Emerging Spring

Emerging Spring

After some false starts – high 70-degree days followed by snow and freezing temperatures – spring seems to have arrived for good. We’re still riding a weather roller coaster, but no frost is in the forecast. An 80-degree Saturday has brought more color to the brown landscape. All over town pink tulle skirts on Yoshino […]

Fruitful Florida

Fruitful Florida

Photo credit: Mary K. Shaughnessy Our trip to the Sunshine State exceeded our expectations. Southern hospitality reigned from Wellington to Delray. We encountered no rain or humidity, just breezy, warm weather. Our second spring book tour built on the momentum of last year’s trip to Charleston, and a year of more talks and tours of […]

Yellow Signals Spring

Yellow Signals Spring

It’s only the first of March, but spring has arrived on Walnut Hill. After 70-plus degree temperatures in February and a fast sequence of opening Galanthus and Helleborus, more blooms opened this week. We now have color front to back. The Edgworthia chrysantha by the kitchen window dangles satiny, white lanterns with blue Vinca minor […]

White Flower Farm

White Flower Farm

Reading White Flower Farm’s catalog and seeing their small boxes on our doorstep are part of the history of Walnut Hill. Amos Pettingill, the pen name used by founding owners, William Harris and Jane Grant, and now by Eliot Wadsworth II who bought the farm from Harris and Grant in 1976, has delighted us for […]

Party Girl Hibiscus

Party Girl Hibiscus

Party Girl Hibiscus The Hibiscus ‘Anne Arundel’ is blooming here on Walnut Hill.  It’s a knockout (no pun intended) on the sunny hillside that also features Knock Out® roses, Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian sage), and Lagerstroemia ‘Natchez’ (Natchez crape myrtle) right now. Perennial hibiscus (or rose mallow) is a conversation starter, because of its eye-catching, huge […]

Remembering The Lily Lady

Yearly summer trips to New Hampshire and a woman the Hubbards called “The Lily Lady” resulted in vast collections of Hemerocallis. Today, more than 40 years later, some still bloom. That’s the thing about daylilies: they’re hardy. They come in a wide variety of colors. They’re not too picky about the type of soil for […]

Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold

Most days this May in Maryland have included rain. Some days have had rain on and off throughout the day and night. Others have had only occasional showers. For many days temperatures have been in the fifties. While rain seems gloomy to some, the gardens are enjoying it. They are lush, with emerald grass and […]

Charleston, We Miss You

Charleston, We Miss You

We’re back in Baltimore, where spring is coming into full glory, but Charleston, we miss you. We miss your cosmopolitan charm. We miss your commitment to architectural preservation and historic restoration, your strict guidelines for new construction. We envy the care you take not to clutter your beautiful city with signage, out-of-scale streetlights, and highway-like […]

To Dig or Not

To Dig or Not

Up on Walnut Hill our garden is deep under the snow from the record-breaking blizzard of 2016. Winds whipped the hillside and our conifers. Fortunately, no major limbs fell, and our electricity stayed on. Snowfall here measures anywhere from 26 inches to what looks like 40-inch drifts. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall airport reported 29.2 inches. […]

Happy 2016 to All

Happy 2016 to all. The rain in Maryland has finally stopped. The sun is out. Temperatures are cooler than they were tropical Christmas week, when plants suddenly started showing some spring color. We now have the premature yellow blooms on our Jasminum nudiflorum that romps down the hill and on the statuesque Mahonia aquifolium by […]