Friday, August 17, 2018

A Year of Roses- book review

Lisa Kucinskas

I recently read A Year of Roses which is a well written, informative book with a subtle sense of humor.  

This book is  a 12 chapter guide covering each month of the year in a rose garden.   
A snippet of a chapter by month
Not only does Mr. Scanniello, a
rosarian at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York, guide us through 12 months of tasks to perform in the rose garden, he discusses varieties of roses, diseases, pests and some remedies for varying problems encountered when growing roses.
Example of rose diagram from A Year of Roses

 From this book, I learned about rose classes, old garden roses, modern roses and found out about the Heritage Roses Group based in California. The author suggests titles of books for further reading at the end of each chapter and has also written several other books about roses, that I am looking forward to reading.

Sample chapter on rose growth habits

Reading A Year of Roses is like sitting down with a trusted, learned friend and discussing roses.  Even if I never have a rose garden, I am glad to have read this book and recommend this book to anyone who has even a passing interest in roses.      



Thursday, August 9, 2018

Have You Seen the Edible Landscape Demo Garden?!

Laddy Lau

If you have not been to the Edible Landscape Garden in Fairmount Park, you are missing a hidden treasure.

Each time I visit, there is something new to explore.  Read more about what is happening at the garden and the great work of the volunteers that are making this space a wonderful place for education and nourishment.

Floating row cover bordered by okra and other 

Lois, master gardener, providing a tour of the garden to visitors

Community gathers to explore the Edible Landscape Demo Garden
 These pics don't do the demo garden justice so visit the Edible Landscape Demo Garden in person.  Explore the paths that lead to vibrant pollinators, rows of peppers, okra, herbs, berries, and so much more!! Located directly behind the large greenhouse of Fairmount Park's Horticultural Center (100 N Horticultural Dr, Philadelphia, PA 19131), you can peruse the Edible Landscape Garden and then venture to the Pollinator Garden that is near the white gazebo.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Growing A Bountiful Fall Harvest

Laddy Lau

At the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, veteran master gardener, Doris Stahl, shared fantastic gardening tips to approximately 30 local gardeners on how to extend their harvest into the fall.  With 26 years of horticulture education experience, Doris provided several ideas for gardeners to consider when planning for an extended season.  

Here are a few tips:

  1. Consider timing, drainage and low areas in your yard when planning your garden
  2. Sow seeds a little deeper during the summer to protect them from sun 
  3. Use floating row covers to protect your plants from wind
  4. Incorporate cover crops in your garden to add nutrients back into your soil and aid rotation of your plants
  5. Utilize early and late variety plants to optimize your garden harvest
  6. Know your plant hardiness zone to determine the best time to directly sow seeds or transplant your seedlings 

With useful tips, Doris highlighted her presentation with examples of how to use a floating row cover and cold frames. If you are not familiar with cold frames, think of it as a mini-greenhouse.  Cold frames are transparent enclosures that protect plants from cold, wet conditions while trapping heat at night during early spring.
Example of a cold frame

Suggested books for the urban gardener with an interest in seasonal gardening 
 We are halfway through the 2018 Master Class schedule which are free, public workshops.  You don't have to be a gardener to participate.  It is a great a way to learn new things, meet people with shared interests, and maybe take a plant(s) home. ( there were fig saplings).  Join our urban gardening community today!!
Great turnout of local gardeners eager to engage in conversation on seasonal gardening