Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

Essential plants (part one)

Last year Steve Aitken, the editor of Fine Gardening magazine, sent out a survey inspired by the list of 100 essential country-music songs Johnny Cash shared with his daughter Rosanne. Steve asked for a list … 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.

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.

Top 10 for 2010 (part 2)

I’ve saved this end of the list for most of the plants I loved well enough to take them for granted — meaning, in some cases I haven’t yet shot their portrait. 6. I’m sure … Read more.

Top 10 for 2010 (part one)

I am inclined to celebrate a new year when we sow sweet peas or when the daffodils bloom or when the leaves fall off the trees. But the beginning of January is as good a … 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.

Try to keep up

Before leaving on vacation, Gail didn’t write much of a to-do list for us. As she bolted out the door on the way to the beach she said only, “Just try to keep up with … 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.

Sweet and low

According to legend, the Rock Garden was Bessie Van Wickle McKee’s favorite place on the property and it’s easy to see why, especially this time of year. But it is a very different garden than … Read more.

Tulip mania

It’s easy to see why people have gone crazy for these flowers. One visitor this week commented with amazement in his voice about the variety of colors available in this one flower. It’s true – … Read more.