Here Come the Hummers!

Here Come the Hummers!

I saw my first hummingbird of the season last Monday, and it prompted me to think not only about cleaning and setting out my feeders, but also adding a few more Hummer-friendly plants in my landscape. And for those of you who are considering doing the same thing, here’s a list of plants preferred by 10 out of 10 hummingbirds.

What's up with pH?

What's up with pH?

At some point, all gardeners hear the term pH, perhaps most often when trying to figure out how to turn their hydrangeas either pink or blue. But not all gardeners realize just how critically important it is in terms of how plants grow. And yet there are certain plant problems that we may think are the result of pest or disease or fertilizer issues, when in fact the real culprit is an improper pH.

In Praise of Japanese Maples

In Praise of Japanese Maples

For years, I’ve been asked repeatedly, “What’s your favorite plant”? It’s a difficult question to answer, because there are so many incredible candidates. But the other day, while pruning my Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’ bonsai, I came to the realization that my favorite plant – or more specifically plant group – would have to be Japanese maples.

Soil is Alive!

Soil is Alive!

That’s right. Soil is alive. It’s a living organism. And until you get your head around that concept, you’ll never really get gardening. Sorry, but it’s true. So make those three words your gardening mantra. Carve them into the handle of your favorite shovel. Paint them graffiti-style on your fence. Shout them out at the top of your lungs for all your neighbors to hear!

Damage Assessment

Damage Assessment

Morning lows earlier this week were colder than a polar bear’s paws. As a result I had at least a dozen friends ask me what effect, if any, the way-below-freezing temperatures might have had on landscape plants. My responses ranged from “We’ll have to wait and see” to “It’s a goner” depending on the plant in question. Here’s why.