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Graham Rice
Pennyslvania USA, and Nothamptonshire, UK
I'm a garden writer, plantsman and photographer.
Interests: Apart from plants and gardens? Wildlife, reading just about anything, music of all kinds from Stravinsky to punk, my music radio show (The BritMix), fishing, movies, ceramics and glass of the 1950s and 1960s, art...
Recent Activity
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Making the hour’s drive back and forth to my cardiac rehab three times a week, and often walking woodland trails on the other days, I’ve spotted some interesting plants along the way. A couple of years ago I wrote about... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Transatlantic Gardener
Had another look yesterday, and there were insects on the wild bergamot, Monarda fistulosa, that's flowering in the same field now that the rudbeckia is fading and there were also a few on fleabane, Erigeron annuus. But none on the rudbeckias - very odd.
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Not so fast... It turns out that purple loosestrife is not such a menace after all. More in a post here soon.
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Yes, Joan, they're gorgeous. And now I have a friend who wants to re-create the whole thing on their own land!
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There I was, driving along counting all the European plants growing - and often looking very attractive - along the Pennsylvania roadside when in the distance I noticed a whole field of orange. In this part of the world it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
Thank you, Ina, for your thoughtful remarks. A garden is, after all, a garden - not a restoration or re-creation of a wild habitat - so those who insist that we do not plant garden plants in our gardens are completely missing the point. More effective would be to campaign to reduce the number of deer in our forests to pre-colonial levels - a dramatic reduction in deer numbers would make a huge contribution towards protecting our native flora and reduce the impact of invasive plants that move in once the natives are eaten. And here's a link to my blog post entitled "Don't tell me not to grow buddleja" from back in 2008 http://transatlanticplantsman.typepad.com/transatlantic_plantsman/2008/06/dont-tell-me-not-to-grow-buddleja.html
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Thank you, Beth. You may remember that I stirred up the nothing-but-natives people with another book review a few years back (http://transatlanticplantsman.typepad.com/transatlantic_plantsman/2011/04/alien-plants-are-better-for-insects-than-natives-its-official/comments/). But it's really Ken Thompson who risks the wrath of the anti-alien people by writing the book in the first place! I urge you to read it and tell me what you think. I'm a great believer in science and, intuition guided by science, but the whole issue is drowning in hearsay and opinion presented as fact.
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To be fair, there's one reason that this plant should be a little more expensive than all the standard old heucherellas and than many perennials. The price includes a royalty paid to the developer of the plant. This royalty is only a small proportion of the total price and $20 or $30 is still crazy, but it makes a difference. And it's also true that many small local suppliers will not necessarily be able to supply these newest varieties.
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In Britain, this invaluable book is subtitled The Story and Science of Invasive Species; in North America, the more provocative subtitle is Why Invasive Species Aren't All Bad. Both are appropriate; look dispassionately at the science and it’s clear that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
All three agree that they're just too pricy. Hmmm... Have to say, though, that the packaging that I've received and seen from White Flower Farm has been exceptional
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Happy to allow the review to appear on the Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum. Please just credit my name and the Transatlantic Gardener blog.
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I’d read about xHeucherella ‘Copper Cascade’ and it sounded wonderful. A small-leaved trailer or ground cover with rosy coppery gold leaves all the year round. It seemed ideal to cover the bare soil around the edge of one of our... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
Yes, those hibiscus look amazing. Most have been available in North America this year but are sold out now for the season; check in the fall and get orders in promptly.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2014 on Multicolored newcomers at Transatlantic Gardener
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Thanks for the good wishes,I hope to be posting here every week but I have to say that by 11 in the morning I usually feel like taking a nap! So frustrating!
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2014 on Spring and summer at Transatlantic Gardener
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Gardeners often pay more attention to what they hear over the garden fence than to science. Of course, friends and neighbors often provide good advice but sometimes they’re way off the mark. In this “let’s get it straight” book, Cape... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
Well, it’s been a tough season so far and that’s why posts here have been rather infrequent. First a heart attack, then acute lyme disease and then complications related to the lyme – I’m sure I’ll be fine in the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
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Every year the good people at Proven Winners send us some new plants to try. This year’s parcel arrived recently and there are two plants that look especially tempting so I thought I’d mention them straight away – before they’re... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
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There are plenty of trade shows around the world where awards are given for new plants. But the Chelsea Plant Of The Year is one of the few awards made to new plants as they’re launched to gardeners. The 2014... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
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Invasive plants keep turning up on these pages, and often I’m less than supportive of the way the plant police want to rip out any non-native plants that turn up in wild places – as with the snowdrops I wrote... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
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Driving close to where I spotted those naturalized snowdrops I mentioned here a few weeks ago – on my way back from my first session of cardiac rehab – I stopped for another look and found that the snowdrops, of... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
This is a summary of the distinction between Thalictrum and Anemonella, from the Flora of North America (http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=233501276): "In Thalictrum, T. thalictroides is unique in having umbelliform inflorescences and is therefore easy to identify. Based on this one distinction, many botanists still place it in the genus Anemonella. The leaflets, flowers, and fruits, however, are not unlike those of Thalictrum."
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Interesting, Stefan. Except that the RHS, the Missouri Botanic Garden, the AHS etc all say that its correct place is in a genus of its own - Anemonella. I know that sometimes European and American botanists don't agree on these things - so I'll see if I can find out the original reference of it being Anemonella.
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Out walking in the woods again yesterday, and I found ten clumps of hellebores! They look to me like a form of green hellebore, Helleborus occidentalis, with unusually large flowers; there was one very prolific clump (above, click to enlarge)... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
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Off out for my daily, cardiologist prescribed walk in the Pennsylvania woods yesterday, I came across two plants - uneaten by the deer that abound in this area – that while interesting to see in the woods are also good... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2014 at Transatlantic Gardener
Yes, I agree with everyone. As you'll have gathered from my post it seems to me that treating snowdrops like illegal immigrants to be quickly removed is just crazy. And Donna is right, they're good for early bees when almost no other flowers of any kind are open. Bees were certainly foraging in what remains of the Pennsylvania patch that I took a look at. Of course, some non-natives - kudzu, Japanese knotweed etc - are highly destructive. But snowdrops?
Toggle Commented Apr 30, 2014 on Snowdrops invasive? at Transatlantic Gardener
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