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).

Independent Garden Centers of America

Hey there. Your roving reporting is checking in. I am in the fair city of Chicago for a couple days, taking in the IGC Show. Several thousand gardening peeps will be here to discuss the latest and greatest innovations in the garden center business. I am not talking big box stores, I mean the independent folks. Tomorrow is a 14 hour bus tour of the finest, most innovative nurseries in the Chicagoland area. As if I could be any more exhausted. Nothing like being over stimulated for several days in a row. With all things gardening. And more gardening.

Of course, you know and I know, I dropped the trug on posting 365 on gardening. Would you believe me if I told you I never once stopped gardening and not a day has gone by that I have not been consumed by gardening in one way or another? Please, believe me. I’ll be able to ‘splain later. Wait, let me show you now:
The Rocky Mountain Gardeners’ Resource Guide. 384 pages. Covering 600,000 square miles. THAT’S what I’ve been doing.

So, I owe you a few days of catching up. OK, it will be hard, but I’ll go to 12 garden centers tomorrow and report back to you. They are serving fresh pie at one. Yes, I’ll let you know how that goes.

BTW, I am here to present on the Top Five Hot Button Issues and Gardening in the Intermountain West:Goldilocks and the water issue: too much or not enough; hitting pay dirt; going native isn’t pretty (enough);the land of fruit and nuts; and I WANT IT NOW! I’ll elaborate later.

If you have a pressing concern you’d like me to take up, on your behalf, with these nursery folks, just say the word.

Gardening 365, and its the 227th day.

Announcenment from Idaho’s Bounty

Greenhouse Workshop & Tour
presented by the Banbury Institute and Idaho’s Bounty


Saturday March 6th & Sunday March 7th

With Dale Bates of Living Architecture
& James Reed of Onsen Farm: Winter Gardens

Workshop: Saturday March 6th – 9:30am to 5:00pm
Dale and James will facilitate this two day Greenhouse Workshop and Tour. Bring your projects or ideas and share them with others in the group. You will be exploring a variety of greenhouse concepts, along with looking at several existing working greenhouses in the area.
The workshop will be located at Steve and Kathleen Wilson’s home in Bellevue Farms (South of Bellevue) at 122 Quarter Horse Dr.

Tour: Sunday March 7th – 12:30pm to 4:00 pm
We will meet at Arden Schmit’s farm in Gooding at 12:30 to explore his greenhouse, then we will drive to Onsen Farm: Winter Gardens, from where we will start a walking greenhouse tour.

$35 for the whole weekend or $25 for Saturday’s workshop only, payable to James Reed. Please call James to register at 208.543.9987 or 208.720.0673 or email

$10 for Sunday’s tour only, payable to Idaho’s Bounty Co-op.
Please call Julia Augustus to register at 208.721.1412 or email

Carpooling to the tour will take place from the Wood River Valley and Treasure Valley. Please bring water, a sack lunch or snacks if needed, and wear appropriate outdoor clothing.


Please contact me with any questions or comments.


Julia Augustus
Idaho’s Bounty

Dear Friends and Gardeners, Week 24 (24???!!!)

No wonder I am tired of gardening. But wait! I’m making a comeback, maybe today and tomorrow only, but a two day respite is better than no respite.

Along with my sound advice channeled via KD Lang, don’t smoke in bed, let me add, don’t research nasty giant stinging creatures just before you go to bed. To wit: this ugly bastard

Cicada Killer Wasp
Cicada Killer Wasp

This creature has been swooping around the Lily Pond, scaring the crap out of me. Apparently, mostly harmless, until you read up on it, going through all the flying insect/wasp websites…just before going to bed. Then it will creep you out for HOURS.

Back to the garden. Not much of anything is happening. I have lots of Sungold cherry tomatoes, just like last week. The gold raspberries are starting to make their autumn comeback. I harvested 5 figs. The apples that should be turning red are turning red. I have about a half dozen small green eggplants coming along slowly. That’s it, my friends and fellow gardeners. The rudbeckia Goldstrum looks like its ablaze and it still makes me smile, especially at dusk. Ya know why they painted school buses that color yellow -its a screamer.

My friends who’ve had a better go of their vegetable gardens are bringing me lots of tomatoes. Indy, you could send me some of those green beans. Dee, whatcha got over there, girl?

The artichoke plants have withered and died. They were trampled one too many times by my lovesick springer who dances back and forth along the fence trying to get the attention of the big old blond next door. Her name is Sally and she’s a yellow lab. That’s where I’d planted all my green beans. They came up about 3 or 4 inches and poof! To resolve some of the dog stepping, we’re making plans to do a good sized raised bed (fenced) for veggies next year. I am hoping we could get it built this fall so it would be ready to go in March. But you know what they say about the best laid plans?

Meanwhile, this little burst of coolth, coupled with a gander at the bulb plantings of Jacqueline van der Kloet at the New York Botanical’s Seasonal Walk, has me contemplating the bulb catalogs. I know I swore off bulbs. Just for one year. Yet, here I am, already plotting plotting plotting. Such is the optimism of a gardener.

Until Week 25,
the head gardener at Ranch du Bois