Showing posts from April, 2010

Gardening Advice with Radio Red

Join me on Monday, April 26th at 7:45pm, when I’ll be talking live to host Bonnie Graham (Radio Red) on her show Up Close and Personal about cultivating the inner gardener, gardening for relaxation, how people can turn their brown thumbs into green ones, how to select plants that make you feel alive and brighten your day, how gardening can provide relief from the stress of dating (really), and how digging deeper into your “self” can result in a more satisfying gardening experience. The broadcast will be live, which means that you can call in with questions, and I hope you will. Go to for show details. If you miss the show on-air, it will be available shortly afterwards as an on-demand podcast . For more information on Cultivating the Inner Gardener, visit .

Gardeners Are Returning to Local Nurseries

A significant number of gardeners are returning to their local garden centers to purchase their plants after having deserted them in favor of the mass merchandise home stores, according to the Garden Writers of America early spring survey completed in March. Apparently the honeymoon is over. Garden centers’ and local retail stores’ market share rebounded from a low of 39% in 2006 to a predicted 54% in 2010. The statistics for home stores are a mirror image, dropping to 37% in 2010 from a high of 52% in 2006. Unfortunately the temporary desertion, coupled with the national economic meltdown, was just too much for some of the best growers and retailers with the most intriguing selection of plants. To add insult to injury, last year many consumer gardens were infected by late blight, spread far and wide by a wholesaler who knowingly shipped affected tomato plants to the big box stores. There is enough material here for decades of discussion on economic and market theories, survival of

The Spring Gardening Rush

Does anyone else feel like this last two weeks of warm weather has somehow put you two months behind in your gardening chores? Here in the northeast, temperatures were pushing close to 90ºF even in my mini-zone 5B. Plants that hadn’t poked their heads above the ground two days before were somehow in bloom two days later. Who could keep up? Now that we’re back to something more like normal spring weather, we’re left with the fact that “May flowers” have already bloomed by mid-April. Still, we need to continue to feed our bulbs, shrubs, fruit trees, perennials, etc., and pick up the fallen branches and twigs before we can mow the lawn. This is the kind of gardening circumstance where it’s better to just go with the flow, because the alternative is endless frustration. We simply can’t get all of those twigs carted away before the grass is “too long,” because it already is. Accept, in advance, that you can’t stay ahead of the weeding and you’ll feel that much better about how much w

Gardening as Therapy - II

Restorative gardens, such as the one at NYU Medical Center (see previous post) may be soothing or stimulating, energizing, engaging, and produce a sense of peace, tranquility, or solace, all qualities that can help heal the spirit, as well as the bodies of hospital patients. In the 1980s, Dr. Roger Ulrich a Professor of Architecture at Texas A&M University and a faculty fellow of the Center for Health Systems & Design published his findings on the effects of hospital window views on recovery from surgery. Among other achievements, his research was the first to scientifically document the stress reducing and health–related benefits for hospital patients of viewing nature. According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, a restorative garden “employs the restorative value of nature to provide an environment conducive to mental repose, stress-reduction, emotional recovery, and the enhancement of mental and physical energy. The design of a restorative garden focu