Thursday, May 23, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

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THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of May 16, 2024

I mentioned spongy moth caterpillars briefly last week. I hear Columbia County in New York has a tremendous outbreak now.

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of May 9, 2024

The time to prune any flowering shrubs is right after the bloom. Give yourself about two weeks to do that or be willing to sacrifice some blooms. Being a lazy gardener requires choices!

THE SELF-TAUGHT GARDENER: A gardener’s progress

The gardener at Hollister House Garden in Washington, Conn., approaches garden maintenance in a manner that is well worth considering.

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of May 2, 2024

The average last spring frost in our region is around May 20, but you would do best to keep your own records at your own property. Low-lying properties will often have a spring frost when higher elevations do not because dew and colder air settle to lower elevations.

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of April 25, 2024

The hyacinth grown in a controlled setting and planted away from traffic has had a much easier road than the hyacinth rescued from compost and nursed back to health. I will call the rescued hyacinth a win for this Lazy Berkshire Gardener because they aren’t dead yet!

THE SELF-TAUGHT GARDENER: This is it

Lee visits a childhood home and learns a lesson about how a connection to nature and the land can lead us forward in our lives.

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of April 18, 2024

On a dry morning (if we get a dry morning), peek at what you have growing. The recent rains should have helped your gardens get a good start, unless they have been flooded out.

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of April 11, 2024

If you are lucky enough to have plants in a cold frame, remember to vent it on sunny days. We had temperatures in the low 20s a week ago and 60s four days later. Sun will fry plants under glass unless you allow a cool breeze to get through.

THE SELF-TAUGHT GARDENER: In the greens

As we think about lawns, we should question their purpose—are they going to be heavily trafficked, are they simply an open space that we want to look across, or do they serve an additional purpose, such as helping to absorb rainwater or to feed pollinators? And most importantly, how much energy do we want to spend on maintaining them?

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of April 4, 2024

While last weekend did not bring a deluge of rain, it was cold and windy at my house. I chose to do some concentrated weeding because 1) the beds needed it, 2) the beds were in the sunshine, and 3) the house blocked the wind.

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of March 28, 2024

If you have too much lawn, or your attempts to grow grass in an area always fail, maybe you should grow something else there. Creating an island of shrubs with perennial groundcovers or just an island for annuals with a few perennials to anchor it might be the perfect solution.

THE SELF-TAUGHT GARDENER: Signs of life

Virginia bluebells and hellebores are the Punxsutawney Phil of plants. Their emergence reminds me that spring is on its way. I find comfort in these signs of spring, but also fret about the winter tasks still left undone

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of March 21, 2024

Plants, especially native plants, are genetically disposed to get growing as daylight expands. As trees and shrubs grow, once-sunny spots become shady and understory plantings might stop flowering well or not at all.

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of March 14, 2024

I’ve scanned the upcoming weather forecast. After warm days on Tuesday and Wednesday, this upcoming weekend looks like perfect weather for either spraying repellents or preventive fungicides.

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of March 7, 2024

Thankfully, a slow ramp-up in March does force me to stop and form my garden priorities.

THE SELF-TAUGHT GARDENER: The world is abuzz

Some gardeners believe only native plants can support pollinators; others say non-natives can, too. Is it necessary to choose a side?

THE LAZY BERKSHIRE GARDENER: Week of February 29, 2024

Garden centers have us gardeners pegged: We want color and we want it now!