Scott Aker, head of gardens at the National Arboretum, toured New Zealand over the winter – their summer – with his teenage son, who must have been raised with a high tolerance for hort-speak because from the looks of Scott’s slide show, it was a plant-centric journey. Scott certainly put to shame my own puny […]
Any day now it’ll be summer in Texas, hot and sticky. But this week we’ve enjoyed several cool mornings — in the 50s! — and warm, non-humid afternoons. If I could bottle this up for summer I would. May is a beautiful month in Austin, no doubt. Show More Summary
Q: Is there a difference in the Hino Crimson red azalea and the Hinodegiri red azalea?? I read the Hino Crimson is a “sport of” the Hinodegiri but am not sure what that means. A: Hino Crimson is actually a hybrid of Hinode giri, Rhododendron obtusum, crossed with R amoenum. Hinode giri is known for […]
In June, 2007, we hosted a debate between horticultural professor Jeff Gillman (author of many books, including The Truth Abut Garden Remedies and The Truth About Organic Gardening) and garden writer Jeff Lowenfels, the co-author of Teaming with Microbes. The topic was compost tea, and this is the first salvo, from Gillman. We advise readers […]
This is a hectic time around the farm, and the crew has been doing a great job getting things in order for the busy growing season. We've had [&hellip...
Warning! There will be no pretty gardening photos in the post….so be forewarned! I was considering titling this "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" But there's only bad and ugly here. One of the lessons I'm learning quickly is that when you have a small garden every inch counts. Show More Summary
I became a gardener in order to experience nature daily, in order to live in a wilder way. Being wild is the opposite of being isolated. It is an experience of oneness with a vast, complex, diverse, accepting community of living plants and animals. Isolation is sitting motionless in a climate-controlled, artificially lit house, staring […]
What are some of your favorite nurseries for buying trees and plants? Over the years, many of you have asked about my favorite sources, and among them is [&hellip...
Q: My neighbor is a beginner beekeeper. His bees like to get water from my pool but I am allergic to them. What can I do? A: Tom Bonnell, Henry County beekeeper, says honeybees are one of the most beneficial insects to humans. They help pollinate our crops (like apples, melons and almonds), produce sweet […]
Last fall I had the idea of doing something nice for the rather boring and minimalist plantings outside my office. The building itself is great—an 85k-square-foot former railway signal factory (circa 1904–6) that has been repurposed into a mixed use complex including our offices, residential units above, banquet spaces, a yoga studio, a bar, and […]
Spring is a popular time for fairs and sales of all kinds, and when my schedule allows, I always try to attend a few of my favorites. Last [&hellip...
Q: This is the 2nd spring with my Keiffer pear tree, it had eight pears last year. This year I’ve spot-counted 125. What’s the rule for removing some of the pears so I can have a good crop without breaking all the limbs? A: Pear trees commonly overproduce young fruit. It’s good practice to remove […]
New Jersey gardener and author Mike “The Gardener” Podlesny interviewed me recently for his popular Vegetable Gardening Podcast, and you can listen to it here (scroll to bottom). Despite the veggie-centric podcast title, Mike interviews all kinds of gardeners about any gardening topic you might imagine. Show More Summary
I can't seem to get the end of the month meme worked up and now that it is the 2nd of May I thought if I hurriedly post today I can consider this for the beginning of the month. As I peeked out the back window I could see that the garden is definitely awakening. Show More Summary
Earth Day has come and gone, but I haven’t stopped worrying about the greatest challenge our ecosystem has faced since the beginning of human history: global climate change. This year is already setting records: February of 2016 was the hottest February on record globally, and March was the hottest March. It’s easy to feel helpless […]
One of my favorite places to visit is the New York Botanical Garden, especially during spring, when so many of the Garden’s gorgeous trees and collections are in [&hellip...
May Day has always been a day to celebrate. Not only is the garden busting out in all it's glory, May 1st was my father's birthday. He always told me he had the coolest day for his birthday and I have to agree. Dad truly gave me the love of the outdoors, the fascination of things that grow. Show More Summary
National Park Rx, a growing movement among doctors to prescribe parks and nature to their patients, launched recently and I was asked to talk to the public about the benefits of gardening. Here’s the list I came up with: Great exercise (with too many benefits to list, or to keep up with). Improved immune system. […]