Hellebores – to leave or unleaf? — GardenRant

A timely piece by Anne Wareham, about the hellebores that are starting to bloom.

We probably all love hellebores, but some people seem to like them leafy and some people like them naked. And sometimes the plants themselves seem to come kind of in-between.  Aren’t they glorious? So why de-leaf? The biggest reason may be Leaf Spot. I really know nothing about this – we may have it, or…

Hellebores – to leave or unleaf? — GardenRant

Winter Vegetable Garden

My replanted winter vegetable garden! Some of you may recall that I had high ambitions, last summer, of posting regular snapshots of my summer vegetable garden in the new raised beds I had built for my garden last spring. Alas! Between summer trips to see family, and a long, hot, wet summer, plus planting too many bean vines, my summer vegetable garden turned into a veritable jungle, complete with aggressive mosquitoes.

So this fall, we cleared the whole thing out, pulled hyacinth bean vines off everything (seriously, they went everywhere!), and started over with cool season vegetables and flowers. I have beets with gorgeous maroon leaves; Swiss chard with brightly colored stems; red mustard; curly kale; broccoli; cauliflower; parsley; and, of course, pansies. 

Among my containers, I still have lots of herbs that are flourishing; and several roses that have decided to embark on a third or even fourth flush of bloom. Yes, we’ve had unseasonably warm weather; and on Boxing Day, yesterday, it was in the mid-70s! No wonder my poor roses are confused. But the warm weather will help my vegetables get a good start rooting, I think, before it turns cold as expected in January and February.

Are you able to garden at this time of year? What will you grow? Happy New Year to all, and may 2022 bring us increases in health and happiness.

My renovated winter vegetable garden

Saturday Snippet: The Scent of Extinct Flowers

Botanical print of extinct flower Leucadendron grandiflorum

Well, this is just fascinating: Guerilla Artist Daisy Ginsberg Recreates Scent of Extinct Flowers.

Where others might seek to reconstruct a woolly mammoth from centuries-old sequences, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is part of an interdisciplinary project to recreate the scents of plant species lost to human colonial destruction of their habitat.

But wait, it gets better! Dr. Ginsberg is also working on a plant-based art installation at The Eden Project:

I am creating an artwork not for humans, but for pollinators, whose numbers are in global jeopardy. In September 2021, we are planting a 52-meter-long garden at the Eden Project in Cornwall [UK], designed by an algorithm to optimize ‘empathy’ for other species. I’ve defined that as planting to support the maximum diversity of pollinators, using carefully developed regional planting lists that the algo selects and optimizes from. Hopefully, this garden will look strange to human tastes—with every color and size and shape of flower included, plus patterning to support different foraging strategies. It is an unnatural garden designed for nature. I want to challenge what we think of as a garden and who it’s planted for. The algorithm will be online so anyone can create their own artwork for pollinators which we invite them to plant.

You can learn more about the installation, and even use the same algorithm to create your own planting scheme (it’s designed for UK plants, pollinators, and climates), here: The Pollinator Commission.

Beatrix Farrand’s American Landscapes — GardenRant

Rose and I recently went out for our first movie in a long time. We picked a good one. “Gardens are good for the soul…They make you feel like your city or community care about you,” Lynden Miller, says at the outset of Beatrix Farrand’s American Landscapes. Miller, an award-winning public garden designer, is featured…

Beatrix Farrand’s American Landscapes — GardenRant

I love so many of Beatrix Farrand’s designs. I look forward to seeing this documentary!

Saturday Snapshot, July 4

After two weeks when we were away in New England, the vegetable garden has grown a LOT! I’ve pulled out or cut back what remained of the peas and mustard greens, and will plant peppers. Bush beans, runner beans, and pole beans are all flourishing, as are the basil plants. Squash borers got one of my zucchini plants, so that has to be destroyed and replaced. Melon plants are already climbing up the arch. Tomato plants are setting fruit but it’s a race between us and the chipmunks! I let some volunteer seedlings grow outside the raised beds in hopes that they will draw the chipmunks. My daughter calls it ” the chipmunk tithe.”

Saturday Snapshot, May 8

My Saturday Snapshots mostly focus on the vegetable garden, which you can barely see in this photo in the back left corner, but I couldn’t resist sharing this photo of my Louisiana iris in full bloom, with the late afternoon sun lighting them up at a slant.