February 2016 House & Garden Chores

FEBRUARY brings Valentine's Day, boxes of chocolate, and a ton of fun gardening jobs. Of course, winter-sowing continues outdoors no matter the weather. Then there are houseplants to tend, old seeds to test, and dormant branches to force into glorious indoor bloom. Read more »

Your 2016 Winter-Sowing Project

How's your 2016 winter-sowing project coming along? My own plantings are well under way, starting (but by no means ending) with the seven miniature “greenhouses” pictured above. What I’ve planted in these recycled milk and water jugs, along with links to articles that explain the entire winter-sowing process: Read more »

My 2016 Garden Conservancy Open Days

I did not open my gardens to the public last summer. Why? Well, I was busy writing recipes and taking photographs for my cookbook (it's coming -- I promise!), and there was precious little time to pull weeds. But this summer will be different. I'll be open twice! Here are the tour dates, along with pictures of the gardens you'll visit: Read more »

House and Garden Fun for January, 2016

Happy 2016, everyone! Here in New York's Hudson Valley, we're having a "hit-and-miss" winter. I'm talking about 71°F on Christmas Eve, and a modest snowstorm 4 days later. Weird weather or not, this month I'm tending houseplants, winter-sowing seeds, and cooking up some savory feasts. Read more »

November Houseplants!

What keeps me happy in winter? Good food and fine wine. Houseplants are helpful, too. They provide a "green connection" when the outdoor world is barren and gray. You haven't lived until you've watched a geranium optimistically open its pastel petals during a snowstorm! Here's what's shaking in my November window garden: Read more »

Tropical Bulbs in Pebbles, Water, and Gin

Yesterday, because I insist on having fragrant blooms in time for the December holidays, I grabbed my old soup tureen, several jardinieres, and some tacky whimsical Santa mugs, and planted them with tropical narcissus bulbs. Would you like to see the fun procedure? Read more »

How I Plant, Grow, Harvest, and Store Garlic

Shall we plant some garlic today? For the best harvest, I always plant the crop in autumn, several weeks before the first frost. The bulbs need time to make roots before the ground freezes solidly. Once rooted, garlic can survive sub-zero temperatures. Read more »