The Large Piece of Turf

Albrecht Durer's "The Large Piece of Turf" features a chunk of soil and weeds that could just as easily have been dug up from the vacant lot down the street from me (here in 2012) as from the German meadow that likely inspired Durer hundreds of years ago. Painted in 1503, "Turf" was actually one of the very... Continue Reading →

Black Walnut Society Officially Unveiled

Do you garden under a Black Walnut tree?  Have you searched the internet seeking lists of species that grow under Black Walnuts only to discover that the lists are sometimes contradictory, or that (even worse) they are waaaaay too short to satisfy your jonesing for plants? Is your Black Walnut tree interfering with your gardening pleasure, making... Continue Reading →

Garden Designer’s Roundtable: By the Sweat of Your Brow Will You Weed Your Bed.

My husband and I moved into our house in Burke, VA (Zone 7a) early in 2003 and immediately got to work on "letting the yard go" for about, oh, 4 years or so.  I'm sure the neighborhood was horrified by our neglect, as I know you will be when you see the "before" pictures.  2007... Continue Reading →

ISO Garden Exorcist

I'm pretty sure my soil is haunted. In trying to figure out why all the plants in this certain bed in my backyard keep dying slow, excruciating deaths, I have ruled out high pH, micronutrient deficiencies, marine clay, grubs, acid rain, and communist infiltrators. I figure the only possible explanation for the gradual decline/death of... Continue Reading →

Weedscaping With Mary

Take a look at my designer "cottage lawn," one of the hottest garden trends of 2012.  Don't be jealous.  It's taken me years to achieve this look.  Note the highly desirable color combination of yellow (dandelions) and sky blue (Creeping Charlie).  Just finishing up their show are henbit and hairy watercress.  And now, wild violet... Continue Reading →

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day: Forsythiosis

Now is as good a time as any to talk about forsythia.  If you live in zone 7, it's just popped out in all its tacky gold glory, and is either splaying all over the place in a spectacular tangle or -- more likely -- it was sheared into a giant egg shape in the fall... Continue Reading →

Slangin’ Delightful Plants

Yesterday afternoon I placed my order with Plant Delights, the nursery down in NC that publishes the best, and most addictive, catalog in all of horticulture.  My intention was  to buy ONLY a Danae racemosa, with which I was unfamiliar until a local designer introduced me to it a few years ago.  Also called Poet's Laurel, this small... Continue Reading →

The Totally Brain-Wasted Botanist?

When I was 13 and a Junior Naturalist at the local nature center (job description: clean the aquarium, wander around) I got really good at leaf identification with the help of this trusty li'l book:  Do you remember these?  I had a whole collection of these Golden Guides.  Pocket-sized, colorful, and glossy -- they were so... Continue Reading →

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