Thursday, April 24, 2008


One of the most common reactions I get when people visit my garden is expressions of surprise that I have a clothesline. The sanctimonious side of me wants to ask why they don't have a clothesline. We tolerate utility meters, poles, and wires, propane tanks, satellite dishes, stand pipes, dog runs and cages, cars, asphalt driveways, and concrete sidewalks in our gardens; why shouldn't we find room for something as valuable these days as a clothesline. And in keeping with my life style gardening theme, I find some gratification in hanging my clothes up to dry, although I do begrudge the extra time it takes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Subtley vs. the Big Show

One of my favorite aspects of my early spring garden is the search for small emerging growth, especially when flowers are involved. I mentioned on a previous post how winter aconite scattered sparsely in my rockery gave me a different sort of satisfaction than the scores or sometimes even thousands typically displayed in dramatic massings. I was reminded of a similar sense of satisfaction as I recently discovered my double bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis 'Multiplex') emerging, each enscheathed by a leaf. They will be an eye full when they open, but I love this stage at least as much.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I laughed at myself yesterday (2 April 2008) when I saw this lone tiny little flower in my early spring garden. In 2005 I bought this bulb for $15.00. Two years later it hasn't done much. I was seduced by esoterica, a common disease among gardeners. Meet Shibateranthis pinnatifida, also known slightly less esoterically as Eranthis pinnatifida. It's a charming little Japanese woodland native but given it size, its $15.00 price, and little apparent proclivity for multiplication I don't think I used my garden budget very wisely when I bought this.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Common Plant in an Special Venue

It has been a long winter and a slowly developing spring here in north central Ohio. Typically Eranthis hyemalis (winter aconite) is long gone by 29 March when this picture was taken. What I like about this picture is that I planted my winter aconites in my rockeries rather than in the swaths they are typically used for. It is a common plant often taken for granted as a patch of early spring yellow. As a scattering of individual plants peaking out of rockery I think they take on a sort of rarefied air to themselves as something to be savored, a precious thing to be closely observed.
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