Montrose Memories

Every year around this time, the native dwarf crested iris bloom in my woods. They are most prolific on my steep rocky hill, though also flowering in a few other spots scattered through the forest. In my garden, I am enjoying the flowers of Iris cristata ‘Montrose White’, a domestic variety. It is an elegantly… Continue reading Montrose Memories

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Memorial Flower

This week is the culmination of a long wait. Finally, a pinkshell azalea is flowering in my garden. I grew a couple in my first garden in the early 1990s. They grew but never flowered in the five years I was there. I hadn’t tried again in my assorted gardens until last spring. When my… Continue reading Memorial Flower

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Dogwood Winter

When I was growing up in suburban New York, my dad seemed especially fond of dogwoods. Though we didn’t have any growing wild on our small lot, he added two of the white native trees and a pink cultivar. This dominated the view out my bedroom window, and their profusion of flowers in spring always… Continue reading Dogwood Winter

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Foamflowers

I first became familiar with foamflowers as part of a nature trail my dad maintained in Lake Placid. My mom played in the Sinfonietta there every summer for over 50 years, and when I was a teenager, they bought an old house with a couple acres of mostly woods. As a professor, my dad had… Continue reading Foamflowers

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The Cutest Trillium

Trilliums are among the gaudiest flowers in Tennessee forests. With around 50 species ranging from the western US to Asia, the highest diversity is in the southern Appalachians. One of the most recent discoveries was Trillium tennesseense right here in east Tennessee. It was found less than 10 years ago, in a park I hiked… Continue reading The Cutest Trillium

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Goldilocks Flower

This week is the height of bloom for bloodroot both in the woods and in my garden. As the plant emerges, the new leaf wraps around the flower bud, then the flower rises on its own stem, leaving the sheltering leaf behind. They are the Goldilocks of flowers, only opening if the day is not… Continue reading Goldilocks Flower

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The Other Pachysandra

Last week my town had a record high of 79. At the start of this week, the low tied the record of 14 and dropped even lower in my yard. This extreme fluctuation is tough on plants, both wild and in the garden. There was 4” of snow which helped protect the shorter plants, but… Continue reading The Other Pachysandra

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Enchanted by Shortia

I imagine most gardeners have a favorite flower. For me it is the unassuming Shortia, also known as Oconee Bells. I have grown it in all my gardens, and this week one of my plants here flowered. For me this is always the high point of every gardening year. My photo shows the flower backlit… Continue reading Enchanted by Shortia

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Trout Lily Lessons

The first trout lilies have started to flower, just a hint of the thousands that will bloom in the coming month. They are part of the reason I named my garden Trout Cove. I was inspired both by the trout stream running through my property with its tiny coves, and these beautiful blankets of wildflowers… Continue reading Trout Lily Lessons

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Sunny Daffodils

Though I have planted a variety of daffodils since moving here, the first to flower are always the ones that came with the house. They are the classic showy bright yellow blooms, and either the previous owners were wildly ambitious, or they have seeded themselves into many new clumps. The first blossoms opened this week,… Continue reading Sunny Daffodils

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