Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Big news in southern Delaware

Delaware Botanic Garden
It may not look like much right now, but in Dagsboro, a small town in southern Delaware surrounded by farmland, there's a little plot of land that's causing a lot of excitement.  This is the future site of the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Two years of blogging

Tricyrtis 'Sinonome'
Tricyrtis 'Sinonome' brightens the fall garden

On October 8, 2013 I posted "Welcome to DC Tropics", the first of what has now become two years of blog posts.  I missed the official anniversary because I was traveling, which seems to be my life lately.  Because of my frequent travel during the past year, my blog posts have gone from 97 in the first year to only 58 in the past year... even though I've had a lot more to blog about!  Little did I know when I started this blog how my life and my garden would change over the next two years.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Perennial Plant Association: the garden tours (part 2)

Harness Creek

Looking through these photos, it's hard to believe it has already been more than two months since the Perennial Plant Association's annual symposium in Baltimore.  I've already written one long blog post about the symposium (see Five days of plant geek pleasure), and another with photos from the Wednesday garden tours (see Perennial Plant Association: the garden tours (part 1)).  As promised, here's part 2, with photos from the Friday tours.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Perennial Plant Association: the garden tours (part 1)

Garden tour mob

 I would be terrified to let these people see my garden.

This horde was one of the tour groups for the Perennial Plant Association's national symposium in late July, a gathering of "green industry" professionals that included wholesale growers, garden center retailers, landscape architects, garden designers, garden writers, and garden bloggers like me.  The gardens below were part of Wednesday's design/landscape tour, featuring five different private gardens that differed greatly in size, character, and style.  The photos below represent only a small fraction of the several hundred I took; for the rest, check out my Perennial Plant Association album on Flickr.  I'll do a separate blog post about the Friday tours, which were great in an entirely different way.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Five days of plant geek pleasure

The flock is gathering

For five days in late July, I convinced myself and everybody around me that I was (a) a morning person and (b) an extrovert, neither of which is remotely true.  It takes a pretty special event to pull off a stunt like that, and that was the Perennial Plant Association's 2015 national symposium in Baltimore.  Every time I think about distilling five very busy, very intense, and overwhelmingly pleasurable days into one blog post, I get slightly dizzy.  Instead, I've broken it into two blog posts. In this one I'll give my general impressions of the event, and I'll follow up in a few days with the gardens we saw on the tours.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cannas for the lazy gardener

CannasCanna indica 'Red Stripe' (September 2012)

I don't think I've gone a single year since starting this garden without growing cannas.  They are a lazy gardener's dream, producing maximum "oomph" with minimal work.  They look tropical, they grow fast, they love heat, they require little care, they have handsome foliage, and hummingbirds love their flowers.  What more could we ask of any garden plant?  Well, a bit of hardiness, for one thing.  I'm sick of people telling me that their cannas overwinter in the ground when I've had no luck with them surviving any but the warmest winters.  That means digging up the rhizomes and storing indoors, buying new ones in the spring, or bumming them off a gardening friend or family member.  Let's see, which one of these requires the least effort?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Labor day laziness

Deck, early September

Monday was a holiday and I woke up a bit earlier than I would have liked, but the morning sun and cool breeze were worth it, hinting at fall just around the corner.  It was a perfect long weekend and the perfect end to the summer, three straight days of blue skies, warm sunny days with low humidity, and cooling down nicely at night.  Aside from finishing a blog post and puttering in the garden a bit, I didn't accomplish much but what better place to laze on a pleasant end-of-summer day than the roof deck.