Tag Archives: blue skies

Snow Days

Today’s weather is the most dreary mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Monday was an unexpected six inches of snow (no forecast, no hype, sort of refreshing!) But in between was a little gift of a bright sunny mild day with a beautiful layer of fresh snow on the ground.

ericaceous garden in snowbranches with snowtwigs with snowsnow face


Season of Change

maple leavesIt’s that time of year:  Fall is a season of renewed energy in the garden with crisp clear weather and bright sunshine. It’s a great time to plant without fear of heat or drought killing off new transplants. Comfortable temperatures inspire us to tackle bigger projects than we would consider in the heat of summer or in the crazy-busy rush of spring.

So, down come two trees! The snow and ice storm on October 30th just barely grazed this part of Rhode Island, but did result in a little sprinkle of snow, a killing frost, and some broken  branches. One of the two Styrax japonica in the main garden broke in half, giving us a great excuse to remove both. Don’t get me wrong, these are beautiful little trees, absolutely loaded with flowers in the spring. But they have been a maintenance nightmare, as every pretty white flower becomes a seed, and every seed sprouts into a little seedling with a big taproot! Removing these seedlings before they overran everything around them took hours of labor. They needed to come out and the storm made the final decision for us.

styrax japonica flowersWhat will they be replaced with?                                                                                         Any suggestions?

logs and chainsaw

moving brush pileOn another note: The autumn color has been much less vibrant this year, warm wet weather and hurricane salt spray taking their toll. Many leaves are still a dull, tired green. I laughed out loud when Doug Norris of The South County Independent referred to the trees as zombies, “the deciduous undead”!

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

Nothing but Blue Skies


ismene longipetala

Ismene longipetala, the "Peruvian daffodil"


1. Incredible days of crystal clear weather this past week, making the plants look their best.

2. A song by Irving Berlin, recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Willie Nelson, and everyone in between.

3. The name of a high school senior I know (well, almost; it’s Blue Sky).


4. The title of a book by Tom McGuane (not my usual reading material but he’s Bob’s cousin).

5. Tag for thousands of photos on Flickr.

6. A metaphor for good times ahead…spring is coming!


Cornus officianalis, the Japanese Cornel Dogwood