Posts

This Beautiful Fantastic - A Film about the Joy of Gardening and more

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 Join me as we discuss a charming tale about a reclusive old man and a budding children's book author and how they bonded through a discovery of gardening. A lovely film that includes gardening in it!  You can see it on Kanopy through the library system. I will be speaking about it in a film discussion-  This is the link to sign up for the Film talk for Friday June 4, 2021: https://greenwichlibrary.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=54309&backTo=Calendar&startDate=2021/06/01

The Glorious Sunflower - the Fourth Sister in a Native American Garden

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In one of my earlier blog posts I wrote about the Native Americans' Three Sisters Garden (corn, beans and squash )  but I neglected to tell you of the Fourth Sister ...a very important member of this family! This is from Hubpages :  "Fourth Sister, didn't look anything like her other sisters, although she was as tall and as slender as First Sister (corn) . That seemed fair to all, because Third Sister and Second Sister shared similar but different features. They could climb and run, while their other two sisters were forced to stand tall and proud." Mother Sun explained that each sister had her job and each had to benefit from and protect one another.  But Fourth Sister's job was most important of all -- for she was the guardian of the North , planted firmly, to protect others from the robbers who soon would come. The fourth sister was the elegant sunflower. The Sisters are known to the Native Americans as the “mothers o

2021 Perennial Plant of the Year - Lesser Calamint (Deer Resistant)

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  Montrose White Calamint from Rare Roots I wrote this post years ago and now, in 2021, Lesser Calamintha has been named 2021Perennial Plant of the Year...  So here is my post on it and my prediction that - someday - it will be recognized.  #prescient    The thing to do is PLANT FOR THE BEES .   So if you join me on that important bandwagon I suggest you plant -  Dwarf Calamint 'Montrose White'   ( Calamintha nepeta spp nepeta 'Montrose White'). Calamintha is an herb that's native to Europe and is used in cooking in Italy under the name nepitella. This plant, I predict, will be a  'Perennial Plant of the Year'.  Why? because it is a hardy (to USDA zone 4) and delightful flowering perennial plant that is  deer resistant.   YAY! Photo from Nursery Management  Calamintha nepeta spp nepeta 'Montrose White'  was named by Mike Yanny of Johnson’s Nursery in Menomonee Falls, Wis.  Yanny’s wife purchased the calamint from  Nancy Goodwin at Montrose Nursery .

My Garden Tip Interview with Christy Wilhelmi of Gardenerd

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Last week I was interviewed by Christy Wilhelmi on her podcast for Gardenerd. She has a great website and says that  Gardenerd is designed for people who have a healthy sense of humor about their obsession with organic gardening, and who have a thirst for knowledge.  Christy Wilhelmi - host of Gardenerd Her audio interviews feature  a wide variety of garden experts and are quite wonderful. I am honored to be among her guests!  If you want to hear our conversation about gardening tips  please click here : My  Audio  Interview with Gardenerd

The Famed Yellow Magnolias Bred in Ossining N.Y.

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'Elizabeth' Magnolia was bred by Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Ossining, NY.   I love yellow-flowering magnolias. The cover of a Garden Design Magazine features one and it makes my heart skip a beat. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden introduced the yellow-flowering magnolia to the world. BBG  launched the breeding program in 1953 at its R&D facility, the Kitchawan Research Center, in Ossining, New York (the town next door to me). They bred eight magnolias before the program shut down at Kitchawan in 1991. These BBG hybrids are still available today. These beauties flower between mid-April and mid-May. Magnolia  x ‘Elizabeth’ One of my favorites is  Magnolia  x ‘Elizabeth’  which was introduced in 1977. It is a cross between  M. acuminata  and  M. denudata.  Dr. Evamaria Sperber, who helped start BBG’s breeding program bred this tree. It is valued because it flowers before the leaves come out which makes an elegant display on bare branches. The creamy-yellow flow

My new book, Floratopia, is Out Now!

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My new book Floratopia is out! I am so happy to finally be able to share flower garden design ideas with everyone. I have been working with annual and perennial flowers in all my landscape projects for decades and yet I wrote about everything but flowers.  Odd. Well, that has now been corrected. I have amassed a collection of flower tips accompanied by my photos and categorized them in 6 sections in the book.  Osteospermum Serenity Series Why did I write this book? Here is an excerpt from my introduction: "Flowers are such an important part of our living world—offering food and habitat to our threat-  ened pollinators such as bees, birds, butterflies, and more. That is why I chose to write about  flowers and flower garden design. I have worked with flowers as a landscape designer and  horticulturist all my adult life, and I know how wonderful it is to open the door to the sight of  colorful blooms in the garden. More important, I believe we need flower gardens—our pollinator  have

Getting in the 'Flow' by Gardening

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" How do adults recapture that feeling of joy that children get from play?" This is what psychologist  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  wanted to know. He is a Croation-born professor of American psychology at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA and has spent years studying the state of being that he calls  "flow." Flow is what we feel when we are totally absorbed in an activity for its own sake.  This does not refer to a game where you win or lose or to watching a game.  "You don't get much out of the passive consumption of pleasure," Csikszentmihalyi* says, "compared to enjoyment which is much more active and creative and self-directive."   Gardening is a great example of an activity that is creative, self directed and gets you into the flow.   You lose yourself when outdoors, planting, deadheading, weeding, edging watering or even raking the gravel (!?)   Well, maybe you don't actually rake gravel but