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Meadows Farms' Garden Blogs

Remarkably, Very Little to Complain About

Always, the gardener can find something, or many somethings to complain about. Certainly, there are a few perfect weeks, but then there's every other day. If not the weather, which is only occasionally ideal, there are weeds, bugs, rabbits, deer, and snakes to disturb the paradise. 

Posted: 8/14/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Too Far Astray

I've been informed by higher-ups in this household that two yellow leafed bluebeards (Caryopteris × clandonensis 'Worcester Gold') have strayed too far onto the driveway. Something must be done, immediately. 

Posted: 8/13/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Fool's Gold

Yesterday, an hour was spent pruning the vigorous Winter jasmine that borders the koi pond. I cannot recall why this was planted in such proximity to the waterfall, which it frequently grows to obscure, but often this seems to have been a mistake. 

Posted: 8/7/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

First Flowers

Abundant rainfall through July has kept the garden from fading as it does typically through the heat of midsummer. Possibly, favorable conditions have also encouraged earlier flowering of several late summer bloomers.

Posted: 8/7/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

The Summer Garden

I suppose that some small sections of lawn are necessary, or at least that's what my wife says, and who am I to argue? Probably, I wouldn't stretch the garden to cover the entire acre and a quarter even if she didn't put a stop to it, but I'd be happy to narrow the lawn and squeeze in a bit more.

Posted: 7/31/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Few Weeds, Lots of Flowers

I am encouraged that the garden was not the disaster I feared when I returned after traveling on business for a few weeks. I was certain that weeds would be knee high, but instead, the worst of it was cleaned up in a few hours.

Posted: 7/29/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Stripped Bare

Blueberry bush with cluster of fruits

Though the crop of blueberries is not as abundant as years ago when ten large shrubs bordered the shed in full sun, several spindly blueberries grow in the shade between tall blackgum and katsura. A few weeks ago, bunches of blueberries ripened so that I was able to grab  a few handfuls while strolling the lower garden. 

Posted: 7/24/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Japanese Maples in Summer

I'm not complaining, but without question, the peak period for Japanese maples is spring when foliage colors are most vivid. July brings a stark contrast, and while a collector can excuse maples that fade from this peak in summer's heat, gardeners with more limited space and budgets must choose more wisely. 

Posted: 7/19/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Two Weeks Away From the Garden

Drought or deluge, there is no doubt that the garden will change significantly while I travel on business for two weeks. Changes are likely not to be apparent to a visitor, but hours of weeding will be required to catch up, and more hours will be spent catching up on flowers that are opening (and ones that will be fading).

Posted: 7/17/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

The Advantage of Shade


A frequent complaint of gardeners (among a multitude of others) is that shade prohibits growing one thing or another that would prefer more sun. Certainly, I would be happy to tack on another half acre of open and sunnier space, and while I have more than my share of issues to whine about, rarely will I complain about too much shade.

Posted: 7/9/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

The Garden's Paths

I don't mind a path through the garden that is lawn, any variation of leaf or wood mulch, gravel, and hardly mind areas of bare soil, though more than once a ruckus has been raised when clumps of mud are dropped onto the kitchen floor. Of course, it was my wife who dictated long ago that stone paths be laid through the garden.

Posted: 7/5/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Bluebeard and Early Summer Blooms

The yellow leaves of 'Worcester Gold' bluebeard (Caryopteris clandonensis Worcester Gold', below) fade in summer's heat, though they remain brightly colored in late June. Despite the inevitable heat of July, the contrast between the foliage and early blue flowers will remain delightful.

Posted: 6/30/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Trees in the Early Summer Garden


In recent weeks, the stone path beneath the Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia, below) has been littered with white flowers. The tree is situated between evergreens and a wide spreading Japanese maple so that the top third is in full sun, while the lower portions are shaded.

Posted: 6/27/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Six Weeks of Irises

One iris or another has been flowering since early in May, first Yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus) and Blue flag (Iris versicolor), then a succession of Japanese irises with the last blooms of the splendid 'Lion King' (Iris ensata 'Lion King', below) fading in this third week of June.

Posted: 6/23/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

A Turn to Summer

The garden has survived with minimal issues after a sudden turn to summer temperatures following recent cool and rainy weeks. I have not fared so well, reserving my daily garden strolls for late evening when the sun is setting, though I suppose I will also survive.

Posted: 6/20/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Funny Business

It's spring, late spring and heating up, but romance is in the air. The newest arrivals have been seen in the koi pond, both fish and Northern Brown water snakes (below). There are concerns about both.

Posted: 6/15/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)


The gardener understands that most blooms are fleeting, flowering only for days or a few short weeks. When Japanese irises (Iris ensata, below) flower beside the koi pond from mid May into June, this is accomplished with a succession of cultivars, and so it is with daylilies (Hemerocallis) and other ornaments in our gardens.

Posted: 6/12/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

A Day In the Garden

Occasionally, business travel allows me to escape the office, and today my workday ended early and in the vicinity of the Oregon Garden in Silverton, on the other side of the country from my Virginia home. I've visited the Garden several times since its early days, but it's been a few too many years in between and it's come a long way.

Posted: 6/8/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)


The 'Sparkelberry' hollies are flowering, which is not a showy event, but a necessity if there are to be bunches of red berries in autumn. A dozen paces down the hill a newly planted male counterpart 'Apollo' is also in bloom.

Posted: 6/5/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

A Glorious Spring

Each spring is unique, but to comment that one weather phenomena or another has never happened before is rarely correct. The gardener should not get too worked up about late freezes or fluctuations from frost to ninety degrees within a week. 

Posted: 6/2/2017 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)
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