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A Thornless Native Rose: Wildflower Wednesday

A Thornless Native Rose: Wildflower Wednesday
Written by Matt Coates on 2016-07-14


Because the landscape had been neglected for almost a decade, the yard of my former home was full of horticultural surprises when we first moved in: daffodils that started blooming again once dug and divided, irises that smelled like grape lollipops, bulbs that sent up leaves in spring but didn’t bloom until fall (colchicums) and a wild rose without thorns.I think I love the flowers best when...(Read More)

A Tour Of The Gardens: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day June 2016

A Tour Of The Gardens: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day June 2016
Written by Matt Coates on 2016-06-24


It’s been four years since I started working on the gardens here at the “new” house. I thought it was about time I gave you a full-fledged tour. It takes a bit of time to see all the gardens, so prepare for a leisurely visit. Can I pour you something to drink?Let’s start the tour the way I usually start it, by walking out the front door of the kitchen.This is what I see when...(Read More)

Woodland Phlox Knocks My Socks Off: Wildflower Wednesday

Woodland Phlox Knocks My Socks Off: Wildflower Wednesday
Written by Matt Coates on 2016-06-04


I bought a small pot of ‘Blue Moon’ woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) in 2013. It was kind of over its bloom period when I bought it, so I didn’t expect much. The following year, it was nice enough, but nothing to write home about.A year after I bought it, it’s pretty, but not spectacular.The following year (which was last year) it bulked up enough that I decided to divide...(Read More)

Veggie Gardens, Cocktails, and Marital Harmony

Veggie Gardens, Cocktails, and Marital Harmony
Written by Matt Coates on 2016-05-15


My husband and I have two important summer rituals. The first is the planting of our vegetable garden. It’s actually amazing that we get this accomplished in any accord because in general we don’t usually work well together. He and I each think we have a better idea about how a given task should be done. And each of us is absolutely convinced that we’re right. Somehow we manage to work together...(Read More)

Spring, Rebooted: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day April 2016

Spring, Rebooted: Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day April 2016
Written by Matt Coates on 2016-04-24


The early spring that showed up last month went on hiatus as the Arctic Express roared through with six inches of snow and bitter cold–it dropped to -3F on the worst night. It’s almost as if the climate had to reboot to get back on track. But that is all behind us now and each day this week has been warmer than the last–though the lows have been in the 20s. Looking over the last...(Read More)

Tartarian Honeysuckle Chokes Out Spring Ephemerals

Tartarian Honeysuckle Chokes Out Spring Ephemerals
Written by Matt Coates on 2016-04-04


One lesson I learned from Sara Stein, author of Noah’s Garden and Planting Noah’s Garden, was that non-native (also called alien) plants typically start growing and blooming before the native plants–at least in North America. That is because the climate they originally came from was milder, or warmed up gradually and consistently, and that is what they’ve adapted to.Native...(Read More)

A Stroll Through Fickle February

A Stroll Through Fickle February
Written by Matt Coates on 2016-03-15


Fickle February. That’s what I’m calling it, mostly because it has better alliteration than Roller Coaster February. A roller coaster of weather is what it’s been. Every time it’s gotten mild, I’ve been outside walking the trails I’ve made and taking pictures. Then it gets cold and I hunker back inside. These photos are a compilation of several walks and give you...(Read More)

My First Day of Gardening–in February?

My First Day of Gardening–in February?
Written by Matt Coates on 2016-02-24


I blame it on the sunshine. If the sun hadn’t been shining, I wouldn’t have had the overwhelming urge to get outside and DO something. Because, really? February is too early for garden cleanup. But of course, this hasn’t been a normal February. A normal February looks like this: February 19th, two years ago. Nothing to cut back, right?So, in a normal February, I wouldn’t have...(Read More)

How I Beat The Winter Blues By Winter Sowing

How I Beat The Winter Blues By Winter Sowing
Written by Matt Coates on 2016-02-04


I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. A good remedy when I feel snappish and sorry for myself is to cross something off from my never-ending to-do list–preferably a project that has been hanging over my head for a while. That way, I get a morale boost from getting it done, and I can’t berate myself at the end of the day for not being productive. Today’s morale-boosting project...(Read More)





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