Friday, May 20, 2011

Visiting Jerusalem

While traveling in Israel I had the privilege of bypassing hotels to stay in the Mishkenot Sha’ananim Guesthouse, open by invitation to visiting scholars, writers, authors and musicians.  Fitting into none of those categories, they still gave me a room because I was attending a meeting.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Visit to London

Every self-indulgent person should develop the habit of denying oneself at least one coveted item.  In my case it is a subscription to the Financial Times.  A curious choice you might think, but not if you are denying yourself a weekly visit with Robin Lane Fox who writes about gardens for the Friday/Saturday edition.  He has been doing so for decades, although primarily engaged in teaching Greek and Roman History at Oxford.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Calendar

Keep your gift plants indoors until the nights are consistently warm. 
Prune forsythia and other spring- flowering shrubs whenever the blooms are finished.  
If the soil is not sticky, sow seeds of hardy vegetables and flowers. Make sure night temperatures are steady at or above 55F.

You might be able to keep pansies blooming through early July by picking off the dead blossoms so that seeds will not form.  If they are planted in a shady spot for part of the day, they will bloom even longer.
If you are growing lavender, prune it back hard to encourage new growth.
Cut back Russian sage, leaving just six to twelve inches of woody growth.  Pinch out the tips of new growth to encourage a bushier form.
If you see ants on peony buds, leave them in peace; they are harmless.