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The Ancient Gardener's Instructor: Dispatches from Wesley Greene

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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September 22, 2014

An Autumn Spectacular

The deciduous denizens of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area are no slouches when it comes to the flaming colors of a classic autumn. Manager of Landscape Services Laura Viancour says trees are chosen with an eye toward fall color, but their year-long care is more complex than you might imagine.

Listen now.

Take the Tall Treasures

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September 16, 2014

From the Garden: Of Breaking, Scutching and Hackling

Breaking the flax

The flax that we put up in July has been very slow to dry due to a generally cool and wet summer but in the last week the bundles of flax have finally been found suitable for processing. A clear dry day was chosen and the tools assembled.

The first task is …

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August 27, 2014

From the Garden: Accommodating Cabbages


The Brassica seedlings are ready to be moved from the frame to the garden but first we must make room for them. In order to accommodate them we have harvested several varieties of root crops including celeriac, beetroot and carrots.

The celeriac, or celery root as some gardeners call it, is an obscure plant …

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August 20, 2014

From the Garden: A Surfeit of Simlins

It is at this time of year that the gardener is supplied with a surfeit of simlins.  This is the variety of summer squash most favored by Virginia planters.

Striped simlins

In 1597, John Gerard called it a “buckler” because it was shaped “in a manner flat like unto a shield or buckler.”  The buckler …

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