A Byrdcliffe Garden
18 May 2017

Some pictures of our garden from early spring. And if they all look gray and rainy -- it was!
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12 April 2017
Just when we thought this spring would only bring us the indoor orchids, some color is finally showing in the gardin.
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17 March 2017
Because nothing says spring like needing snowshoes to get to the bird feeder.
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11 March 2017
Enough said...
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05 March 2017
Nothing says spring like a stroll in the garden with a cooling beverage.
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12 August 2016
So much for being determined to keep up with the garden posts this year. The roses have been glorious, even if I've been so behind I never got a picture of the fantastic Souvenir de Malmaison.
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23 May 2016
The wild orchids near our home were starting to look like something special this week. And the hardy orchids in our garden opened this week, too. (Coincidence? I think not. Probably in honor of my new book coming out in May about an orchid hunter? Yeah, that must be it...) Please follow this link to a gallery of photos of the wild orchids, and some in my own garden.
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18 May 2016
Saturday was our annual trek to visit our "pet" Cypripedium acaule, which has finally bloomed this year after a two-year drought. Actually, it bloomed last year, but something ate it - so we were armed with Liquid Fence to protect it from the critters this year.
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17 May 2016
This winter was looking pretty mild, and spring was coming out early. So, many of the plants started to do the same. Then the hard freeze came that wiped out the daffodils and narcissus, the Japanese magnolia, and the azaleas. But the plants that bided their time took full advantage of the (mostly) mild weather. See the rest of our early 2016 garden pictures.
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10 July 2015
This may sound like gloating, but one neighbor expressed distinct hydrangea envy when walking past our garden. The Annabelles came out very nicely this year on new growth, unlike the old growth bloomers like lace-caps and endless-summers that had a hard time with last winter. It's nice to finally have a good garden in the summer, too. See the rest of our early July garden pictures.
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07 May 2015
This weekend we head up Friday Mountain to look for trout lilies. The ones in our garden bloomed about two weeks ago, which is as reliable an indicator as we can find, although who knows with this two-week transition from snow showers to 80 degree heat?
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05 April 2015
And it looked so hopeful when we arrived on Friday, and caught our first glimpse of purple as we drove up the road. Walking around the garden revealed species crocuses, Siberian iris, winter aconite, and even a big German crocus. (Although what it was doing there is still hard to explain. We don't think that's where we planted it. But squirrels love to play at garden design.)
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18 March 2015
And yes! We had snowdrops when we arrived on Sunday. A sure sign that our first day of gardening had arrived - on St. Patrick's Day instead of St. David's Day this year.
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08 March 2015
Ordinarily, we'd be bathing in daffodils by now. This year, there's not even a sniff of a snowdrop beneath all this snow.
So there's nothing but to look for what's in bloom indoors (even if it's so darned cold that even the Christmas cacti are trying to rebloom for Easter).

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08 October 2014
It seems like only yesterday that we were shivering as we uncovered the snowdrops that were sprouting in March, and now we're already at Michaelmas - the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels - which marks the traditional end of the farming and gardening season in England
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26 September 2014

Well, yes. Yes, we did. A population of some ninety Autumn coralroot orchids that our friends on the Native Orchid listserve turned us onto. So we packed up the station wagon, and enjoyed the road trip from the hardscrabble Catskill land where we live, into the riches of the Chenango Valley, where it takes only a little imagination to envision either the past hopes or future potential of farming this land.


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15 August 2014

August 15. Temperature: 93 degrees. Humidity: 86 percent. Seems like the logical time to accept Jim Fowler's invitation to search for wild orchids in the swamps of South & North Carolina.


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09 July 2014

Any idiot can have a spring garden, but I admit to being pretty happy with our summer garden this year.

For more mid-summer garden pictures, please follow the link to our mid-summer garden gallery.


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15 May 2014
Pretty much the perfect spring bed. What are the odds it won't be gone via chipmunk express next year?
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07 May 2014
Wisdom has it that gardens take three years to mature: "The first year, your plants sleep, the second, they creep, the third, they leap." We seem to be on more of a 10 year cycle. Here, at last, is the thriving colony of Mertensia (Virginia bluebells), that we were promised when we planted the bare roots a decade ago. In fact, now we seem to have Mertensia everywhere -- transplanted by chipmunk express, I guess.
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22 April 2014
Trout lily. Adder's tongue. Dogtooth violet. Yellow lily. Fawn lily. Yellow snowdrop. Yellow bastard-lily. Rattlesnake tooth violet. Serpent's tongue. Starstriker. Scrofula root. All those names really only mean one thing: it must finally be spring. (Although there's part of me that's just dying to call someone a "yellow bastard-lily.")
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26 March 2014
Almost made it to 60 on Saturday, only to be beat back down to 25 on Sunday. Still, at least we had...snowdrops!
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06 February 2014
I was drawn to William Hamilton Gibson's Our Native Orchids: A Series of Drawings from Nature of All the Species Found in the Northeastern United States (edited by Helena Dewey Leeming Jelliffe, and posthumously published in 1905) from several very different directions. First was the inevitable enthusiasm that resulted when, last year, having sworn off trying to grow native orchids in my garden for good, I was rewarded with practically all my Cypripediums and even a stubborn Pogonia finally blooming.
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30 August 2013
And then there's quince. I HATE wasting food - or garden produce. (Apparently the current Pope is with me on this.) Still, I always grew quince mostly because it was so pretty. But with yields like these...
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26 August 2013
Daffodils. Dog's tooth violets. Joe Pye Weed. Yellow foxglove. Wild bergamot. We tend to be tolerant of weeds, preferring to look on them as free plants until they prove themselves otherwise. (This attitude underwent a distinct trial by fire when it came to garlic mustard; still, we tend to take the attitude that it's only a weed when it's growing where we don't want it.)
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23 July 2013
Any idiot can have a spring garden (I've been told). Summer, on the other hand, seems intent on showing you she can do a better job - including the mountain laurels that grow wild on the hiking trail across the road from our house. Meanwhile, over here it's all weeding. Deadheading. Staking. Mosquitoes. Pottering.
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14 June 2013
Although the rose was designated the official flower of the United States of America in 1986, the columbine was long a front runner for that title.
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12 June 2013
FOXGLOVE - Fingerflower, Gantelee, Fingerhut, Foxbell, Lusmore, Goblin's gloves, Dead Man's Thimbles. Digitalis grandiflora. Digitalis purpurea. And that's just for a start. Whatever you want to call it, it's one of my favorite plants and the fairy flower par excellence.
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13 May 2013
What a difference a week makes. A few days of good temperatures and our spring garden exploded. Granted, it has little more duration than the spring ephemerals. But, Lord, it's good - arguably easy - fun while it lasts.
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28 April 2013
As the old saying goes, any idiot can have a beautiful spring garden - and that only goes double if you're relying on daffodils.
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12 April 2013
The nights may still be going down to 28 degrees Fahrenheit and it may be pouring outside right now, but spring will not be denied. Crocuses (croci? See my previous post on the issue of Greek roots and fourth-declension nouns), anemones, Siberian iris, and winter aconite all seized the relative balm of a 60 degree day to assert that spring is finally here.
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13 March 2013
And this morning, yellow croci! (I defer to my editor at MountainHikingSite on the plural. It's always a wise move to defer to one's editor.)
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11 March 2013
There must have been 6 inches of rain today. And a sixteen degree low is predicted for Thursday night. But yesterday, George found the season's first crocuses! (Or croci. The internet is unanimous that both are acceptable. And since the word comes from Sanskrit and Aramaic via a Greek noun
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01 March 2013
March 1. Saint David's (Dewi Sant) Day. And pretty much a high holy day in our household, marking the beginning of the gardening season, as well as a culinary excuse to enjoy leeks in any and all their forms. (And if you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the fight between Pistol and Fluellen in Shakespeare's Henry V.)
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31 January 2013
The garden's still covered in snow, and there's little enough going on beyond this beautiful blooming Phaius orchid to promise spring is really on the way. And yet, Imbolc, the pagan beginning of spring, is already here.
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14 January 2013
Well, our snowdrops are blooming, which means the gardening season has officially arrived.
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04 January 2013
Still, it's hard not to compare one's own hawthorn to the only hawthorn that would be flowering right about now: The Glastonbury Thorn, a sprig of which always garnishes the Queen's breakfast tray on Christmas morning, a tradition dating back to the reign of James I. (She also gets to open all her presents first. Even before the kids. But that's a different story.)
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30 October 2012
Not all gardens in Woodstock feature weed(s)...
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© - Erica Obey
Photos © - George Baird