Garden siteseeing around the US

Virtual visits to the best garden blogs

Each Thursday, as we look ahead to what we hope to accomplish in the garden over the weekend, we take a short break to see what's growing and blooming around the US and the world.

Robin Wedewer lives on 21 acres in Calvert County, Maryland, and writes about gardening in two spots: In Bumblebee she tells us about her garden and rural existence: discovering a new – to her– bird in the yard, enjoying a flower bed of pink flowers, and trying to cope with the waves of bugs that seem an ever-present part of rural life. (I've been there!)

In the Gardening Examiner she muses about garden news and issues: Who is today's gardener? Is it really a little old lady in tennis shoes? Why do articles always make gardening sound so, so easy, when it can be hard, hot work? She also includes tips on how to avoid bitter cucumbers (although she doesn't mention planting the burpless kind next year). The posts are fun reads that make you think.

The end of July seems an excellent time to be dropping in on Kathy Purdy, who writes about Cold Climate Gardening. In her upstate New York home, winter temperatures can fall to minus 30 degrees F., which obviously is challenging to plants as well as people.

This time of year, though, the short growing season means that so many things are blooming at one time that in a warmer climate might be spaced over several months. (And I'm jealous about her great crop of lettuce in July!)

A colder climate also means taking advantage of the warm weather to make sure you get those garden projects done -- whether moving overgrown flowers to another part of the landscape or installing a new stone path.

At some point, we all wonder, Does everything grow better in my neighbor's yard? Those of us with shady yards especially ask that question. So we know how Shady Gardener feels. She's a former second-grade teacher in southeast Iowa who grows an amazing number of flowers – accompanied by an equally surprising number of whimsical garden accessories.

You look at things differently when you haven't been gardening for what seems like always. At Morning Glories, Beth – a pianist and piano teacher – is an admitted "late bloomer in the garden," which in her case is a quarter acre in southeast Pennsylvania.

Share with her the joy of discovering what a difference a year can make in a sparsely filled-in perennial bed, growing wildflowers from seed, finding that roses can give you just as much joy as you imagined, and the simple pleasure you derive from a plant such as purple coneflower that's undemanding and looks great.

When the weather's hot and humid and maybe some of our plants aren't performing as well as we had hoped, it's good to go "garden siteseeing" to get a different perspective. Join us again next Thursday for more virtual gardening jaunts.

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