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Ladew Topiary Gardens, Monkton, Maryland

The gardening world is firmly divided over the question of topiary. Should you prune a tree or shrub into a shape to resemble another object or shape, or should you leave the pruning shears safely in the shed? This type of garden decoration has gone in and out of fashion many times in gardening history,…

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Lovely Larkspur

Larkspur (Consolida) flowers in that rare shade of blue and purple, that is so beloved of gardeners, are one of the joys of the self sown garden. Rising gracefully to 2.5 – 3.5 feet, larkspur plants are perfect to mix and mingle in the flower bed, as they take up very little horizontal space. After…

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Ladybugs – an insect eating machine

This year at Northview there is a heavy infestation of aphids on the cup plants. Aphids are a type of insect that can reproduce asexually and reproduction is rapid. They insert their sharp proboscis into the phloem (the vessels carrying plant nutrients) and suck food out of the leaf. The aphids are clustered on the…

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2014 – The year with no Hydrangea Flowers?

The garden looks bare. Areas that were full of pink, purple and blue blooms last year are shades of green. Much as I like green, I do miss the glorious Hydrangea blooms that are normally a prominent feature of the July shade garden at Northview. The emails started flying in late March, asking me: “will…

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Today is Poppy Day

Northview Gardens Moon Beds – Poppy Parade at last. I dreamt about this day in January whilst nodding off by the fireside; a sparkly June morning and poppies in full bloom. We sprinkled tiny poppy seeds onto the melting snow and waited. The reward is a plethora of poppy blooms in shades of pink, coral,…

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Philadelphia Inquirer

A huge thank you to Ginny Smith for writing up this wonderful article about my future goals on Philly.com!  Click here to read it. The photo attached is a picture of the labyrinth in the Ernesta Ballard Healing Garden at the Temple U. Ambler Arboretum. It was one of the first gardens I helped develop at Temple.

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