AS MANY TIMES AS I HAVE SEEN THEM, I’m always startled when the Korean fir, Abies koreana, puts out a fresh crop of purple “pine” cones each year at this time. They’re a favorite of wildlife (and the gardener) here; read the full profile of this great conifer, or browse through all my conifer stories anytime.
THEY ARE GARDEN STALWARTS, FEARING NOTHING–not even low single digits and multiple feet of snow. In this old-fashioned Northeastern winter of 2010-11, I’m counting my blessings, and tops on that list: the conifers who live here with me (including the weeping Alaska cedar, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula,’ above). What better time of year to review them, in a slideshow that links off to all their individual profiles?
MY GARDENING LIFE STARTED with a hedge—cutting one back hard, specifically. It was the threadbare, tall old privet surrounding my childhood home, and I was determined to “rejuvenate” it, after reading about the process in a book. No artful hedge has ever been created by my hands, though—a fact that feels all the more lamentable after watching Sean Conway’s video tour (above) of designer and nurseryman Piet Oudolf’s garden in the Netherlands. What magic. [read more…]
AS MUCH AS THE GARDEN STARTS UP WITH A GLEAM OF GOLD, it goes out with one, too. Yes, yellow is certainly spring’s favorite color–but it is likewise autumn’s. In words and photos, some thoughts about how gold works in the garden (hint: it’s not the least bit shy), and the plants who are offering up their biggest payoffs right now. [read more…]
YOU’D THINK BIGGER WOULD NOT BE BETTER when you’re taking about a dwarf conifer, but to the contrary, I’m loving my overgrown “dwarf” white pines (Pinus strobus ‘Nana’) more each year. After 20-plus years in the ground, starting from mounded creatures maybe 3 feet across and 2 high, today they are close to 14 by 7 or 8—like giant bonsais someone hasn’t clipped lately. (That would be me.) [read more…]