Monday, September 26, 2011


It seems an odd time of year to be selling tulips. There are sunflowers, asters and mums ripe for the picking. I wonder where these six-petalled beauties are coming from. Somewhere below the equator where it is spring? From some strange complex of coolers and hothouse nearby where spring could be electronically recreated? It makes you wonder how they can get them to us so cheaply.
David Perry and Debra Prinzing are writing a book about sustainable, local flower growing called A Fresh Bouquet. Their blog is full of beautiful photos and interesting interviews with growers around the country involved in local sustainable flower culture. I’d be visiting it know except my bulb orders just arrived and I have hundreds of tulip bulbs to unpack. Giant Darwin Hybrids, Greggii Hybrids and Fosteriana Hybrids for my clients. And a few species tulips for me.
Maybe September is tulip time after all.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I’ve read that all gardening is a sickness, a homesickness. A deep seated longing for our mythical home in Eden. Or an echoing refrain of our evolutionary beginnings on the African savannas. I know many people who plant lilacs or peonies because their grandma did. I grow cucumbers and pickle them in memory of my mother’s sour briny summer kitchen. And I am researching arborvitae, a native of my home state Wisconsin, for an article. This research lead me to Oregon last weekend to tour conifer nurseries, take photographs and interview growers. I saw many new beautiful cultivars of Thuja occidentalis, as well as standards like the stalwart ‘Emerald Green’. But when I saw these ‘cactus’ I had to stop. I imagine the owner of this car wash was longing for his home in the Sonoran desert when he planted them. Even the 'Stella D'oro' daylilies seem like yuccas in this context.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I have been accused, affectionately by friends, of being a long winded blogger. This criticism was relatively painless, yet baffling because I’m always thinking I’m not writing enough. So I looked around the garden-blog-o-sphere and realized most garden blogs are about pictures not words. But, boy-oh-boy, I love words. I realized most garden blogs are about gardens, primarily pink flowers, but I love to digress. And digress ad nauseum.
So let me be brief, for once.
Over the coming months I will be focussing my energies on finishing my new website. So I will be posting in snippets. I have given myself a limit of one photo and one paragraph a week. After my new website is up and running my blog will take on a new format. Longer, yes, longer, posts once a month. Hopefully this will liberate me to digress in depth. I will also be disabling the comment function, I’m trying to shed some spammers. If you have something you must say please e-mail me.
Here’s the first photo and paragraph.

Michael has been trying to grow a decent daikon for a few years now. This year he gave up. A few wild radishes always sprout up in our field, but when I saw what I thought was a daikon seedling among the peas I let it grow. And it grew. Good thing we only got one. I don’t know what we’re going to do with this one, let alone a dozen.