Articles by Reeser Manley

 
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Avoid Deicing Salt Damage to Garden Plants

on Dec. 22, 2014, at 6:05 p.m.
With winter comes the potential for deicing salt damage to garden plants. Passing cars and snow plows spray salt-laden slush onto garden beds, winter buds of deciduous plants, and the needles of conifers. Salts slowly spread from driveways, sidewalks, and roadsides into nearby garden soil. Decisions made last May about …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Looking Ahead: Growing Your Own Vegetable Garden Transplants

on Dec. 14, 2014, at 9:25 a.m.
(Author’s Note: While growing your own vegetable garden transplants from seed begins in early spring, the gardener needs time to accumulate all of the necessary supplies. With this need in mind, I offer the following advice on growing your own.) For gardeners interested in growing transplants of heirloom vegetables – …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Birch Trees, Caterpillars, and Chickadees

on Dec. 09, 2014, at 10 a.m.
Most gardeners are delighted to see a butterfly sipping nectar from a flower in their garden, a delight that may be accompanied by a sense of accomplishment: “My garden is a butterfly garden!” Yet many of these same gardeners become alarmed by the sight of a caterpillar chewing the leaves …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Gifts for the Gardeners on Your List

on Dec. 02, 2014, at 1:16 p.m.
What would be the perfect gift for each of the gardeners on your list this year? I mean true gardeners, people with a passion for cultivating and nourishing the soil, gardeners who do their own digging and planting. What would they really like? Asparagus, Rhubarb, Berries, and a Good Cause …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Plant Milkweeds to Boost Garden Biodiversity

on Nov. 23, 2014, at 4:54 p.m.
Garden Biodiversity: The total number of species living in the garden ecosystem. Of course, garden biodiversity cannot be empirically measured as there are many thousands of microscopic species in both the soil and on the garden’s plants. The gardener can, however, keep a list of the macroscopic species found in …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Interplanting Increases Vegetable Garden Biodiversity

on Nov. 18, 2014, at 6:21 a.m.
(Author’s Note: Many of my columns for the coming winter months will be devoted to sustaining biodiversity in our gardens, both in the soil and above ground. Winter is the season to dream of next year’s garden, and this week’s column focuses on including interplanting in your plans for next …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

The Garden in Winter

on Nov. 11, 2014, at 4:56 p.m.
(Author’s Note: The following essay is composed of excerpts from The New England Gardener’s Year by Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto, published in April, 2013 by Cadent Publishing and distributed by Tilbury House Publishers, Thomaston, Maine.) “As I write, snow is falling outside my Maine window, and indoors all around …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Protecting Trees and Shrubs from Winter Damage

on Nov. 04, 2014, at 11:20 a.m.
The ravages of a Maine winter play havoc with the garden’s trees and shrubs. Winter sun, wind, and cold temperatures can bleach and desiccate evergreen foliage, damage bark, and injure or kill branches, flowerbuds, and roots. Hungry mice burrow beneath the snow to feed on bark and twigs while deer …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

A Reunion with Old Friends

on Oct. 28, 2014, at 12:31 p.m.
As I write this column, Marjorie and I are nearing the end of a 12-day vacation that included a day at Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, Pennsylvania, several excursions into the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and a day at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC. The North …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Overwintering Garden Tools

on Oct. 19, 2014, at 3:26 p.m.
(Author’s note: Marjorie and I are on vacation this week, traveling west through New England into New York, then south for a visit to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, then on to East Flat Rock, North Carolina, to visit relatives. The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina, is …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Harvesting Autumn Leaves

on Oct. 14, 2014, at 10:51 a.m.
I can think of good reasons to rake autumn leaves into huge piles, none of which involves stuffing them into plastic bags left at curbside until trash day. Most important when she was younger was Lynne’s need to jump feet first from a running start into the pile, to hide …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Nurturing Awareness of Biodiversity in the Place Where You Live

on Oct. 07, 2014, at 3:41 p.m.
Walking a beagle hound on leash is absurd, yet we do it because of the busy highway only a half mile up the dirt lane from our home. Twice Mia has slipped away and we fretted for hours before she returned, worn out from chasing the scent of turkeys, a …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

The Plants of Autumn in Marjorie’s Garden

on Sept. 30, 2014, at 6:21 p.m.
I acquired my love for autumn as a boy hunting bobwhite quail in November, following my dad and our English setter, Prissy, through Georgia cornfields bordered by blazing red tupelos and sweetgums with green, red, and yellow leaves, all on the same tree. After shooting on the covey rise we …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

October in the Vegetable Garden

on Sept. 22, 2014, at 9:22 p.m.
“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.” –Edwin Way Teale, Autumn Across America, 1990 In October the sun travels a low arc, barely making it above the tree line surrounding Marjorie’s Garden. Long shadows crisscross …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Two Native Conifers in the Autumn Garden

on Sept. 16, 2014, at 9:29 a.m.
(Author’s note: This column is a revision of one that first appeared in September, 2012. At that time, our Brittany, Reilly, and her companion Dixie, a shepherd-lab mix, were the dogs in our lives. Now this role has been assumed by Mia the Beagle. There have been other changes as …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

September in the Vegetable Garden: The Beginning of the End

on Sept. 08, 2014, at 10:42 a.m.
In many New England gardens, early September is when the harvest season begins in earnest. While August gardens supply a trickle of tomatoes, cucumbers, and summer squash, the first week of September turns the spigot wide open. Suddenly the garden overflows with these crops as well as tomatillos, carrots, onions, …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

A Monarch Summer

on Sept. 02, 2014, at 9:32 a.m.
It began with an article in the March/April 2014 issue of The American Gardener, “Plight of the Butterfly” by Gabriel Popkin. I knew that monarch butterfly populations in their Mexican overwintering forests had decreased in recent years, but this article provided the statistics: last winter’s monarch overwintering area was the …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

Composting the Remains of a Garden Season

on Aug. 26, 2014, at 5:50 p.m.
September begins the busiest composting season. Through the autumn months, one of our compost bins fills to overflowing with discarded plant material from every part of the garden, while the contents of other bins are harvested for autumn mulching of garden beds. It begins when the first chilly nights finish …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

“Proven Functionals”: Herbaceous Plants That Attract Pollinators

on Aug. 19, 2014, at 10:38 a.m.
When Marjorie and I visit a local garden center in early spring, we’re usually searching for a short list of annuals and herbaceous perennials, the perennials for the island bed and borders in Marjorie’s Garden, the annuals for both garden beds and containers. The one characteristic common to each plant …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE

A Midsummer Vegetable Garden Checklist

on Aug. 12, 2014, at 5 p.m.
Throughout New England, gardeners in August peer into the flowers of summer squash for cucumber beetles and try to stay ahead of the weeds. We harvest the last of the spring-sown peas and the first of summer’s tomatoes. We drag the hose and spread compost between the garden rows. We …