THOSE AWFUL, FALL BLOOMING CROCUS
I have a theory that gardeners don’t fear death the way some folks do, because we are so attuned to the cycle of death and rebirth, and even rejoice in its perennial reassurance that what lives shall live again.… and then along comes those awful, fall blooming crocus.
We planted them for you as a surprise. I waited for them with anticipation, (how not? A spring bloom in November must warm the heart)…. The delight in the first flower, blooming among the leaf litter….this admiration turns to despair as every bloom sprawls on the ground, a daily reminder of how utterly brief life and how fragile beauty. Sorry.
postscript….I am told that where they were planted with sturdy groundcovers to hold them aloft, they were quite appealing.
Liberty Hyde Bailey, the famous horticulturist, said many years ago “Of all the operations connected with horticulture, pruning, shaping, and training bring the person into closest contact and sympathy with his plant.” I have to say I couldn’t agree with her more. I encourage you to check out a good pruning book and try some pruning yourself this winter, just for the enjoyment factor. Your trees and shrubs will thank you too!
Thanks you for letting us do this important work in your gardens. (If we haven’t done this work for you in the past, and you’d like us to, give us a call soon.)
The latest observation is that mowing it early and often in the spring is far better than pulling it. We’ve also found that conscientious folks, who clean up all their leaves before the snow falls, have a lot more garlic mustard than folks who have a nice, heavy leaf cover…isn’t it nice to be advised NOT to do a chore? We’ve also developed a superb collection of shrubs, perennials, and groundcovers to compete with garlic mustard (and buckthorn), especially for covering large woodland areas.
In the early years, we considered the slogan “Buckthorn Eradication Specialists” because we spent so much time fighting buckthorn on Lake Geneva’s south shore. Here’s what you need to know: Be ruthless. A single 8 foot specimen drops thousands of seeds, all of which remain viable for 5 years. Any buckthorn eradication program that is not ruthlessly thorough is doomed. The seed source must be eliminated. The best way to do this is to uproot trees smaller than 2 ½ to 3 inches in diameter. When soil conditions are right, this is quick and surprisingly easy, even over a large area. Larger trees should be cut to the ground and painted within one hour with Triclopyr or Glyphosate. Frequent monitoring is crucial for success. If you begin a program and abandon it for a year, you are starting over. Talk your neighbors into joining you on this one.
PONDS, STREAMS and WATERFALLS
Some of you already know this, but keeping a pond means caring for pets. No pond is going to be pleasant without a balanced ecosystem, and this means fish. If you are looking for the soothing pleasures of water, without the work of a pond, consider a pondless waterfall. Instead of a pond, we install a gravelly bog at the end of a stream. The bog keeps the water sparkling clean and the movement of the water eliminates mosquito breeding.
PERENNIAL OF THE YEAR
Nepeta X Faassenii ‘Walkers Low’