Feeds:
Posts
Comments

I hope some readers of Eastern Shore Gardener will join me at Adkins Arboretum this Friday or Saturday. Adkins is celebrating the opening day for their native plant nursery, and I’ll be there to sign copies of Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping. There’s little doubt I’ll be buying some plants as well.

I will be signing books on both Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Bring questions, too, and I will do my best to answer them!

Dodecatheon.jpg

Adkins Arboretum is located at 12610 Eve Road, Ridgely, MD 21660
Phone: 410-634-2847

For more on the event see Native Plant Nursery Opening.

I had lots of fun at the American Horticultural Society’s Spring Garden Market on April 10 & 11 (Friday and Saturday). I am quite sure that I told a few people that I will be at Adkins Arboretum’s Spring Nursery Opening and Plant Sale, but I had the dates wrong yesterday. (I am blaming the fact that I didn’t check my calendar.) Anyway, I will be at Adkins Arboretum next weekend on Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. if you would like a signed copy of Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping. Hope to see you there!

I am packing my car this morning to get ready to go to Alexandria, Virginia, for the American Horticultural Society’s Spring Garden Market. I will be selling and signing copies of Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping. Hope to see some of you there! Here are the details:

Friday, April 11 & 12, 2015
American Horticultural Society’s Spring Garden Market
Members’ Only Morning, Friday, April 10,  10:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon
Public Sale: Friday, April 10, 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 11, 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
7931 East Boulevard Drive
Alexandria, VA 22308

For more information on the market, see Spring Garden Market. CGL-Cover005_thumb.jpg

Six Tips

Months ago, the University of North Carolina Press asked me to write two blog posts that relate to Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping. The first of them was published today, and I wanted to share a link to it here on Eastern Shore Gardener. Six Tips for Creating an Eco-friendly Landscape, outlines the fundamental principles covered in the book that help create a sustainable landscape. Each principle offers many options for implementation. Chapter One presents ten tips for each principle that gardeners can use to move toward a beautiful, sustainable landscape.

Since it looks like spring is really finally here, I am spending the afternoon outdoors cleaning up beds and replenishing the leaf litter on the garden. The simple act of mulching works toward several principles. It is especially important for #4, Manage Water Runoff, but it also is an essential part of principle #6, Garden Wisely, because of all the benefits mulch brings to soil, weed control, and more. I wait until spring to clean up and cut down, because deep leaf litter and stems provide overwintering sites for insects and good hunting grounds for birds. All the stems and other plant parts pulled off the garden in spring go directly to the compost pile, and eventually are returned to the garden to complete the cycle.

If you don’t already have a copy of Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping, consider coming to one of the events listed in the calendar. Adkins Arboretum has copies available by mail. It is also available from Amazon.

Uvularia-grandiflora

Above: Large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) is finally beginning to emerge from the soil. It brings yellow spring flowers and handsome foliage to the garden.

Two days ago, a small flock of bluebirds visited our backyard. They spent a few minutes flitting around near the house, then headed straight for an old, berry-laden Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) growing by the creek. Today, with a blanket of snow blocking access to seeds and whatever else is available among the leaf litter, the red cedar’s berries are a valuable source of food form all manner of birds that visit our yard.

Juniperus-virginiana-berrie
Above: Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

Since this is also the season of garden catalogs and seed-starting, the bluebirds got me to thinking whether or not there were more plants I could add to the landscape to feed birds over winter. Sweet summer fruits like blueberries and blackberries are gobbled up as soon as they are ripe, and often before that, so they are not available to birds in winter. Flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) bear bright red fruit that is quickly consumed in fall by both birds and squirrels. The same is true of fruit borne by spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana): Birds relish the berries, and they are gone long before wintertime. The best winter food stays on the plant until there is little else that birds will eat. Staying on the plant is important, because that means the fruit is still visible and available even if the ground is covered with snow, as it is today.

Continue Reading »

Small Steps

New Year’s resolutions are on everyone’s mind this time of year. This year my list starts with a very general vow: Spend more time out in the garden. At this point, I don’t care if that means time spent weeding, planting, pruning, propagating, or just watching the plants grow. During 2014, I simply spent far too little time doing what I love to do best. My garden suffered as a result, and so did I. With any luck, working in the garden will also help with resolutions relating to getting in shape and losing weight. According to Web MD, you can burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories per hour in the garden, depending on the activity.

Galanthus

Above: All my resolutions will make room for more plants, including bulbs like these snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis).

I also want to continue taking steps to make my garden and landscape more Bay- and earth-friendly. Obviously, this is an issue I have been thinking quite a lot about in recent years, since it is a major focus of my new book, Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping. Since I don’t want to start off the year with a daunting list, today I am concentrating on steps that will help reduce maintenance or bring other benefits.

Continue Reading »

I haven’t managed many blog posts in the last year, and I have missed posting about plants and events in my garden. Happily, I have more than a lame excuse for the lapse involving dogs (or parrots) eating my homework.

After months and months of research and writing, plus agonizing photo editing and rounds of review, my book Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping (CG&L for short) has finally been sent to the printer. It is scheduled for publication March 30, 2015.

CG&L Cover005Published by The University of North Carolina Press in association with Adkins Arboretum, the book features 293 pages and 317 color photographs. I can’t wait to see it in color. (I have a black-and-white version of the book now.) The cover here is just a tiny taste of what is inside. I hope this book (all sales benefit Adkins Arboretum!)  will become a guide for gardeners throughout our region.

You can pre-order Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping by clicking the cover image on the right side of this blog. Or, to order from the University of North Carolina Press directly, visit http://uncpress.unc.edu/books/11759.html.

Of course, copies also will be available for sale at Adkins once they come from the printer. In addition, I have started booking talks based on the book, and I will be bringing books to all of these events as well. I will announce dates here once they have been finalized.

Continue Reading »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 247 other followers