Covering Ground

Winterburn on boxwood Early spring is a great time to assess health of shrubs and trees

Have you seen trees and shrubs turning brown or ashen gray on one side at the end of winter? You may be looking at winterburn. It's a condition that usually occurs on the south and southwest sides of needled and broadleaf evergreens when winter sunshine heats one side of the plant above the ambient temperature and wrecks havoc on the plant's internal moisture system.

Gardening Under Lights by Leslie F. Halleck Shedding some light on the latest in grow lights

I have long wished I could find horticultural lighting that didn't cost a fortune to operate. For several years, I've revisited the topic of LED lights for indoor growing. At last, their day has arrived.

Deer damage arborvitae Deer, Landscape Plants, and the Winter of 2018

Will landscape plants see lots of deer damage in the winter of 2018? Could be . . . and here's a reason: The preceding summer didn't produce a large crop of acorns and nuts from oak and beech trees. In other words, 2017 wasn't a "mast year."

Tower Hill Botanic Gardens Winter Reimagined Winter nights mean warm lights at two regional botanical gardens

November may seem an odd time to think about botanic gardens, but two of southern New England’s best-known tempt us outdoors with colorful holiday events from Thanksgiving to New Years.

Forest Bathing: Coming to a woodland near you

The term “forest bathing” appears in popular media a lot these days. A recent Washington Post article refers to it as yoga, 30 years ago. If it is new to you, however, you are not alone. 

Leaves are not litter by Xerces Society Fall Land Care Tips, 2017-style, and Trends to Watch

Many ideas that were discussed and promoted for a long time are taking hold in designs and practices. 

Showy Goldenrod, Solidago speciosa, photo: Chuck Landrey Naturescapes on Main Street: Blight or Benefit?

Two voices speak loudly these days about landscaping, and they are in opposition. One proclaims the need for neatness along main streets. The other defends the need for midtown bird and insect habitats, which may not have the clean lines of a conventional lawn and landscape. 

Purple love grass in August Noteworthy and native: Late summer grasses

For most people, the words “grass” and “lawn” go together like mac and cheese. Yet in the month of August, it’s easy to see that some grasses are anything but lawn-like. Low-growing purple love grass offers luminescent splashes of color along roadsides. The airy tops of switchgrass decorate wet fields and woodland edges. American beach grass reduces beach erosion.

Rose de Berne tomato, photo: Fruition Seeds Why we should care about local seed production

Very, very few seeds are produced commercially in the Northeast today. Until the early part of the 20th century, almost all seed was locally produced, harvested, and planted—and thus, regionally adapted to some degree. The mainstream seed industry today, however, emphasizes plants that can deliver a one-size-fits-all performance across a broad geography.

Earth Day for one day, but land care information is needed all year.

Land care has never been completely straightforward--it took our ancestors thousands of years to learn by trial and error—and today, land care is more complex than ever. Perhaps it should be part of high school education, like driver’s ed or cooking class. As far as I’m aware, though, it isn’t.