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The Ancient Gardener's Instructor: Dispatches from Wesley Greene

October 28, 2014

From the Garden: A Persian Pleasure

The pomegranates are now in their perfection.

Pomegranate fruit

Many visitors to Williamsburg are surprised to see this exotic fruit in the garden, but the pomegranate has a long history in Virginia.

Pomegranates were first recorded in Virginia by Robert Beverley in 1705 and George Wythe of Williamsburg made a present of pomegranate trees to his …

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October 21, 2014

In the Garden: Of Garlic and Shallots

It is in the middle of October that we plant our garlic and shallots which is true for most all of the North American colonies.

German Red Garlic bulb

Garlic has a long usage as a medicinal plant but was seldom used in America as a culinary spice until relatively recently.

As late as 1851 Peter …

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October 14, 2014

From the Garden: Late Bloomers

Asters are one of the true stalwarts of the autumn garden.

White Wood Aster

Generally known as Starworts to colonial botanists and plant collector’s there are now 36 species and several varieties of this versatile genus recognized in the state of Virginia.

Large-flowered Aster

From the colonial period to relatively recently the entire genus was …

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October 7, 2014

From the Garden: Magnificent Monstrosities

We have had some violent wind recently which is always a nuisance but not entirely unexpected at this time of year.

Cleaning Castor Beans after a storm

Several of the Castor Bean plants (which have soared to nearly 20’ tall!) were blown over onto the asparagus bed. After removing the fallen plants, we have been …

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October 1, 2014

From the Garden: A Profusion of Peppers

We are now enjoying a profusion of peppers.

Bullnose Pepper

This year we grew four types, two mild and two hot. Of the mild, the Bullnose pepper is a very old bell pepper variety. It is not as sweet as its modern descendants but is a reliable producer of large fruit.

For those, such as myself, …

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September 23, 2014

From the Garden: Autumnal Bulbs

We are now in the midst of the autumn bulb season. This often comes as a surprise to our visitors who associate such floral extravagances with the spring season.

Colchicum autumnale

There a several species of crocus, including the much coveted saffron crocus, that bloom in the fall and several other crocus-like bulbs that grace …

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