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Gardening

Malcolm Griffiths
ISLAND LIFE COLUMNIST
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  • It’s summertime and the living is easy
    Jun 2, 2015 8:00 am

    It’s summertime and the living is easy

    June is a month when the heat and humidity really start to kick in. It has been the custom to “use” a shade tree as a good cover for staying cool, however old trees are more labour intensive to maintain than other forms of shady elements. Except for older properties, gardens of any size are few and far between nowadays. Large properties with the luxury of established trees should have them inspected yearly; a hurricane can cause considerable...

  • The shrub has grown to an intoxicating plant
    May 5, 2015 8:00 am

    The shrub has grown to an intoxicating plant

    In the 17th and 18th century, a shrub could be a beverage of rum or brandy mixed with sugar and the juice of the rind of a citrus fruit.

    How times change, when a shrub is now simply a well-grounded plant that when used creatively — either as a stand-alone subject or in a mass planting — can still produce an intoxicating effect on the observer.

    Shrubs are plants which have numerous stems/branches and not a single trunk as...

  • Make your garden a colourful oasis
    Apr 7, 2015 8:00 am

    Make your garden a colourful oasis

    Things are supposed to happen in April.

    The range and depth of flower colour, leaf texture and seed and fruit production abound in the local nurseries and a visit to assess them is a must. Colour is found in all plant types — from annuals to bulbs and shrubs, to trees with vines, ground covers, cacti and succulents.

    Annuals are, of course, seasonal, and give colour into the early summer when “garden plants” come into their own.

  • Spring is here and your garden is calling
    Mar 3, 2015 8:00 am

    Spring is here and your garden is calling

    As I have stated on numerous occasions, February should be removed from the garden calendar, and last month proved the point.

    So moving on, it is time to shake off the cobwebs — if there are any left — and consider what needs to be done in the garden.

    Time is always of the essence in creating, developing and maintaining a garden so it is worthwhile to design with this in mind.

    Last year’s hurricanes did a good job in...

  • The woodland, a valuable asset
    Feb 3, 2015 8:00 am

    The woodland, a valuable asset

    Maintenance of the landscape of undeveloped areas is in most cases minimal, which can result in a clean-up being an expensive exercise. The two hurricanes of last October cleared out a lot of wild growth in such areas, which in itself created a two-edged sword. The debris after being cleared resulted in a lot of open ground being created, which is ideal for the regeneration of new growth and more than likely if not maintained to a greater...

  • What is a garden?
    Jan 13, 2015 8:00 am

    What is a garden?

    Simply put, a garden is a planned space usually outdoors and set aside for the display, cultivation and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature.

    It can also incorporate both natural and man-made materials. In Bermuda it encompasses a wider spectrum as the garden in many properties is an extension of the house. It is not uncommon to see gazebos, pergolas, barbeque areas, additional patios, swimming pools and spas as part of the...

  • Nov 18, 2014 8:00 am

    After the storms there are garden tasks to be done

    With new shoots showing progress in the restorative process of growth, and most if not all the debris removed, it is a good time to physically walk the garden and check for any secondary problems incurred after the initial storm damage.

    Many plants were weakened top-side and below ground with the initial impacts of the storm, and after clean-up they should now be showing some good growth, but some will have been impacted more than...

  • Oct 29, 2014 8:00 am

    The 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not take Mother Nature lightly

    So, October turned out to be a surprise package weather wise with perhaps the need to create an 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not take Mother Nature lightly.

    We were not O-Fay with the first storm and by the time the second hurricane hit us, many plants were Gonz with the Wind!

    With such a wetter-than-normal summer which encouraged abundant growth, the landscape was ripe for devastation if hit by a major storm; it is a regular...

  • October is start of slow down in growth so it’s back to basics
    Oct 4, 2014 8:00 am

    October is start of slow down in growth so it’s back to basics

    So summer was generous in its precipitation which bodes well for lush growth — even given the threat of a hurricane or two — which combined with the still high temperatures, prolongs the green appearance of gardens in general.

    A visual treat to the alternative of scorched earth as can be seen with bone dry summers.

    But do not take things for granted, Mother Nature constantly challenges us with her fickle nature so plan...

  • Aug 4, 2014 8:00 am

    Garden maintenance in the summer — survival or simply common sense

    Summertime and the living is easy especially when someone else is doing the work which is often the case when it comes to the garden.

    Not having a rainy season in Bermuda is in reality a negative factor for the garden, for water is, especially at this time of year, the elixir of life. In tandem with the temperature, rain/water has a significant impact on plant life, with it plants can flourish, without it they suffer and fall into a...

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