Articles by Reeser Manley

 
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 …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Tree of Life

on Dec. 02, 2013, at 5:55 p.m.
Thuja occidentalis, a species of conifer native to eastern North America, is known among woodsmen as “cedar” or “white cedar”.  These common names are firmly entrenched in New England and Canada and there is nothing to be gained by pointing out that the tree is not a true cedar. Horticulturists …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Highbush Blueberries: Grow Them for More than Their Fruit

on Nov. 23, 2013, at 9:37 p.m.
For the first time in several years, the vegetable and small fruits garden is ready for winter before Thanksgiving.  The beds where garlic cloves were planted in late October are mulched with straw, along with the shallot bed and the two strawberry beds.  Carrots await digging beneath a thick blanket …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Vanishing winter berries

on Nov. 18, 2013, at 11:13 a.m.
In early October of this year, every branch on the two winterberry hollies in Marjorie’s Garden, both the cultivar ‘Winter Red’, was packed with red berries.  By early November, yellowed leaves covered the ground around each shrub and I looked forward to standing at the window near the wood stove …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Garden Oak

on Nov. 11, 2013, at 8:53 a.m.
Within a gardener’s life, a single tree can transform the garden. A good example is the red oak (Quercus rubra) that grows at the edge of Marjorie’s Garden.  Now 40 feet high and half as broad through its longest branches, I have watched it more than triple its size since …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Five Small Trees for the All Season Garden

on Nov. 04, 2013, at 9:44 a.m.
For seven days, my proper maple glowed sunshine in the hedgerow, served as sanctuary to sparrow, finch, and wren. Tonight in concert with the wind she’ll bend and toss her yellow nightgown on the lawn. – Joan Peronto As I write this column, an early November rainstorm is soaking the …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Garden in November

on Oct. 28, 2013, at 10:24 a.m.
It is nearly November and I am still finding plenty of reasons to be in the garden.  While the birches and maples have lost their leaves, the lemon yellow foliage of summersweet clethra and purple-red leaves of mapleleaf viburnum more than compensate, bringing autumn to a different level.  And we …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Garden as refuge

on Oct. 20, 2013, at 6:43 p.m.
What a beautiful autumn! As I write this column on the evening of October 20, a succession of sunny days and cool nights without a killing frost has developed rich colors in the leaves of native shrubs and trees, hues that are atypical for some species.  For example, the leaves …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Stock Up Now on Autumn Leaves, Pine Needles, and Composted Nannyberries

on Oct. 13, 2013, at 6:40 p.m.
I spent a good part of the past week hauling pickup loads of composted goat manure (nannyberries) from Seal Cove Farm in Lamoine to Marjorie’s Garden, wheelbarrowing each load to a spot behind the vegetable garden, forming a berm that will spend the winter under a tarp.  It is an …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Garden in October

on Oct. 06, 2013, at 9:23 p.m.
Author’s Note:  The following gardening tips for October are taken from THE NEW ENGLAND GARDENER’S YEAR by Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto (2013, Cadent Publishing, Thomaston, Maine).  It is an excellent reference book for planning next year’s garden and makes an great holiday gift!  It can be purchased at local …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Berkshire Botanical Garden Provides Grist for the Garden Writer’s Mill

on Sept. 28, 2013, at 9:19 p.m.
For a garden writer, regional botanical gardens are grist for the mill, always worth the journey for the new plants and new gardening ideas that I can share with my readers.  A recent rainy morning visit to the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, provided the perfect hiatus from the …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

A Rainy Afternoon at Tower Hill Botanical Garden

on Sept. 21, 2013, at 9:03 p.m.
This August, when the pace of work in Marjorie’s Garden had decelerated, I visited two of my favorite botanical gardens, both in Massachusetts.  I spent an overcast Sunday morning at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, MA, followed by an even soggier Monday afternoon at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Sow Cover Crops in Open Areas of the Garden

on Sept. 12, 2013, at 11:39 a.m.
Beginning in mid-September, as summer vegetable crops stop producing, each open space in the garden should be sown to a cover crop of either annual ryegrass, winter rye, or oats.  These cover crops will protect the soil over the winter when it would otherwise be bare, vulnerable to erosion by …

Upcoming Talk: Creating a Four Season Garden

By Reeser Manley on Sept. 05, 2013, at 8:16 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 1, 1970 12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Location: Woodlawn Museum and Community Gardens, Route 172 Surry Road, Ellsworth, Maine For more information: Woodlawn Museum and Community Gardens; 667-8671 Sat., Sept. 14, 1-2:30 PM Creating a Four Season Ornamental Garden with Mostly Native Plants – Woodlawn Museum and Community …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

September Begins a Composting Marathon

on Sept. 05, 2013, at 8:06 p.m.
[Author’s Note:  The following essay first appeared in The New England Gardener’s Year by Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto (2013, Cadent Publishing, Thomaston, Maine).] 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 …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The garden in September

on Aug. 29, 2013, at 10:15 a.m.
“I grow old, I grow old,’ the garden says.  It is nearly October.  The bean leaves grow paler, now lime, now yellow, now leprous, dissolving before my eyes.  The pods curl and do not grow, turn limp and blacken.  The potato vines wither and the tubers huddle underground in their …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The best white heirloom cucumbers for growing in pots

on Aug. 23, 2013, at 12:01 p.m.
As mentioned in my last column for 2012, this garden season I am conducting a trial of cucumber varieties that have white, cream, or brown skins.  Until this year my interest in cucumbers other than green had been limited to the Boothby Blonde variety, a 60-day heirloom cuke grown for …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Garden Perennials of August

on Aug. 16, 2013, at 1:50 p.m.
This August morning, like every morning since Mia the Beagle came into our lives in late July, she and I took a long walk up and down the dirt road that connects our home with the main road.  While she read the map of smells left during the night, I …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

Discovering New Links in the Garden Food Web

on Aug. 09, 2013, at 10:21 a.m.
I made a commitment to spend more time in the garden this summer simply looking, peering under leaves, turning over stones, peering into the heart of flowers, walking slowly around the garden with no other purpose than to discover something new, to learn more about the garden ecosystem.  I do …
GARDENING IN TUNE WITH NATURE (blog)

The Vegetable Garden in August

on Aug. 01, 2013, at 8:34 p.m.
Author’s Note: Much of the following information was gleaned from THE NEW ENGLAND GARDENER’S YEAR by Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto (Cadent Publishing, Thomaston, Maine, 2013).  No gardening season goes by, however, without new insights and new ideas, and these are presented as well. August is a busy month in …
 
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