Monthly Archives: August 2011

Goodnight, Irene

wires down on URI campus

The weather is always so glorious after a hurricane.  Clear blue skies and bright sunshine today. Damage to the Botanical Gardens is limited to a few branches down and very little broken glass,  so we’re feeling pretty good here. We even have electricity in the greenhouse building.

There are countless fallen trees throughout South County.  It’s sad to see some of those  old giants go.

stump of fallen tree

This one was decayed almost completely through.

fallen tree

As of this morning, there are 28,000 customers in South County without electricity. ( At home in West Kingston, I’m one of them.) It sounds like it could be days before power is fully restored. But if that’s the worst of it, we came through OK.  There’s nothing like camping at home!  What’s your Hurricane Irene story?

leaning utility pole

games by candlelight


Getting Fresh

cherry tomatos

Food from the Garden: If you know me, you know that’s near and dear to my heart! We picked another round of the peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes from the All- America Display Garden and brought it to the Food Pantry in Peace Dale. Earlier in the season everybody (that’s me and The Boys ) had a sampling of this bounty. The eggplants are amazing; there are so many, and each one is tender and delicious! Of course the cherry tomatoes are a hit, also  prolific, and there are 4 kinds of peppers from mild and sweet to quite hot. The Food Pantry is happy to have fresh food, and it has been a highlight of the work week to deliver the harvest.

pumpkins on vine

This year it looks like there will be at least 4 large pumpkins from the one monster vine growing near the CE Center: through the garden, over the fence, and across the grass.  In contrast, the Christmas melon  looks as lame as it did last year (what’s up?) but there are  beautiful watermelons AND acorn squash getting bigger by the day in the upper Display Garden.  Dodge the trucks and crates of glass to see them in between the greenhouses, and enjoy the pink petunias (‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn’) keeping it cheerful over there.

AAS pink petunias

Other Garden goings-on:  I finally saw honeybees in the garden (where have they been all summer??), along with a praying mantis. Mike said he’d eat a worm — does that count as Food from the Garden? A Tuesday Tour tonight at 5 PM, should be a lovely cool evening. Finally, here’s a picture from Olallie Daylily Gardens, in South Newfane, Vermont.  Olallie daylily gardens

Change is Good, Part Two

glass for greenhouseNew glass for the Greenhouses (safety glass, so that a broken window doesn’t turn into a guillotine). This is definitely good, although I’m not sure about that parking job, Mr. Glass Replacer….

car in garden

On a positive note, the plants from the Conservatory look great outside!

ponytail palm outside


plants outside greenhouse

Hot Summer Days

Platycodon, balloon flower

Beautiful blue skies and hot sun. The garden is colorful but very quiet. This is the time of year when deer wander through, joining the rabbits and other residents who feast on the garden.  The damage isn’t bad right now, although visitors ask me if I trim the hostas that way (?!?)

deer in garden

The soil is dry, and  thunderstorms keep passing us by to the north, as they often do in South County. Most of the plants here are holding up well, but a few are beginning to droop badly. So it’s time to drag the hoses around. This is a time-consuming but unavoidable morning chore here at the Botanical Gardens.

sunny border

The Gardener’s Blog is heading off to Vermont this weekend. The Botanical Gardens will be in good hands with The Boys, as long as they keep watering! There are exciting things in store including new glass for the greenhouses and a renovation of the Horridge Conservatory.  Stay tuned for an update when the Gardener’s Blog returns with pictures of beautiful weather (hopefully!) and northern gardens.

echinacea, joe-pye weed

two fawns in garden