Monty Don’s 80 Plant Cultures of the World by Susan Harris

Monty Don has been getting an unusual amount of attention lately in the U.S., thanks to his provocative article “There’s no point trying to convince millennials to garden. Nobody wants to hear that but I suspect he’s right. So who IS this guy? Here’s a quick bio on BBC 2’s website for their show “Gardener’s World.” Interesting guy, right? Here’s more. He loves hedges, woodland, topiary, vegetables, fruit and all plants that capture a season, mood or spirit of place. He loathes houseplants, begonias and horticultural pedantry. His favourite gardeners are Derek Jarman, Juan Grimm, Jacques Wirtz, Fernando Caruncho and his wife Sarah. His favourite garden jobs are planting and cutting anything from grass to logs. Just reading that, I want to look up all those gardeners his loves and then find out where I can watch Monty in action, which coincidentally I did a couple of months ago while browsing YouTube. I discovered his 10-episode show “Around the World in 80 Gardens,” which is MUCH ..
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The Right Tree for the Right Place

Featured Tree Planting The Right Tree for the Right Place By Sheereen Othman | August 25, 2017 Trees offer so much to home landscapes and benefit homeowners and the communities they live in whether it’s shade, beauty, privacy, windbreak, or higher property values. But these benefits are only enjoyed when you plant the right tree in the right place. One of the key factors that influence the health of a tree is ensuring that the proper species is planted in a proper location. Planting large trees in tight spaces, or trees that aren’t compatible for the region are detrimental to the health of a tree and can result in higher maintenance costs. Planting species that are native to your area is a safe way to ensure your trees will thrive. Watch Ask an Arborist: How do I Choose a Nursery Tree? There are factors to consider before planting to help you determine where to plant your trees. Decide what function you want the tree to serve. The type of tree you select will vary depen..
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The Kousa Dogwood

Tree of the Week The Kousa Dogwood By James R. Fazio | August 22, 2017 Cornus kousa Dogwood trees are well known for their delicate beauty in the landscape. Kousa dogwood not only meets the standard for attractiveness, it adds a hardiness that makes this species an excellent choice for home landscapes and urban areas. This small tree makes its visual contribution year-round. In spring, it produces a heavenly array of star-like blooms. In summer, its intriguing canopy of layered branches provides some shade as well as beauty. In autumn, it offers a spectacular display of bright red color. It also produces berry-like fruits that are an attractive oddity edible to both humans and wildlife (though much preferred by the latter). Even in winter, this tree has an appeal all its own, not only in its stratified branch pattern, but in its bark that resembles a puzzle or camouflage. Kousa dogwood is a native of Japan, China, Vietnam, Laos, and other eastern Asia countries. When ..
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Hands off the hydrangeas by Elizabeth Licata

Arborescens (Annabelle?) hedge in Lake Placid Thanks to plentiful rain and other friendly conditions, this is the summer of the Hydrangea in the Northeast, at least as far as I’ve observed. Huge stands of paniculata, macrophylla, and arborescens varieties are blooming profusely. My neighbor’s pink macrophylla blooms are easily a foot in circumference; it’s amazing they’re not pulling down the whole shrub. My macrophylla ‘Alpenglow’ doesn’t have huge blooms, but they are profuse and a rich, deep pink (changing now to deep rose-brown). Macrophylla ‘Alpenglow’ Inevitably, during Garden Walk, this hydrangea attracts attention and questions. Many visitors seem to think there’s some kind of secret potion I’m pouring into the soil. Gardeners are routinely told by many nurseries that they must adjust the pH of the soil in order to achieve the hydrangea colors they desire. This is something I’ve never done, and all my surviving hydrangeas have remained exactly the same color promised on thei..
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GWA/Buffalo Take-Aways by Susan Harris

Buffalo! Time for a debrief after attending the Garden Writers annual shindig held in Buffalo this year – to the delight of anyone who’s been there in the last decade or so and the apprehension of anyone who hasn’t. Yeah, Buffalo had lots of doubters, but boy did that city shut them up! As a Buffalo booster myself, I’m was not surprised but so pleased to hear the raves for the city’s beauty, architecture, liveliness, private gardens and wild enthusiasm for gardening. For pure garden-viewing, everyone’s favorite seemed to be Buffalo’s famous Cottage District. Attendees are now flooding the Internet with images like these from one of my earlier visits. But I heard at least as many raves for the Darwin Martin House Complex by Frank Lloyd Wright, possibly the best Prairie House of his in the U.S. One Facebook commenter called it “jaw-dropping” and that it was. So thanks to the organizers for including it our otherwise garden-focused visits around town. Its Tree of Life windows alone qua..
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The Living Forest: What Tree Rings Tell us About the Life of a Tree

Featured Misc Trees The Living Forest: What Tree Rings Tell us About the Life of a Tree By Sheereen Othman | August 17, 2017 Trees are great record keepers, they tell us so much about the past. They are also resilient organisms, outliving humans and animals. Some of the oldest trees in the world are thousands of years old — like bristlecone pine. They’ve lived through major environment changes, climate shifts, and numerous historical events. There are trees standing today that are older than the establishment of this country, how remarkable. We can learn a lot from trees, but first we must understand them. Every year, trees form new growth rings (also called tree rings). Not only do these tree rings tell us the age of a tree, but they also tell us climate conditions during the life of a tree. Trees add a new layer of wood between the bark and the trunk each growing season. The wood formed in spring grows faster and lighter and consists of larger cells. In the late summ..
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Rant from the road: resort horticulture by Elizabeth Licata

Mirbeau Vacations are always busmens’ holidays for gardeners. Whether it’s a tropical paradise, a stateside resort, or a European capital, gardeners can’t help but notice what’s planted, where it’s planted, and how well it’s designed. We don’t actually work on the gardens where we stay, but we’re doing it in our heads. Over the past week, I’ve been on holiday in New York state: Skaneateles, Clayton (1000 Islands), Lake Placid, Saratoga Springs, and Geneva, on a more-or-less circular itinerary. And what a beautiful set of localities they are. We’ve visited a few of these places before, and I have to say the plantings (and other amenities) just get better and better. Number #1 is the Mirbeau property in Skaneateles. The buildings (meant to resemble French country architecture and succeeding remarkably well) surround a large lily pond, filled with koi. All of the areas between the buildings and the pond are thickly planted. Though the inspiration is (loosely) Monet’s gardens, hence all..
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Burbank Plum: Named After a Genius

Tree of the Week Burbank Plum: Named After a Genius By James R. Fazio | August 15, 2017 Prunus salicina ‘Burbank’ Luther Burbank is undoubtedly one of the most successful plant breeders the world has ever known. Through his keen eye and genius for selective breeding, Burbank created and introduced more than 200 new varieties of fruits and nuts and hundreds of decorative flowers. Familiar names such as Shasta daisy, nectarines, plumcots, and freestone peaches can be traced back to the fields and greenhouse at Burbank’s home in Santa Rosa, California. Of all his green inventions, however, two stand out above the others. One was his first, the Burbank Russet potato, now better known as the Idaho potato. He sold the rights to it for $150 and used the money to help buy a parcel of land and eventually build the business of his dreams. The second of his major legacies are his plums. Before he applied his skills — he resented the term ‘plant wizard’ that was often referred to h..
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Simpson Nurseries Helps Deliver Trees to Homeowners

Energy-Saving Trees Featured Simpson Nurseries Helps Deliver Trees to Homeowners By Kristen Bousquet | August 11, 2017 Have you ever placed your hand against the window only to jerk it back from the heat of the glass? Or maybe the frost on the outside was cooler than you anticipated. Summer heat and winter frosts can make it difficult for your house to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. When your home sits openly under the warmth of the sun or fights heavy winds, it must work harder to stay cool or keep warm. There’s a sustainable fix for that. Planting a shade tree on the northwest corner of your house cools your home in the summer. Strategically planting a windbreak blocks heavy winds, keeping drafts out and heat in. Read Top 10 Shade Trees Through our Energy-Saving Trees program we’ve partnered with utility companies to deliver more than 200,000 trees to homeowners across the country to plant on their properties. A lot of hard work goes into finding the hea..
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