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This is the setting for interesting trees like the Montezuma pine, and a snake bark maple sheltered by a leylandii hedge clipped every six weeks into neat submission, and fronted by a border of grasses, their cloudy shapes complementing the shape of the trees. As any gardener will tell you there is nothing like a new bed, and Mrs Barrow has two deep curved borders with interesting herbaceous plants and bulbs, with apricot as the main accent colour in summer and blue and yellow in spring. There is galtonia, a black hollyhock, canna lilies, Knautia macedonica, low growing alstroemeria, shaggy Shasta daisies, the Shoo Fly plant, eremurus, and other lilies.

Elsewhere a curvaceous shrubbery path leads to a new wild garden, a traditional kitchen garden, and to a propagation area where excellent plants propagated from seed and from the garden are for sale. And the estate still has its woodland walks, through beech woods carpeted with bluebells and anemones. Map markers. You are here. Directions Two miles from Drogheda on the Ballymakenny Road, the house is on the right.

Comments There are currently no comments Leave a comment You must be logged in to leave a comment Not a member? I am so happy with the results in the gardens this year. Thank you so much for your beautiful plants! Tiger lilies are native to Japan and were frequently depicted in Japanese art. The vast majority of the peonies grown today are cultivars of the Asian Paeonia lactiflora, the first of which arrived here from China in the early s causing a sensation. But long before the lactifloras appeared, the colonists were growing a completely different species, the European P.

Since they bloom a week or two earlier than the lactifloras , the officinalis clan came to be called May-flowering peonies. But times change, and as the Civil War faded in the past and hundreds of exciting new lactiflora peonies were introduced, the old officinalis peonies gradually fell out of fashion.

Ancient, herbal, early-blooming, richly colored, and enduring — why not add P. How about settling down in the shade with a tall glass of something frosty and losing yourself in a great garden book this summer? After a lifetime of gardening, year-old Penelope Hobhouse — who has written a dozen books and designed gardens for English royalty, the RHS, and Steve Jobs — listed her ten favorite garden books in the December issue of Gardens Illustrated.

Perennials and Their Garden Habitats , R. Hansen and F. Could one of these be your next favorite garden book? On her death in , Choate bequeathed Naumkeag to the Trustees of Reservations, the leading Massachusetts nonprofit devoted to scenic and historic sites. In an anonymous donor promised the Trustees a million dollars to restore the entire landscape — but only if they could match that donation and finish the enormous project by this summer. Against all odds, they did! Read the whole inspiring story and see the results in the spring issue of Preservation. The two of them, by the way, look great together in bouquets.

I remember Marta telling me way back in when she first ordered bulbs from us that she was working on a book about Emily Dickinson — and did I know that Dickinson loved hyacinths, she asked. Like most people, I had no idea that flowers ever grew at The Rock — until when an order for some of our dahlias and glads arrived here from that infamous island in San Francisco Bay. Alcatraz, I soon learned, has a long, complex history, and gardens have been a part of most of it. Some were public plantings tended by prisoners while others were the home gardens of the warden and guards who lived there with their families.

Dick talked about the herculean effort to clear decades of weeds and overgrowth and the excitement of rediscovering paths, retaining walls, and a surprising array of garden plants that survived amid the ruins. Gardening has always been an important part of Southern Living , and this issue is no exception. There is so much to learn. Everyone who has ever gardened since Adam and Eve has killed a plant. Today, with the help of the Garden Conservancy, the gardens are being restored to their former glory. Ely wrote that dahlias, glads, cannas, and red salvia were the only pattern-bedding plants she grew at Meadowburn.

Unfortunately by the time Quill Teal-Sullivan was hired four years ago to guide the restoration of the gardens, the names of all had been lost. We sent her tubers of both so she could grow them side by side to compare foliage, height, bloom-time, and other details — which is the only way to be certain about an identification — and we put her in touch with nearby dahlia experts who could visit Meadowburn and offer their insights. Judging this rich amount of material occupied the gathered experts for some considerable time, and it was by no means an easy walkover for the winner; and yet, when Miss Jane Cowl [one of the most famous actresses of that era], who honored the exhibition with her presence on the first day, was invited to select out of the seedlings the one that should be named for her, she unhesitatingly and almost instantaneously decided on the same bloom that the judges had already selected for the big award.

Miss Cowl, of course, selected the bloom that pleased her most without any regard to its comparative distinctiveness and other qualifications and standards by which the experts must measure any newcomer. There is, however, much satisfaction to be had in the fact that the popular favor and expert judgment in this instance, at all events, did coincide. See what Miss Cowl and the experts liked so much here , and if you decide you have to have it, be sure to order soon! From a large tuft of [normally pink] A. Learn more from our friend Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, and look for it online or in local garden centers this spring.

Unlike broken tulips whose stripes are caused by a benign virus, broken-color iris are irregularly splashed with contrasting colors due to a genetic mutation. Gardening is a creative act, and plants can be amazingly beautiful, so is it any surprise that artists are often gardeners — or should I say that gardeners are often artists? Written to accompany a traveling exhibit organized by art historian and avid gardener Anna O. Marley of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the book focuses on artists from the Northeast and the Philadelphia area which has had a rich gardening tradition for centuries.

If not, add the book to your holiday wish list and you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home all winter long. Saw it decades ago and fell in love with it. Thank you for considering my request. Being soft-hearted souls, we said yes, and when she replied, Gaye told us this story:. Not even 25 years old but with degrees almost in hand, my husband and I arrived in Ruston that year to teach literature me and history at Louisiana Tech. We found a sweet little s house on a shady street that had belonged to the mother of the chair of the Interior Design department.

We felt like grown-ups! I marked them and vowed to dig one or two in the fall. I searched ever after for those quiet creamy bulbs. More recently, whenever you did offer moschatus I ordered too late. For example, the Dutch-grown N. Learn more here. The year-old, foot-tall oak tree that the University of Michigan dug up and moved has survived its first year in apparently good shape. The tree made national headlines last fall when it was moved to make way for an expansion to the Ross School of Business.

Read more here. He re-envisioned it as a flower-filled ceremonial space for welcoming foreign dignitaries, hosting major press conferences, and so on, and he enlisted the remarkable Bunny Mellon to turn his vision into reality. Mellon was a philanthropist, art collector, and avid amateur gardener. Her redesign featured an open lawn surrounded by boxwood-edged flower beds and four great saucer magnolias transplanted from the Tidal Basin.


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No matter what your politics, this beautiful sampler deserves your vote! At Heritage Flower Farm in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, Betty Adelman grows over a thousand varieties of heirloom flowers and ships them to gardeners all across the country. Along with heirlooms from Acanthus to Zizia , Betty offers a few pre-planned gardens such as the Emily Dickinson Garden with flowers mentioned in her poetry or pressed in her herbarium.

Treat yourself to a look at the Heritage Flower Farm website — and then please consider joining Betty and me as members of the year-old American Horticultural Society , publisher of the always excellent American Gardener magazine. Both are well worth your support. Two articles in the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society newsletter gave me a deeper appreciation for both its history and its vigor. It is not native to the UK but is naturalized here, though how it arrived is not known. It was a truly remarkable sight.

In a second article, Anita Irehoim writes about the Florentine in Sweden. Florence and Bologna are 50 miles apart. Dig and turn the soil upside down! It makes some sense since it is. Of the varieties he may have had in the garden, only about 40 remain today — one of which is T. The garden was designed by Bunny Mrs. Paul Mellon, a good friend of the First Lady who went on to spend the rest of her long life — she died last year at the age of — gardening, designing gardens, and collecting rare garden books at her Virginia estate, Oak Spring Farms.

One of our all-time best-selling bulbs is our true, American-grown Campernelle narcissus. And have fun! Weeds, yes, but why would anyone want to destroy earthworms? Brine and wood ashes kill weeds by making the soil too salty and alkaline for them, and tobacco kills worms just like it does humans. Tobacco water and tobacco powder were commonly used as pesticides well into the 20th century, as was tobacco smoke in greenhouses.

Although its raw corms are poisonous, Native Americans learned to neutralize the poison by roasting or drying them for six months, after which they could be peeled and ground into a flour for making bread. The year after fruiting or when conditions are challenging, plants often change back to male until they can build up the strength to set seed again.

This multi-talented native bulb is easy to grow in light shade, and you can order it now for fall planting. Although beautiful enough to be a coffee-table book, The General in the Garden is also rich in information. The second details the ever-changing restoration of the landscape from to And the third details the meticulous research and archaeology that led to the recent recreation of the Upper Garden — which for most of the 20th century was a formal rose garden — into three enormous, utilitarian vegetable beds bordered by relatively narrow flower beds.

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As one of the most important American landscapes to survive from the 18th century, Mount Vernon has long deserved a book of this caliber. Whether you simply page though it enjoying the illustrations or read every word including the footnotes, The General in the Garden will give you a deeper appreciation for this extraordinary landscape, for the difficult art of landscape preservation, and for Washington himself, a man who was not only the father of his country but a gifted landscape designer and an unabashed tree-lover. Hello to all of our friends at the first of what is hoped will become an annual series of conferences on Midwestern garden history!

The June event at Bath Farm and Village north of Akron features lectures by experts such as Denise Adams and tours of historic landscapes such as the magnificent Stan Hywet. We applaud organizer Kathie VanDevere and hope the conference is great success! Absolutely not. Some plants like peonies and apples will live for a very long time, even in a totally abandoned garden, while other plants like dahlias and tomatoes will disappear most places unless someone saves, stores, and replants them every year.

This means that year-old peonies are relative youngsters compared to the many that survive from or even years ago, while year-old dahlias are already hard to find, making them, in effect, much older. The whole world loves heirloom bulbs. Or at least gardeners in 51 different countries are reading our newsletter. How cool is that? In addition to 22, subscribers here in the US, we also have 87 readers in garden-loving Japan, 61 in nearby Canada, 55 in France Quelle surprise!

Introduced from Mexico in , dahlias became one of the most popular plants of the 19th and early 20th centuries. To celebrate the ADS centennial, here are four easy ways to add at least one of these incredible flowers to your garden this spring:.


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Grow one of our easy heirloom dahlia samplers, Dreamy Dahlias or Endless Bouquets. Enjoy the thousands of antique catalog images the Library has posted at Flickr. Be sure to click on your favorite images to see others from the same catalog — and if you find one you think would be perfect for our next catalog, let us know! And what a wealth it is! Congratulations, Sara, and thank you! With his digital camera and hours of painstaking work in Photoshop, Meeuws creates images that both mimic the centuries-old masterpieces and yet are strikingly new. Like the original artists, he starts by creating images of individual flowers — and insects, snails, and so on — and then later draws from this digital stockpile to assemble his bouquets.

When the original paintings were created in the s, these tulips — and many of the other flowers depicted in them — were so new and rare that it was actually cheaper to buy a painting of them than the flowers themselves. I hoped so, too, but I knew that was a very long shot. Tens of thousands of dahlias have been introduced, many look a lot alike, and very few have been preserved.

But in late summer we got a happy surprise:. Every summer it would reward us with the most beautiful lavender blooms. We never knew its name but we always loved to see it bloom. After he died in I tried to keep his flowers growing for my mamaw. Over the years, though, most all were lost except for the lavender dahlia and two old peonies and a little iris that just kept multiplying. I was really sad to see it gone. That summer I spent a lot of time at the little white house on the hill, remembering how much fun we had visiting there when I was a kid. Then I started looking everywhere I could think of, hoping to find the lavender dahlia.

I bought several that looked right, but when they bloomed they were never the one. What a reward! I know Mamaw and Papaw are smiling down from heaven. Interestingly enough, that unusually hardy dahlia came to us from Joyce Dowell who got it from her grandmother in Scottsville, Kentucky — which, as the crow flies, is just miles away from where your grandparents lived. If your garden needs a vintage touch in lovely pastel hues of bronze and lilac, look no further. When she married the Earl of Mayo in and moved to the family estate outside of Dublin, Geraldine Ponsonboy knew little about gardening.

Given just 20 minutes to get out before her house was burned, Geraldine set her chickens free and saved her diary. Have you ever seen a flower show devoted entirely to gladiolus? The show included big displays by commercial growers such as the leading glad hybridizer of the era A. Vos with mood lighting and what looks like wisteria dangling from the ceiling , as well as a room full of glads grown by local amateurs. The images are part of a larger online exhibit of garden photos by a s club member. Francis King. Since the works are all discussed within the context of their times, the end result is a bibliographic history of botany and gardening.

I especially liked the one on 19th-century nursery and seed catalogs what a surprise, eh? That said, I believe readers with anything more than a passing interest in the history of plants and gardens would love to get Flora Illustrata for their own library this holiday season. A year-old tree here in Ann Arbor got an early Christmas present recently: a new lease on life. Standing six stories tall, the majestic bur oak started life long before Ann Arbor was founded in Instead of cutting it down, the university decided to dig and move the oak about feet.

Last summer, workers from a Texas firm that specializes in moving large trees dug a trench 40 feet in diameter to define the edges of the mammoth root ball and spur additional root growth. Next they drove a series of pipes under the tree to create a platform to support the roughly ,pound mass during the move. In late October they returned to sever the roots under the pipes and insert heavy-duty air bladders that were then inflated to lift the tree so they could position a pair of huge industrial transporters under it. You can learn more by watching a short animated video, viewing dozens of photos , and reading an excellent article in the UM student newspaper.

Our good customer Sara Van Beck of Atlanta has been a tireless explorer and advocate of heirloom daffodils for many years. The page booklet can be downloaded for free from the website of the Georgia Daffodil Society. Most of the daffodils in it are hardy well into zone 5, and it starts off with universally helpful sections on Characteristics of Historic Daffodils, Saving and Moving Daffodils, Rules for Rescuing, and Taking Photos for Identification.

And remember, all of our daffodils for the South are now on sale! The old man is dead and his son has dug up all flowers to grow vegetables. Saved just in the nick of time one might say! Published in , it was the first by Amy Stewart who went on to write best-sellers such as Flower Confidential and The Drunken Botanist and co-found the popular Garden Rant blog.

We just occupy it. Gardening taught me this. I moved onto this piece of land and knew immediately that someone had been there before me. The daffodil bulbs scattered along the fence, the ancient florabunda, the citrus trees, all pointed to a long-ago gardener with ambitious plans. They were newcomers, too. Once, digging in the garden, I found a piece of stone, chipped into a crude blade.

Someone was here long before me, crouched on a bare bluff overlooking the river, before the settlers arrived and colonized the rim of land around the bay. This piece of earth was never mine, and not just because I rented rather than owned it. It will remain here for the next generation, and the generation after that, and it will tolerate our pounding on it and digging into it the best it can. It may be weedy and unkempt when you find it, but just wait.

With their clusters of small, fragrant flowers, the group of daffodils known as tazettas have been popular for hundreds if not thousands of years. In Japan they long ago escaped gardens to make themselves at home in the wild, as described at botanyboy.

Perennials for Season-long Bloom

Their odor is intense, but not unpleasant, and much more floral scented than the musty smell of N. It is thought that it came from China centuries ago. In Japan it is found on roadsides, on rice paddy embankments, along rivers, and in vacant lots in both agricultural and urban environments.

The commonly grown N. See the seven we offer here , and order a few now! On Sept. Once the most numerous bird species in America, passenger pigeons had numbered in the billions and played a critical role in ecosystems across the country. But with very few laws protecting them, relentless hunting and habitat destruction led to their mass extinction.

Organizations across the country are marking this poignant centennial with special exhibits, events, and publications. These oaks were originally part of a Midwestern ecosystem known as oak openings — essentially prairie or savanna under trees — which is now as endangered as the pigeons once were. To learn more about these remarkable birds and centennial events in your state, go to passengerpigeon.

The daffodils gracing our new cover first appeared on the Sutton and Sons bulb catalog of They emailed us a scan of the original, and Mike and I went to work on it in Photoshop. You can read what we did and see the transformation here. We hope you enjoy it. Their adaptive reuse of the barn as a business space received an award from the Historic District Commission in For your own copy, visit nicolasbooks. In this newspaper column later collected in Through the Garden Gate , she weaves together her own observations with those of fellow daffodil-lovers from almost a century before:.

Hartland, an Irish nurseryman, said white trumpets were a specialty at Temple Hill, his place near Cork, and he listed nine varieties. Best when grown in shade and grass. The trumpet is distinctly yellow though very pale, at first, and the segments are fawn color. The second day it lifts its bowed head to a horizontal position, and both trumpet and perianth become silver white. It has a delicate fragrance. Miss Curry — some years dead — used to hunt them up from old Irish gardens, and a small club of three or four of us used to share them.

I made some attempt to discover their history, and came to the conclusion that Irish religious houses must have had some connection with Spain and Portugal — the focus of the white species. Although I miss the charming look of the old site by Mike Unser, a major hero of historic iris , the revised site offers a lot more information.

The photos are crucial to help identify some of these older gems, and to preserve the knowledge base for generations to come. In , the eminent London author John Evelyn wrote a long list of Directions for the Gardiner at Says-Court , and despite modern chemicals and technology his simple advice for controlling weeds is still essential:. The late Carl Amason, founder of the Arkansas Daffodil Society and a great mentor for me when I first got interested in old daffodils 30 years ago, offered an intriguing answer in the March edition of The Daffodil Journal.

Native to Spain and Portugal, N. In her fine A Passion for Daylilies , Sydney Eddison tells of its breeder, a man who saw the possibilities for beauty in a form that everyone else at that time was scorning. She writes:. Bechtold on his Colorado property nine miles south of Denver. He had chosen this location for its beautiful setting with a view of the Rockies and for the stream which would provide water for his numerous horticultural enthusiasms and experiments. As a boy, young LeMoine may have found the name a burden, but it proved suitable after all. He grew up to love plants and soon became involved in hybridizing.

His earliest love affair was with dahlias. Later, he embraced gladioli, peonies, irises, and even lilacs, and then he discovered daylilies. In fact, he found so much pleasure in this new hobby that it often took precedence over his music business, and for this, fanciers of the spider daylily can be grateful. But who was Mrs. George Darwin? Wikipedia offers a short biography along with a charming portrait of her dressed all in white, like her namesake iris. Philadelphia-born Martha du Puy — who was always known as Maud — met her husband while visiting relatives in England.

George was the son of the great Charles Darwin and a noted astronomer at Cambridge where the young couple became lifelong friends with Foster. Gardening in the area started some 10, years ago when the Nacogdoches tribe cultivated beans, sunflowers, and tobacco there, laying the foundation for the most advanced Native American culture in Texas. With the curiosity of a scientist and the writing skills of a master story-teller, Amy Stewart is one of my favorite authors.

They were not the first — Greek and Roman writings mention it — but their perfumes, cordials, and powders contained liberal doses of this rare and precious substance. Perfumers and distillers would also not have understood why the rhizomes had to dry for two to three years before they become effective as a fixative.

We now know that it takes that long for a slow oxidation process to occur,. Most of the orris is either I. Florentina , grown in Morocco, China, and India. Then alcohol is used to extract an absolute, which is. Its popularity in perfume is due to the fact that it not only holds the fragrance in place but clings to the skin as well. It also happens to be a very common allergen, which explains why allergy sufferers might be sensitive to cosmetics and other fragrances — as well as gin. Although the focus of her earlier book was plants thank you very much , in her new book, American Home Landscapes : A Design Guide to Creating Period Styles, Denise and her co-author Laura Burchfield present a lavishly illustrated history of how the design and constructed features of our yards — fencing, paving, furniture, etc.

Maybe best of all, though, are the many illustrations and plans drawn from a wealth of historic sources. Born in , Potter was a shy girl with a love of nature who grew up to chart her own path, self-publishing her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, becoming a celebrated author and preservationist, marrying at 47, and gardening with enthusiasm. Although the hero of her best-loved book is a rabbit — and the bad guy was the gardener — clearly Potter was one of us. The historic Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden at the University of Michigan received a huge boost recently when the last surviving grandchild of the original donor gave a half-million dollars to help fund its ongoing restoration.

The Peony Garden was established in the s when W. Upjohn, founder of the Upjohn pharmaceutical company, gave the university hundreds of peonies from his private collection. The past is always present, as an email from our good customer Susan Wineberg reminded us recently. Although I knew foolscap was some kind of old paper, I had to look it up online to learn that it refers to a size, 8. The letter was written by nurseryman Samuel B. Noble who in was selling plants — including many of the same bulbs we sell today — just a few blocks down the street from us here in Ann Arbor.

My supply of hardy shrubbery and ornamental trees is also small, as well as bulbous roots. In my research I found a book written by Ms. Shaw, The Library of Work and Play: Gardening and Farming , in which she recommends planting these two specific bulbs, so I thought it would be a good way to commemorate this special occasion. I was elated to find them both at Old House Gardens. Thank you! Time-tested daffodils were among the biggest award-winners at daffodil shows across the country this past spring. Although ADS awards are based on the perfection of individual flowers, not overall garden-worthiness, and the most commonly grown varieties tend to win the most awards, you might like to add some of these award-winners to your garden this fall.

This past spring, 99 different cultivars won awards in the Historic section, and six were among the top 21 award-winners:. A friend sent us a notecard recently with a striking image of tulips, Roman hyacinths, and crown imperial, all worked out in semi-precious stones.

Dating to the second half of the s, the artwork is an example of pietra dura, an expensive, mosaic-like inlay made with thin slabs of stones such as jasper, malachite, and lapis lazuli. See it here. It is natural for gardeners to believe in immortality, for in the midst of flower death they see life patiently brooding. Good gardeners also are always young in spirit, for their minds are fixed on spring when others feel only the bitter sting of winter. We have little faith in a calendar prophesy but we believe the report of the gladsome crocus and the pale, wan snowdrop.

It seems to garden lovers that there is magic power in the breath of the first bulbs that drives away icy winter — something like the power in the cross that deprives the Prince of Evil of his strength. The flight of the blue bird across a garden is a wonderful thing; so also is the rush of blue scillas along the garden path. Swallows come not more swiftly than the crocus, and the star of Bethlehem leads the way to new hope. The pure white fritillaria is like a sweet memory of snow, while the beautiful muscari dots the grass, a forerunner of summer skies.

Starting in the s, Chicago businessman Jack Ellsworth and his wife Elsie built a monumental terraced garden next to their summer home on the shores of Lake Kabetogama, deep in the wilderness of what is now Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. At its peak in the early s the garden included 62 rock-edged beds planted with thousands of lilies and other flowers and ornamented by rock sculptures.

When the Ellsworths left Lake Kabetogama in , the forest soon began reclaiming their garden. Photos from the s , though, showed the garden ablaze with thousands of tiger lilies, and after we confirmed the identity of these incredibly tough lilies, the Park Service ordered more to replant in the garden a couple of years ago. Stout [the pioneering daylily hybridizer], selected and named this daylily after her husband, Theron Strong. I look forward to a garden of Therons!

Intrigued, we turned to Google and discovered an obituary for the remarkable Mrs. Stout, at his invitation. As for Mrs. Check out our photos here — or order it now for delivery in April and enjoy it in your own garden next summer. Our house and office, for example, are in the Old West Side Historic District, and thousands of houses across the US are also in historic districts — not historical districts. People collect antiques, we have antique shops, etc. Oldies and Old-Timers — The dahlia and gladiolus societies sometimes use these terms, but as much as I like their informal, approachable tone, I think they discount the importance of older varieties.

Heritage — This is often used in England and Canada to describe historic resources such as buildings, etc. It has the sense of something being handed down but with more of a community or national significance rather than just personal or family importance. This to me is the best word to describe what our bulbs are. Many fancy restaurants, for example, serve heirloom tomatoes, heirloom beets, and so on. Of course there are many other words — old, old-fashioned, classic, retro, old-school, etc.

Readers, I welcome your comments! We work hard to make sure our bulbs are right and our facts are straight. John Horsefield was a Lancashire handloom weaver, not a Scottish shoemaker. Thanks, Nick! No doubt gardeners have always gathered together informally to talk, learn from one another, and share the joys and pains of gardening, but the early 20th century saw the rise of garden clubs as we know them today.

Eventually local clubs banded together to promote gardening, conservation, and civic improvement, and this year marks the th anniversary of the founding of the Garden Club of America. So, to all 18, current GCA members in clubs across the country, congratulations and thank you! Best known today for his diary chronicling life in London from to , John Evelyn was a wide-ranging author who published books on everything from politics and theology to vegetarianism and gardening.

Then plunge your pots in a hot-bed temperately warm, and give them no water till they spring, and then set them under a south wall. In dry weather water them freely, and expect an incomparable flower in August. It is best to take them out of the pots, about the beginning of this month, and either to preserve them in dry sand, or to wrap them up in papers, and so put them in a box near the chimney. Deciding to abandon any of our heirlooms is always a painful process. Of course you can help save these treasures, too.

The Edwardian Gardener’s Guide: For All Garden Lovers

All you have to do is order one now for April delivery — and grow it. Fairy is perhaps the most fragrant of all, and Caprice and Madame Pacquitte have an especially delicious fragrance. For six more, see the Fragrance column in our Heirloom Iris Chart. Then do your nose a favor and order now for April delivery!

The award-winning TV series tells the story of the intertwined lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and the servants who work for them. Although its name is a mouthful, and it came so close to extinction that only one gardener was still growing it, this dahlia was once hugely popular. As the Scheepers catalog reported breathlessly:.

Extremely strong grower, very free bloomer, splendid for exhibition and for the garden, it is of the greatest merit. Can you guess its name? See it here — and then maybe order it now for spring planting! The earliest American garden catalogs were simple broadsheets, single-page flyers of plant names and little else. Although some were mailed, most were posted locally as flyers still are today.

The oldest survivor seems to be a broadsheet from the famous Prince nursery of Long Island which mostly lists scores of fruit trees. As population moved west, many farmers and gardeners were separated from sources of seeds and of information, and catalogs provided both. At the same time, an expanding middle class moved to that other new invention, the suburbs, and took up gardening. The rising business in [ornamental seeds and plants]. In , seeds and cuttings in packages under eight ounces were, for the first time, accepted by the U.

Two years later, more sweeping changes effectively created the mail-order business in plants.

Starting in First class was for letters, second class for newspapers and magazines, and third class, the cheapest rate, for other printed material, including catalogs. The new uniform postal rates now applied regardless of distance. What was even more important was that the new regulations specifically allowed packages containing up to four pounds of seeds, cuttings, bulbs, roots, and scions to be shipped as third-class mail. Thirty years before other catalog retailers were able to send goods long distances at low prices, the postal service had helped the seed sellers and nurseries market to the nation.

The grape-scented, lavender-blue iris known as I. Peeled by hand and dried for two to five years, they develop a violet-like scent and fixative properties that preserve the chemical structure of other fragrances, prolonging their aroma. Ground and distilled, a ton of dried rhizomes — known as orris root — yields 4. But there are many other reasons to grow this great old iris. A wild species found originally in Dalmatia [roughly the former Yugoslavia], Iris pallida appears somewhere in the family tree of most modern cultivars but it has none of their faults.

I prefer this lovely, deliciously scented hand-me-down to all other tall bearded irises. The same thing happens with new plants. It offered a reliable profusion of white flowers in spring, flaming fall color, relatively modest stature, fast growth, and tolerance of poor growing conditions, not to mention ease of nursery production. It took a decade or so for horticulturists and arborists to discover that the beautiful spring-flowering tree generally starts self-destructing at about 10 to 20 years old. The narrow angle at which branches join the main trunk makes major branches particularly prone to breaking and splitting, especially when exposed to high winds or ice storms.

Over time, and with the help of liberal distribution by birds, invasive seedlings sprouted in natural areas and along highways throughout the Northeast and Midwest. Now bits of wood from historic trees have helped scientists take a new look at years of human history. According to an article at ScienceMag.

With tree rings taken from living trees as a baseline, dendrochronologists work their way back in time, comparing overlapping samples to edge ever further into the past. The researchers worked out climate information the same way. First, they compared weather records collected over the past years with samples from living trees to see how temperature and moisture affected tree-ring growth. Then [they] looked at timbers from historic buildings, wood preserved in rivers or bogs, and samples from archaeological sites to push the record further back.

At times of social stability and prosperity. Daffodils blooming in fields or woods throughout the South often mark the sites of bygone houses, where they traditionally lined the front walk. These flowers also may have reminded Welty of Elizabeth Lawrence, who also preferred white daffodils.

Our true, fall-planted Byzantine glads are graceful, brilliant, and winter hardy to zone 6 — but did you ever try baking bread with them? Corn flag, which is called by some xiphos, sword, has a sword-like leaf whence its name. August A year ago we found out that his prostate cancer is incurable and he may only have another year or two left.


  • Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity.
  • Day 1 – Kent.
  • Why hellebores inspire a mad passion in gardeners!

He also remembers being taught by Mr. Boschman [the teacher and tulip collector who founded the Hortus]. My parents are both from Limmen [where the Hortus is located], and my mother told me about being paid twenty-five cents per bed for de-heading tulips after school.

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Blokker [the bulb grower who provided the land where Boschman and de Mol combined their collections into what became the Hortus Bulborum]. Just this afternoon, for the first time ever, we added to our web-only offerings an incredible treasure: the only double yellow hyacinth available anywhere in the world today. They have such a nice warm glow. Read the full article here — and congratulate yourself for being ahead of the curve! We learn a lot from our customers.

It turns out the tiny Lizard peninsula — whose name comes from the Cornish word lezou or headland — is the southernmost point on the British mainland, jutting out into the sea off the coast of Cornwall. Learn more at lizard-peninsula. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, greater Cornwall is the warmest, sunniest part of England and this, along with its well-drained soils, has made it a major bulb-producing region for over a century. We stumbled upon this unusual investment tip in the Manual on the Iris by Nebraska nurseryman and minister Charles S.

Raise a plenty of it and be rich. No investment can pay better. You build a new house at great expense and it begins to deteriorate from the moment you enter it. In a short time your beautiful furniture becomes second hand. Beautify your grounds and double the value of your land. It makes a great difference whether your yard is a landscape of beauty or a pasture for pigs or a hospital for disabled machinery. Daylily buds, known as gum jum or golden needles, are used fresh or dried in many classic dishes, including hot and sour soup and moo shu pork.

It was only fitting. Eighty-four years ago in From a New Garden , Louisa Yeomans King, author of nine garden books and founder of the Garden Club of America, recommended quite a few bulbs that we still offer today — and the best time to order them:. This is gradually changing, though, as the best sites work to make their gardens more authentic and engaging. This spring, for example, Anna De Cordova ordered a dozen of our heirloom dahlias, explaining:. A catbird is following me around Val-Kill supervising my every move.

Thomas Jefferson was an avid gardener and his restored gardens at Monticello are a national treasure. Although the Center no longer publishes its annual journal, Twinleaf , dozens of its fascinating articles are free for the reading at the Monticello website. Congratulations, Peter, and thank you! Mundane as it seems, manure was of the greatest concern to all four of them, for one of the reasons why yields in the United States of America were declining so drastically was the lack of manuring.

Teasing apart the straw and dung, the American minister to the court at St. In spring , in the midst of the Jay Treaty controversy, he had managed to find time to calculate precisely how many wagonloads of manure were needed to produce a healthy harvest of potatoes and dispatched instructions to Montpelier to cover the fields with dung. While other farmers let their cattle and hogs drop the nutritious dung far away from the plantations, Washington was the first American to build a stercorary — a covered dung depository where manure could be stored, aged, and mixed.

The multi-faceted event runs from May 19 through October 21 and will include paintings, photographs, films, concerts, lectures, poetry readings, a special app, and spectacular plantings. Naturally I am turning to you to see if you could help supply us with the dahlias from your extensive and wonderful list of plant material.

Well, not specifically, but the importance of preserving cultivated plants has been officially recognized at the international level for the first time. Though preservation is our mission, every year bulbs drop out of our catalog for a variety of reasons. Now you can find photos and information about many of these bulbs — including over a dozen dahlias, glads, and hyacinths, 38 daffodils, and 41 tulips — at our Back Soon or Lost Forever pages.

There he would store the canvas overnight, enlisting the aid of friends to carry it the short distance to the Moulin to begin work each day.

His friend Georges Riviere described how he and Renoir. We were amazed. Secluded and tranquil but within hailing distance of central Paris, the garden in the rue Cortot was. Starting in , Anne and her husband Edward transformed their narrow backyard into a highly personal garden with an aqua-blue pergola, a small pool filled by a cast-iron African head spouting water a gift from W. DuBois , and beds overflowing with roses, iris, larkspur, poppies, and other flowers. The names could be changed and it could be anywhere. Indeed, that is sort of the point. I hope the book will be helpful to anyone, anywhere, who might be planning a garden restoration.

These are the steps we took that might be helpful to them. For that, all I can say is bravo, and thanks! To buy a copy of Lessons Learned , visit the newly-upgraded website of the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum which is full of excellent photos and information. When I first started collecting heirloom plants in the s, I was elated to discover a small, family-owned nursery in Iowa with an enormous list of peonies. Founded in , Sherman Nursery was especially rich in peonies from the nineteenth century, many of which were no longer available anywhere else.

See them all here and here. When I heard the news I was worried about their peonies, because wholesalers typically make their money by selling large volumes of relatively few varieties, but I was busy and. With your support, there will be more good news. Stay tuned. All four were farmers who believed that citizens who worked their own land were the foundation of democracy. All four had a deep love of the American wilderness, and they found comfort and inspiration in cultivating their own home grounds. There they saw native plants from all of the colonies growing happily together, with trees from big Southern states like Virginia sheltering woodland shrubs from small Northern states like Connecticut.

Returning to the Convention with a fresh perspective and renewed commitment, they brokered a compromise that established the Senate and House as we know them today, with representation that protects both large states and small. Eudora Welty is one of the most revered American writers of the 20th century, and her home in Jackson, Mississippi is now a historical museum visited by pilgrims from all over the world.

But when Welty first gave the property to the state in the s, the garden which she had helped her mother plant and tend since the s, and which offered her comfort and literary inspiration for decades, had all but disappeared from neglect. We doubled our iris offerings for the coming year, thanks in part to the generosity of some of our Old West Side neighbors who shared their heirloom iris with us.

Many of them passed along stories with their rhizomes, too. For example, a few years ago my wife Jane and I were walking along the wooded, hillside path that circles a small lake in the Brighton State Recreation Area. At one point the hillside was so steep that the ground to our left was almost at eye level, and there in the crowded, densely shaded undergrowth I was shocked to see a few scrawny bearded iris.

They must have been survivors from a long-forgotten home that once stood where now wilderness ruled. I was so impressed that I collected one small rhizome and brought it home to a sunny spot in my own garden. Daylilies shared space in the vegetable garden of this housekeeper She had the strong, silent, self-assured appearance of an early pioneer woman in her cloth bonnet She had a magnificent eye for quality and beauty as well as a great intuitive breeding sense. Her standards were the highest. She always carried a large kitchen knife as she walked in the garden, and if a new seedling displeased her, out it would go, cut below the crown, never more to plague her with its short-comings.

He grew and painted them in all his gardens. Together with the earlier-flowering gladiolus which Monet also grew and painted, dahlias are the autumn staples of every French jardin rustique. If they grow nothing else, French country-dwellers often have a token clump of dahlias, however straggly, somewhere in the front yard or by the roadside. Dahlias were prized and coveted by Monet, Caillebotte, and Mirbeau, and this trio regularly and readily exchanged varieties and sought particular cultivars most assiduously.

Our friends Bill Welch and Greg Grant have been growing and championing heirloom plants for decades. Chapters on the garden influences of various ethnic groups — Native Americans, Africans, Germans, etc. Some entries — such as the one for snowflakes — are pretty much identical to what originally appeared in The Southern Heirloom Garden , but others — such as the five pages on lilies — are completely new. No matter how you do the math, this extraordinary book belongs on your bookshelf.

It has a lovely lemony scent. I collected a few pieces years ago and now have a big patch of it in my front garden. From roses to daffodils to asparagus, some garden plants are so tough that they can persist in the wild without care for many, many years. My friend [colonial botanist John Bartram] from Last place writt Mee he had last yeare flowers on one single Flower Stalk which is very Extriordinary, but I have heard the Like from Carolina where they Stand in the Ground and Increase amazeingly.

One of our visitors from Mexico told me, so one night when I had to stay late I walked back to the garden about and the fragrance was nearly over-powering! But one of the great pleasures of heirlooms is their stories, and at first we knew nothing about this old dahlia except its date of introduction, Read it here.

Though it looked like just a coffee-table picture book, it only cost a few bucks at a local used-book shop, so I took it home — and not only enjoyed it but learned a lot from it. Through the text, Monet emerges as a gardener much like the rest of us — digging plants to share with friends, worrying about mixing up the labels on his dahlias, inspired by accidental combinations in the garden, and always looking ahead. The book is richly illustrated with period photographs, color plans, and plenty of lush, coffee-table photographs.

For an excerpt, see below. Infused with sunlight, blue sky, and white clouds, his red and yellow tulip fields shone luminously. There were piles of these blooms on the banks of the canals. Occasionally he would mix flowers to give various color harmonies. This became the theme and variations of the flower garden, with new plants and color schemes being added all the time — blocks of yellow marigolds, for instance; long, wide lines of blue irises; gladioli in one color or a mixture of two; Japanese anemones in whites and pinks; mauve and orange snapdragons together.

Each one was planted seasonally with different annuals or biennials in specifically chosen colors, laid side by side, like daubs of color on a palette or on one of his canvases. At that time, the exact date is not certain but it was probably towards the latter part of the seventeenth century, all the bulb growers waged incessant warfare against all hyacinths raised from seeds or offshoots bearing flowers which in any way did not conform to the conventional notions of a perfect flower. The idea of a double variety does not appear to have entered even into the dreams of the Dutch [flower lovers].

A flower of unusual form arrested his attention, and examination proved it to be a double hyacinth. It was very small, but he cultivated and multiplied it, and was soon able to place it on the market, whilst numerous amateur growers were found willing to pay high prices for the new bulb. The latter was raised about , and was infinitely the finest of the first three varieties and over a thousand florins was paid for a single bulb. Fans of historic daffodils will be happy to hear that four rare volumes of The American Daffodil Year Book from are now available on CD.

While he was away from Taliesin, his live-in companion, Mamah Cheney, and her two young children were murdered in a fire set by an employee gone berserk. He picked up the flower and stirred the earth around its roots to give the plant a new lease on life. Every site has historic plants waiting to be rediscovered and re-appreciated.

We also expanded our list of favorite mail-order sources for everything from heirloom tomatoes to antique waterlilies and our list of helpful groups such as Plant Heritage and the American Dahlia Society. And if your favorite group or source is missing from our lists, give us a holler. We love learning from our friends. The modern varieties, of every tint from white through flesh color, coral, pink, ruby color, salmon, and even yellow, to deep red, are as beautiful as roses. Some are sweet-scented; and they have no thorns, and their foliage is ever perfect, so I am sure the rose is jealous.

The plants always look like a well-dressed, well-shod, well-gloved girl of birth, breeding, and of equal good taste and good health; a girl who can swim, and skate, and ride, and play golf. Every inch has a well-set, neat, cared for look which the shape and growth of the plant keeps from seeming artificial or finicky. In his book Ray focuses on modern forms, but when we asked him to recommend a few heirlooms, he gladly obliged:. Many perform just as well as or even better than newer beauties. In a small town on the shores of Lake Superior, our friend Nancy McDonald decided to collect some of these relics and display them in a living museum of local garden history.

Historic farmlands all across America are threatened by development. We first read the news in the excellent newsletter of the Library of American Landscape History subscribe at lalh. This practice, in which individual landowners farm adjacent parcels laid out in long, unfenced strips, dates back to medieval Europe. Local land trusts and historic preservation groups have been on the case for years, helping farmers preserve pieces of the Great Meadow. Located in Lake Oswego, Oregon, the Rogerson Collection includes over clematis species and cultivars, including a recent gift from Poland of rare varieties bred by the late Brother Stefan Franczak.

Though far from slick, the site is well worth exploring, and Julie has big plans for developing it as an educational resource. Give it a look! Once Upon a Time. Cemeteries today are no longer a central part of most of our lives, and many are moldering into ruin. As our friend Jane White will tell you, the key to reviving them is to get people visiting them for something other than graveside services. As attractive as any coffee-table book and full of charm, Once Upon a Time is an unconventional how-to manual for anyone who wants to bring new life to a neglected historic place.

Do yourself and your community a favor and ask your local public library to purchase a copy. Save the Cemeteries! If you missed it, no problem. Check for rebroadcasts or watch full streaming video of it along with multiple extras at pbs. All in all this is a fascinating, thought-provoking show. Bravo, PBS! Take a peek! Published in Charleston in , it lists plants, including these 25 ornamental bulbous ones along with garlic and leeks. Arum, esculent; Indian kale, Arum esculentum [probably Colocasia esculenta ].

Corn-flag, common, Gladiolus communis [most likely G. Daffodil, Narcissus poeticus [see also Jonquil and Polyanthes]. Jonquil, Narcissus jonquilla [see also Daffodil and Polyanthes]. Polyanthes, Narcissus tazetta [see also Daffodil and Jonquil]. Which makes the garden of Pearl Fryar all the more remarkable. Starting this fall, the project will gain the able help of one of our favorite former employees, Lindsey Kerr.

Day 2 – Great Dixter & Sissinghurst

As in a museum, she presents us with authentic artifacts, both written and visual, giving us the opportunity to enjoy and draw our own conclusions from them. A few of my favorite entries are the ones about arbors , bee-hives , and slave gardens. It is undoubtedly the greatest dahlia in the world and deserves the highest place in every garden collection. Just imagine the ideal dahlia bush, fairly tall, with vigorous, dark green. Give it stems that are straight and strong, yet not clumsy, then add monster blooms of bronzy buff. The flowers on long, strong stems look at you and up, some squarely on top, like an umbrella.

They are immense, of the full-petaled decorative type, with just enough twist to the broad petals to add the touch of refinement. The many medals won prove it to be one of the greatest dahlias. If it has a fault we have yet to find it. Happily for us, many of their letters survived and were eventually published in a book called Brothers of the Spade.

Though the writing is archaic, the sentiments will be familiar to anyone who has ever shared plants with a fellow gardener — or who values heirloom flowers. I seldome fail of Returns, for Wee Brothers of the Spade find it very necessary to share amongst us the seeds that come annually from Abroad. And many of them are fascinating! And when you sit down this spring with sore muscles from a day of gardening, it would be a great book to relax with.