WHAT’S THIS GARDENER READING ONLINE these days? Some tough news about increasing obstacles to growing basil, an optimistic outlook on weeds, and word of the cable-television antics of two old friends…just to name a few worthwhile recent links.
BASIL DISASTER? I always enjoy Adrian Higgins’s pieces in The Washington Post, though I suppose enjoy isn’t the right word for a story about how a fungal disease is making basil harder to cultivate successfully. Downy mildew—not a new affliction in greenhouses and gardens, but newish to basil in particular—is on the march. Get the details in this great story.
A WEED BY ANY OTHER NAME? A couple of weeks ago, esteemed senior research scientist Peter Del Tredici of the Arnold Arboretum was interviewed in The Boston Globe, and shared his view that calling something a weed may be politically incorrect–and that even these unwanted plants are quite impressive creatures, models of adaptation. Tough they are, indeed, though I’m not sure I regarded the miniature forests of self-sown Norway maples in my former residence with the awe that he does. The publication of Del Tredici’s new field guide, “Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast,” was what got the conversation with The Globe started…you can pick up on it here.
STAR-QUALITY GOATS? This last one’s for sheer fun, and who doesn’t need some at the rate the weeds (oops, sorry Peter Del Tredici!) are growing about now? Two friends—one of whom is a former Martha Stewart Living employee like myself—debuted their new Planet Green Network cable show “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” tonight, and I can’t stop reading all the stories and gossip about it. The two longtime city types, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, bought a historic home across the river from here and started a goat farm, of all things—the journey forming the subject of author Josh’s latest hit book, “The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers.” (With a title like that, I cannot resist.) You can also always find Brent and Josh at their website, Beekman1802. Enjoy.