

The snowstorm we woke up to on Friday morning was a beauty.  The one we woke up to this morning was a beast!  It broke all records around here; records that go as far back as the Civil War.  We get a ton of snow in this part of New Hampshire but not usually this amount in one storm so early in the season.  Twenty-five inches of snow fell here at Juniper Hill.  Here are some photos I took this morning while we were digging out.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The First Snowfall

The first snowfall is always enchanting although I have to say that the enchantment tends to wear off pretty quickly around here as winter's grip on these north woods gets tighter and tighter and the snow piles get higher and higher. Nevertheless, those first snowflakes are always beautiful and when they come on the heels of the fall foliage season, the scenery can be even more glorious.  I walked around the garden this morning and shot these photos.  I hope you enjoy them!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Behind The Lens

Behind The Lens- Autumn II

Nothing in the garden says October like pumpkins and gourds. And with halloween fast approaching, it's time for pumpkin carving. Do you have your jack-o-lantern yet?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rachel's Garden- Fall

For more art from Rachel's Garden, click here.

To see what this is all about, click here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Behind The Lens

Reflections  photo by Andrea Geesaman

Many of the best photographs you see on this blog are shot by Andrea Geesaman. Andrea is an accomplished photographer and graphic designer with her own studios located in Pennsylvania who, in the spirit of full disclosure, also happens to be our lovely daughter.  

I am thrilled to announce that she will become a regular guest contributor to Notes from Juniper Hill, sharing with us some of her beautiful images, as well as offering her own insight into the worlds of photography, art, and design as they relate to gardening, food, travel and the beauty of the natural world.  She will also be happy to respond to readers who have specific questions or comments about the process of garden and landscape photography; an area of interest to many of us who want to capture all the wonderful natural beauty that surrounds us.  

You'll notice a new, Behind The Lens, photography section with Andrea's photo on the sidebar, and by clicking on her image you will be able to quickly find all her latest blog entries. And right below that, you'll find links to some of our favorite garden photographers.  

You can visit Andrea's own website at  

In this first post by Andrea she shares with us some of the beauty that New England has to offer this time of the year.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Out With The Veggies and In With The Ornamentals

It's that time of year again when we are emptying containers around the garden. Some of the container plants are way past their prime and will look better sitting on top of the compost pile than they're looking right now in their pots.  Others, however, are still looking pretty spiffy and it's a major decision whether to disassemble them, wanting to hang on just a while longer to any little bit of summer flower color in this season dominated by halloween orange.  Still, I know that if I don't take care of this chore right now, I'll be running up against the changing seasons (which can happen in the blink of an eye here) and I'll be stuck out there in the wind and cold trying to extract a bunch of half-frozen plants from a bunch of half-cracked pots with chilled, half-numb fingers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011



There are many times in the garden when serendipity trumps thoughtful planning. This pot of cordyline is a perfect example.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Garden Notables-Adrian Hardy Haworth

Haworthia attenuata is the centerpiece in this bowl of succulents

Who are these people and why are they in my garden?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Guest Blogger- Maude Odgers

maudeIn her latest post, Maude says goodbye to summer and reminds us of all those things we'll miss and a few that we won't.


Ode to Summer

“ Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”  Rachel Carson

As I walk around the garden I feel the days growing shorter, turning cooler and sifting into fall. I feel one foot lagging behind, wanting to stay in the warm days of summer. The other foot steps forward, feeling the crunch of fallen leaves and sensing the inevitable arrival of snow soon to follow. I am already mourning the disappearance of summer, there behind me, just out of reach.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

English Gardens-Sibylle Kreutzberger's Garden

The view of the garden from Sibylle's cottage

One of the great thrills on our trip to England this summer was to spend some time with gardening legend Sibylle Kreutzberger.  Through the kind introduction of our hosts, Gordon and Mary Hayward, we had the opportunity to take tea and visit with Sibylle in her wonderful Cotswold cottage and garden.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Period Restoration


It's raining in the garden today so it seems like a good time to take off on a little rant that has nothing to do with flowers, trees or shrubs:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cider House Jewels


The peak foliage season here in our part of New England is still several weeks away but that won't deter me from starting one of my fall rituals a little early. Every year at about this time some endocrinological change occurs in my body, some weird pomological hormone is released, and my brain screams, apples! apples! apples!

When I say apples, I'm not talking about those tasteless, waxed and polished red things at the local supermarket.  I crave the real deal.  And so, I begin the first of what will be many treks throughout the foliage season to the mecca of apple orchards in these parts, Scott Farm in Dummerston, Vermont.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Looking Better With Age


I don't know about you but I think hydrangea flowers just get better with age. Toward the very end of the season, their color can change dramatically. To some they may just looked washed out and ready to expire, but I love the muted, faded tones, and the slightly rattier appearance.  For me, this is the best time of their flowering.  On Sunday, I walked around the garden and shot some quick images with my Iphone. To see more of the photos, click on the hydrangea above.
To read more about hydrangeas, check out Nettie's recent post by clicking here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's In The Air

photo by Andrea Geesaman

There is something in the air.  
You can feel it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dig In- Tips from Nettie at Uncanoonuc

photo by Andrea Geesaman
Ferns for the Garden

Ferns, glorious ferns. They grow now, as they have since the misty days of pre-history, all over the world. We in the north are blessed with a long list of hardy types. Some native to New England, some not. There are so many of them - with marvelous forms, textures, and, yes, even colors. Some for many different kinds of garden, wild or tame. Ferns for sun as well as shade, for wet, merely moist or quite well-drained soils. There are delightful miniatures and magnificent specimens.  Many are lush, fluffy fillers with a glory all their own. None of them blossom. They reproduce by spore not seed, who needs flowers? Ferns offer the gardener such compelling beauty - blossoms aren’t missed. At all. They can stand alone or they can be other plants’ flattering companions. Their often fine-textured foliage magnifies the impact of bold leaves, think hosta and hellebore. Their often soothing colors can be effective foils for bright blossoms, like the classic lady fern - true lily combo. Here the fern also masks the declining foliage of the post-bloom lily, a worthy job in itself. The brighter colors of some ferns can reflect and magnify the impact of nearby blossoms like the maroon and silver of the Painted Fern playing off the pink or red spires of astilbe. Many have rich tawny to yellow fall foliage color. I’ve grown ferns for at least twenty-five years and add more to my garden every year. Here are a few oh-so-garden worthy ferns.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Common Ground Fair

The Common Ground Country Fair is coming up in just a week!  Largely a volunteer effort, the fair is organized and produced, by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA).  This celebration of Maine rural life has outgrown several fairground sites through the years as its popularity has continued to grow.  In 1996 MOFGA made a decision to purchase a 200-acre site in Unity, Maine as a permanent home for the fair and opened its doors to the public there for the first time in 1998.  Since its inception, the fair has clearly struck a chord with a lot of people.  Around 10,000 people showed up the first year it opened, in 1977! Last year, close to 60,000 came through the gates of the fairground in Unity.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Out Now

When backlit by the sun, the infloresences of this Pennisetum 'hameln' planted next to
Daphne 'Carol Mackie' look like 4th of July fireworks.
To see more of what's out right now in the garden, click 'read more'

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Theatre In The Garden

The Stalagmites (Zak Grace, Jana Zeller, Shoshana Bass and Darden Longenecker)
perform "The Orb"

It was gorgeous New England weather this past weekend when over 700 people enjoyed Puppets in Paradise, a two day extravaganza of theatre arts that took place in the enchanting gardens of Gordon and Mary Hayward in Westminster West, Vt.  Ten spectacular short performances were repeatedly presented throughout the day, according to a masterful schedule that gave visitors a chance to see the entire program.  Each performance was set against a different backdrop in the beautiful Hayward gardens.   And, there was delicious food, wonderful music and a celebration of community!

Puppets in Paradise is a presentation of Sandglass Theater, a non-profit theatre company located in Putney, Vermont that specializes in the art of puppet theatre and performance art.  For more information on Sandglass Theater you can email them at or check out their website at

For more photos from this weekend's event, read on...

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Color of Inspiration

Every once in awhile you run into gardeners who are truly inspiring.  This was the case recently when I visited a garden in Pennsylvania that, for the past 48 years, has been lovingly nurtured and maintained by Merle and Beulah Cordell, a couple in their eighties who, by comparison, make me feel like a lazy slug.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Giving It All Back

C.D. Friedrich (1774-1840)

Gardens are so ephemeral.  And you can go ahead and call me a pessimist or a glass-half-empty kind of guy but every time I see a beautiful garden, there is one nagging question that always pops into my head:  What will happen to that garden when the gardener is gone?  Considering all the hard work that goes into making a good garden, wouldn't it be nice to think that if some fate would separate the gardener from the garden, a supremely confident, yet beneficent, garden avenger (yes, maybe even wearing a mask, a cape and a pleasant smile) would swoop in and rescue the whole thing from the clutches of Mother Nature who, as we all know, is obsessed with the entire notion of ecological balance and likes nothing more than to give everything an equal shot at life, including things like weeds, pests, deadly viruses, and even telemarketers?  But this almost never happens. Few gardens outlive their creators for very long. This became especially clear to me last week when I visited family in Pennsylvania.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Puppets in Paradise

Next weekend marks one of the most entertaining weekends of the summer for both adults and children.  If you like beautiful gardens, creative theatre arts and delicious food then this event is for you!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Garden Notables

Who are these people and why are they in my garden?

A self-taught gardener, botanist, botanical artist, garden writer and plant hunter, E. A. Bowles was the author of many books, scholarly articles and scientific papers. He received the Victoria Medal of Honor from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1916.  Over 40 plants are named for him that are still available today.

Eryngium Giganteum
Ellen Ann Willmott (1858-1934)

A prominent member of the Royal Horticultural Society, Ellen Willmott was one of only two women to have received the Victoria Medal of Honor, in 1897.  She funded plant hunting expeditions to China and the Middle East and at one point employed over 100 gardeners in her own garden. She was known as a demanding employer who would sack a gardener who allowed a single weed to grow in one of her borders.  She is thought to have cultivated more than 100,000 different species of plants but perhaps is best known for the legend that she would surreptitiously spread the seeds of Eryngium Giganteum in any garden she visited;  today Eryngium Giganteum is also known as Miss Willmott's Ghost.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dig In- Tips from Nettie at Uncanoonuc

Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses have come into their own as more and more gardeners get to know them and embrace their many attributes. There are grasses for every garden from an intimate doorway vignette to expansive municipal plantings. Some are imported beauties, but many are our own native daughters. They offer texture, structure, movement, contrast, color and multi-season appeal. Their flowers and foliage often make wonderful subjects for arrangements, fresh or dried. Most are low maintenance perennials. This is a brief introduction to some great grasses, tried and true performers here at Uncanoonuc. As their popularity continues to soar, more and more different grasses are being introduced - an exciting prospect for us all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How This Garden Evolves

I knew it would happen eventually.  I have finally been framed.  Well, not exactly...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Featured Plant- Paulownia tomentosa

If you're looking for a plant that makes a bold architectural statement, Paulownia tomentosa may be for you.  But first make sure you have plenty of space.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Hampshire and Vermont Open Days

Congratulations to all of the gardeners who opened their gardens this past weekend for The Garden Conservancy's Open Days event that happened in New Hampshire and Vermont!

Preparing gardens for a high-profile national event such as this is no small feat but all of the gardens looked spectacular.  Every season, the Garden Conservancy gives the public a chance to visit some of the best private gardens in the country. This year, sixteen gardens represented New Hampshire and Vermont, showcasing the high quality of horticultural talent in this region of the country.  In addition, visitors had the opportunity to visit public gardens in the area such as the town gardens in Peterborough, NH and The Fells in Newbury, NH.

Visitors to the eight beautiful private gardens that participated this past weekend came from many distant locations including Georgia, Texas, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

For a glimpse of the wonderful gardens that were open this past weekend, see the photos below.  For more information on the Garden Conservancy, click here.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rachel's Garden- Caterpillar!

For more art from Rachel's Garden, click here.

To see what this is all about, click here.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Well, This Really Stinks!

We have had our share of uninvited visitors this season.  And some have appreciated the garden more than others.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dig In- Tips from Nettie at Uncanoonuc



Much beloved by gardeners, Hydrangeas are a large, diverse group of plants that can be vines, shrubs or small trees. The main types grown in Northern climates are discussed below (including descriptive information, cultural and pruning advice) and a section answering frequently asked questions follows.
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