I have an image of a fastidious gardener weeding out everything without “papers,” that is, everything that didn’t either come with a name and pedigree or that self-seeds in everyday English (such as “primrose”). I’m not such a gardener, to put it mildly, and most of the time there is something firmly rooted in the… Read More Purple Toadflax!
There are moments when it seems like gardening is English. I seem to recall sensing this even as a child, growing up in the American Midwest, that there were “English” gardens — either long-ago or far-way, but not here and now — and that they represented some sort of ideal or authority. However that may… Read More Imperial Gardening
It’s called a movement sometimes, this apparently loose, but definitely international way of thinking about plants. It’s “planting,” rather than “gardening.” It emphasises simple, minimal maintenance needs, variety, and an unstructured apparance a point in our history one author calls “post-wild”. It employs considerable effort to look as effortless as possible. The name that crops… Read More New Perennialist Planting
The Invention of Nature (2016), Andrea Wulf’s study of Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), presents a man of prodigeous gifts and enormous energy, widely and fairly credited with having conceived of nature as a unified whole, a system of interrelated part highly sensitive to human intervention. That is to say, he was apparently the first to… Read More Gardens and Empire
As I was setting up the blog, I came across a short, sweet on-line gardening course called Managing Perennials. Noel Kingsbury is the tutor and the course is about Piet Oudolf’s design principles. Oudolf is a prominent figure in the New Perennial movement, responsible for the design of a number of very well-known and popular… Read More Structural Gardening
My gardening began in an act of violence, born of a long frustration with some Japanese anemones (my husband called them “daisies,” and I accepted it, then.) that were flopping over the walkway, blocking my route into the house. In writing about it, I broke through two obstacles, one a misplaced sense of being too… Read More Starting to Garden