Articles by Reeser Manley

 

The Garden in May: Selective Weeding of Garden Volunteers

on May 01, 2015, at 8:55 a.m.
Some of the garden’s most striking scenes are the result of selective weeding of volunteers, plants that show up each year with little effort on the gardener’s part. Such self-sowing annuals and biennials will become permanent residents of your garden, but only if you get them started by scattering their …

Gardening for Wildness: Functional Native Shrubs (Part 4)

on April 26, 2015, at 8:18 a.m.
In this column, the fourth in a series on functional native shrubs for the garden,  I describe two shrubs well suited to wet areas of the garden, rhodora and speckled alder, and two shrubs for the more mesic sites, witchhazel and bayberry.  While the later two species are part of …

Gardening for Wildness: Functional Native Shrubs (Part 3)

on April 18, 2015, at 11:58 a.m.
This is the third column in a series on native shrubs that function in garden ecosystems by providing food, cover, and/or nesting sites for garden wildlife.  The first two essays in this series can be found at http://gardeningintunewithnature.bangordailynews.com/author/rmanley/. The three native shrubs presented below are multi-season plants in Marjorie’s Garden.  …

Gardening for Wildness: Functional Native Shrubs (Part 2)

on April 12, 2015, at 5:36 p.m.
This is the second column in a series on native shrubs that function in garden ecosystems by providing food, cover, and/or nesting sites for garden wildlife.  The first essay in this series, devoted to black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), diervilla (Diervilla lonicera), meadowsweet (Spiraea alba var. latifolia), and wild rose (Rosa …

Gardening for Wildness: Functional Native Shrubs Support Garden Wildlife

on April 07, 2015, at 8:34 a.m.
You do not need to be a native plant purist to understand the importance of including native plants in an ecologically functional garden.  The four native shrubs discussed below provide colorful flowers and fruits for the gardener’s enjoyment as well as food and shelter for wildlife, including insects and birds. …

Thoughts of “Big Night” Start a New Garden Year

on March 30, 2015, at 8:48 a.m.
“The beginnings of spring, the true beginnings, are quite unlike the springtides of which poets and musicians sing.  The artists become conscious of spring in late April, or May, when it is not too much to say that the village idiot would observe that birds are singing and nesting, that …

Gardening for Wildness: Functional Garden Trees

on March 24, 2015, at 8:10 a.m.
It is the first day of spring as I begin writing this column while three feet of ice-impacted snow cover the garden.  From a window I can see the blanketed roof of a neighbor’s house, only 500 feet away, the expanse of white separated by the dark boles of pines …

Gardening for Wildness: Aphids, Treehoppers, and Garden Ants

on March 15, 2015, at 3:59 p.m.
The insect order Hemiptera contains several sap-sucking herbivores, including aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, treehoppers, scale insects, and true bugs, all familiar to observant gardeners.  By far the most represented members of this group in our garden are aphids, also known as plant lice.  Aphids seek out the new leaves and tender …

Gardening for Wildness: Garden Flies

on March 08, 2015, at 5:28 p.m.
When I was a boy growing up on the central Georgia-Alabama border, all doors and windows were screened and a fly swatter hung on a nail in most rooms.  Some folks, like Dr. Lenoir, head of the small biology department where I studied as an undergrad, eschewed the swatter in …

Gardening for Wildness: Garden Beetles

on Feb. 28, 2015, at 8:15 p.m.
Beetles are infamous creatures in the minds of most gardeners, mere mention of the moniker conjuring up memories of Japanese beetles devouring grape foliage, flea beetles shot-holing broccoli leaves, cucumber beetles, Colorado potato beetles, asparagus beetles, Mexican bean beetles, lily leaf beetles, corn rootworm beetles, viburnum leaf beetles, vine weevils, …

A Gardener’s Dreams of Sweet Peas and Summer Poppies

on Feb. 19, 2015, at 12:45 p.m.
February may have the fewest days, but it is the longest month for this gardener.  I have grown weary of winter, want to see the ground again, to plant a seed.  Most of all, I long to smell sweet peas in bloom and to discover where the pink Shirley poppies …

Gardening for Wildness: Garden Moths

on Feb. 14, 2015, at 9:14 a.m.
Far less conspicuous than butterflies are the thousands of North American moth species, their muted colors and nocturnal lives keeping most of them out of sight and thus out of mind.  I am was reminded of their existence, however, when I forgot to turn off the porch light one warm …

Gardening for Wildness: Garden Butterflies

on Feb. 08, 2015, at 5:52 p.m.
“Our fellowship with other creatures is real, our union with the creation is already achieved, because we all rise and fall on a single breath.  You and I and the black-footed ferret, the Earth, the sun, and the far-flung galaxies are dust motes whirling in the same great wind…Wherever it …

Gardening for Wildness: Garden Wasps

on Feb. 01, 2015, at 10:24 a.m.
“A recent tally of threatened species by the World Conservation Union lists more than a thousand mammals, nearly a quarter of all those we know, and more than a thousand birds.  Each year’s list is longer.  We can reverse those trends…by living more lightly and by making way for wildness …

A Sign of Life in the Winter Garden

on Jan. 26, 2015, at 4:58 p.m.
Walking through the garden after the big snow, the sun shining bright, the temperature in the mid-teens, I see few signs of life other than two crows in the top of a spruce tree, a mixed flock of pine siskins and chickadees at the porch feeders, a red squirrel perched …

“Rhody Says It’s Cold Outside!”

on Jan. 18, 2015, at 11:49 a.m.
Leaving the warmth of bed, my first stop each winter morning is a downstairs window that looks out on an old rhododendron, a pink-flowering catawba of forgotten pedigree planted years ago against the  north wall of our home.  “Rhody says it’s cold outside!” I announce out loud, even if only …

Milkweed Species for the Garden and Insectary

on Jan. 10, 2015, at 5:15 p.m.
Over the past several months, Marjorie and I have shared the past summer’s success in attracting monarch butterflies with readers of my weekly Bangor Daily News column (http://gardeningintunewithnature.bangordailynews.com/2014/09/02/ecologicaly-functional-garden/a-monarch-summer) and with gardeners who came to hear us speak on our favorite topic: “Gardening with Insects, the Little Things that Run the …

Tree Buyers Beware: Use the Scientific Name

on Jan. 05, 2015, at 10:17 a.m.
Two years ago, when a friend emailed that he planned to add a new tree to his garden, I asked if I could help and take photographs of the process, images I would use in a magazine piece on selecting and planting trees. He agreed and we decided on a …

Shrubs and Trees for the Garden’s Birds

on Dec. 29, 2014, at 9:59 p.m.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a birder. Going back over fifty years to my childhood in Georgia, I recall early mornings sitting with my father in front of the patio door, looking out on the garden through the wide expanse of glass to watch songbirds …

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 …
 
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