Editor’s Note: Though he acknowledged that it is bad form for a writer to miss a deadline, especially when it is only the third deadline of his new column, Mike Nowak assured us that his old community college horticultural fraternity roommate would be a more than adequate substitute. Frankly, time constraints and a thin Rolodex left us with limited options in this matter. While docking Mr. Nowak’s pay for this issue and sending him a stern warning about future efforts, we present, with trepidation:
I don’t know the names of all of the plants in my garden. There, I said it. I’m not bragging, mind you, nor am I apologizing.
It is simply a fact of the way I garden. I don’t necessarily recommend deliberately throwing away or conveniently losing plant identification tags. I don’t advise leaving blank the pages of that fancy garden journal you received for Christmas. I don’t suggest you fail to take photographs of your precious rare specimens. I just know that these things happen, mainly because they occasionally happen to me.
I think I’m missing a gene. Okay, maybe two or three.
This is the time of year when gardeners are told to dream, to curl up with their favorite magazine or catalog with that hot cup of cocoa or tea (naturally decaffeinated, of course), to look upon their snow-covered blank slate of a garden and imagine the endless possibilities of the coming growing season. Golden retriever at your side, your mate happily puttering away in the next room (creating ingenious and achingly beautiful mosaic tiles from thrift store ceramic pieces) you flip through the stack of horticultural publications, carefully marking and clipping articles and ads for the newest All-America Selections, secure in the knowledge that this year’s garden would be the absolute envy of even Gertrude Jekyll, had she not departed this vale of tears some seven decades ago.
Rain gardens are hot news, but are they pretty? Here are some examples that take the concept beyond mere buzz words.
Ted Nyquist’s rhododendrons light up his woodland wonderland.
Need a little inspiration or just a break from weeding? Garden walks abound this time of year, and there’s plenty to see.
I’m not always the sharpest trowel in the garden bucket, but even I have noticed a recent trend in horticulture.
Every day I receive letters (well, not every day, but every few days...actually, I occasionally receive letters ... okay, I ...