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Trees and Shrubs Arriving Next Week

Each new week here at Meadows Farms brings more trucks with more plant material into our stores. Here is just a sampling of some of the great trees and shrubs scheduled to arrive into the nurseries next week (week of March 26th, 2018).

Posted: 3/20/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

A Look of Disapproval

I get the look from my wife, a lot. This week, a few packages of plants ordered through the winter have been delivered. Often, I’m able to grab and plant these without witnesses, but this week was cold and windy, so I was caught in the act. When it’s revealed that packages contain plants (the first delivery arrived with dormant roots of dormant Petasites frigidus var. palmatus ‘Golden Palms’, below), the disapproving look ensues (sometimes only a disgusted shake of the head), as it will when I arrive home in a few weeks with the front seat of the car jammed full after a visit to the garden center.

Posted: 3/19/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Questionably Cold Hardy

'Beijing Beauty' Mahonia

Unsurprisingly, leaves of three of four ‘Beijing Beauty’ mahonias (below) are brown and brittle following a winter when multiple nights dropped to zero, and possibly a degree or two colder. The fourth, nearest and evidently protected by the house, shows no sign of winter injury.

Posted: 3/15/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Not Quite, But Almost Spring

The gardener is overjoyed when flowers of ‘Royal Star’ (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’, below) and ‘Dr. Merrill’ magnolias (Magnolia loebneri ‘Merrill’) are not injured by freezes that are typical of the early weeks of March. Too often, the best case is that flowers are enjoyed for several days before they are ruined, but flowering is late this year, and happily it appears it will coincide with a week of milder temperatures.

Posted: 3/13/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Early March in Bloom

Flowers of sweetbox (Sarcococca humilis, below) are small and unremarkable to the eye, but reportedly carry a strong scent, which unfortunately is unnoticed by my scent challenged nose. Still, all flowers in late winter are appreciated no matter their size, and the glossy, evergreen foliage of the low, spreading shrub is pleasant enough throughout the year.

Posted: 3/12/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Spring Bulbs

Somehow, a small patch of Winter aconites was further reduced, likely when a rhododendron and divisions of Carex ‘Evergold’ were planted in the vicinity. When bulbs are unearthed while planting, they are immediately replanted, but certainly some are not seen when a clump of soil is dug so that they are buried beneath the rhododendron.

Posted: 3/8/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

A Windy Early March

In the best case, clean up of this garden requires every available weekend day in March. The little that is accomplished in small spurts of effort through the winter months hardly matters, though it was nice to get outdoors for any reason. Every spring, gatherings with family and friends are discouraged until order is restored, though my idea of tidiness is likely to be a bit messier than the standard. There’s too much garden, too little me, and I hope that the density of foliage hides most of what I don’t get around to. Usually, I get around to everything just in time for spring’s growth.

Posted: 3/5/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Hellebores Are Good?

I question if a gardener, and by this I refer to myself, should feel obliged to keep proper records of what he plants. Is it sufficient to state that “hellebores are good”, or is there an obligation to specifically recommend ‘Anna’s Red’ (or any other) if he has found this to be an exceptional hellebore? The problem, of course, is that after several years, when I’ve confirmed that this hellebore is an excellent choice, I’ve forgotten its cultivar name.

Posted: 2/28/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: No More Reading

Not proudly, I admit that I am not much of a reader, at least not of books. Too short an attention span, I suppose. Nevertheless, to fill the winter hours I’ve reread five books long dormant in our small home library, and purchased and read two others. So there.

Posted: 2/26/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Relaxed

This period of rest is nearly at its end, for better and worse.

While I fret over the multitude of chores that must be accomplished by the start of spring, I greatly appreciate the more relaxed pace of winter. Not that there is nothing to be done, but there is less urgency that tasks must be completed before many more are added to the list.

Posted: 2/23/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Seventy in February

In the last weeks of a very average winter that seems so much worse by comparison to recent mild winters, a seventy degree day in February encourages that the worst has passed. Besides an improvement in the gardener’s disposition, there are also tangible signs of the change of season.

Posted: 2/20/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Winter Jasmine

Better judgment, too rarely exercised in this garden, recommends that I not photograph yellow blooms of Winter jasmine that arch over the edge of the koi pond.

Posted: 2/19/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Which Witch Hazel?

I’ve told the story before (and will again), always with profound disappointment, that a mature ‘Arnold Promise’ witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’, below) faded and finally succumbed in an area of the rear garden that gradually became too damp. The loss of dear and long established plants is always tragic, but this witch hazel particularly so as it brightened many dreary winter days.

Posted: 2/15/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Digging Through the Freeze

Frozen ground prevents much progress in tidying up the garden before spring. Brief spells of mild temperatures teased that the worst of winter had passed, and while recent cold has not been extreme, there have been few days to encourage the urge to get outdoors.

Posted: 2/12/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Club and Spikemosses

An interesting, low growing evergreen caught my eye on a winter afternoon as I walked along the creek in the forest that borders the garden. There are few evergreens in the forest besides the few native hollies and scattered ferns, and I was intrigued that this could be from the family of club and spikemosses.

Posted: 2/8/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Impatient for Spring

Over my wife’s incredulous laughter, I claim patience, while fidgeting to get outdoors after the recent spell of mild temperatures. At the start of February, already winter seems overly long, though alternating periods of mildness and cold are typical of the Virginia winter, and five more weeks of varying degrees of cold are expected.

Posted: 2/5/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

A Fallen Wall

A section of the dry stacked stone wall that retains the edge of the koi pond has collapsed, so this must be added to the list of chores that must be accomplished before spring. There is no hurry to repair the wall, it leaned in recent years, and if it was structurally necessary it would have been repaired long before the succession of freezing and thawing toppled it over.

Posted: 2/5/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

A Winter Wildlife Update

Squirrels are less frequently seen at the birdfeeder after applying a pepper sauce to sunflower seeds. A year ago, a recommended switch to safflower seed achieved a similar result, but purchasing fifty pound bags of sunflower seeds and the pepper sauce is considerably cheaper. Birds, from my observation, prefer the sunflower seeds.

Posted: 2/1/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Scenes From the Winter Garden

No doubt, the garden in winter is more sparse than times when it is chock full of blooms, but it is not devoid of interest. A brief stroll on a chilly afternoon reveals sights that are overlooked with the distraction of flowers.

Posted: 1/29/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Don't Expect Too Much

Yes, it’s fifty five degrees. No, it is not spring, so expecting more than the few scattered flowers of witch hazels, hellebores, and snowdrops is unrealistic. Still, I regularly examine early flowering magnolias (below) and ‘Okame’ cherry for swelling buds, which are not swelling despite this spell of late January warmth, and probably won’t for another four weeks.

Posted: 1/29/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)
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