Garden Wisdom

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.."  -Alfred Austin



About Me

Jeff, Gardener in Chief

Contrary to popular opinion, some people in the Hamptons enjoy getting their hands dirty. I'm a self-taught gardener in East Hampton, NY that enjoys sharing my gardening experiences and inspiration with others. Hope you enjoy my blog and galleries.

Read more about me and my garden here.


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Entries in winter (4)


Who Knew?

Morning light breaks through the snow-clad branches yesterday

More snow today (with ice).  The trees and shrubs in my Hamptons Garden already look like they've been thickly frosted with vanilla buttercream.  A beautiful sight, but enough snow already.

We're only halfway through the winter and we've had record cold weather and significant snowfall. Was all this forecasted last fall? As a gardener, I'm usually tuned into the forecasts, especially unusual hot and cold spells. But I don't remember anyone cautioning us against polar vortexes until recently.

I looked back at The Weather Channel's winter forecast that they published on Oct. 21, 2013.  It reported, "A winter of extreme cold or extreme warmth is not expected during the months from December to February...For the Northeast, the best chance for extended cold temperatures is expected to be late in the winter".  Was this just an optimistic guess?

The tried-and-true Old Farmer's Almanac was a much better predictor.  They published last September, "a decline in solar activity combined with ocean-atmosphere patterns in the Pacific and Atlantic will result in below-normal temperatures and above-normal snowfall during most of the winter across much of the United States".  This almanac has been correct more than not. They did predict the warmer than normal winter we had a few seasons ago.

I guess there's not much I could have done differently knowing the severe winter forecast.  Maybe I would have bought an additional snow shovel and a few more pairs of long johns, but for the most part, ignorance was bliss.



My Winter Garden

The freezing weather outside inspires me to bring the garden indoors.  You'll find plants all over my house almost any season. Some may say too many.  However, while I'm stuck indoors during these cold winter days, these indoor flora become especially rewarding. They not only add color and remind me of warmer months in the garden, but also provide a bit of exercise for my green thumb.

I've bought indoor plants from many places.  The grocery store, garden centers, and two great online sources: the violet barn ( and Logee's ( I have a rather large collection of plants growing under full-spectrum florescent lights in the basement so I can rotate the plants on display pretty often.

Here a coffee table serves as a little garden vignette with a tropical fern that was outside last summer and an orchid that I was able (for the first time) to rebloom using the grow lights. The orange roses from the grocery store add a punch of color and fragrance.  

The groundhog predicted that spring will come early this year, but with a foot of snow on the ground, spring still seems far away.  Until then, I'll just putter around in my winter garden.


Winter Wonderland?


Norway spruce heavily flocked in snow

 To a kid, a big snowfall represents tons of excitement: snowmen, sledding and no school.  But to an adult, deep snow is rarely as fun. And to a gardener, it can be a bit scary when the trees and shrubs are weighted to the ground looking like they could break at any moment.

No doubt, the 12+ inches of snow and ice that accumulated this past weekend in my Hamptons garden was quite a sight and the landscape did look lovely blanketed in the stuff. However, I know that underneath this fleeting beauty there will be some damage. But until the thaw, I'll just have to focus on the scenic beauty of this winter wonderland. 


The front garden

The lower dining patio and gardens

Blooms of a witch hazel emerge from the snow.


A colorful cardinal