}

July 25, 2015

KOO KOO FOR KUSHI MAYA - MY NEW FAVORITE SUMMER LILY

After a late afternoon summer thunderstorm - complete with small hail and gusty winds, the Kushi Maya lilies remained tall and strong. I expect these stems to be even taller and stronger next summer as the bulbs settle in - this was their first summer in our garden.

Hot, humid mid-summer days would never be the same without the rich scent of true lilies - particualy oriental and trumpet lilies, and most recently, the new Interdivisional lilies (those which are hybrids or crosses between lilies from different divisions, such as trumpets and orientals) which deserve as much praise as any lily today with lily aficionados, for they are changing how we all should think about lilies in the garden.

 Blooming this weekend in our garden is one called 'Kushi Maya', and I have to tell you - this one surprised me. I kind of suspected that something special was growing ( I ordered three bulbs from the United Kingdom this spring, but really I was just going off of a written description in a catalog, so you never know what it is going to look like). All I can say is this - look - if I am writing a single post about a single lily variety ( and you know I grow dozens of varieties), you can bet that it probably is a pretty awesome lily. This is a very special lily ( and it comes as no surprise that it won Best in Show in 2008 at the Chelsea Flower Show). Still uncommon here in the US, you must track some down now to plant in the fall (when one plants lily bulbs). I am planning to plant around 24 or so for a kick-ass display infront of the greenhouse. I kind-of like to go for the 'wow factor'.

With a greenish petal, and even a more olive-green reverse, the most striking color is the center, a dark blackberry purple.


Bred by Arie Pederse for H.W. Hyde & Sons in the UK, Kushi Maya is a true 'terst-tube- baby. What makes is so remarkable is the one of the parents in this complex cross is the very shy bloomer even temperamental lily Lilum nepalense - a treasure in any garden (if one could grow it well) but one which only produces single flowers, and is challenging breed with. We have modern breeding techniques to thank for this lily though, particularly in vivo culture and something known as embryo rescue - a process I am still trying to research but one which seems to be used with many inter-specific lilies. What 'Kushi Maya' does so spectacularly well, is takes the coloring and night-time fragrance of rare L. nepalense and then the fragrance and vigor of another complex cross   Lilium x auratum x speciosum. The result? An amazing five foot tall stunner - rich with the intense, spicy fragrance any lily lover loves, and a vigor which every lily lover respects.





And that name- 'Kushi Maya'? It's is an endearing term for young girls (children) in Nepal. embryo-recovery or embryo rescue techniques - test-tube baby

We have have some lily beetle damage, but very little considering how bad the lily beetle has been in past years. I am hopeful that the University of Rhode Island's release of a parasitic wasp near us, has reduced the beetle as the past two years have been relatively beetle free.


By Saturday, more flowers opened, and the scent became even stronger, floating across the entire garden.









July 22, 2015

HOW VERMONT HAS BECOME THE 'NAPA VALLEY' OF CHEESE MAKING

Cheese makers from the Von Trapp Farmstead  in Waitsfield, Vermont offer samples of some of their award-winning creations. Oma was our favorite, a distinctive washed-rind/Tomme style organic unpasturized cows cheese.

Ooo - cheese! We've been cheese fans for a long time so when we were offered a chance to attend this years' sold out  7th Annual Vermont Cheemakers Festival by our good friends Tom and Bennett, we couldn't resist. This past weekend Joe and I boarded the dogs and drove up to the lush Green Mountains of Vermont for a bit a rest, relaxation and cheese. On the way up we stopped by Tom and Bennetts farm, Tom happens to not only be the event's organizer but also is the executive director of the Vermont Cheese Council.  The two of them just adopted one of our dogs (Lydias last litter) so little Maeva was happy to see us, if only for an hour. After all, they are practically in-laws now.

Jasper Hill Farm  (Greensboro, VT) is one of the cheese makers who has helped change how the world and cheese enthusiasts think about Vermont cheese.  Their caves ( cellars) - an underground cheese-aging facility which they share with select cheese makers and local farms, offers the perfect temperature and  humidity for aging specific cheeses (such as blues). It is encouraging to hear about their collaborative efforts and about their many successes.
The event naturally focused on cheese, but many stalls featured other artisional items from Vermont and New England ranging from bourbon and other distilled spirits, to craft beer, wine, jams and jellies and even salumi.


For more about the cheese festival, click below:

July 17, 2015

SATURDAY AT THE NEW ENGLAND LILY SHOW


The first Saturday after the Fourth of July is typically the date for the New England Lily Society Show, and I hate to admit it, but I think that I've been to nearly all of them since - here I go - 1974 or so. Yes, I am that old! Actually, I started when I was about a very nerdy 14 year old - when the NRLG, or New England Regional Lily Group used to hold their shows at the old Horticultural Hall in downtown Worcester, MA, the home of the Worcester County Horticultural Society,which today has moved and become Tower Hill Botanic Garden.

For whatever reason, the Lily Show is my favorite - and sadly, nothing like it used to be ( like most flower shows - why aren't more people getting interested in joining and competing in plant societies anymore?). I think that the first plant society show that I ever attended aside from a spring flower show, was the lily show ( maybe 1971 or so?). By 1974, I started entering, although I must admit, I am quite guilty for not joining the lily society. I did join, once or twice over the years, but honestly, I belong to so many plant societies right now, that I have decided to just enjoy raising lilies - I can join when I am retired. Not setting a good example here folks, but, it is what it is.



Lilies are confusing to many new gardeners, and even to relatively experienced gardeners, as there are different types which can be confusing. Asiatic and Oriental seem so similar by name, but they are easy to identify - Asiatics are earlier blooming, usually have upright flowers although some are outfacing or pendant ( most of the lilies in this show are Asiatic)whilst Oriental lilies have larger, later-blooming flowers, and, they are often highly fragrant. Just think Casa Blanca, the most typical and iconic Oriental. Trumpets are, well - think Easter Lily, but there are many named varieties of Trumpets. Naturally, to confuse things, there are species lilies ( those found in nature) in all categories - for example, there are many types of wild trumpet lily species. Turkscap lilies are generally a term which includes the Martagons ( with waxy, down facing turkscaps) and some of our native species such as Lilium canadense here in the North East, and then there are those 'tiger lilies'. Sure, they could be considered 'turks cap' in style, but generally speaking, all 'tiger lilies' are Lilium tigrinum, a species form.

For more, click below:

July 16, 2015

MY 'BACK FORTY' - MY SECRET GARDEN AREAS I'VE NEVER SHARED BEFORE

A HOSE BRINGS WATER TO THE CHICKEN COOP, 250 FEET AWAY FROM RUNNING WATER AT OUR HOUSE. HERE ARE SOME PARTS OF THE GARDEN THAT I RARELY SHARE ON THIS BLOG.

When folks call a tell me that they are 'stopping by' to see the garden, I usually panic. I feel that I need to manage expectations - honestly, I only focus on one tiny part of the garden on this blog - a small portion which is fenced off for the dogs, on the east side of the house, where the dogs have full run, and where the greenhouse is. It is a more manageable size, about 75 feet bu 250 feet, but that said, we live on about 3 acres of garden - garden which is mostly over grown, but which was a garden at one time when I was a kid, and when my dad was growing up here from around 1920 until 2000 when I moved back as my parents were aging. It's all too much to take care of, as you often hear me gripe about, but really, even when messy and overgrown, it has its charm. Since 75% of our property remains secret, I thought that I will share a few photos of these areas. You might find them interesting.

TODAY, NO PRETTY CLOSE-UPS LIKE THIS (BUT I DID WANT TO SHARE THIS NEW LILY THAT BLOOMED TODAY. THE BULB IS FROM ENGLAND (H.W. HYDE & SONS). THIS BEAUTY IS CALLED 'THE TORCH'.

THE LONG WALK - THE STONES ARE WEEDED, BUT THE FENCE IS STILL NOT UP. FOLLOW THIS PATH TO THE BEE HIVES AT THE END, AND THE DUCK HOUSE.


When you exit though the back porch at our house, and want to walk out back to see the chickens and ducks, you need to take the long walk, a stone path which was set out in 1926, and at 200 feet, it is rather long - to hand weed. I find it interesting to look at old photos, as see how the walk has changed and evolved over time. In the 1920's and 30's there was an apple orchard along the right side, but in the great 1938 hurricane, the old Roxbury Russet trees were all lost. 1950's it had blueberry bushes along one side of it, in the 1960's a large grape arbor and 70's,  just grass and lawn since there was a bad mitten court on the right hand side, and a golf green on the left ( don't ask, long story). In the 1980's, a new perennial border again. Garden grow, die, grow again, get cut back, redesigned and laid out again. At least this one has stayed in the same family through 5 generations which is pretty cool I guess.


A GIANT-LEAVED NORTH AMERICAN NATIVE FROM THE SOUTH THRIVES IN THE UNDERSTORY OUT BACK - MAGNOLIA MACROPHYLLA IS STARGING TO TAKE OFF, WITH 3 FOOT LONG LEAVES, IT'S LIKE A BANANA.


JOES NEW BEE HIVE IS CALLED A TOP BAR TYPE. SO FAR, IT SEEMS TO BE DOING FINE NEAR THE EDGE OF THE WOODS. THE PETASITES TO THE LEFT OF IT IS A NEW SPECIES FOR US - A GIFT FROM THE BERKSHIRE BOTANIC GARDEN, AND SMALLER THAN THE PETASITES JAPONICUS SSP. GIGANTEUS, THIS ONE IS A EUROPEAN SPECIES - PETASITES HYBRIDUS



THE LONG WALK PASSES THOUGH AMNY SHRUBS AND PLANTINGS, MOST OVERGROWN AND UNKEMPT. ALL OF THIS USED TO BE A LARGE YEW HEDGE WHICH SADLY, MY PARENT REMOVED 20 YEARS AGO.

THIS RARE ARALIA ELATA 'SILVER UMBRELLA' IS MASSIVE, AT NEARLY 20 FEET TALL. IT SUCKERS TERRIBLY WITH THE THORNY TYPE OF ARALIA, WHICH GIVES THE GENUS ITS COMMON NAME, BUT I WOULD NOT BE WITH OUT THIS BEAUTY.



THIS, LOOKS LIKE A PATH IN THE WOODS, BUT IT IS ACTUALLY OUR COMPOST PILE. THIS IS A HILL, AND IT'S ALL COMPOST. WHEEL BARROWS OF LEAVES, BRANCHES, LOGS AND WEEDS ARE ADDED WEEKLY, AND HAVE BEEN FOR ABOUT 60 YEARS. IF ONE KEEPS WALKING ON THIS PATH, YOU WOULD FALL OFF INTO A SWAMP JUST BEYOND WHERE THE PATH ENDS.

THIS OLD AMERICAN ELM, iS DEAD, BUT WE KEEP IT FOR THE WOODPECKERS - CAN YOU SEE HOW MANY HOLES THERE ARE IN IT? THIS YEAR WE HAVE HAS NESTING HAIRY WOODPECKERS AND A PAIR OF RED BELLIED WOODPECKERS.

THE BASE OF THE ELM SHOWS HOW LARGE IT IS, AND IT'S READY TO FALL. NOTICE THE BABY INDIAN RUNNER DUCKS - GETTING BIG.

OUR CHICKEN COOP WILL NEVER MAKE IT ON A LIFESTYLE BLOG, BUT IT WORKS. I HAVE A PHOTO OF MY DAD FROM 1917 SITTING IN A CHICKEN YARD WITH PIGS ON THIS VERY SAME SPOT, MAYBE I SHOULD POST SOME OF THISE COMPARISON SHOTS?

TURN AROUND FROM THE CHICKENS, AND YOU WILL SEE THIS - LOOKING WEST.  I AM THINKING OF PLANTING MORE HYDRANGEA HERE, SINCE THEY SHOULD ENJOY THE UNDERSTORY EXPOSURE.
TURN AND LOOK SOUTH, AND YOU WILL SEE THIS - SEE, THE BACK OF THE GREENHOUSE.



YES, OLD LAWN MOWERS AND TRACTORS - BELIEVE ME, WE NEED THEM. IF ONLY WE COULD AFFORD A REAL SMALL TRACTOR - ANYONE HAVE AN EXTRA 20K TO SPARE?

HOSTA, HOSTA EVERYWHERE - WHY? THEY HELP SUPRESS THE WEEDS, AS WE CAN"T KEEP UP - SO LOTS OF INVASIVE OR NICELY LUSH RUNNING PLANTS LIKE PETASITES, HOSTA AND TALL GRASSES LIKE THIS MISCANTHUS FLORIDULIS AT 12 FEET TALL HELP MAKE UNTIDY AREAS LOOK MORE GARDEN LIKE.



IN ONE OF MY FAVORITE AREAS OF OUR YARD, THE OLD HEMLOCK GROVE, THERE ARE A FEW DOZEN EASTERN HEMLOCK TREES THAT MY FATHER AND HIS BROTHERS PLANTED IN THE 1930's. SADLY, THEY ARE DIEING FROM THE WOOLY ADELGID INFESTATION, AND ONLY HAVE A FEW MORE YEARS TO LIVE.

IT GETS MORE AND MORE RUSTIC OUT BACK, WITH LESS LAWN AND MORE TREES UNTIL IT ALL TURNS INTO WOODLAND. THIS IS TOM THE TURKEY'S HOUSE ON THE RIGHT., AND ON THE LEFT, THE DUCK HOUSE AND THE CHICKEN COOP. THIS POST IS ONE LEFT OVER FROM THE OLD GRAPE ARBOR THAT ONCE STOOD HERE IN THE 1950's AND 60's. CONCORD GRAPES.



July 12, 2015

FIGHTING BOREDOM: 10 NEW PLANTS I'VE NEVER GROWN BEFORE

IPOMOPSIS RUBRA, A NATIVE SOUTHWESTERN WILD FLOWER, BLOOMS IN THE FRONT MIXED BORDER

Just when I was beginning to feel a little bored with what I grow, while sitting having my coffee and yogurt this morning, watching hummingbirds dart around the garden, I started taking note on where they were going and what plants they were visiting. One female hummingbird (a Ruby Throated Hummingbird, our only species here in New England) who was experimenting - visiting every plant- this and that,  taking an audit. I assumed that she was just unfamiliar with many of the species, as most are from far away locations worldwide.

A yellow Asiatic lily?  Nope...(1.5 seconds). A lavender Tulbaghia from South Africa? Nah,  (3 seconds). A very tempting dwarf, potted callistemon 'Bottlebrush tree' spending the summer outdoors from the greenhouse? Not even that, but maybe she was avoiding it because for the 6 species of bees who have claimed this nectar source for themselves - her final choice? - a tall, bouncy stem of a Thalictrum aquilegiafolium - with tiny purple flowers - clearly it was catnip for little, Miss. Hummer.

I did notice one more thing, however - our hummingbirds have been visiting many of the plants which are new to me as well. Or at lease, new to my garden this year. Each winter it seems I spend more and more time examining seed sources, overseas seed catalogs like Ciltern Seeds or Swallowtail Gardens, looking for unusual annuals, biennials and tender plants to raise from seed. Some, as a few of you may note, have been on my 'must-grow' list for some time, and either due to crop failure or my i nobility to raise them properly, have failed in the past, but this year, I've been either lucky, or I've mastered their germination. Here are ten new plants which I have never raised successfully before. Maybe a few of these will make it into your garden next summer? I'll be saving seed!

IPOMOPIS RUBRA
 IPOMOPSIS RUBRA
To be honest, I don't remember if these are plants which I started from seed ( from Burpee last year sold under the selection "Hummingbird Mix', (I question this since the selection has multiple colors, and these are all red), or are these from a suitcase of plants that Panayoti Kelaidis from the Denver Botanic Garden gave me as seedlings, after I saw them growing in a roof garden there (they might be both, as I planted them out at the same time). but at this point, I (and the hummingbirds) don't seem to care, they are tall and gorgeous - and may even slow the traffic down a bit on the road.

I am not sure if these are biennial or perennial, or if they self-seeded ( perhaps biennial AND self seeded) but they are not commonly seen in Eastern US gardens. Worth seeking out, I say.

CUPHEA VISCOSISSIMA

CUPHEA VISCOSISSIMA

"OK, MATT", you are probably saying - "will you stop yakking on about this plant?". I know, I get obsessed with a plant that I saw, fell in love with and then could not grow - but finally, I have figured out how to raise this rarely seen garden annual (and native North American plant). Cuphea viscosissima ( "viscose" because of the natural sticky oils on its stems and leaves - you'll see once you grow it) is a striking annual also known as 'Bat Flower', a silly name applied to many Cuphea because of the two large petals that look like, well, a bat face (they say), Dunny Flower might be more appropriate.

This annual will appear in many photos of mine over the next few months, so bear with me. Ever since I first spotted this species growing in large mixed borders at the Berkshire Botanic garden a few years ago, I wanted it - if only for the color, which is very special. A deep shade of blackberry, or what I might venture to say - Summer borsht with a plop of sour cream mixed in (if you've ever had it, then you know the color I mean). Maybe I should grow it near dill?


BROWALIA AMERICANA

BROWALIA AMERICANA
This past January, I received as a host gift some packets of seeds from a horticulturist at Blythewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island - (thanks Gail!). Seeds of annuals grown on the estate, which I planted later in the spring with some hope that they would be interesting, and of course, they look like they will be. One of the packets con tainted this = Browalia americana, a tall wild browalia nothing like the hybrid forms found at the garden centers today.

I know that Blythewold raises this in their cutting garden, but as this is the first flower to open, I will need to see how cut-flower-worthy it is, as I am not cutting it just yet! far more delicate than I expected, but I have high hopes for this drift of browalia which I set out in our new bed.

ASARINA ANTIRRHINIFLORA 'COCCINEA'
 ASARINA ANTERRHINIFLORA
 A mouthful of a name, I know - but I remember it from the species name, which comes from the Genus name for Snapdragon (Antirrhinum). Geeky, I know, but it works. This tiny vine has been on my 'want to grow' list for about 20 years, but I never had luck with the seeds. The tiny seeds need light to germinate, as well as warmth, which might be the reason, for years ago when I would order dozens of packets of 'interesting yet random seeds' from Thompson and Morgan, I would be overwhelmed at sowing time, and just sow everything in the same way. This time I found a seed source at Chiltern Seeds.

This is proof that with a little research, one can achieve success. This vine is small ( honestly, I never realized how small until now!), so I am training it on a small trellis globe in a pot. Sweet, unassuming pink flowers which hopefully will become more abundant with age, but hey - it'g growing AND blooming.

HYBISCUS TRIONUM
 HYBISCUS TRIONUM
Another plants from my gift packet of seeds from Blythewold Mansion, and although this is its first flower, I have high hopes for this as a garden annual. Sure, it's a garden escapee in some parts of Europe and even in the US, but it is still a treasured, pass-along old fashioned annual hibiscus worthy of the border.

Also known as 'Flower of an Hour', I guess I was lucky to spot this first bloom, as the flower apparently only remains open for about an hour (portulacaism maybe?). Bumblebees and other native pollinators crave it however, and even though it vines along sneakily through the border, I think I like the color -  so far.


CERATOTHECA TRILOBA, COMMONLY KNOWN AS 'SOUTH AFRICAN FOXGLOVE', MAKES A TALL, STATEMENT IN THE ANNUAL BORDER
 CERATOTHECA TRILOBA

This is one annual that will be hard for most of you to find, but the seeds are available from select seed catalogs, mine came from the British firm Chiltern Seeds. I've written about this plant a few times after seeing it for the first time featured in a mixed border at Tower Hill Botanic Garden a few years ago, where its flowers were in peak bloom in September. I've tried in the past, yes - with little luck raising them, but this year - boom! Botanically, this is not a foxglove, but the flowers look so much like a foxglove (digitalis) that one can see how the name stuck.

I had so many plants, which I carefully sowed in individual pots in the greenhouse in late March, which rewarded me with 60 or so plants which were sturdy from the beginning, and all now look like they will bloom. Tall, lush and even the ones in a few containers I have are healthy and look as it they will be showy enough for my mixed container assortment. Staking seems to be helpful, for the tall stems which are a bit Hollyhock-like, seem as if either the dogs will knock them over, or a hail storm will, but the ones set out in the big border are tall and gloriously budded up. The first two flowers opened today.

ROSCOEA AURICULATA

ROSCOEA AURICULATA

Another gift plant from a blog fan and now a friend (two lovely ladies from Toronto who hosted me when I spoke at the NARGS chapter there, remembered that I fell in love with the genus Roscoea which they had growing in their Toronto garden ( I know, Toronto!). A relative of the ginger, this genus is one which I am trailing this year with 7 species. This one, so far, is my favorite. I am growing it in a pot, but this Himalayan native is hardy here (up to Zone 5), so I may set the bulbs out after it blooms and take a chance.

SET NEXT TO A RAIN BARREL, THE ROSCOEA GETS NOTICED RATHER THAN LOST IN THE GARDEN




NASTURTIUM 'MARGARET LONG'

Plants all have stories, in one way or another, but this one, which I've written about a few times this winter, has a great one which makes it very special. First of all, it's a nasturtium - which really doesn't look like one at all, right? It's sterile, and sadly does not set seed, so it must be raised from cuttings, and then shared with others who must keep it growing on, either in warm gardens or greenhouses - which is exactly what has happened ever since it first appeared as a sport in Dublin, Ireland off of another even older sterile double from called 'Hermine-Grashopf' back in 1970.

Gifted to me vial Gail at Blythewold Mansion, who had shared with with Avant Garden's and then lost it, only to get it back again from Avant Gardens who read this blog last year and gave Gail a cutting to share back with me (that alone, is a great story). The selection is old, but lovely. I feared that I had some virus of a sort, but now, my new cuttings from stronger growth and new, sterile soil seem very healthy.

NASTURTIUM 'ELF'S CAP', ON THE LEFT, AND A NORMAL NASTURTIUM ON THE RIGHT.
 NASTURTIUM 'ELF'S CAP'

A bit of a nice surprise for me, this precious, and more elegant nasturtium appealed to me simply from it's description in a catalog. Thanks Select Seeds for turning my onto this gem. The flower sold me, but the foliage and floriferousness along with the color of the foliage, which is more olive, and somehow, denser and tighter all create what I believe could be the perfect nasturtium. More to come on this one, since I am crossing it with some of the newer fringed forms ('Phoenix') types.


I ALWAYS SAW TITHONIA IN SEED CATALOGS, BUT NEVER SAW ONE LIVE UNTIL I WENT TO A RESTAURANT NEAR OUR HOME, AND SAW A BORDER OF THEM LIGHTING UP THE PARKING LOT.
TITHONIA ROTUNDIFOLIA - MEXICAN SUNFLOWER

This is a color worth seeking out. Enamel Orange, I'd call it. Almost painfully orange, but a shade so rich and to artificial that it puts any zinnia to shame. With Tithonia, it's all about scale. Large plants erring on the side of sunflower size, combine so elegantly with lime colored foliage. Large seeds, easy to start, I really don't know why we don't' see this annual raised more often? My guess is that in garden centers, it would not be in bloom yet so it rules out early spring sales - but take note, this beauty will attract butterflies like no other plant in the garden - I already spotted two new species which refuse to leave the garden because of this torch. Once I Googled it, I was dumbfounded to learn more about its high nectar and attractability for butterflies (and, hummingbirds, of course).

July 9, 2015

RETAIL VISIT: A QUICK STOP AT TERRAIN IN WESTPORT

The perfect potting bench with hand crafted pottery at the Terrain in Westport, CT

A couple of weeks ago we stopped in at the Westport location of Terrain (URBN, of Urban Outfitters and Anthropoloie's retail and mail order store for plant lovers and gardeners), here are a few photos to spark ideas and to inspire you this early, July day.


So hard to choose, but if you could only choose one gift item, what would it be? I hate this about Terrain!

Jess waits for me to catch up - at this amazing retail store which once was an auto dealer.


For many more images of our visit, click below.

BOOK REVIEW - BEARDLESS IRISES

Kevin c. vaughn

Specialist or enthusiast books seem to be falling out of fashion with most publishers - a sad but perhaps more efficient reality given that so much information is now available on the Web - but I do miss these reads, as they are not only some of the best ways to keep information organized about specific plants, but that these monographs and singular themes introduce new gardeners to plant material which otherwise might be overlooked - and so I was so please to see that iris expert Kevin Vaughn had written a masterpiece about a group of iris lumped together under the name - Beardless Iris.

Beardless Iris: A Plant for Every garden Situation (2015) will be a very useful book for both the beginner and the expert, or for anyone who already grows these plants but whom doesn't really know what to do with them, as it seems that any information about the beardless irises is hard to find. The images are spectacular, and the content is comprehensive, but be forewarned -in many ways, this book reads as if one compiled 30 issues of the journal of the Iris Society into one, single book - which makes it both tremendously content rich, but also tremendously content rich.

It might be more than you expected from a book on iris. Yet don't get me wrong, it's a valuable addition to the research library, and hey - you want to learn more about plants, right? You will learn much from this book.

Click below for lots more!:

July 7, 2015

THE ROTOTILLER RE IMAGINED - VERTICALLY

Joe used this new Vertical Tined tiller "right out of the box", insisting that we had to give it the Russian Roulette treatment. Let's see what it can handle.

More than most people, I am used to using those buzzwords we seem to hear all of the time - like 'Innovation',  'Raising the bar", or 'Game Changer', so when Troy-Bilt approached me to review a new roto-tiller for them, I had to admit that even though I knew that it would be a strong, dependable tiller, the idea that they 'reinvented it' raised some doubts. After all, it's just a rototiller - how much bar-raising could really happen? (so OK, I caved and agreed to try it.  Check this one out guys - it's got vertical tines (like an egg beater) - this thing might change that way you think about those old 'jumpin' and hoppin'. shoulder-poppin yard monsters that eventually sit in your garage or barn.

If you are looking for a better performing tiller, click below for more info: