Recently, I took an afternoon stroll around the Iowa State University campus with camera in hand in search of the beauty of bark. As I see it, bark is like the wallpaper of the landscape, always there even when the room is bare. A well-known contemporary horticulturist once remarked in a press release that the […]Continue Reading... 6 Comments.
Today, while cleaning my office (which seems like a constant, never-ending job), I came across two partial boxes of my first book, The Iowa Gardener’s Travel Guide, which many of you remember being promoted first on this site when it released in December 2008. In an effort to make a little more space in my […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
An overcast sky and a duet album by Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny has me in a reflective mood today. I think it’s prudent to pause at the close of a year, on the doorstep of another, and take stock of the road traveled and the journey ahead. I’m not the kind of person that makes […]Continue Reading... 2 Comments.
Well, the announcement is here. It’s in a festive mood with great pleasure that I finally share some exciting news with you–I’m writing another book for Timber Press! It’s tentatively called Dig This–A Style Guide to Kickass Gardening. Freshly approved, this next project will embody the very essence of what this Plantsman’s Advent Calendar–chic plants for […]Continue Reading... 11 Comments.
A plant like this is the mark of fine taste. My first encounter with bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) was in the 10 acres of oak savanna woodlands on my family farm. Each spring like a ritual, I would sojourn into the woods, scouring the ground floor for crowds of my favorite ephemerals–Claytonia, Erythronium, Cardamine, and Sanguinaria. […]Continue Reading... No Comments.
I’ve decided to wrap up the last three days of this Plantsman’s Advent Calendar with three distinctive and vastly different plants. Today’s plant is also the first and only tropical species on the list. Let me explain. Many gardening friends have frequently heard me espouse my barely tepid interest in tropical plants. “If it’s not […]Continue Reading... 8 Comments.
Happy Winter Solstice! The day of reckoning, the shortest of them all thankfully, is upon us. Let the march (trudge) towards spring begin… On this the first day of winter, I think it’s appropriate to celebrate with something silvery. Some of you in the Mountain West and northern plains today get to enjoy another less […]Continue Reading... 4 Comments.
Don’t mistake for a minute that all plants in the garden have to be loud-mouthed and sassy. Hip gardeners know that classy, chic plants fit into comely garden spaces whether recliner- or votive-candle-sized. Sometimes it’s the little details (channel your inner Bob Ross and think “happy little trees”) that make or break the stylistic essence […]Continue Reading... 2 Comments.
So continuing with yesterday’s themes of ‘biennial’ and ‘absent from my garden,’ I thought I’d give a shout out to a really awesome plant that just surfaced on my radar a few seasons ago. Named for French royal botanist André Michaux, Michauxia campanuloides is a member of Campanulaceae, the bellflower family. Now, I’m not hung up on […]Continue Reading... 3 Comments.
Now, biennials don’t get a lot of love. It’s puzzling–to be a horticultural favorite you either have to have a shelf-life of nine months or four years (or more) to get any kind of respect. Two-year affairs mean nothing. Where have we gone wrong? Do short-term relationships mean nothing nowadays? At any rate, I’m just […]Continue Reading... 7 Comments.