Archive for August, 2009

Our White House Garden

It is always an unusual event when you copy someone else and end up discovering that you made the original. As I mentioned last winter in “Camp Obama“, the President and First Lady might have considered breaking ground on their starter garden in private rather than in public. Maybe it’s just my innate sense of [...]

Gardens Of The Fall

The proverbial naïve optimist brought low by reality, Candide might be the first modern hero.  Certainly, he was the first modern gardener.  In the image popularized by the 18th century French novelist Voltaire—”tending your own garden”—Candide is a metaphor for pursuing, and enduring, one’s own path, perhaps even “minding your own business”, in the best [...]

Who Are You Calling “Clunker”?

At 100,000 miles, a car is just getting started. Therefore, it makes no sense for the government to pay folks to turn in cars that are not even broken, much less broken in. In fact, a car improves with age. It acquires a depth of personality and character that only time confers. Like a pet, [...]

Pictures At A Garden Open

Heronswood research horticulturist, William “Bill” Rein, answers a question in the Happiness Garden. A stream of visitors passes by the Heronswood sales area. Signing up for the Heronswood catalogue at the welcome desk. The great teacher, writer and noted hydrangea authority, Dr. Michael Dirr, autographs his book after a packed lecture at Burpee Hall. Our [...]

The Tomato Famine

Here in the Northeast, we’re experiencing the coldest, wettest and darkest summer in recent memory.  The tomato crops of many farm and home gardens have been decimated by a disease that thrives on just this sort of weather.  The disease is late blight, caused by a water mold named Phytophthora infestans.  The severity and incidence [...]

My Childhood Trinity, Part Two

The “folk music revival” of the beginning of the last century reached the end of the road in the mid 1960s. Anodyne groups like the Kingston Trio or Peter, Paul and Mary were marketed and promoted to older children, teenagers and college students. I found them a bit too refined and, literally, a “head trip”, [...]

Defying Gravity

Simon Crawford collects extremely rare plants, both wild and tame, around the world.  From the high mountains of Nepal to the obscure markets of Europe to the botanical gardens of faraway South America, he tracks down new and interesting meadow plants as well as historic old cultivars from discarded breeding programs of companies that have [...]