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Mmm, I have the same love-hate relationship with forsythia. I don't have any in my yard, and the only time I am moved to have some is this week of the year when the couple down the street are good-looking. My neighbor totally doesn't get gardening rules, he inherited the big one when he bought the house, and he trims it in that artificial ugly way that you and I dislike just before it's supposed to bloom -- and probably doesn't even have a clue it IS supposed to bloom!

Apparently FPs aren't hardy enough for up here, because I'm not familiar with them. I have a ground cover whose name I'm in search of that is just as much a garden thug as your Oriental Limelight. And you've reminded me -- I trimmed Vincent last week and need to put his lovely soft hair out for the birds. They love it.

I just harvested dandelion greens and planted beets and another row of peas. The spinach seeds I planted April 1st germinated! Cause for celebration!


I understand about letting plants go. After (yes, it's embarassing) 4 years of living in my current home, I'm finally starting a garden. Rather, I am hacking and pruning all the stuff that I ignored for so long. Well, maybe it will be a winter garden. Good luck with yours!!

Cindy D

Yes....the harbingers of spring....they make me smile and remember we can start again! Today I noticed for the first time that the world is blooming...must be that I can look around me now that life has calmed down. Glad to hear that Mr. Etherknitter is well enough for you to blog again and comment on the natural world.



My yard is a mixed blessing of pretty growing things and the mess I haven't dealt with. I am not the biggest fan of forsythia, it is a mess when it is not in bloom, but am seriously considering it for the very steep slope below my house. At the moment the "cliff" has been taken over by wild raspberries and sumac, not attractive either and the sumac grow tall and block our views of the Hudson, requiring 3 days of prunning and cutting every year. At the moment I would rather just pay the tree guy, but someday I will deal with the tangled mess and put in the forsythia, hoping it will choke out the sumac and add at least a couple of weeks of show while we sit on the deck watching the ships go up and down.

Rachel H

Gardening. One of those things I really, really ought to do more of.


Glad to hear Mr EtherKnitter is remaining in good spirits. Is he still stranded in bed? Or is he a bit mobile?

Flowers and green and growing. Ah.


Our harbingers are slightly ahead of yours. I love forsythia this time of year only but our grounds crew shape it and cut it back to within an inch of its life. Your waving wild strands are the only way it should be seen. The wysteria will be gorgeous. Last year you had such fabulous pictures of your garden (photo album 2005) and I hope you share photos again this year. Wish I was closer as it would be fun to help...I miss the soil.


I love pieris japonica! When I was a little girl I called them lily-of-the-valley shrubs and swore that when I grew up I'd have one in my yard. So far I've planted two and neither survived longer than a year.

Beth S.

Today I hacked at the wisteria and the climbing hydrangea some more while my husband dismantled the poles holding up the (nasty, spidery) grape vines. While everyone else is planting and fertilizing, we're destroying. Gleefully. It feels a bit odd, though, to be so out of sync with the rest of the world. ;-)


Lovely to see your gardens. And admired your 2005 garden album. Shadblows - I think that's what we call serviceberry - but I am on dialup and it's taking forever to load your pix. My serviceberry is thinking about blooming in the next few days. Glad to hear Mr is doing well.


Glad Mr. E. is keeping his spirits up!


I am going to try to get enthusiastic about gardening again this year. The deer problem makes that difficult. I have grown very fond of my forsythia hedge in the back as it screens some of the property of the Neighbor From Hell and doesn't seem too delicious to the deer. The pieris japonica is one thing the deer will absolutely not eat, so I've learned to love it. They've already chomped my iris sprouts to the ground. Don't get me started....


Forsythia needs to be free, baby. ;-) I totally agree. We have one small bush that we planted a couple of years ago and we put it in the corner of the L shaped part of our house. It works well there because it fills in that corner, know what I mean? Give my best to the Mr.


Ugh... Oriental Limelight should be banned from garden centres. I bought a 4" pot of it and the following year, it went under a rose bush and came up about 2 ft away. That's when I found out how invasive it is. I spent 2 days digging out a 5 ft wide circle. It will spend the rest of it's days in a planter box. If you dig yours up, make sure you get every little bit of the white roots. Using a soil sifter will help.

Lee Ann

I don't have a garden, so I'll live vicariously through yours...

I do have a balcony. I might fill it with plants this summer so that I have a jungle in which to recover. If you can think of anything which is rather jungle-like and doesn't mind being on a balcony with someone who might occasionally forget about it, let me know...

(This is why I don't have sheep.)


I am not a gardener. I think I should be more of one but I'm just not. I also had a love hate relationship with a forsythia. We had a giant one int he backyard when i was a kid. I loved the flowers but I kept losing toys in it until fall. This bush was the mate of the snowball bush of doom. Which I sware I saw eat my entire dog then spit him out again.

Progress is progress even if it's slow. Best wishes for Mr Etherknitter.


Surfing through... Wisteria makes Oriental Limelight look like a wimp! It is renowned for being invasive, and my yard has a 50-year case of unrestrained wisteria. Take it from one who knows, and don't let it out of the plant pot.


So much personality in your garden! Plants with attitude!

I live in an apartment. I have two Christmas Cacti - one at home, one at work - that I haven't killed yet. It's as close as I get. :)


LOVE your garden pictures. i've got a burning bush that's doing the same thing as your forsythia. i've had to clip it back severely, and the damned thing still comes back bigger and bolder than ever. admittedly, it's gorgeous in the fall, and it's VERY healthy, so the foliage is a gorgeous dark green the rest of the time, but good god! it's taking over my sidewalk!

lynne s of oz

Oooh, garden! How lovely Spring must be in New England!
We are preparing for winter, but that means we are planting vegies and stuff, not hunkering down for snow.


Yay! Your garden is back!


The garden looks great and surely it will be spring for Mr. Etherknitter as well.


I'm not much of a gardener, but your post today reminds me that I need to get out there and knock some sense into my herb-garden-in-pots. I think maybe we've seen the last of the below freezing weather, hopefully. We're also spending time rearranging stuff that our landscaper put in the wrong places a few years back.


I don't like FPs either. I'm stuck w/one where I live now and it flowered amazingly well this year--making me feel guilty about not liking it. Yup, Artemesia likes to rule. It's nice to see your garden!


Isn't Spring wonderful? I think I'm enjoying this more this year than ever.

I have the same love/hate relationship with forsythia myself. We cut out an entire hedgerow at the front of our house when we bought it, because one couldn't see our house from the road. But now I want to plant one or two and keep them trimed back. Those plants just look so pretty in the early Spring.

Glad to hear the Mr. is feeling better. :)

Dorothy B

I would love a nice full garden. I've got my sunflower seeds and pumpkins are sprouting inside and I am just waiting for the last frost warnings to quit showing up on the weather site to set them out. My lilac uh... "bushes" are showing buds so it shouldn't be much longer.
My big battle is snake grass (the stuff that looks like rattlesnake tails) and moss. This year I have aerate the c**p out of my entire 2 1/2 acres of mostly useless swamp/yard and pour about 8 bags of good black earth on top of the rectangle of sand/clay I mistakenly called a garden last year.
Good luck with your garden! Just picture someone telling you that you are not allowed to buy yarn for one year and your pruning will be done in no time! :)


Hooray for Harbingers!!!

I do so love your garden posts and pics and musings.

(I also love both Forsythia and Wisteria, but I'm from The South that loves blowsy, overblown, saucy plants that ache to take over the world. Ever smelled Kudzu in bloom? Fantastic stuff, that.)


my first thought, upon reading the title of this post, was something along the lines of "*that's* the word I was trying to think of this week!!" I could remember it started with an H. I knew it was ominous and sometimes was like a false start to a stroke.

It's good to have you back. Seeing green on my screen makes up for my lack of a garden this year....


Is a garden ever anything but a WIP? LOL If you tell me they do get to be FO's at some point, then I'll have to admit I'm not an accomplished gardener!

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