Merry Christmas from Woodland Cottage

Wishing you love, peace and joy as we slow down to celebrate the holiday season.  The garden is still and peaceful now–sometimes windy and cloudy, sometimes sunny and still, and sometimes there is snow–and most always cold at this time of year.  But underneath the ground, things are already stirring as the sun swings around, toward the longer days I love.

All the best and thank you for reading.

Posted under Holidays

This post was written by Jeff Minnich on December 24, 2010

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Book Review–(Don’t Let the Title Fool You!)

With Christmas fast-approaching, we’re all looking for good gifts.  Earlier this year, I received a copy of the book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Year-Round Gardening, by Delilah Smittle and Sheri Ann Richerson, and I’m finally letting you in on the secret:  Don’t let the title fool you.  If you have a gardener in your life and want to give them a good, all-around garden reference book, here’s one to order.

The intro to the book couldn’t have said it better:  It’s divided into six parts.  Each part addresses a different facet of gardening, from growing vegetables, herbs, and fruits to hardy perennials and tender ornamentals.

As a professional, I expected to open this book and wiz through it, thoroughly bored.  Not so!!!  I read the whole thing, coming away with many tips and shortcuts.  It’s so easy to read and understand, it is a pleasure to pick it up and continually refer to it.

I’m sold!  There’s still time to order it and give it for Christmas this year!  I’ve ordered several extra copies to give to some of my clients who are fledgling gardeners.  But, as I say, no matter what level gardener you consider yourself, you will enjoy it and find it very useful.

Posted under Books

This post was written by Jeff Minnich on December 16, 2010

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Brrrrrr…They’re Cold, Too!

With the East Coast of the U.S. under a blanket of cold (and, today, snow here in Virginia), we are all bundling up to protect ourselves.  Plants can’t just don the coat, scarf, hat and gloves, so what do they do?

At least with the hardy, broad-leaved evergreens in my area, they fold, curl and collapse their leaves to protect themselves against the cold.  In my garden, they are almost like natural thermometers…when I look out and see my biggest-leaved evergreens curling and folding, I know it’s below freezing.  Conversely, they magically pop back into place when the temperature again rises above 32F.

Here’s how some of them look while they are trying to protect themselves from the cold.  Fascinating.

Aucuba japonica

Aucuba japonica

Daphniphyllum macropodom

Daphniphyllum macropodum

Fatsia japonica

Fatsia japonica

Anise--Illicium parviflorum

Anise--Illicium parviflorum

Camellia japonica

Camellia japonica

Chindo Viburnum--Viburnum awabuki 'Chindo'

Chindo Viburnum--Viburnum awabuki 'Chindo'

Posted under The Winter Garden

This post was written by Jeff Minnich on December 16, 2010

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