Monthly Archives: April 2014

Michael A. Dirr Legendary Plantsman

Patricia with Michael Dirr

Patricia with Michael Dirr

I had the pleasure of attending the Garden and Landscape Symposium of Western Pennsylvania today,  Dr. Michael A. Dirr, who is a legend in the horticultural world was the key note speaker.  I was so excited! I have carried and consulted his book “Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs” for years, it has become my bible for identifying all kinds of specimens.  I had the opportunity to talk to him and he signed my old worn out books… His lecture was informative, funny and completely worth being indoors on the best day of the spring so far.

There were other worthy presentations:  Maryann Frazier an Entomologist from Penn State discussed the recent concerns on bee die outs  in “Will There Still be Honey for Tea?”  Sinclair Adams on New Perennials of 2014 and Jeff Gillman, “The Truth About Organic Gardening” all wonderfully presented and enlightening.

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.  ~Nelson Henderson

Garden Reflections

What a wonderful feeling to be in the garden from morning to night!  It is true, I can easily ‘pot around’ the garden all day… but not necessarily “work” all day.  There is a lot of reflection, the observing of nature at work and the changing of the landscape day by day.  There are breaks for snacks, planning and just finding a cozy spot to take in some sun.  Oh, I don’t mind saying it, I love to stay home and just enjoy my wild space out back.  Old friends come around again,  Yesterday, the House Wren arrived from his winter home. Straight to my back porch to the trellis were their bird house hung last year and they raised their brood.

House wren and her brood

House wren and her brood

Could it really be the same bird?  He knew exactly were to perch. There it sat singing loudly for his mate to come and join him!  And then there is this squirrel that lost half of its tail last year, -to Misha, my neighbors semi feral cat- I saw  it this morning digging around the garden for its forgotten acorns.  The hummingbirds always arrive the first week of May.  Last year, I was a bit late setting out the feeder and one hovered right in front of the french glass door for a good 30 seconds… right in front of me! it was magical, we stared at each other and it was as if it was saying:  Helloooo, were is my syrup?

So besides all the chores, the garden cleaning and planting, the mulching and composting, the rewards are in the sense of creating a small habitat outside your door that is both healthy and inviting and in a sustainable way, harbors life for so many other creatures.  Many we don’t even see or know are there. That is my reward.  Every creature and plant a prayer of hope.  Happy gardening friends!

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” 
― Rachel CarsonSilent Spring