Less Noise, More Green

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Will perennials survive a snowstorm?

Will perennials survive a snowstorm?


As I write, Rhode Island is in the middle of a blizzard. My gardens are under several feet of snow  and the wind is whipping through the trees, sending the snow on a manic dance. Somewhere underneath all of that are my plants. It is hard to believe but they are fine. Perennials are amazing and the ones hardy enough to survive our northern climate have adapted better than us humans to the winter weather.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Buds and new growth in the January garden

Rhododendron buds
Rhododendron buds
I was in the garden a few days ago, inspecting the Swiss chard and kale for any signs of life, when I noticed something that made me very happy - signs of perennial new growth! Buds in January are little promises of things to come and a most welcome discovery.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winter Interest in the Garden: WADK Radio Podcast


How does your garden look in the winter months? Winter gardens can still provide pleasure and interest, especially with a little design forethought! In my latest URI Master Gardener "For the Love of Gardening" radio show, we discuss ways to maximize the beauty of a winter garden and give suggestions on plants that add texture, color and shape to garden bed design during the coldest months of the year.

Click through for the link:

Monday, January 19, 2015

To hell and back - planning my curbside 'hell strip' garden.



Do you have a hell strip? Apparently, I have two. While researching ideas for the two pockets of grass I have growing between the street and the sidewalk (or the road and the pavement if you are British like me) I discovered that these patches are called hell strips! I think the name is perfect. Exposed to blazing sun, no irrigation, pooped and peed on by every dog in the neighborhood, and in my part of the world piled high with snow and road salt for months, it is not exactly prime gardening real estate. With the loss of  two trees to disease last year, we are left with two patches of dirt sprinkled with grass. Hell strips indeed.

Here is my initial plan to transform these areas into as welcoming a garden as possible!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

WADK Radio Podcast on Backyard Beekeeping




As I have mentioned here before, I am a newly trained beekeeper and am lucky enough to have the opportunity to help care for a hive which is part of a URI Master Gardener Project. I hope to have my own hives very soon. I have been looking forward to hosting this "For the Love of Gardening"  radio show because beekeeping, like raising chickens, is often a logical next step for a backyard vegetable grower and I know the subject is of interest to many looking to become more self sufficient.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Gardening Plans for 2015


I have to admit, I'm enjoying the physical break from gardening that winter brings. The weather is now bitterly cold and the threat of a snow storm is always on the horizon. We are enjoying the food I put up over the summer and fall, along with sweet potatoes and squashes from my winter stores and kale, Swiss chard, red cabbage and carrots from the garden beds. My physical work has moved indoors where I am taking care of some maintenance chores but my mental focus is definitely on the views outside my windows. It is time to plan and dream. It is time to get stuck into the task of preparing for my 2015 urban garden.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Starting 2015 with a clean slate

Out with the old and in with the new!
Are you ready for a new year? 2015 seems so full of possibilities, doesn't it? January is one of my favorite months, full of dreaming and planning for the year ahead.  For the Japanese, New Years is the biggest holiday of the year.  There are many Japanese traditions surrounding this holiday but I am especially drawn to oosoji, which roughly means extensive cleaning.