I Must Have Blueberries

BESIDES JUICY, anti-oxidant-rich fruit in summer, blueberry shrubs provide visual interest all year long. I welcome the pink-tinged, white bells in spring, the fiery foliage in fall, and the crimson-stemmed, leafless silhouettes in winter. Here is my easy program for growing these cholesterol-lowering perennials: VARIETIES. For a harvest that lasts all summer long, select early,… Read more »

The Fragrant, Fruiting Meyer Lemon (Updated)

I MAY NOT WANT THE LEMONS THAT LIFE DELIVERS, but I always cherish those I pick myself, from the citrus tree that grows on a shelf in my sunny library window. This is the Meyer Lemon, officially Citrus meyerii, which grows no taller than 8 inches for several years, yet produces good-sized fruit while still… Read more »

Who’s Eating My Apple Tree?

TRUE, there were only ten apples on my 'Gala' apple tree, but I had grand plans for them. "I'll bake a pie!" was one thought. "I'll give them away to friends!" was another. But this morning I learned that my fruit-fantasy was in vain. Why? Because a colony of very lovely but very destructive caterpillars got to my apples first. Read more »

Spots on Crabapple Leaves: What's Playing Malice With My Malus?

Oh dear. Japanese beetles on my roses. Slugs (until I limed them away) on my hostas. And now, something is spotting my lovely, plum-colored crabapple, Malus ‘Royalty.’ What’s to blame? Is it a fungus — or too much rain? The culprit, in fact, is “apple-scab,” or Venturia inaequalis, a fungus that is quite common on… Read more »

It's Time to Cover the Berries

I’m not the only one who’s eyeing my bed of ripening strawberries at the moment; robins, sparrows and other birds with gourmet palettes are, too. But who is going to win this berry-licious battle? The birds? Or the grower? And why is there a picture of Ruth Buzzi at the head of this post? After… Read more »

Seascape: My Favorite Spring-to-Frost Strawberries

When it comes to harvesting strawberries, one can have four weeks of pleasure, or one can enjoy a five-month-long orgy. It all depends upon the type of strawberry you plant: June-bearing types, or “day-neutral” varieties. Guess which kind I selected for my own, small Fragaria patch? “Day-neutral” strawberries are sometimes frowned upon, because they produce… Read more »