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Philadelphia Flower Show 2015

The largest indoor flower show in the world opens tomorrow at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The annual taste of spring for all of us gardeners who are starved of the color and smell of the earth and flowers is a treat that we look forward to all winter. The Theme this year is ‘Celebrate the…

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Touches of Color in the Winter Garden

Despite all the moaning about the weather and how cold it has been for the last few weeks, the complaining is often followed by the refrain, ‘but thank goodness I am not in Boston’. We have had snow, frozen rain, and other unidentifiable frozen precipitation, but not the feet of snow that have fallen on…

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Snowy details in the garden

We had several snow falls this week accompanied by bitter cold. Trips to the compost heap were about all the garden visiting possible until today when the temperatures have risen to around freezing. The winter garden is shades of sepia and white. The tiny details of old plant stems are outlined in relief against the…

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year. A new year brings another year of expectation in the garden. We always hope that this gardening year will be better than ever! At least this year we are not submerged in snow like last year. Winter is still young, we will see what nature has in store for us.

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The poisonous caterpillar gets attacked

The Saddleback Slug Caterpillar featured in the previous post now has troubles of its own. It was attacked by a female parasitic wasp which laid eggs on the caterpillar. The eggs hatched and ate the insides of the caterpillar. The eggs were present inside the caterpillar in the previous photographs, we just did not know it. The young parasitic wasps (in their pre adult form) have emerged as little oval cream colored pupae all over the back of the caterpillar. The pupae will hatch out and will have changed (undergo metamorphosis) into adult parasitic wasps and the cycle will start again. It is a rather gruesome sight that seems stranger…

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Cutting a Dahlia flower nearly needs a stepladder

Cutting this dahlia nearly needed a stepladder. The flowers are held at over eight feet high on smooth dark stems. The flower color is almost impossible to describe, as the petals shade from a light creamy orange to a spicy darker center; sort of Cafe au Lait meets Orange Creamsicle. The center of the flower…

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Weird parasitic plant – Thyme Dodder

I found an unusual plant called Thyme Dodder (Cuscuta), in the Sunset Garden today. It is a parasitic plant that has no chlorophyll and so relies on getting water and nutrients from its host plant, which in this case is a thyme. I remember this plant from childhood holidays at an English pebble beach in…

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