Stop the Spread of Bradford Pears | Missouri Department of Conservation

This time of year the Bradford Pears look so pretty, though they also remind me of what an invasive pest they have become. Just drive along the highways during the early spring and you can easily spot where they are taking over.

Ornamental pears were introduced to the United States in the early 1960s and came from China. All ornamental pears originate from Pyrus calleryana, or callery pear, commonly referred to as Bradford Pear. Ornamental pears were originally very popular trees due to their prolific spring flowers, dark glossy leaves and ability to thrive in almost any kind of soil—and because people thought they were sterile and therefore had no messy fruits to contend with.  Continue reading “Stop the Spread of Bradford Pears | Missouri Department of Conservation”

12 Homes with Striking Landscape Design

Country or city, acres or square feet, these outdoor areas are expertly appointed and incredibly inspiring.

Photo by Eric Piasecki
“Working closely with noted landscape designer Deborah Nevins, we created a series of garden rooms to surround this classic new stone farmhouse and anchor it to its bucolic site,” Gil Schafer says of Longfield Farm, a home in New York’s Hudson Valley. “The entry garden, seen here, is defined by parterres of boxwood ‘clouds,’ which manage to be both formal and relaxed in character, striking the perfect balance at arrival for a house that is both elegant and understated.”


Photo by Tim Street-Porter
Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s 1922 Italianate villa in Los Angeles features a lush courtyard. “The landscaping, done by Stephen Block of Inner Gardens, was designed to create a Moorish mood, found in the Marjorelle Garden outside of Marrakech,” Bullard says. “Lanterns and a fountain made from an antique olive oil jar were added to create an exotic vibe and relaxing mood at night. The plantings are indigenous to Morocco, but also work well in the Californian climate.”


Photo by William Abranowicz
Native Long Island grasses line the walkway to the pool area at this Wainscott, New York, home designed by Damon Liss, foreshadowing the dunes of the nearby beachfront. Continue reading “12 Homes with Striking Landscape Design”

This Forgotten Forest in Poland is Literally Crooked

From core77:

In West Pomerania, Poland, stands a rather odd grove of pine trees. Some 400 of the trees have taken the peculiar shapes you see pictured, while the surrounding forest is filled with pines that have grown the ordinary way, true and straight.

The trees, collectively called “The Crooked Forest,” were estimated to have been planted from 1930 to 1934, when Pomerania was still a German possession. And while nature-driven theories have been put forth as to why the trees are shaped this way—some think heavy snowfall caused the bends when the trees were sapling-aged—what seems more likely is that this is man-made intervention.


The prevailing theory is that the trees were deliberately shaped, when seven to ten years old, for the purpose of eventually harvesting the naturally bent wood to construct something. Boats, furniture or some type of structure are the best guesses. On the nautical side, IFLScience’sJustine Alford dug up this quote from a Navy & Marine article on 19th Century shipbuilding called “Wooden Vessel Ship Construction:”

Oaks from the areas of Northern Europe were fine for the development of long straight planking, but the gnarled English “Hedgerow” Oak was the best for the natural curved timbers used to strengthen the ship internally. Trees were even deliberately bent in certain ways so as to ‘grow’ a needed set of curved timbers. These curved timbers were known as ‘compass’ timbers.

The link to the Polish tourism board’s website for the Crooked Forest is here.


End of the Summer Garden Containers

My Garden is at its peak!

This is the time of the year that my garden containers are at their peak.  With all of the rain, they have had a good year! The secret to good performance is starting the container with new potting soil each year….and a little fertilizer. Dragon-wing Begonias, Persian Shield, Bloodlust & Coleus are my favorites. That is my mom’s Westie pup, Lilly in the last pic.

Persian Shield
Coleus (left), Dragon-wing (middle), Persian Shield (dark purple)

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Ted’s Garden

We are past the Summer Solstice and at the peak of the perennial garden’s showtime!

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The last picture to the right shows the first year for my daylilies along Litzsinger Rd.  I did have one deer attack though have been spraying them with deer repellant religiously every night.  Next year they will have a bigger show. I had to plant about 300.

Summer Garden

The garden has enjoyed the recent warm days and is growing quickly…weeds also!

Allium were actually blooming 2 weeks ago.
Allium were actually blooming 2 weeks ago.
Japanese iris that surprised me...I forgot I planted it
Japanese iris that surprised me…I forgot I planted it
Feverfew...deer don't eat it and can be invasive...though it is pretty!
Feverfew…deer don’t eat it and can be invasive…though it is pretty!
Sedums in my Bernoudy planter....near my martini pool.
Sedums in my Bernoudy planter….near my martini pool.
More sedums...I like sedums!
More sedums…I like sedums!

Spring Garden


Spring is my favorite time of the year, though it is a little stressful. Of course the real estate market is going crazy and my staff and I are scurrying from early morning until night. I also get a little overwhelmed by what I need to do in my garden. Mother’s Day is next Sunday and I have to get zinnia seeds planted, containers filled with soil and plants & get some new bushes planted. Then I have to worry about my farm gardens which I am going to need to tend to this week. I am sure the weeds are knee-high. Everything will get done and the gardens will be splendid.

I did a quick walk in the garden this morning with my coffee and could hear the turkey gobbling in the woods. They come up to greet me periodically which I really enjoy. The deer also come up to greet me….I enjoy looking at them, though wish they would be happy with just eating grass.  I put a pot with a new Split-leaved Japanese Maple in the yard to see if I would be happy with the location. Of course, a friendly deer enjoyed eating it overnight. It would have been less expensive to get the deer a table at Tony’s!

Red Horse Chestnut


Woodland Hyacinths


Sedum and Coral Bells- Light and Dark