Growing Native Lilies

Posted by on Feb 25, 2017 in Gardening, Plant Profile, The Catskills
Growing Native Lilies

  I’ve driven a fair amount over the Catskills in all times of year, and I regret to say that I’ve had very few encounters with native lilies (I am speaking here specifically of the genus Lilium – the trout lily, Erythronium americanum, is one of our most common and beautiful wildflowers but is in […]

Cold-Stratifying Seed in Winter.

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Gardening
Cold-Stratifying Seed in Winter.

In late February we’re all done with winter and ready to hit the garden, but of course there’s not a great deal that can be done outside with two feet of snow on the ground and subzero wind chills. But spring is on the way nevertheless, and if you have the desire, you can start […]

“Beauty Is Not Enough.”

Posted by on Feb 8, 2015 in Gardening, Landscape

An excellent article from the New York Times on Doug Tallamy and the new gardening.  Money quote: “We have to raise the bar on our landscapes,” said Mr. Tallamy, a professor and chairman of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware. “In the past, we have asked one thing of […]

Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed.

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 in Gardening, General, Plant Profile
Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed.

It is a bit unfortunate that one of the best native plants for Catskill gardeners,  Asclepias incarnata, should have been given the name “swamp milkweed.”  I just tried to give away a couple of seedlings of swamp milkweed, and I was greeted with suspicion.  “Weed? Is the plant ugly?”  “No, it’s quite pretty.”  “Do I […]

Roseshell Azalea, or Pinxterblooms.

Posted by on Jun 3, 2014 in Gardening, General, Plant Profile
Roseshell Azalea, or Pinxterblooms.

Now is the time to look for the one of the Catskills’ showiest shrubs, the Pinxterbloom Azalea, Rhododendron prinophyllum.  People who try to use common names for plants strictly will tell you that this plant is called Roseshell Azalea, and the Pinxter refers to Rhododendron periclymenoides, a similar but slightly more southern species.  But all […]

Sticky Little Leaves.

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Gardening, General
Sticky Little Leaves.

Eastern Red Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis, emerging from its winter slumber on Wildcat Mountain.  Spring is starting now in the mountains, as the earliest species are now beginning to wake up.  Columbines are important to the ecosystem as one of the first natural foods of arriving ruby-throated hummingbirds, and valuable in landscaping because as poisonous members […]

Residential Landscape and Ecological Restoration

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Gardening, General, Landscape, The Catskills

As a trained landscape architect, I have found my industry to be a tad much in the grey area when it comes to ecological restoration.  We are often not plants people.  We are also not often scientists.  We are often chained to desks working on drawings on drafting programs for long hours without a relationship […]

Fagus grandifolia

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014 in Gardening, Landscape, Plant Profile
Fagus grandifolia

Fagus grandifolia, the American beech, as a young tree or whip can often hold it’s leaves throughout the winter when found in the understory of the forest.  In the UK, F. sylvatica, American beech’s European cousin, is used often as a hedge responding well to structured pruning.  Have you thought to use our native woodies […]

Learning to Care for Apple Trees.

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Edibles, Event, Gardening
Learning to Care for Apple Trees.

The Catskill Forest Association is hosting a pair of apple-tree workshops this spring.  Late winter is the time to prune and care for most fruit trees, and if you don’t know how and want to grow your own apples or restore those old trees on the property, these workshops can help you make this the […]

Dreams of spring

Posted by on Jan 25, 2014 in Gardening
Dreams of spring

We’re only half way through January, and the garden is already on my mind. First on the list of ‘must-haves’ is a magnolia- and not just any magnolia- a native magnolia. ‘Moon Glow’ is touted as one of the hardiest magnolias on the market, plus it has all the hallowed trademarks of a real honest […]