Archives for April 2009

The Easy Kitchen Garden

Would you like to grow bushels of healthy, organic food without breaking your back – or your bank account? Then by all means plant your vegetables as the colonists did – in raised beds.My own kitchen garden – I call it “The Farmette” – is composed of twelve wooden boxes. Eight of the boxes are… Read more »


Your humble blogger has learned that he received an award from The African Violet Society of America. It was for an article he wrote called “Creating A Window Garden,” which appeared in the January, 2008 issue of African Violet Magazine. The award, presented to him in absentia, was announced at the Society’s National Convention last… Read more »

Goodbye Tulips, Hello Ticks

The past few days of unseasonably hot weather has really taken a toll around here, especially the early spring bulbs. Thankfully, Rod Blackburn photographed my favorite tulip, an heirloom-variety called ‘Van der Neer,’ two weeks ago. Here they are, in a drift in the Serpentine Garden, before 93-degree temperatures fried them:Hybridized in 1860, ‘Van der… Read more »

A Petunia for Winter: Opera Supreme 'Pink Morn'

Update: Click here to discover how an ordinary petunia can be overwintered.Colorful, sweetly-scented petunias are annual delights in the summer garden, but did you know that there is one special variety that will bloom indoors all winter long? It’s called ‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn,’ and it is not to be missed.This modern, coral-pink and creamy… Read more »

Happy Earth Day

File this one under “Garden Rants.”Which eco-unfriendly things or practices make you cringe?Here are mine:Styrofoam “peanuts” used by UPS (I’ve actually argued with them about this practice – they don’t care)The current trend of packaging everything from ink cartridges to hand-pruners in annoyingly-heavy, uncuttable plasticEast-coast supermarkets that sell West-coast lettuceFeel free to add your own… Read more »

Tip: Houseplants Need Fresh Air, Too

Potted plants can’t step out for a breath of fresh air like we can, although they need it every day. A close, stagnant atmosphere will not promote good health nor bloom, and it can lead to all kinds of maladies — leaf-drop, yellowing foliage, spider mites and fungus diseases.On warm afternoons in April and May,… Read more »

The Amazing Meyer Lemon

Click here to read an updated version of this post. I may not want the lemons that life delivers, but I always cherish those I pick myself, from the citrus tree that grows in my sunny library window. This is the Meyer Lemon, Citrus meyerii, which grows no taller than 12 inches for several years,… Read more »