I DON’T RECALL HOW I FOUND THEM—maybe it was while fixing something, or painting the house all those years ago. But for some reason I was down at ground level, peering under the floor of the front porch, and there they were, in near-darkness: two tiny trillium plants. I rescued them, and you know how it goes when a plant thanks you for your help: Now I have hundreds, thanks to those first two, and to a tip handed down from a great gardener about dividing them when they’re in flower. Yes, like right now. [read more…]
The older my garden gets, the more shady beds and borders I have. Great plants and sensible strategies for growing in shade.
SHADE IS A TRICKSTER, CAPTURING AND RELINQUISHING territory as years pass and woody plants grow—or are damaged or lost. Twenty-five years into gardening on one site, some former “shade gardens” here now bake, and even more spots that were sunny—well, you get the changeable, unpredictable picture. Thankfully, for the latter areas, I have old clumps of lower-light plants to divide, including those in this new slideshow of my top 54 shade subjects. I included some woodland-garden shrubs and trees for those seeking to manufacture some shade of their own—or wanting to add more understory structure to what nature has provided. [read more…]
THE MOST COLORFUL CREATURES HERE as April turns to May: returning male birds in mating plumage. The last week included the arrival of rose-breasted grosbeaks and Baltimore orioles…but I am straying, as the point is plants, right? Oops. A look at what’s blooming (including Uvularia grandiflora, above), the second in a series of new slideshows during this busiest of changing garden times. [read more…]
I ALWAYS START TO FEEL BETTER, like we’re turning a corner, when the hybrids of Helleborus orientalis jump all the way up out of the ground and start showing off. After a couple of weeks of timid semi-bloom, with the flowers hugging close to the ground on unextended stalks as if in fear of assault by lingering winter blasts, here they finally come. More on these favorite plants, including a podcast: [read more…]