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Rhymes With Orange

Orange leaves 050-1

Mid July 09 140Last month I started my seasonal orange bender. It being the color of all kinds of wonderful things, from mangoes to sunsets to campfire embers. I can’t get enough of it–in the garden or elsewhere.  So I shared some of my favorite flowers and promised a return to the topic with a post on good leaves for orange themes. Here goes: Continue Reading →

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Got Rocks?


I’ve got one of those gardens where digging a five-gallon hole means removing ten gallons of rocks. I can’t sink a spade without hearing the clang of steel against stone.  Gardening for me is sometimes more like mining. But I’ve come to an accommodation with stone. I had to. If I couldn’t find a way to make all those rocks “work” in the garden, I’d still be hauling them away. I guess it’s no secret, but rocks can add a lot of character to a garden, and if you’ve got them free for the using, why not make the most of them.  Continue Reading →

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Deeper Into Orange


Okay, I know, I know. You either love orange or you hate it. It’s hard to be indifferent to a color as rollicking as this one.  In case you were wondering, yes, the color orange takes its name from the fruit. The moniker comes from a sanskrit word, naranja, which is what the fruit was called in South Asia. Until 500 years ago the color was known–in the English speaking part of the world– as geoluhread, or yellow-red, which might be more appropriate. Color analysts say the color orange combines the high-voltage energy of red with happiness of yellow, so it is a hue associated with joy, sunshine and the tropics. What’s not to like about that? No wonder I love the color. And every year I create an ever-bigger blast of orange in my container tableau, amassing numerous plant-filled pots to explore the endless variations on a single color. So I’m always on the lookout for good orange players, both in flower and in foliage. Continue Reading →

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Punctuating The Garden

my stairs

Hah! I bet you thought I’d be posting about exclamation points! Exciting stuff! Focal points! But no, today I shall focus on the lowly, misunderstood, but oh-so invaluable comma. Let’s think for a moment about its role. According to Wikipedia, “the comma is used in many contexts and languages, principally for separating things.” So what exactly does that mean in terms of garden design? Continue Reading →

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Alliums to the Rescue

Allium 043-1

Alliums ride in to rescue my garden every year about this time. The spring rush is over, the tulips, daffs and their ilk are gone by, as are many of the flowering trees and shrubs . The summer show has yet to get underway. There’s a kind of lull…except for the alliums, which from late May into early June raise their flowery orbs high, as if to celebrate their moment in the sun, that singular season when the lowly garlic clan rises to rule the garden. A carefully chosen selection of alliums might brighten the garden for most of the season–I’ve got one–Allium thunbergii  ’Ozawa’–in bloom nearly as late as Thanksgiving, but late spring is when three of my favorites are most welcome. Continue Reading →

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