Articles by Reeser Manley

 
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Signs of Spring in Marjorie’s Garden

on April 22, 2014, at 5:47 p.m.
Into the fourth week of April, buds are swelling on only two woody plants in Marjorie’s Garden, Lonicera canadensis (American fly honeysuckle) and Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum).  Both are native woodland understory shrubs that will gamble against a late freeze for several days of unobstructed sunlight before the canopies of …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Bare Bones of Composting

on April 13, 2014, at 7:05 p.m.
Since early December, the compost pile at the back of the vegetable garden has been a frozen cube of organic matter in various stages of decomposition, covered for four months with a thick blanket of snow and ice.  Now, mid-April, twenty miles inland from the midcoast of Maine, warm rains …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Pruning Forsythias to Enhance Flowering

on April 08, 2014, at 1:10 p.m.
In early spring, beneath the soft and subtle green of oak leaves, the bright yellow of forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia) covers the New England landscape.  I believe states must be offering tax breaks to homeowners who grow this herald of early spring, for few properties are without at least one …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Keeping Monarch Butterflies in Our Summer Gardens

on March 31, 2014, at 9:42 a.m.
The five major forces responsible for Earth’s current species extinction crisis can be described by the acronym “HIPPO”, a useful tool devised by Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson.  Each of the letters in HIPPO stands for one of the major forces responsible for species loss, the “H” for habitat destruction, …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Chickadees at Work in the Winter Garden

on March 23, 2014, at 2:50 p.m.
The calendar says it is spring, but there are divergent opinions on the matter among the residents of Marjorie’s Garden.  The gardener acknowledges that the back of winter is broken, but he will not call it spring until he can touch sun-warmed soil.  Mourning doves discuss the matter from the …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Vegetables in pots are a moveable feast

on March 17, 2014, at 11:04 a.m.
When the vegetable garden’s beds, as outlined on the coming season’s planting plan, are all spoken for, and you wish there was just a little more space for a pepper plant or two, or a small patch of that new lettuce variety, think pots.  Vegetables in pots are a moveable …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Essential Alliums

on March 09, 2014, at 6:29 p.m.
Each year a substantial portion of our vegetable and small fruits garden is devoted to the genus Allium, perhaps a third of the total bed space.  Garlic and shallot cloves, planted in October, spend the winter under a blanket of snow.  In early May, as soon as the risk of …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Garden Trees and Shrubs That Keep Beneficial Insects in Your Garden

on March 03, 2014, at 9:21 a.m.
In recent weeks I have used my column, “Gardening in Tune with Nature”, to focus readers’ attention on attracting the pollinators and other beneficial insects that are so important to success in growing many vegetables and small fruits.  The best strategy is to keep these insects in your garden throughout …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

A Gardener’s View of Biodiversity

on Feb. 25, 2014, at 10:03 a.m.
Living in a world with rapidly declining biodiversity, how does the gardener intent on mitigating this loss, at least in her little corner of the world, measure success?  Keeping in mind that biodiversity in the garden ecosystem is measured as the total number of unique species in that place, any …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Annual Plants That Attract Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects

on Feb. 17, 2014, at 7:25 p.m.
There is a language of the garden that gardeners cannot speak, messages on the airwaves that we do not receive.  This language is written in the molecules of scents and colors, messages sent from flowers to pollinators, from leaves to herbivores, from one insect species to another.  Every event of …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Nurturing Garden Soil

on Feb. 09, 2014, at 9:55 a.m.
It is a clear blue-sky day in early spring when the garden’s life is waking from a long winter’s sleep.  The vegetable beds are bare, their dark soil soaking up rain one day, warmed by sunlight the next.   At their surface or just below, signs of the garden’s awakening abound. …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

A Few Chores for Your Early Spring “To Do” List

on Feb. 02, 2014, at 4:14 p.m.
If January is for sending out seed orders, February is the month to start planning the garden work and, for a few chores, actually getting into the garden.  For me, this mandates a “To Do” list and, as memory falters more frequently, I find I rely on this list more …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Learning to Leave Well Enough Alone

on Jan. 26, 2014, at 10:12 a.m.
I have plenty of opportunities this winter to stare into the canopies of trees.  Mia the Beagle insists on taking me for a walk up the lane and back three times every day, regardless of the weather.  Her idea of a walk and mine are at odds, as she is …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Garden in Winter: Ordering Seeds

on Jan. 20, 2014, at 5:44 p.m.
Even in January, the garden is never far from our minds.  Particularly this January, when much of Marjorie’s Garden is littered with pine branches and fallen trees.  Now two weeks into the January thaw that followed the storm, most of the ice and snow melted, the damage is too evident, …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Rewilding Gardens

on Jan. 12, 2014, at 8:34 p.m.
I’ve recently read two books that I recommend to any gardeners intent on cultivating their gardens as havens for wildlife, The Once and Future World by J. B. MacKinnon (2013, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, edited by Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Plant a Serviceberry for the Garden’s Wildlife

on Jan. 06, 2014, at 6 p.m.
Of all the woody plants in our garden, not counting the old red oaks and yellow birches that were here before us, nor the smaller birches and cherries that have have claimed their place along the garden’s edges in our time, the serviceberry that grows between the south side of …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Garden’s Recovery from the Ice Storm

on Dec. 30, 2013, at 10:20 p.m.
From Michigan to Maine, gardens have been changed forever by the recent ice storm.  We look out on our garden’s birches, including a treasured ‘Whitespire’ gray birch and several wild bird cherries, their trunks bowing under the weight of ice, their uppermost branch tips touching earth, and wonder if they …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Redvein Enkianthus: A Non-native Tree for the Garden in Tune with Nature

on Dec. 22, 2013, at 11:51 a.m.
Two non-native ornamental plants that could be found growing in the same garden, Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) and redvein enkianthus (Enkianthus campanulatus), were introduced to Western horticulture in the 1870’s.  Both became popular garden plants throughout New England, the shrubby barberry for its showy flowers and fruits, as well as …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Overwintering Garden Tools

on Dec. 16, 2013, at 9:52 p.m.
Through the garden season, my garden tools hang out in the garden, rain or shine.  When not in use, garden rakes and scuffle hoes lean against spades or digging forks, each waiting its turn.  Wooden handles become rough and cracked, working ends stay caked with soil and composted manure. Beginning …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Plant a Native Birch in the Garden Next Year

on Dec. 10, 2013, at 5 p.m.
On any late spring morning, if we forgot to turn off the outside lights the night before, the porch wall’s gray wood will be covered with hundreds of resting moths.  The first time this happened I counted 25 species, although I could only name one, the rosy maple moth (Dryocampa …
 
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