Think of them as bait-and-switch artists. They're among the first to leaf out in the shade of backyards, street edges, town parks, and forests.
But take a closer look.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
An elderly farmer once told me, "In 90 years of living, I've learned one thing. Change is the only constant." The fall of 2017 would make him smile. Everywhere I look, people are exploring new ideas in land care--and some of them are as old as the hills. If even some of these trends take hold, our individual and commercial landscapes will be notably different in the near future.
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.
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.
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.