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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Upcoming Presentations

This will be a first. Two webinar presentations hosted by Greenwich Library. I cannot yet confirm if this will be open to the general public or library members only. I will keep you posted.

Greenwich Library
101 West Putnam Ave Greenwich CT 06830

7 pm May 19th 2020

Webinar Presentation


Concentrating on the stone structures of England and New England, this lecture draws comparisons, similar and dissimilar, between the geology, building styles and techniques, and follows the evolution of stone walls and structures from colonial times to the present day and explains how they fit into the garden and broader landscape, past and present.


Greenwich Library 
101 West Putnam Ave Greenwich CT 06830

2 pm June 13th 2020

Webinar Presentation


Horticulture maybe a science, but creating gardens which speak to one's soul is an art form. This presentation explores the qualities and characteristics that define cottage gardens and offers practical advice on how to achieve this in your landscape.

These are webinar presentations only. The library is closed.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

The English Flower Garden

A wonderful gift from a dear friend, client and fellow gardener. Written almost one and a half centuries ago, there is still much to be gleaned in terms of the knowledge and experience of gardeners past.

William Robinson's designs. Gertrude Jekyll's use of drifts. Graham Stuart Thomas' ground covers. Christopher Lloyd's exuberance of colour and my current favourite Monty Don.

I hope Bess (Elizabeth Walcott Kellogg) did enjoy the book and found inspiration between its covers

I will leave the final words to William Wordsworth.

Saturday, April 25, 2020


This morning is too glorious to not put out the lemon tree. I swear the fragrance has gone up a notch in direct sunlight.


Our little fig tree is also an early starter.

As I empty the greenhouse, I can see just how fully the rose has bloomed.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Salt of the earth.

Before the town dump or transfer station, most homesteads had their own dump or midden. Because these piles of refuse are unsightly, they were usually hidden in a hollow, or behind a wall. Over the years food scraps, garden waste etc, mix with and bury the inorganic detritus.

Many years later, when such walls need repairing, all this rubbish once again comes to light. One can only speculate as to how these fragments of a bygone life came to rest behind a wall for decades, possibly centuries. Does one take them home and preserve them, or place them back behind the wall to be found in a hundred years or more by the next wall repairer?

The clear glass bottle with the cap is from the Jacob Ruppert Brewing Co in NY, which closed in 1965. The green bottle is marked A.B.Co The bottle at the back of this group while of an older vintage is still pressed and not blown.

I remember repairing a wall on an old farmstead with a friend, in which we found a broken bottle. I commented that the bottle could have contained homemade cider or ginger beer brought to quench the wall builders thirst and then placed on an uneven stone from where it fell and broke.
No said my friend, probably just some kid who stole it from his father's beer supply, hid behind the wall and having drunk the contents smashed it into the wall. Either story could be true. My preference is the former.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

You're in for a surprise.

  With the forecast of rain for today (Thursday) I decided to prep the vegetable garden. Our 4ft wide tiller is the perfect width for each individual bed. one can reach the center of the tilled area without standing on and compressing the soil.

With an outdoor wood fired oven, two wood stoves and a fire pit, we have copious amounts of wood ash which must be stored dry to prevent nutrients, particularly potassium from leaching. 

From the various wood burners I store the hot ash in a metal trash can until completely cold and then from there into bags ready for Spring spreading on the newly tilled ground, 

along with Milorganite and the liquid mentioned in the title,

Just dragging a hoe through the freshly tilled soil is all it needs to create a three to four inch deep trench into which I lay a weeping hose.

I then pull the soil from either side to cover the hoses, thus creating a raised row. I find a raised row warms up quicker than a raised bed.

 I gave up using timers with the watering system as this made me less attentive and therefore more likely to miss any developing problems.

Here are some garden fruits that will thank you for the addition of wood ash to their diet. Wood ash and urine is almost the perfect fertilizer for tomatoes.

Raspberries, Blackberries and Gooseberries.

If your soil is acidic, wood ash can also be applied around the drip line of fruit trees, including the one pictured below. Any ideas as to which one?