MANY PEOPLE THRILL at a sunny day in the garden, but if photographing the landscape and its plants is your pursuit, as it is Ken Druse’s, you take the contrarian view. “I love overcast,” says Ken, and “drizzle” is another favorite forecast for the author of 18 garden books, whose camera has taken him to more gardens than most of us will see in a lifetime. Ken shared some of his top garden-photography tips in a Q&A interview and this week’s public-radio show and podcast (and I was the guest on Ken’s show this last week, on another topic altogether…more on both on the jump page). [read more…]
Margaret's free weekly public-radio garden podcast, from WHDD in Sharon, CT, the smallest NPR station in the nation.
APPLES TREES—the fruit everyone thinks they want in their backyards—aren’t easy to grow East of the Rockies, as those who have tried probably noticed when they produced blemished fruit (or required multiple pest-defeating tactics on a strict schedule). And if you’re keeping track, apples aren’t native. Fruit expert Lee Reich offers up two unusual but delicious American native fruit-tree beauties that require little more than to be planted. In print or the latest public-radio podcast, how to grow pawpaws (top photo) and persimmons to perfection. [read more…]
FOR 25 YEARS I have grown my vegetables in raised beds, but the kind that you need to purchase lumber and bolts and use a saw and hammer to construct, then fill entirely with soil and compost. Lately I’ve been looking longingly at photos of a centuries-old, sustainable way of making raised garden beds called hugelkultur, or hill culture. “It’s like sheet mulching or lasagna gardening,” says Dave Whitinger of All Things Plants, who regularly lectures on the subject, but in hugelkultur, “wood is the first level of your sheet-mulched bed.” In print or my latest public-radio show and podcast, hugelkultur 101 with Dave (whose robust hugelkultur onion bed that is up top). [read more…]
DEAR GAYLA: Well, this is just perfect. You are publicly blaming me for the fact that you are about to be overrun by giant Nicotiana in your smaller garden, and I am in turn holding you to task for the fact that I am suddenly obsessed with growing dwarf tomatoes in pots in my bigger one. (At least we’re keeping all our finger-pointing in one botanical family: the seductive Solanaceae.) Seriously, though: Thanks for the unusual tomato seeds you sent, and the advice on how to grow them. Thanks to you, I’m starting tomato seed today. [read more…]
THERE IS MORE THAN those admittedly extravagant flowers to recommend the Magnolia, though many of us think of them as just that: flowering trees. Not a bad thing to have around at this time of year—but hardly the whole story of this ancient genus with its many other ornamental features, one of the oldest flowering plants on earth. In the latest radio show and podcast, I spoke with Adam Wheeler of Broken Arrow Nursery—growers of a staggering 80 selections of magnolias—about the range of possibilities, and how to care for them. Plus: Adam’s a champion giant pumpkin grower, and offers us some tips on that, too. [read more…]