Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

Pretty things

It’s hard not to want pretty things on Valentine’s Day. Or any day for that matter. Especially any day in February. But the sun is climbing higher, the plants in the greenhouse are perking up, … Read more.

Pruner sharpening 101 (remedial lesson)

The birds are singing, the Mt. Aso pussywillow (Salix chaenomeloides ‘Mt. Aso’) is coloring buds, crocus are emerging, and it feels for all the world like early-spring outside. Given that we really ought to still … Read more.

Winter inspiration

The other day Gail brought in an old book, Designing with Plants by the Dutch designer Piet Oudolf and Noël Kingsbury. As I flipped through it, a little lightbulb blinked. Oudolf says the best way … Read more.

Filling in the gaps

Last week I had the great pleasure of speaking with the author/photographer of some of my all-time favorite garden books. Ken Druse, who wrote Planthropology and Making More Plants among about a bazillion others, called … Read more.

Fresh perspective

The other day when Fred and Dan had the ladder out they invited me up on the north porch roof for a look at the North Garden. I’m a little bit scared of heights and … Read more.

The RI Spring Flower and Garden Show

It may be impolitic to admit this but I haven’t been the biggest fan of spring flower shows in a long time. Back when my garden existed only as an unrequited dream in my head, … Read more.

I can’t contain myself (reprise)

Back in June 2008 I wrote, “A mixed container is a challenge. Just like planting a garden with the right plant for the right spot, for a mixed container one must at least consider putting … Read more.

Virtual bonfire

Summer solstice is a perfect occasion for taking stock of the season so far. We’re at a midpoint – at the start of summer – with a lot to look forward to and plenty to … Read more.

How to stay sane

We are poised on the edge of the pit of despair (a.k.a. March). I know a lot of people choose to remove themselves from danger by visiting the tropics at this time of year. While … Read more.

Scale – on houseplants

Raise your hand if your houseplants don’t have scale. Anyone, anyone? If they don’t, I’m willing to bet that either Mother Nature loves lucky-you especially (though she may have another plague in store, beware); you … Read more.