Fruit of the Loom.

Or, what’s looming in my future.

Black Gilliflower. Ashmead’s Kernel. Spitzenberg. Coming to my door. Tomorrow. YESYESYES!

From Trees of Antiquity’s catalogue/description:

An old English russet apple, medium size, golden-brown skin with a crisp nutty snap. Fruit explodes with champagne-sherbet juice infused with a lingering scent of orange blossom. Flesh is dense, sugary and aromatic with intense flavor, characteristic of russets. The Ashmead’s Kernel is a winner of taste tests and displays some resistance to scab and cedar apple rust.

Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Excellent
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, baking, juice/hard cider
Rootstock: Semidwarf
Size when shipped: 5/8 to 3/4 inch caliper (width around trunk)
Height prior to shipment: 6 ft.(trimmed to 5’when shipped)
Shape when shipped : Feathered (prominent side branching) and Whips (no branching)

And then there’s Black Gilliflower. Who knew you could describe an apple as “hangs well on a tree.” Huh? So do monkeys. But who cares. I can’t even remember WHY I ordered this, maybe the name spoke to me. Maybe I need something to hang well.

Large, conical ribbed apple becoming almost dark purple. Distinctive flavor, reminiscent of Spitzenburg, rich and sweet, with a relatively dry flesh. Hangs well on tree.

Bloom: Late
USDA Zone: 6,7,8,9
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Good
Mature Size: Medium
Ripens: Very Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter)
Rootstock: Semidwarf
Size when shipped : 5/8 inch caliper (width around trunk)
Height prior to shipment: 5 ft
Shape when shipped: Feathered (prominent side branching)

Oh yes yes yes. And you probably know about Spitz. More tomorrow. 

Living in the Garden

If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hello! Living in the Garden Nursery is 2 miles north of Pullman. Directions: here.

Garden Writers in the Garden
At Living in the Garden Nursery, just outside Moscow, ID
Saturday, June 4, 2011
1:00 – 3:00 pm

Three very different writers, each with a unique point-of-view, narrative voice, and personal passion, yet all good friends, come together for an afternoon at Living in the Garden. They are drawn by a budding friendship with kindred spirits, Suzanne St. Pierre and Scotty Thompson, by the awesome sense of place evoked here in the Palouse, and by a mutual love of creative expression through art and horticulture.

Please join us for a rollicking conversation about what draws us to the garden and what we experience once there. You’ll meet and hear from:

Lorene Edwards Forkner, former nursery owner (Fremont Gardens, Seattle) and two-time gold medal winner for her displays at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. Lorene is the author of several books, including her forthcoming Handmade Garden Style, which will be released by Timber Books later this year. Her blog, celebrates “a good & delicious life” in the Northwest. Lorene will demonstrate one of the many clever and inspiring DIY projects from her new book and she will talk about what on her blog she describes as “the really good part—getting to blend our passions into a delicious whole.”


Debra Prinzing has returned to the Pacific Northwest after a four-year-episode in Los Angeles where she discovered the joys of gardening in Southern California with an entirely different plant palette and growing conditions. Debra writes about the design of architecture, “the built environment” and horticulture, “the planted environment,” and the people who occupy that wonderful intersection. She is the author of Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways (Clarkson Potter, 2008) and is passionately at work creating a new book with photographer David Perry called A Fresh Bouquet: Seasonal, Local, and Sustainable Flowers. Debra will talk about growing a cutting garden and designing bouquets that reflect the season, the garden, and the environment in which you live. Learn more at


Copies of the speakers’ books will be available for purchase and signing at LITG.

And Debra wrote this nice bit about moi: Mary Ann Newcomer, scribe-scout-and-speaker, appears regularly as the “Dirt Diva” on the River Radio, 94.9 in Boise. Her articles on gardening appear in MaryJane’s Farm, Fine Gardening and the Idaho Statesman (online). A native daughter of Idaho, Mary Ann has been growing plants since she was a small child who delighted in her first plot of radishes and their first sets of heart-shaped-leaves. Mary Ann is the editor of the forthcoming book, Rocky Mountain Gardener’s Guide, which will be published by Cool Springs Press in 2012. Says Mary Ann: “My heart is here in the Wild Wild West. I believe in honoring genus loci, or, the Spirit of the Place.” You’ll hear her speak on one of her favorite themes: “Pioneering Gardening Techniques: Why Heirloom Gardens Still Work Today.” She was profiled by the American Horticulture Society in their magazine, The American Gardener (May/June 2011).

Destination: Jellystone

Hey Boo Boo! Whatcha got in your picanick basket?

In the distance, through the smoky haze (range and forest fires), I can almost make out the Grand Tetons.

Today, we head north and east toward Yellowstone National Park. Properly fueled with the requisite Iced Grande Latte, and a back up Iced Venti Green Tea, unsweetened and no water added ( thank you very much), a dog all adither cuz the flyrod is in the car, enough toys to keep us for a year, well, we are off like a herd of turtles to Wyoming and Montana.

We arrived at the West Yellowstone entrance about 6 pm. Perfect for the “wildlife events” (read: they come out to graze in the evening), the light is gorgeous, the traffic calm and sparse. FIrst up, a big boy:

and unlike some folks, we know better than to torment him. He stinks, he’s cranky, and he owns the joint.

Minding her own business, albeit in the highway. Care is the word of the day since where there is one, there are probably two more in the brush ready to leap in front of you. That’s a radio tracking collar.

The sun starts to set on Yellowstone.

Plant Select

Yummo! A week ago I had the great pleasure of attending the opening of the fabulous new Darlene Radichel Plant Select Garden at the Denver Botanical Gardens. It’s only been growing for a few months, so its still quite “young”, but as we say in the design biz, “it’s got great bones.” Here’s a little collage of some of what’s growing there. Note too, it’s late in the season and a good many plants were just past their prime. Still, lovely in color and and form.

In the lower corner is a photo of the incredibly modest, Darlene Radichel, who made it happen. Thank you Darlene.