Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Winter aconites, hellebores, snowdrops, and daffodils are in full bloom, and many more perennials are pushing up out of the ground. Although it is technically still late winter, for me, spring is here already. With spring come the annual plant sales and seed swaps.

I have posted a page one such event, Community Plant and Seed Swap, which promises to be a fun exchange of plants and seeds. It is scheduled scheduled for Saturday April 23 at the Pickering Creek Audubon Center in Easton, Maryland from 10:00 a.m. to noon. (Address: 11450 Audubon Lane, Easton, MD 21601; Phone: 410-822-4903). Why not make plans to join them, and pick up some new plants for your garden?


Read Full Post »

Speaking and Garden Ranting

I wanted to send out a reminder that I am speaking to the Chestertown Garden Club on Tuesday, September 8 at 11:15 a.m. The talk is at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, right on Fountain Square, 101 North Cross Street, Chestertown. The talk is open to the public, and I hope to see some of you there!  I will have copies of Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping available for sale.

Also, I am happy to report that I have been “Garden Ranted” today. Susan Harris and Ruth Rodgers Claussen visited my garden in August, and Susan posted about it today on Garden Rant. Since Susan lead with a photo of my handsome Border Collie mix Casey, I’ll post another photo of him here.


Above: Casey is in the process of training his replacement as my scheduling secretary. I’ll post a picture of his replacement, Charlie, when the transition is complete.

Upcoming Talks, both open to the public:

Monday, October 12, 1:30 p.m.
Talk: Greener Gardens: One Step at a Time
Queen Anne’s County Garden Club
Queen Anne’s County Art’s Council
206 S. Commerce St.
Centreville, MD 216

Wednesday, November 4, 7:00 p.m.
Talk: Embracing Diversity with Native and Non-Native Plants
Annapolis Horticultural Society
St. Anne’s Parish Hall
199 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, MD
See Directions for information on getting to St. Anne’s Parish Hall

Read Full Post »

Kent Island Day

Just a quick post to let Eastern Shore Gardeners (and ones from the Western Shore, too!) know that I’ll be signing copies of Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping at this year’s Kent Island Day.  That’s today from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I’ve never been before, but it looks like a fun event! Hope to see some of you there.

Read Full Post »

I was honored to be asked to do a video interview about Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping, for The Chestertown Spy. Here it is for readers who don’t get the Spy. Below, I’ve added a photo that illustrates one my other overwhelming interests!


Above: Front row: Bienn and Bonnie. Back row: Bing, Casey, Me, and puppy Charlie.

Read Full Post »

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!


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.

Read Full Post »

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!

Read Full Post »

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.


Read Full Post »

Like most gardeners this time of year, the majority of my gardening time is spent on my knees. Weeds are making their annual attempt to overtake beds and borders. (Now that I think about it, though, perhaps I should say weeds are continuing their perennial attempt to overtake the place.) Currently, my primary focus is on ridding the garden of bittercress  (Cardamine spp.). The bittercresses are charming, innocent-looking weeds with dainty, four-petaled flowers. Wait too long to pull them, though, and they catapult seeds everywhere for next season’s crop. Thus far, I must have eliminated seeds for at least a million of next spring’s seedlings.


ABOVE: Hypericum calycinum ‘Brigadoon’ with magnolia petals.

But, I didn’t start this post to write about weeds, despite the amount of time I am devoting to them. We have a large saucer magnolia (Magnolia soulangiana) in the backyard that has been lovely this year. I especially appreciate its flowers once they begin to fade. As the blooms break apart, they scatter a deep blanket of white petals blushed with pink all over the hillside behind the house. And while I barely notice their fragrance when they are fresh and still on the tree, once petals  coat every surface, it is simply marvelous. Perhaps the scent is more noticeable because I am spending so much time working on my knees, but whatever the reason, the petals and their fragrance create a memorable combination in the garden.


ABOVE: Epimedium rubrum mulched with magnolia petals.


ABOVE: Tulips with magnolia petals. This is a long-lived clump with leaves edged in yellow. If I can find the label when it is done flowering, I will post the name.

Read Full Post »

This post is as much a celebration for me as it is a way to reconnect with readers of Eastern Shore Gardener. I mailed my manuscript for Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping to the publisher, the University of North Carolina Press, this afternoon! While I still have photo editing to do, and there is lots left to do before the manuscript becomes a book, today certainly is a milestone.

I am looking forward to being able to get back out in the garden with a clear conscience and free of the deadline pressures that I have been under for a year.


Harley helping with mis-printed pages. (Sorry this isn’t a better picture, but she was not really interested in holding the pages still.)


UPCOMING EVENT: I also wanted to mention that the botanical illustration class I attend is having a show at the Chestertown Library. The show will be up for the month of April, and we are hosting a reception this Friday, April 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.. I hope some of you can stop by and say “hello!”



Here it is: Three copies and 14 pounds.

Read Full Post »

Hug Your Trees

As the season moves into early summer, the deciduous trees here at Hackberry Point have finally leafed out fully. Depending on the time of day, trees cast welcoming pools of shade over various parts of the garden.  And while I don’t consciously think about the sounds trees bring to the garden very often, that, too, is a welcoming feature. For one thing, the sound of wind in the treetops says something about the weather today—whether I’ll be greeted by a brisk breeze or air that is still and humid when I venture out into the garden. Most days, birds and insects calling and chattering from the branches add to the the rustle and whisper of the leaves.



Above: Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana)

While the garden here includes both native and non native plants, most of the tree canopy consists of native species. Not surprisingly, there are quite a few northern hackberries (Celtis occidentalis) here, plus I have oaks (Quercus spp.), osage orange (Maclura pomifera), black walnuts (Juglans nigra), cherries (Prunus spp.), and redcedars (Juniperus virginiana), to name a few. That’s good news for all the wildlife that share our space, since native plants support a rich array of insects, which in turn feed many of the birds that live here. Non-native plants don’t support wildlife as well as our native species do. For more on the connections between wildlife, gardens, and native plants, read Douglas Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home.

Planting native trees is one of the best ways to make a garden more Bay friendly, and that’s not just because they are better for wildlife. They also help control runoff, can reduce electricity bills, and more.  I found a great link recently called the National Tree Benefit Calculator that lets you quantify the benefits that various trees bring to your landscape.

The Calculator uses your zip code, and lets you insert the species of tree (or general type), and trunk diameter. The red oak in my front yard, which is about 22 inches in diameter, brings an estimated $181 of benefits per year. That includes stormwater management, electricity saved, property value, air quality. According to the Calculator, this tree

  • Intercepts 5,953 gallons of water a year,
  • Contributes about $90 to my property value,
  • Conserves about $185 kilowatt hours in electricity per year,
  • Reduces atmospheric carbon by 846 pounds annually. (An average mid-size car emits about 11,000 pounds per year, so you need 13 trees this size to counteract your car emissions.)

The 25-inch diameter red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) in the back yard intercepts 3,278 gallons of water, but only adds $8 to property value—I suppose because it is a less appealing species. (Not to me!) The calculator estimates it saves 153 kilowatt hours, and will reduce atmospheric carbon by 551 pounds per year.

Figure in the value these trees bring  to wildlife: Oaks support 517 species of butterflies and moths, alone, and 40 species of birds and wildlife eat the berries of redcedars). Then add in the delicious shade they cast for sipping iced tea during the summer months (we actually have a hammock under the abovementioned red cedar), and I have a wealth of reasons to appreciate my trees today—and figure out where I can plant more.

Have you hugged your trees today?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »