Dioecious Plants – It Takes Two

  • Post published:07/12/2014
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Dioecious Plants: Dioecious species have the male and female reproductive structures on separate plants. The Annual Rose Viewing was a success, but it was the hardy kiwi vine on our shed that also got a lot of attention. Of course, it is the unusual green, white and pink foliage that makes the hardy kiwi so notable. I first saw this vine at the LakewoldGarden in Washington state many years ago. It was growing on a long trellis, so I…

Local Hellstrip-Curbside Garden Teaches a Lesson

  • Post published:07/04/2014
  • Post comments:2 Comments

I have been reading Evelyn Hadden's book Hellstrip Gardening: Create a paradise between the sidewalk and  the curb, with all its beautiful photographs of  the different ways a curbside garden can be created.  Hadden includes gardens from across the country from Oregon and California to Minnesota and New York. Different climates and different inspirations.  I was very happy that she also included Rain Gardens as one of her themes because many urban areas have a great problem with…

View from the Bedroom Window – May 2014

  • Post published:06/09/2014
  • Post comments:0 Comments

The view from the bedroom window on May 5 shows that the grass is greening up, but it is cold, 46 degrees, cloudy and windy. I dug up plants for the Bridge of Flowers plant sale, but then went back in the house to work in front of the woodstove. Now it is hot! 80 degrees. What a difference a week makes. We had a little rain and warmer days - although with strong  breezes it has still felt…

Magnificent Elm Trees in Central Park

  • Post published:02/24/2014
  • Post comments:0 Comments

The Elm Trees in Central Park were featured prominently in the NYTimes Sunday Review (2-23-14) in a wonderful article by Guy Trebay. I have not walked in Central Park for many years, but even as a New Yorker in the 1980s I would not have paid much attention to the magnificent allee of elms that runs for about 2.5 miles along Fifth Avenue, "a continuous stand that, as it happens, may be the longest in the world." In…

Ginkgo – The Ancient Maidenhair Tree

  • Post published:01/20/2014
  • Post comments:0 Comments

While we were living in Beijing we became fascinated with the ginkgo tree, sometimes called the maidenhair tree. This is an ancient tree and fossilized leaves dating back 270 MILLION years have been found. They saw the rise and fall of the dinosaur. Today it grows in many temperate and sub-tropical areas of the world because it is so unusual and beautiful and because it is so adaptable. It even tolerates pollution and is used in cities as…

The Mighty Oak Trees – and Mine

  • Post published:11/25/2013
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Suddenly there seem to be many young oak trees growing by the side of Heath roads. They are particularly noticeable at this time of year because they retain their leaves until late in the season, and they have turn a burnished shade of red. I do not know for sure which of the 600 species of oak they are, or even of the 70 species that grow in the United States, but it is possible they are Quercus…

Golden Gingko – Fallen in Fall

  • Post published:10/30/2013
  • Post comments:6 Comments

Heavy frost on Monday. 21 degrees yesterday! The gingkos are unleafed all at once. As is their wont. For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.

Brilliant Autumn Color is Flooding Heath’s Hills

  • Post published:10/02/2013
  • Post comments:7 Comments

All of sudden the autumn color we hope for and wait for has appeared. Every hour it seems more brilliant.     Down with invasive Burning Bush. Up with blueberries. Delicious berries and delightful autumn  color. Deep autumn color on the oakleaf hydrangea is stunning and unusual. For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.

The Monks Garden at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

  • Post published:09/28/2013
  • Post comments:0 Comments

Last week I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to meet the noted landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburg and hear him speak about how he approached the challenge of redesigning the Monks Garden. He said that Isabella Stewart Gardener herself acknowledged that she was never satisfied with the small walled garden she called the Monks Garden. “That gave me the confidence and courage . . . to make a garden for the future of the Museum.” Certainly the…

Beech and Hazel

  • Post published:09/21/2013
  • Post comments:2 Comments

  On a spring walk in the Betty Maitland Memorial Forest here in Heath we admired a tall beech tree (Fagus grandiflora) that is also known as the bear tree. The trunk is scarred with bear claw damage, climbing up into the foliage with its nuts, and going down again. Beechnuts are an important food for bears and other wildlife. They are high in fat, carbohydrates and protein. It is easy to imagine bears preparing for their winter…