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Posts Tagged ‘Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping’

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The end of April is nearly upon us, and I am already behind in the garden. Late season snows and a book deadline eliminated most of my gardening time this month. As it always does, spring weather finally arrived and eliminated the snowy weather, but the most important change in my schedule results from turning in the manuscript, photographs, and photo captions for Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping. It has been a labor of love, and although I still have pages to read and an index to write, I am happy the worst is behind me. I am still very excited about the book, and think that it will be a great resource for anyone who wants to garden in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Readers of Eastern Shore Gardener will be among the first to know when the publisher, University of North Carolina Press, gives us a publication date!

Uvularia-grandiflora

Above: Great merrybells (Uvularia grandiflora) a native woodland wildflower.

For me, playing catch-up in spring means weeding. I am trying to keep hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) and ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) from taking over.  I am also lifting and dividing a few perennials and teasing self-sown seedlings out of the ground for potting up to give as gifts or donate to local plant sales. (You know who you are, shoot me an e-mail!) My favorites this year are seedlings of great merrybells (Uvularia grandiflora). My original plant came from my mother’s garden, and it has spread nicely. In addition to enlarging by politely spreading rhizomes, seedlings appear around the original clump. I also have spring beauties (Claytonia virginica) everywhere. These are trickier to dig because their corms are deep in the soil and it is easy to miss them with a spade.

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I hope you’ll join me at Unity Nursery in Church Hill, Maryland this Saturday, June 15, 2013 for Adkins Arboretum Day.  There are speakers scheduled throughout the day, plus plenty of opportunity to tour the nursery, which specializes in ecologically sensitive and functional outdoor spaces. If you haven’t been there yet, they have great garden ornaments and a wide selection of native plants.

Meadow-runoff

Meadow runoff. Spend the day learning about ways to make your garden and landscape more Bay friendly by reducing runoff, attracting wildlife, and much more!

 

I am scheduled to give a talk at 2:00 p.m. titled titled “Sustainable Gardens and Landscapes: One Step at a Time” that is based on my upcoming book Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping. During the day, I hope I can meet some readers of Eastern Shore Gardener! (If we haven’t met yet, look for the person accompanied by a small black-and-white dog. I will be coming straight from a puppy class I teach on Saturday mornings, and Bing, my demo dog, is happy to announce that he will be with me for the day.)

Other speakers include Robyn Affron, Master Naturalist from Adkins Arboretum,  “Wildlife Gardening”  at 11:30 a.m.; Nancy Robson, garden writer and author, “Garden Stormwater Management” at 12:30; Neenah Newell, Landscape Designer at Unity Church Hill Nursery, “Wall Pocket Gardening” at 1:15 p.m.; and Michael Jensen, President, Unity Church Hill Nursery and Unity Landscape Design/Build, “Shoreline and Erosion Control on Waterfront Properties” at 3:00 p.m.

Hours for the event are 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Unity Church Hill Nursery is located on Route 213, south of Church Hill. The address is 3621 Church Hill Road, Church Hill, Maryland. Phone: 410-556-6010. Hope to see you there!

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Greetings fellow gardeners! I managed to pull myself away from my Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping manuscript long enough to add some more events to the calendar. One of immediate interest is Grounded Design blogger Thomas Ranier, who is speaking for free at the Annapolis Horticulture Society’s meeting tomorrow night!

Also coming up, Adkins Arboretum has a bus trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show this year! Kent County residents note that there is a special pickup at the 301/291 Park and Ride (you have to request it, but is saves lots of driving!).

As for my book, it is due out in spring 2014, but the manuscript is due next month, yikes! I am really pleased that I have lots of lists of natives sorted according to where you can use them. They have me really inspired, and as soon as I press “send” on the manuscript, you can bet that I will be ordering plants. Writing has also given me loads of ideas for blog posts, so stay tuned!

Barbara

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I have been derelict in my postings of late, and it’s not just the heat at work. I am hunkered down at my computer working on a really exciting book project. You see, most of my career has been spent writing for publishers who publish nationally, and this book is especially exciting to me because it is focused specifically on gardening in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. I am writing it for Adkins Arboretum and it is going to be published by the University of North Carolina Press. Publication probably isn’t until 2014, but my manuscript and all the photos are due in March of 2013. So, between now and then, I will be pretty tied up.

Hemerocallis

ABOVE: Hemerocallis ‘Bridgeton High Society’

I’ve also been busy taking pictures of Bay-friendly gardens, since there are quite a few color photos in the book (yeah!). In addition to taking some pictures of my own, I’m also working with a friend and photographer, Neil Soderstrom, to get photographs of some really wonderful gardens for the book. I’m also planning to use this new-found photo library to put together talks on gardening in this region—especially green gardening in this region.

So, while I still intend to post to Eastern Shore Gardener regularly, if there are silences from my end, just know I’m hard at work on Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping!

Hemerocallis-'Woodside-Perf

ABOVE: Hemerocallis ‘Woodside Perfection’

Summertime Color

Even though Chesapeake Gardening & Landscaping will focus primarily on native plants, I’m posting pictures of daylilies today, since they’re among the brightest things I can see while chained to my computer. Mine have been going strong for at least six weeks despite the heat, and the second flush is just getting started. In my garden rebloomers like ‘Stella de Oro’, ‘Happy Returns’, ‘Rosy Returns’, and ‘Black-eyed Stella’ are first to bloom. By now they are in reblooming mode, but flowers are sporadic since I don’t water much. Midseason daylilies keep the flowers coming strong, and I’ve shared pictures of three standouts that are gorgeous now.

Hemerocallis-Conspirator's-

ABOVE: Hemerocallis ‘Conspirator’s Oath’

The meadow is also filled with flowers these days, and I’ll get a post up about that in a week or two! In the meantime, stay cool and happy gardening!

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