Apprentice to a Garden: Book Review

– Posted in: Book reviews

Apprentice to a Garden: A new urban gardener goes wild by Evelyn Hadden is a collection of essays chronicling the development of Hadden's garden and her growth as a gardener. Evelyn starts out as "the omnipotent landowner," but gradually discovers that she doesn't know enough to be a totalitarian dictator. She begins observing more, and [...]

Winterberries: Wildflower Wednesday

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is a native holly that drops its leaves in the fall. That's what enables them to survive in colder climates. If your winter landscape seems dark and dreary, you will want to plant some of these shrubs where you can see their profusion of colorful berries from the heated side of your [...]

Trailing Arbutus

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

I've been trying to go for a walk up in our woods every day that it isn't raining. (We got 8.55 inches of rain this April and our normal is 3.49 inches, so there haven't been as many opportunities as in past springs.) During this time of year, when the native spring ephemerals are blooming, [...]

Pussy Willow: Wildflower Wednesday

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

For Wildflower Wednesday, I try to feature a native plant growing wild on our property. I took a walk on Monday to see what was blooming, and found only one plant blooming, a shrub which looked to me like a pussy willow. I looked through my books and discovered that's exactly what it was: Salix [...]

Native Enthusiasm

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

At last.  Finally. Why chicory, Cichorium intybus, the blue flower of August roadsides, should have avoided our rural road for so long, is a mystery to me. So forlorn have I been made by its absence, when all neighbouring roads were bright with its sky-blue gaiety, that I have from time to time been tempted [...]

Bur Cucumber: Wildflower Wednesday

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

What better way to celebrate autumn than with a native wildflower more noted for its fruit than its flower. Bur cucumber (Echinocystis lobata), also known as wild cucumber, balsam-apple, or Concombre sauvage, grows on my property in a hedgerow surrounding a ditch. The leaves of this vine are often described as maple-like, but remind me [...]

Mystery Wild Flower Needs Has A Name

– Posted in: Native/Invasive

This past Sunday I enjoyed a family reunion at Chenango Valley State Park. But, like the gardening geek I am, while other family members were taking pictures of cousins in swimming suits or Grandma eating sweet corn, I took a walk around Lily Lake and started taking pictures of wild flowers with my HTC Incredible [...]

Allegheny Vine

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, Plant info, What's up/blooming

I mentioned that Allegheny vine (Adlumia fungosa) was blooming for me in July's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day post, and Leslie asked me what that was. Thank you, Leslie. I was dying for someone to ask. I had never even heard of a biennial vine until Allegheny vine showed up in my garden. What does biennial [...]