The Gardener's Apprentice

September 14, 2016
by The Gardeners' Apprentice
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Goldfinch Gardening

My father used to call them “salad birds”.  Reference guides refer to them as Spinus tristus.  Most of us know the bright, acrobatic birds as goldfinches.  Though they look as colorful as parakeets, guidebook authors sometimes damn these songbirds with … Continue reading

June 27, 2016
by The Gardeners' Apprentice
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Sneezewort

Yarrow—Achillea–a plant cultivated in gardens for a very long time, has garnered a host of nicknames, some of which are worthy of Harry Potter.  Among the more colorful monikers are soldier’s woundwort, herbe militaris, bloodwort, nose bleed, devil’s nettle, old-man’s-pepper … Continue reading

March 21, 2016
by The Gardeners' Apprentice
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Rise of the Coneheads

Last week I participated in an annual ritual of spring that involved a lengthy pilgrimage, followed by acts of homage at impressive shrines in the company of hundreds of other pilgrims. At the end of my journey, I returned home … Continue reading

August 3, 2015
by The Gardeners' Apprentice
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Dr. Stokes’ Aster

Pity the poor common chicory or Cichorium intybus, a Mediterranean native that has made itself at home all over the United States, gracing roadsides, field edges and other untended spaces.  The semi-double daisy flowers are the most beautiful shade of … Continue reading