Merry Christmas in the City

Walking towards home this evening, I was slowly aware that an uncharacteristic stillness seemed to be falling all around along with the early darkness still so close to the winter solstice. Perhaps it was just me, and wishful thinking...➤ Read More

Getting ready for the cold. And, suddenly, silence

The final cleanup of fall always seems to take me by surprise. Especially when the weather has had that golden crispness that usually settles in sometime during autumn here, when the summer’s heat and humidity have fallen back south. The City comes into its own then...➤ Read More

The ginkgo. There's an orchard hidden on my block

Out front, on the street, the ginkgo leaves have finally fallen. They turned bright saffron-yellow and gold over the last week or two. Then suddenly, and seemingly all at once, they fell together...➤ Read More

A thousand blooms. The art of the chrysanthemum

If you’re like me and go crazy for kiku every fall, one of the best displays is at Longwood Gardens. Don’t dawdle. “The Miracle of a Thousand Blooms” is worth the visit alone...➤ Read More

Alfred Russel Wallace 1823-1913

Alfred Russel Wallace was one of the most brilliant scientists of the 19th century. A naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist, Wallace independently conceived the theory of evolution through natural selection...➤ Read More

Falling leaves. All over the garden

Fall comes slowly to this sheltered garden. When other spots are past their peak, the leaves on the nearby trees seem to equivocate a bit longer here before they finally decide to turn their attention to the coming winter...➤ Read More

Ghouls are about the streets

Over the last couple of weeks, as fall has been slowly turning down the heat, I’ve become increasingly aware that something else is turning up. First the pumpkins and the mums...➤ Read More

They're big. They're beautiful. They're elephant ears!

Elephant ears, Colocasia esculenta, lives up to its name. It’s leaves are indeed big and floppy—positively brobdingnagian sometimes—and corms from some cultivars...➤ Read More

Now appearing. Hostas take the fall stage

Every year, as the weather cools and the garden’s summer green slowly fades to gold, I’m surprised again and delighted by how fall plays out even in this small urban space. The first performer is my potted purplebloom maple...➤ Read More

Scene in the City. The autumnal equinox

The autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere, that fall tipping point into winter when the length of the night already equals the light of the day, usually slides by unnoticed by most. This year...➤ Read More

Come on, Kwintet, be a good sport

Something funny happened in the garden this morning. No, the squirrels didn’t leave a fruit basket on the back step with knock and a nice note apologizing for having gnawed off the lily buds...➤ Read More

Busy as a bride? The secret garden outtakes

Friday. Early evening. The Conservatory Garden in Central Park. Check out the late-summer flowers. Take a few pictures…” But on this particular Friday the garden was buzzing not with bees…➤ Read More

The secret garden of Central Park

Friday. Early evening. A Long Day in the City so thought I’d have a quiet sit in the secret Conservatory Garden in Central Park. Check out the late-summer flowers. Take a few pictures….➤ Read More

The fuchsias of August

I’m in love with the greenhouses at Longwood. Have I said that enough? Well, maybe. But let me say it again anyway! I’m in love with the greenhouses at Longwood. Especially in the summer…➤ Read More

Bartram's Garden on the Schuykill

”The botanick fire had set in me such a flame as is not to be quenched untill death”. Born in 1699 into a Quaker family in colonial Pennsylvania, John Bartram was to become...➤ Read More

The Camellia House at Planting Fields

Summer is now almost on us here in the City. Certainly the dew point is almost sixty-five degrees this misty morning. That’s a sure sign that our often humid, southern-flavored summers are...➤ Read More

Upon a bank of violets. The Shakespeare Garden

Happy May Day everyone! In the spring, the four-acre Shakespeare Garden in Central Park becomes an absolute floral tapestry, just bursting with color. This landscape dates back to...➤ Read More

Planting Fields at Oyster Bay

It’s firmly spring now but just a mere month ago it seemed like winter would never move out. What to do? Visit more conservatory greenhouses, of course! Especially if they hold two of the finest…➤ Read More

Summer starts in the spring

The urban fuchsias live in the City. In a small garden. In a small apartment garden. With no greenhouse and precious little space to overwinter plants indoors, lots of them have to be sacrificed to reality...➤ Read More

Inside the Longwood Orangery

The dazzling floral displays inside the Main Conservatory of Longwood Garden’s huge complex of greenhouses changes seasonally so any visit there is likely to be met with…➤ Read More

What? The nectarines are in bloom already?

The Estate Fruit House, part of the vast West Conservatory Complex at Longwood Gardens, is a carefully heated and ventilated greenhouse used for forcing crop plants...➤ Read More

Those sexy winter witch hazels

After visiting the Philly Flower Show last week, I wandered over to Longwood Gardens to check out what’s blooming in the Conservatory. It took awhile because the siren winter witch hazels…➤ Read More

A chair! A chair! My kingdom for a chair!

Lucky for me, the Philadelphia Flower Show is just a couple of hours from home so I’ve been able to schedule a visit most years of the past decade and more. It’s been fun to...➤ Read More

Brilliant! The new Hamilton Horticourt

Every year the best and most compelling section of the Philadelphia Flower Show always seems to me to be the simplest one. The PHS Hamilton Horticourt is where…➤ Read More

Brilliant! More exhibits at the Philly Flower Show

There are so many worthwhile exhibits to see every year at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Bring your good hiking shoes. Zigging and zagging back and forth, and back again...➤ Read More

Brilliant! Exhibits from the Philly Flower Show

Beyond this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show’s “Brilliant” theme are again the many creative exhibitors who make the whole event so interesting every year. My personal favorite...➤ Read More

Brilliant! The 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show

“Brilliant!”, this year’s British-themed Philadelphia Flower Show, opened this week and runs from Saturday, March 2nd to Sunday, March 10th, 2013 in the Philadelphia Convention Center…➤ Read More

Spring rises from Texas

Coming back from a late winter’s jaunt to Texas, I took the opportunity to stop off at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden to check for signs of spring. I wasn’t disappointed...➤ Read More

The blizzard hits Carl Schurz Park. Twice

Blizzard Nemo passed through the City overnight and fairly quickly. By 8:00 am the next morning the skies were clearing rapidly. By 9:00 am they were brilliant blue...➤ Read More

Nemo the White

Blizzard Nemo was billed as a snow storm of historic proportions well before it got here late on Friday night. It was certainly epic. Just not within New York City. The great blizzard of 1996…➤ Read More

A return to Monet's Garden

The third week of January was cold in the City. Very cold. With temperatures that dipped down to fifteen on a couple of nights even in my sheltered garden, and that went yet lower still... ➤ Read More

Bright shadows of July

Most mornings might seem too short before it’s suddenly time for lunch, but the days of high summer are long. Near the garden’s restaurant is an extensive collection of daylilies...➤ Read More

The winter spa treatment

On warmer days and nights that don't go below breezing, I sometimes set some of the plants back outside to take in the spa of cool, refreshing air. Right now...➤ Read More

Late afternoon on the High Line

The winter sky was clear and the sunset looked to be promising so my friend and I couldn’t resist a detour on the walk home to take a stroll along the High Line before...➤ Read More

The long winter's nap

It's the beginning of January right now. Despite the incredible loop we were thrown by Hurricane Sandy just before Halloween last October, the weather this past fall has been a...➤ Read More