Entries in woodland garden (104)


Are You An Extreme Gardener?

My eyes are riveted to the television as a snowboarder speeds through a half pipe or launches from a ramp to perform gnarly, gravity-defying tricks. Or a person hurls himself off a cliff and soars into the beyond with arms and legs spread inside a wingsuit, personifying Batman. How in the world do you learn to do such extreme sports without killing yourself first?

Extreme gardening is much safer. In fact, one can argue that extreme gardening has many physical and emotional benefits. Nevertheless, some people may shake their heads and think that an extreme gardener is a bit strange, if not outright nuts. The jasmine arch by the patio is blooming.

How do you know you are an extreme gardener? I have compiled a list of ten traits that, while completely unverified and unscientific, may indicate you are an extreme gardener:

1.You garden, no matter what your environmental conditions or living arrangements. You find a way to garden, year round, in one form or another.My arbor garden swing is a good place to relax and enjoy the garden.

2. When people visit, they ask to see your garden. If they don't ask, you show them anyway.Here is a view inside my perennial/pollinator garden, planted since last August.

3. People you don't know have come up to you and asked for gardening advice.

4. You own at least 50 gardening books, not counting garden magazines. No way you can count all those.

5. You have gardened at night under the floodlights around your house. 

6. You arrange vacation time around gardening activities. 

7. You know the botanical names for most of your plants. Amaryllis 'Apple Blossom' (Hippeastrum) has 16 blooms on it this year!

Planted earlier this year, Acanthus 'Whitewater' has its first bloom.

Fatsia japonica 'Spiderweb' is a shade-lover with beautiful leaves.

8. You have attended a demonstration or lecture about hydroponics.

9. You publish a garden blog.Views of my little blue bridge in the woodland garden have appeared many times on my blog. I recently moved a blue bottle tree to its side.

This large urn was one of the first features I put in the arbor garden when I began developing the space a decade ago. 

This green rabbit is one of a collection of rabbits that appear throughout my garden, in addition to the real ones!

10. Gardening is your favorite form of physical therapy for such things as hip replacement, torn meniscus, and recovery from debilitating infection.

If you are positive for any of the above, chances are you are a real gardener. The more traits you have, the more serious you are about gardening. If you own up to six or more, you may indeed be an extreme gardener. I confess I am guilty of all ten. But at least I am not putting on a wingsuit and jumping off cliffs.

So, how extreme are you?

Wishing all you gardeners the very best!  Deb


The Beautiful Season

Recently I was miserably sick for a week, then gone to the beach for another week; two weeks out of the garden in the middle of spring - yikes! I am far behind in some essential chores, but I can only be optimistic in springtime. I will eventually get the pruning done, and late transplants will be pampered to hopefully enable their survival through the summer. I will be planting my summer veggies a couple of weeks later than usual, but surely they will do ok. Best of all, great washes of color have spread across my garden this past month without much help from me, and the garden is looking good. 

Azaleas have been blooming along the path in the front garden:

Here are some views in and around the arbor garden:

Ferns are emerging throughout the garden:

Fresh green growth covers the woodland garden, and the moss paths are lush:

After a dreary winter, I am always excited to see colorful foliage and blooms return each year:1st row: Honeysuckle 'Major Wheeler'; Azalea 'George L. Tabor'; Common Ajuga. 2nd row: Spirea 'Candy Corn'; Pieris 'Cavatine'; Hybrid Columbine. 3rd row: Autumn Fern; Orange Karume Azalea; Korean Spice Viburnum.Here is a close-up of a colorful euphorbia:

This is the beautiful season. The nights are cool, the days are pleasantly warm, and I love being in the garden. Finally getting those garden chores done will be no chore at all!