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Showing posts from May, 2010

Gardening Event: Cultivating the Inner Gardener at Perennial Fest

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Save the date. I’m scheduled to present an overview of Cultivating the Inner Gardener: Gardening for Personal Growth (http://cultivatingtheinnergardener.blogspot.com ) on June 5th, 2010 at 1:30pm, at Donaldson's Greenhouse and Nursery 's Perennial Fest in Hackettstown, NJ . Come by and say “hello” if you’re in the area.

I'll review what it means to garden for personal growth, why gardeners might want to integrate this approach into their gardening routine, how gardener-centric coaching differs from garden coaching, and how gardening from the inside out can breathe new life into the gardening experience.

Other experts will speak on a variety of gardening topics throughout the day.

Perennial Fest features demonstration gardens for a variety of landscapes, including shade, sun, pond edges, and deer-resistance. Visitors will see examples of which plants work well for these types of gardens and what they'll actually look like when planted together.

In addition to a drawi…

Lazy Gardening Leads to Success

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Sometimes. With Papyrus. I keep my Papyrus in a plastic pot that I can bring indoors and snug into a copper cachepot to carry it over the winter (see http://loisdevries.blogspot.com/2007/12/papyrus-prolonged.html and http://loisdevries.blogspot.com/2008/07/papyrus-daydream.html). By the end of last year's unusually rainy summer, the roots extended six inches beyond the rim of the pot, so I had to cut them back a second time, in order to be able to bring the plant back into the house. Papyrus was not a happy camper and sulked all winter. The one remaining stalk died off in early January.

New growth usually starts in February, when the sun shines hot and fierce through the long narrow window where the Papyrus stands. This year, nothing. March. Nothing. April. Nothing. I knew my dead plant needed to go out on the compost heap, but fortunately for us both, the spring rush had overtaken me (http://loisdevries.blogspot.com/2010/04/spring-gardening-rush.html) and I just didn't get ar…

Aerobic Lawn Mowing In The Garden

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I recently purchased a cordless electric push mower. It weighs 93 pounds. My friends, most of whom haven't used anything but a self-propelled or riding mower in the last 25 years, are incredulous. I have always used a push mower for the exercise, but the rip-cord style one tied my mowing hours to Dan being home to start it for me. Now I'm free to mow as I please, when I please.

Let me tell you, pushing that mower around in our hilly, uneven yard works up more of a sweat and heavy breathing than you'll get in any gym. And, instead of that locker-room odor, you're left with the fragrance of new-mown grass and a sense of accomplishment. To do our 8,000 square feet of "lawn," consisting of various fescues, ground ivy, moss, and assorted narrow-leaved weeds, takes about an hour.

The first run only took 45-minutes, but the grass wasn't all in yet and I was racing around because I didn't know whether the charge would last long enough to get the whole yard don…

Gardening With Beginner's Mind

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Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki popularized the term "Beginner's Mind" in America. He tells us: "In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few." This is also true in gardening, as I learned just the other day. Dan had joined me in my evening garden rounds, during which I point out what has bloomed since last time (usually yesterday), and what difficult weed (this week it's curly dock) is beyond my capability to pull out and requires his attention.


This year, the Tiarella (Foam flower, left) are particularly robust and covered with magnificent blooms. As Dan admired these, he pointed toward Heuchera Venus (Coral Bells, right) and wondered why its flowers were so much taller and so much farther behind "those other ones."



I'm sure I must have rolled my eyes as I explained that they were two entirely different plants. "Look, the Tiarella leaves are all sharp and pointy – the Heuchera leaves …

Gardens That Inspire at The Mansion in May

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This week, I attended a press event for the Mansion in May, a designer showhouse and gardens presented by the Women’s Association of Morristown Memorial Hospital. The designers have done a spectacular job and the $30 ticket price goes to support a good cause --- the expansion of the Emergency Department at Morristown Memorial Hospital. The mansion and grounds, Fawn Hill, are open now through May 31st.

Ensconced in a bucolic setting just outside of Morristown, the 34-acre estate, originally named Graymar Farm, traces back to 1937 when the president of Alleghany Corporation, Allan Kirby, purchased part of a large farm located in New Vernon. The farm remained in the Kirby family until 1980. A few years later, the estate was acquired by its current owners, renamed, and enhanced through a meticulous restoration of the main house and other buildings.

The magnificent 21-room stone manor house with slate roof and colonnaded rear terrace perches atop a knoll, affording sweeping visas of the …