Thank you for your introduction into another world of daylilies! After reading Betty Gatewood’s article in your May/June issue, we ordered several of the daylilies mentioned from Perennial Patch Nursery. Owner Curtis is a delight to talk with, very knowledgeable, honest, helpful, patient, and a bit overwhelmed with the response from your article! It was a pleasure to meet “Pop”—of the mom and pop operation—answering the phone, digging plants (from over 4,000 varieties), packing and shipping orders. This is one curator who really digs what he loves!
I read with interest Karen Weir-Jimerson’s frustrations with growing lavender in the Midwest (“Close to Home,” May/June 2004). I have hit on a successful formula here in Omaha, where the weather is the same as Des Moines, and have two healthy bushes that return every year. Lavenders like lots of sun and lean, gravelly soil. They also hate moisture around their crowns. Mine are planted against the south side of the house (protected from wind), facing the driveway—very hot. I add sand to the soil, and then spread pebbles all around them and mound some around the base. Hardwood mulch traps moisture, which may rot the crown—a problem with lavender—whereas pebbles help the moisture drain away.
I just received my copy of the July/August 2004 issue and had to stop at the post office to marvel at the cover. Crocosmias are one of my favorite plants. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I am surprised how few nurseries or gardeners have any crocosmias, let alone the varieties in your article. A thank you to Dan Hinkley for this lovely article. Now I can order more varieties and make firm plans to visit Heronswood Nursery.
I would like to thank you for including propagation information on your recent indepth article on crocosmias. Too often articles on individual plants do not include this good information for the advanced gardener. I hope you will continue to include propagation information with your articles.
When we moved to Virginia from British Columbia, Canada, in 1979, we were very poor and the price of a subscription to Horticulture was miles beyond our meager grasp. We would purchase from newsstands any single issues we thought to be especially pertinent to our areas of interest. Fortunately, we had an older neighbor who had collected many of the back issues of Horticulture and shared them with us. This was our introduction to American gardening, and a fortunate introduction it was. We have learned many things over the last 25 years, and quite a few of them have come from your magazine. We pass our issues to our daughter, recycling both the paper and the knowledge. Keep up the good work so our daughter can teach her children about plants and pass along the love of Horticulture (big H and little h) to her children.
Dick and Judith Knott
I just discovered Horticulture. I am visually impaired, and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has provided this magazine on tape for me. I have always been one who likes plants, and from what I have read I really enjoy this magazine. Having a disability doesn’t mean that you can’t have a nice garden. Inside my little apartment, I grow geraniums, and I’m also growing spearmint, mint, and rosemary to plant in my little garden this year. Thanks a lot for your magazine.
I was interested to read John Emmanuel’s “Trimming a Deciduous Hedge” in the July/August issue of Horticulture. Further on in the issue, however, I read Karen Weir-Jimerson’s “String Trimmers and Brush Cutters” and discovered that all the manual pruning of hedges could be dispensed with. Weed-whackers in the pages of Horticulture? Everything you need to know about weed whacking is readily obtained from any of Lowe’s or Home Depot’s helpful clerks. Or simply shout your questions to your neighbors as they disturb the peace and quiet of your gardening on a Saturday afternoon. Noisy weed eaters, power edgers, Humvee-size riding lawn mowers, and earth-compacting garden tractors do not promote good horticulture, but rather undermine its enjoyment.
Backyard Big Dig
Regarding your July/August article on automated irrigation systems—my husband and I installed the system in our small yard ourselves, and we didn’t have to worry about the cost of a trench digger. We were sitting on so much rock that it wouldn’t have done us any good! We spent three weekends digging and hauling probably a ton or more of rock. We were lucky our neighbors could use it in their landscaping. But it was all worthwhile—the system works wonderfully!