Summer in the Garden: The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage by Adam Levine and David L. Culp

I am always keeping a eye out for decent products for my own garden — even if they are just for my wish list. Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting a series of products that might fit in my garden — or yours! — Douglas


The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage

Sometimes the best thing you can do in the garden i curl up with a good book and if that book just happens to be a garden book, so much the better. The great thing about garden books (and blogs), of course, is that you can learn so much from your fellow gardeners without having to be near them geographically. Such is the case with this book. It is filled with great ideas, great writing and amazing photos to fuel your gardening dreams as you doze in your hammock. You DO have a hammock, don’t you? (SMILE)

From Amazon.com…

Brandywine Cottage is David Culp’s beloved two-acre Pennsylvania garden where he mastered the design technique of layering — interplanting many different species in the same area so that as one plant passes its peak, another takes over. The result is a nonstop parade of color that begins with a tapestry of heirloom daffodils and hellebores in spring and ends with a jewel-like blend of Asian wildflowers at the onset of winter.

The Layered Garden shows you how to recreate Culp’s majestic display. It starts with a basic lesson in layering — how to choose the correct plants by understanding how they grow and change throughout the seasons, how to design a layered garden, and how to maintain it. To illustrate how layering works, Culp takes you on a personal tour through each part of his celebrated garden: the woodland garden, the perennial border, the kitchen garden, the shrubbery, and the walled garden. The book culminates with a chapter dedicated to signature plants for all four seasons.

As practical as it is inspiring, The Layered Garden will provide you with expert information gleaned from decades of hard work and close observation. If you thought that a four-season garden was beyond your reach, this book will show you how to achieve that elusive, tantalizing goal.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Previously in Summer in the Garden:

Noted: Charming Garden Gate via Gorgeous Flowers Garden & Love on Tumblr

Charming Garden Gate via Gorgeous Flowers Garden & Love on Tumblr

Charming Garden Gate via Gorgeous Flowers Garden & Love on Tumblr

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts. 

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Noted: Moss woods #ForestOfDean via Simon Robinson on Flickr

Moss woods #ForestOfDean via Simon Robinson on Flickr

Moss woods #ForestOfDean via Simon Robinson on Flickr

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Noted: Electronic microscope photo of mint via Emma the Gardener

Electronic microscope photo of mint via Emma the Gardener

Electronic microscope photo of mint via Emma the Gardener

This isn’t a fantasy alien landscape, its an image of a mint leaf, taken with a scanning electron microscope by Annie Cavanagh. This low-res version is available from Wellcome Images with a Creative Commons license, which allows me to show you how awesome plants are. The spike is a trichome (a hair, essentially). The blobs are oil, sitting on oil glands, and are what gives mint is delicious flavour. The oval structures that look a bit like seeds scattered on the surface, are stomata, the holes that the plant can open and close to regulate its intake of carbon dioxide and the expulsion of oxygen. You can just see the slits along the centre, which is where they would open up.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

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Interesting Plant: Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

As a transplant from Ohio in midwestern/eastern America, cactus were very alien to me when I first moved to California. I simply hadn’t had any exposure to them. That said, I have developed an affinity for them over the years, whether in the dramatic saguaro of Arizona or our own native Opuntia or PricklyPear Cactus (La Tuña, in Spanish) They look so threatening and aggressive normally, but when it flower they have a dramatic beauty and exuberance. Even better, they produce an edible fruit and nopales (the paddle-lie stems of the cactus) are also sold as a food item here in Los Angeles. They are a bit difficult to harvest and might result in a puncture, scratch or two, but the fruit can be quite tasty.

Interesting Plant: Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia)

Discovered via Tumblr user Gorgeous Flowers, Garden and Love

Opuntia is a genus in the cactus familyCactaceae.

The most common culinary species is the Indian fig opuntia (O. ficus-indica). Most culinary uses of the term “prickly pear” refer to this species. Prickly pears are also known as tuna (fruit) or nopal (paddle, plural nopales) from the Nahuatl word nōpalli for the pads, or nostle, from the Nahuatl word nōchtli for the fruit; or paddle cactus.

The genus is named for the Ancient Greek city of Opus, where, according to Theophrastus, an edible plant grew which could be propagated by rooting its leaves.[1]

Prickly pears typically grow with flat, rounded cladodes (also called platyclades) armed with two kinds of spines; large, smooth, fixed spines and small, hairlike prickles called glochids, that easily penetrate skin and detach from the plant. Many types of prickly pears grow into dense, tangled structures.

Like all true cactus species, prickly pears are native only to the Americas, but they have been introduced to other parts of the globe. Prickly pear species are found in abundance in Mexico, especially in the central and western regions, and in the Caribbean islands (West Indies). In the United States, prickly pears are native to many areas of the arid Western United States, including the lower elevations of the Rocky Mountains, where species such as Opuntia phaeacantha and Opuntia polyacantha become dominant, and especially in the desert Southwest. Prickly pear cactus is also native to the dry sandhills and sand dunes of the East Coast from Florida to Connecticut/Long Island (Opuntia humifusa). Further north, Opuntia occurs in isolated areas from the southern Great Lakes to southern Ontario. O. humifusa is also a prominent feature of the flora at Illinois Beach State Park, in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, north ofChicago, and of Indiana Dunes State Park southeast of Chicago. — Wikipedia.org

More information on Opuntia:

* A portion of all sales directly support A Gardener’s Notebook
** Some of the books may be available at your local library. Check it out!

Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas

I am the epitome of the lazy gardener, but I must place some of the blame on my perennials.…from A Gardener’s Notebook

I am the epitome of the lazy gardener, but I must place some of the blame on my perennials.…from A Gardener's Notebook

“Yes, I am probably the epitome of the lazy gardener, but I must place some of the blame on my perennials.  They are my enablers.  They make it easy to do a little bit of this, a little bit of that and then sit back and enjoy the show.

From A Gardener’s Notebook by Douglas E. Welch DouglasEWelch.com

Buy or Download a sample of From A Gardener’s Notebook via Amazon.com

 

Previously from A Gardener’s Notebook:

Garden Inventory: Common Fig (Ficus carica)

Garden Inventory is a series where I begin an inventory of all the plants and trees in my garden. Along with some of my own pictures, I will link to various sources of information about each plant and tree so we can learn a little more together. As part of the Dog Days of Podcasting, and in order to expand the videos available on my YouTube Channel, this installation of Garden Inventory includes a companion video.


Garden Inventory: Common Fig (Ficus carica)

These trees pop up like weeds around here’d, due to the number of birds that eat the seeds and then drop them everywhere. Unlike other problematic volunteers here in Los Angeles, there is, at least, the possibility that they might produce edible fruit. We have several good fruiting trees in the neighborhood and usually have a least one growing in this location in the garden, directly below a power pole where birds like to perch.

I have removed several figs from this location, but since my wife like them, I am thinking of keeping this one and just keeping it pruned more closely, so it doesn’t threaten to take over the entire garden.

Common Fig (Ficus carica)Common Fig (Ficus carica)

Common Fig (Ficus carica)Common Fig (Ficus carica) 

Photo  of Common Fig (Ficus carica) with closeups of  leaves and growing habit.

The common fig (Ficus carica) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Ficus, from the family Moraceae, known as the common fig (or just the fig), انجیر (Urdu),அத்தி (Tamil), anjeer (Hindi), dumur (Bengali), תאנה (Hebrew) and تين (Arabic). It is the source of the fruit also called the fig, and as such is an important crop in those areas where it is grown commercially. Native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times, and is now widely grown throughout the temperate world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.[1][2] 

The common fig tree has been cultivated since ancient times and grows wild in dry and sunny areas, with deep and fresh soil; also in rocky areas, from sea level to 1,700 meters. It prefers light and medium soils, requires well-drained soil, and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Like all fig trees, Ficus carica requires wasp pollination of a particular species of wasp (Blastophaga psenes) to produce seeds. The plant can tolerate seasonal drought, and the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean climate is especially suitable for the plant. Situated in a favorable habitat, old specimens when mature can reach a considerable size and form a large dense shade tree. Its aggressive root system precludes its use in many urban areas of cities, but in nature helps the plant to take root in the most inhospitable areas. Common fig tree is mostly a phreatophyte that lives in areas with standing or running water, grows well in the valleys of the rivers and ravines saving no water, having strong need of water that is extracted from the ground. The deep-rooted plant searches groundwater, in aquifers, ravines, or cracks in the rocks. The fig tree, with the water, cools the environment in hot places, creating a fresh and pleasant habitat for many animals that take shelter in its shade in the times of intense heat. — Wikipedia.org

More information on Common Fig (Ficus carica):

Previously on Garden Inventory:

Summer in the Garden: Fiskars Garden Tools – Some of my favorites

I am always keeping a eye out for decent products for my own garden — even if they are just for my wish list. Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be highlighting a series of products that might fit in my garden — or yours! — Douglas


Fiskars Garden Tools

Some of my favorite tools, I own both the PowerGear Pruner/Lopper and the PowerGear Bypass pruners mentioned below. I’ve also included a couple of other Fiskers tools that I have on my own Wish List. I believe Fiskars still has a lifetime warrantee on breakage. I once snapped the blade on my PowerGear Lopper and the local home store replaced it with no questions asked.

I have found these tools to be great workhorses in the garden. As most gardener’s do I often use them on stems and branches far outside their rated size. (I think we all do it every so often when we are trying to get the work done) Except for the blade break when I, stupidly, twisted the lopper trying to free them from a branch, they have survived everything I could throw at them.

Fiskars UltraBlade PowerGear Bypass Pruner with GripEaseFiskars 15 Inch PowerGear Super Pruner/Lopper

Fiskars 9124 Professional Bypass Pruning ShearsFiskars Garden Multi-Snip with Sheath 

Find More Fiskers Tools from Amazon.com

Previous mentions of Fiskars on DouglasEWelch.com

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Previously in Summer in the Garden:

Noted: Get a Cool Garden Look With Gray and Blue Plants via Houzz

Get a Cool Garden Look With Gray and Blue Plants via Houzz

Landscape by Other Metro Photographers David de la Luz

We can do a lot with foliage. We can emphasize movement, create mystery or highlight a garden feature. Through color, foliage can also generate a mood. Blue and gray plants can recede to make way for bolder, brighter hues. But on their own, these silvery shades calm our gardens, and in the heat of summer evoke airy or aquatic settings. See how to grow 14 plants that calm with color.

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“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts. 

Find more Noted/Shared Gardening items

Subscribed 52: Growing Wisdom with David Epstein

Originally published as part of the “Subscribed” series on my New Media blog and podcast, Careers in New Media


Growing Wisdom with David Epstein

Growing Wisdom with David Epstein

As a gardener, garden blogger and garden YouTuber myself, I always like to keep in touch with what other garden folks are doing online. I recently came across Garden Wisdom as a suggested video on one of my own garden videos and had to check it out. David’s most recent video in on “Art in the Garden”, a topic that is interesting to me, too.

If you need and additional garden fix after reading or viewing my own A Gardener’s Notebook, you can’t go wrong with Growing Wisdom with David Epstein.

Growing Wisdom Web Site

From the Growing Wisdom Web Site…

I started this site to give you information about your yards. I have been gardening nearly my entire life since my Grandfather gave me a package of tomato seeds and my Nana taught me about bearded iris. I want to combine my knowledge of horticulture with my love of weather to give you weekly information about what to do in your yard, that week.

If the weather is going to affect the garden, you will hear about it here first.

Over the years I have been fortunate to be able to put together my love of gardening and television into the forerunner of this sight. For over three years I hosted Extreme Garden Makeover on WCVB in Boston and brought scores of weekly tips to viewers throughout the region. Now, with the ability to put video on the internet I can bring these video tips to you anywhere.

Subscribe to Growing Wisdom on YouTube

 

 What are some of your favorite Subscriptions? Share them here in the comments!


Previously highlighted on Subscribed:

Subscribed is a Careers in New Media series  highlighting the Podcasts, YouTube Channels and Blogs that I follow on a daily basis. Check out this entry, and past entries, for some great New Media Content — Douglas