Tag: gardening

Surprise Pink


All of a sudden they rise up unannounced. No leaves, no warning, just long narrow stalks out of the ground. First a bud on top, then another, then another, until there’s a cluster on each stalk.  Lycoris squamigera is back again.

How Does Your Garden Show? The Power of Outdoor Sculpture


A garden makes the perfect venue for sculpture. Think of the Wurtzberger and Levi sculpture gardens at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Think of the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C.

Besides being lush settings for sculpture, gardens themselves often have sculpturesque qualities. Such is the case of the world-class garden of Jean and Sidney Silber.  Ten acres of gardens in Baltimore County flow around the Silbers’ house to create a well-integrated, gigantic piece of organic sculpture.

Jean Silber



Sidney Silber is an engineer turned commercial real estate developer turned sculptor/artist. His keen eye for design has informed the overall design of the garden and the artistic juxtaposition of plants that create a harmonious flow of texture and color.

Sidney Silber

Several of his own sculptures are strategically placed on lawns or in spots among the roses or the trillium, boxwood and perennial begonias. Many others, including those by Maryland artists Mary Ann Mears, Ruben Kramer and Freda Sohn appear along the many paths that wind through the gardens. Then there is a nude the Silbers found in Paris, one who looks as if she has just bathed in the fishpond by the rose garden.

Baltimore’s Newest Tradition: Cylburn Arboretum Market Day


Cylburn Arboretum  has never looked better. Sunny weekend weather made this green oasis in the city sparkle for the 44th annual Market Day Saturday and for the preview party Friday evening.

For once I was ahead of the curve, and ahead of voracious plant buyers. Buying plants at Market Day is becoming as much of a Baltimore tradition as the Hunt Cup, Flower Mart and Preakness.

I went on Friday evening when the $20 event kept the swarms down. Parking was easy. Attendance was good. Wagons were profuse,


 and if you’d forgotten to bring one, Cylburn had them available for rent.

Through the “Garden Gate” in Guilford, Homeland and Roland Park


On a cold, rainy Monday in April Jim Childs and Jack Coyier  flew in from Iowa where they work for Garden Gate magazine. http://www.gardengatemagazine.com They came to Baltimore to photograph gardens. Monday afternoon we toured Roland Park,  Guilford  and Homeland.  I introduced them to a handful of the areas’ finest private gardens, as well as to Sherwood Gardens.

Garden Festival at Ladew

Ladew Garden Festival Guest Lecturer Carolyne Roehm


Carolyne Roehm, one of America’s leading tastemakers, trendsetters and lifestyle experts will host May 5 Garden Festival at Ladew Topiary Gardens as this year’s honorary chair and guest lecturer.

Celebrating its fourth year, Garden Festival at Ladew has become the regional rare plant, antiques and garden ornaments sale. Featuring an exclusive collection of vendors from throughout the eastern seaboard, Ladew expects to welcome over 1,500 guests to Garden Festival. In addition to shopping and Ms. Roehm’s lecture (seating is limited), guests at Garden Festival can tour Ladew’s renowned gardens, visit the historic home of Harvey Ladew and stroll through the Nature Walk.

Justin Martin, Author of “Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted”, in town


With a crammed spring schedule, I missed hearing author Justin Martin speak at the Enoch Pratt Free Library  Tuesday. He had been there to talk about his recent biography, Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Olmsted.  I had only met him when someone affiliated with Ladew Topiary Gardens asked me to give him a tour of Roland Park a few weeks ago. Then, I did most of the talking.

On Wednesday, I seized a free morning and accepted an invitation to join him downtown and hear more about his book. Over coffee I listened to him talk about the life and work of the pioneer of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted. I’ve lived in an Olmsted community most of my life, but I knew little about the family’s personal life. Roland Park was designed not by Frederick Law Olmsted but by his son, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., who, with his cousin, carried on his father’s work throughout the United States. As I listened about the father — a sailor turned farmer, journalist, Civil War medic and gold mine supervisor — I marveled at all this man brought to Central Park, his first (yes, FIRST) landscape project.

Working for a Fruitier Baltimore


Los Angeles residents follow Fallen Fruit’s maps to find fruit trees on public property. Over on the other coast, the Boston Tree Party is celebrating the spirit of “civic fruit” by planting heirloom apple trees in public spaces. And now we’ve got our very own orchard activists launching all sorts of fruit-centric projects around town this spring:  the Baltimore Orchard Project.

Founded by a group of movers and shakers from the local sustainability and food scenes, BOP has two main projects:  to glean fruit from public places and distribute it to those in need; and to partner with individuals and organizations to plant trees, orchards, berry bushes, and grapevines to make sure Baltimore only gets fruitier.

Charm City Cook: Dear Rhubarb, I love you


Rhubarb is coming soon to a market near you!

This wonderfully tart vegetable is one of those things you either love or hate. Like, say, oysters or tapioca or olives. (I love all of those things…duh.) And, I am way on the love side of rhubarb. Pies, jams, syrups, um…vodka? Yum.

When selecting rhubarb at the grocery store or farmer’s market, look for stalks that are firm and dark pink/red. Light pink stalks can also be just fine in most recipes…but for jams, etc, I try to use red stalks, as they are more visually striking. One very important detail if you grow rhubarb: the leaves are poisonous and should not be ingested. I’ve fallen hard for rhubarb, my friends…much like I did for figs a few years ago. Now I have rhubarb growing in the back yard right next to my fig tree. I just have to figure out how to chicken-proof it – they eat everything!