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Dave's Blog: Wood Poppy, and More

Small clumps of wood poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) are spread through the shaded side garden that adjoins the forest of shallow rooted swamp maples and tulip poplars. In many places, a hole could not be dug through the roots, but a cover of leaves that are shredded and spread creates a thin soil layer that supports the vigorous seedlings. I cannot recall where wood poppy was initially planted, but now it covers many spaces where another plant has not established.

Posted: 4/19/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Now, This is Spring

In recent weeks, a scattered few blooms promised that spring was on the way, contrary to evidence that winter was taking its time leaving. Finally, three eighty degree days banished cold temperatures, prompting flowers and foliage to progress quickly.

Posted: 4/16/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: A Hasty Transplant

This afternoon, it occurred to me that with warm weather on the way, the time to transplant an Oakleaf hydrangea that has grown too large in the front of the house is today, or forget about it until October. The worst time to move the hydrangea is next week, with emerging leaves that would certainly wilt unless constant moisture is provided.

Posted: 4/13/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: A False Alarm

Happily, a hard freeze forecast for the weekend turned into a light freeze, so flowers of magnolias (below) and cherries suffered no damage at all. With warmer temperatures on the way, it’s apparent that flowers will make it through with only minor damage to the earliest blooms, an unusual situation and mostly due to flowering being delayed a few weeks by cold through much of March.

Posted: 4/11/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Spring Bulbs

Too often, I’ve been stingy, and perhaps overly optimistic in planting ten of a bulb when twenty-five are more appropriate, or twenty-five when a hundred or two would be best. Each spring I note that a larger planting of crocus, or of Winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis, below) is in order, but when late summer ordering comes along other necessities intervene, or I am enticed to try ten of something entirely different.

Posted: 4/9/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Could Be Worse

There’s never a shortage of tribulations and trivialities for the gardener to whine about, and he does. He curses the snow and ice, but also rain that saturates and shatters perfect flowers of peonies. Particular venom is reserved for heat and drought, but it is cold, and especially cold too long into spring that is most reviled.

Posted: 4/6/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: On Its Way

Following a delayed start, spring is on its way, though scattered chilly days are in the forecast, and are not unusual through April. Cold today is not the same as two weeks ago, and rarely will temperatures drop enough in early April to cause significant damage to tender flowers and growth.

Posted: 4/3/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Arriving This Week in the Nurseries (April 2nd)

As the spring gets underway we are still constantly receiving plant material to serve your gardening needs. Here are a few things we're receiving this week and a few plant varieties that are coming into their own this week and just need a new home.

Posted: 4/2/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Unauthorized Clean Up

The assistant gardener (my wife) has been home this week for spring break, and fortunately it’s been rainy until today when I came home to a trash can filled with a variety of clippings. I don’t dare dig deeper to see what’s beneath the ivies and periwinkle that she is always welcome to snip away at. In fact, I should not label her a gardener of any sort, assistant or otherwise, though I suppose she’s trying to be helpful.

Posted: 4/2/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)



The garden’s inventory gets longer as my memory gets shorter, I fear. Perhaps it’s just today, but I can hardly recall what’s planted where if it’s not up and growing. As I add new plantings this is likely to result in conflicts, and with planting a few Japanese maples last week it occurs to me that this collection is getting larger, and already there are more than a few cultivar names that I’ve forgotten.

Posted: 3/29/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Time for Planting

All but a few small areas of snow have melted, and with milder temperatures (not quite warm by my wife’s definition) forecast for mid week, the time is right for planting. Ideas have percolated through the winter, and now at least some fraction will be put into the ground.

Posted: 3/26/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

A Little Slow Getting Here

Fortunately, flowers of ‘Dr. Merrill’ and ‘Royal Star’ magnolias, and ‘Okame’ cherry (below), are a bit late. In a mild winter, the magnolias can begin to flower in late February in this garden, and ‘Okame’ is usually in bloom early in the second week of March. I say that tardy flowering is fortunate because recent cold temperatures have turned the edges of the few half opened buds to brown.

Posted: 3/26/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

Dave's Blog: Flowers in the Snow

Typical March weather. Short sleeves one day, snow the next, though mild temperatures have been rare in this colder than average month.

Posted: 3/22/2018 by Mike Williams | with 0 comment(s)

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)
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