Thoughtful musings on various topics by interesting people at Blithewold

Learn something new — on fertilization

When we get busy I’m apt to forget my quest to learn something new every day. But during the winter we have the time and plenty of opportunities in the way of classes, lectures, symposiums, … Read more.

Bring on spring

We’ve made room in the propagating house for trays of seedlings. We’ve ordered new tools and can’t wait to use them. We’re ready. Raring to go. Fingers tapping. Meanwhile, there’s nothing better than a bucket … Read more.

Friends don’t let friends plant impatiens

I have bad news and good news. The bad news is there’s a fungus among us. Impatiens downy mildew (Plasmopara obducens), the mysterious ailment that denuded and killed almost every busy Lizzie (Impatiens walleriana) back … Read more.

It’s a bug-eat-bug greenhouse

Gail and I have talked about using biological controls (getting “good bugs” to eat the “bad bugs” that eat the plants) in the greenhouse but aside from trying to not crash through spider webs on … Read more.

Good grooming

I know there are people in the world who think that houseplants/indoor gardens are messy pains in the nether regions, but I kind of love that about them. They provide just what I need to … Read more.

Live and let live

I’ve gotten a couple of questions in the last week or two about what we do in the gardens to manage pests and diseases. Although a lot of you already know the answer, I don’t … Read more.


Nature has her own ways of doing things and her own timing. There’s no predicting it. — It hadn’t occurred to us last August when we ordered bulbs that squirrels would be acorn deprived and … Read more.

Sweet peas and springter

I really don’t know what to make of this season. The last few days have been in the bird-song-balmy 50’s but we woke this morning to fat flakes. They have already turned to freezing rain … Read more.

Young buck shot

One of our most frequently asked questions is if we have a problem with deer. I can very clearly remember being able to say cheerfully, “No – we don’t!” Even though when I said it … 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.