Archive for March, 2010

Meet The Beetles: Frederick Dobbs on Japanese Beetles

In my yard, it’s no longer possible to grow cherries to harvest because the flowers and nascent fruit are devoured by Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica). Roses too, a favored food, are decimated. I had never seen a Japanese beetle before 10 years ago. That was when they first arrived in my area. But the beetle [...]

War of the World

Spring comes as the earth quickens its pace toward the cosmic explosion of that young star we call the Sun. Physicists reckon the Sun is merely one of the infinite shards of the Big Bang that took place 14 billion (or so) years ago. Spring’s explosive past makes it only fitting that so many historic [...]

St. Patrick In The Garden

Among the earliest visitors to their gardens each year are Americans of Irish extraction. Undeterred by the blustery wind and cold, shovels in hand, they are observing the proud tradition of planting potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day. Many Americans know how the failure of the potato crop between 1845 and 1852 caused mass starvation and [...]

Flower Show, A Big Hit

Sometimes everything falls into perfect harmony. Like a safecracker opening a massive vault, the management of America’s best and largest flower show pulled off a huge score, as much a tribute to departing president Jane Pepper as to the maturing skills of the recently appointed Sam Lemheney, the show’s director. And perhaps it augers well [...]

Muddy Waters

Most of the time, the garden is a quiet place, an idyllic refuge from the madding crowd. The loudest noise is usually the gentle buzz of bees or hum of hummingbirds on nectar-gathering sorties. Once in awhile, though, a controversy will alight amid the flowers and vegetables, the garden gloves come off, and, before you [...]

Planting A Nation With A Pallet Of Seeds

It is difficult to grasp the scale of destruction, death and horror visited upon Haiti by the earthquake that shook the island country on January 12th. The estimated death toll–upwards of 200,000–is staggering; if the United States were to have a disaster with proportionate casualties, the loss of life would top 6 million. Military and [...]