Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rachel's Garden- Robin's Nest

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

To see what this is all about, click here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Featured Plant- Snowdrops

photo by Greg Neilley

How can you not like snowdrops?  They're like a company of delicate little ballerinas that dance through your garden before the big circus comes to town. And they show up just when you need them the most.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Awakenings

At this time of the year in New Hampshire, gardens are not the only things that are awakening.

In the most recent edition of our once-a-month village newspaper, a "public service" ad appeared that warned residents to bring all of their bird feeders inside by the end of this month.  Living here, surrounded by acres and acres of forest, we're all accustomed to this springtime ritual by now, and the photo below illustrates the major reason why people take these warnings seriously.  It's the end of hibernation season and certain mammals out there are plenty hungry.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Birds and The Bees

The Beekeepers  Pieter Bruegel the Elder c 1568
Gemaldegalerie Berlin, Germany

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get very nervous about all these so-called anomalies of nature that keep occurring everywhere.  Not long ago, large numbers of birds began falling out of the sky, in more than one location across the globe.  I keep hearing that it was all caused by a series of fireworks that somehow induced a state of confusion in the birds. Well, excuse me if I'm a little skeptical. About the only time I've ever seen fireworks induce a state of confusion was when I once had a little too much to drink at a fourth-of-July celebration.  I'm thinking there might be more to it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rachel's Garden- Spring

March Snow

Sitting here writing on this first full day of Spring and watching it snow all day, I couldn't think of a better time to post the following poem by Stephani Franklin. Thanks to Meredeth Allen for passing this along.

“March Snow”
by Stephani Franklin

Icy morning penance
Catches revelers off guard
To their sorrow;
Affirms ascetics
Of their canon.
Snug under a blanket of
Mulch and warming earth,
Smug, biding their time
Reciting pious axioms,
“Good things come to those who wait.” 
“Patience is a virtue.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Maple Sugar Time!

Party In The Maple Sugar Camp
Eastman Johnson, c. 1861-66

In addition to the streams and rivers, which are on the rise here now because of the melting snow, the other thing that begins to run rapidly this time of year in New Hampshire and Vermont is the sap--maple sap, that is.  It started to run here in our neck of the woods about three days ago.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Inexpensive Gardening Education

There is no better way to learn about gardening and garden design than to go visit some really good gardens.  Every year, at about this time, I'm dreaming green.  I'm tired of black and white.  I'm ready for all the snow and ice to disappear from the New Hampshire landscape and, even though we still have mud season to get through, I can't wait to while away a few perfect summer days visiting some great gardens.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From Mounds of Snow to Mounds of Hay

John James Wilson. Haymaking, 19th cent.

At this time of year, you can usually find me in one of two places.  I'm either in the basement staring at the sump pump or I'm in the barn counting bales of hay.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Out Now

It's the time for swelling buds and melting snow. To see what's out right now in the more.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

International Women's Day: Two Women Who Shared More Than a First Name

March 8th was International Women's Day, with a global United Nation's theme of "Equal Access to Education, Training, Science and Technology."  Sitting here at the computer that day, writing about gardening, I couldn't help but reflect on that theme and how it related to two gardeners, who not only shared the same first name, but also a determination to make their place in a world that was almost completely dominated by men.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The 100 Must-Have Garden Plants

The list of the 100 must-have garden plants, chosen by people like Dan Pearson, Piet Oudolf, Fergus Garrett and others, has just arrived here with my latest copy of Gardens Illustrated.  Even though some old favorites appear among the selections, I have included the entire list with the hope that it might get you to try out something new this season.  It's also fun to go down the list and see how many you already have in your garden.  And, if you have some real winners, or losers, leave a comment and let us all know about them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Guest Blogger -Tovah Martin

photo by Steven Clar

Even if the only gardening you've ever done was to hang a pot of petunias on the side porch, you have probably heard of Tovah Martin.  She is a legendary and passionate gardener with experience that runs deep.

For 25 years she was with the famous Logee's Greenhouses in Connecticut and then with White Flower Farm.  She is the author of over a dozen gardening books, including the best-selling Tasha Tudor's Garden, and her latest book, The New Terrarium, has been recommended reading by the New York Times Book Review.  

She is a prolific writer and contributes to many of the top-selling home and gardening magazines, including Country Gardens, Horticulture, Garden Design, and Country Living.  She also writes her own gardening blog, Plantswise, and is a regular contributor to the popular blog, Gardening Gone Wild.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Behind The Scenes Look at Hidcote

From Vermont to the Cotswolds

Few of us get the opportunity to work in one of the great gardens of the world.  In the case of Vermont resident Helen O'Donnell, one great garden is not enough. Helen is spending the next month working at Lawrence Johnston's magnificent Hidcote Garden, in Gloucestershire, England and in 2012 she will spend time gardening at Great Dixter, the gardens of the late Christopher Lloyd.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Place Where Things Begin

It has been said that the hardest part of making a garden is getting it started. Starting a garden requires the confidence and faith to know that the simple act of turning over that first spade of dirt will eventually result in the gorgeous perennial border you have always dreamed of. Or, having enough assurance that the simple straight line you draw on a piece of graph paper will eventually turn into the central path that defines the architectural backbone of your entire garden.
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