To Bee or Not To Bee Is Never The Question

To Bee or Not To Bee Is Never The Question

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

A couple clusters of reddish-pink bee balm have pushed their frilly heads above the rest of the perennials outside my office window – purple aster, red-yellow daylilies and the violet-white scaffolding of Bear’s Breeches among the other flowers in full bloom. I’m looking at them right now. I’ve always preferred that cluttered English garden to long sheets of color, which, …

Kiwi Vine

The Hearty Kiwi – A Vine That Holds Up

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

One of my very few rules of gardening is to never plant anything whose name contains more than five syllables because you’re already on verbal thin ice with your more literate garden-tour guests, so why push it? Then there is Actinidia kolomikta, which translates to, well, Actinidia kolomikta, which translates in English-teacher speak to ak-tin-ID-ee-ah koe-lo-MIK-tah. If you’re looking for …

Mortgage Lifter Tomateto

Mortgages Lifted While You Wait

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

While most of us garden to seek a little fun, satisfaction and relief from the billion-dollar manufactured noise of Politics 2016 – (And I will soon write my book-long take on this subject titled “Children in Suits”) – today we are going to talk about the controversial world of tomatoes. I do so because Hidden Hill’s own General Manager Cheryl …

Watering Can Tin Man

Hidden Hill Poetry Defies Rhyme & Reason.

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

We recently went on a Louisville garden tour that covered as wide a variety of gardens as one could find; gloriously native, wondrously creative, from-the-heart homemade and by-the-book linear. Which caused me to come home and look through our several zillion seasonal photographs – (Which, by the way, I have on a splendid Power Point available for public-meeting consumption) – …

From Buffalo to Bottles – Art at the Falls of the Ohio

From Buffalo to Bottles – Art at the Falls of the Ohio

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

In a way, environmental artist Al Gorman’s show at Hidden Hill Nursery & Sculpture Garden beginning this Saturday will only mirror what’s been going on at The Falls of the Ohio for hundreds of years. Except the earlier migrations featured Native Americans, soldiers, settlers, dreamers, explorers and millions of buffalo. The modern influx is a 400-mile broth of plastic bottles, …

Jackmanii Flower

Perfect Partners: Old Wood and a Vintage Plant

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates, Uncategorized

It was really a happy choice to plant the showy, velvet-purple Jackmanii clematis up against our gray barn. Especially after watching the two colors snuggle up to each other in the morning light. Our barn came first, built in the late 1970s from salvaged lumber stripped from a couple of older, abandoned barns in the area – and one maybe …

Of War and Poppy Remembrance

Of War and Poppy Remembrance

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

Some favored flowers are living poems, while others fall more into the category of lovely, amusing, timely, fragrant, gregarious or – damning with faint praise – functional. But in that category of living poetry the time-honored winner has to be the poppy. All credit goes to a World War I Canadian physician, a Lieutenant-Colonel named John McCrae, who just over …

Mr. Hooper's Tree

A Tree Grows in Utica

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

In the much more fastidious plant world the big white, fluffy flowers displayed here are found on your viburnum macrocephalum – or, a little less elegantly the Chinese snowball bush. If that isn’t specific enough, you can always go with Big Head Viburnum. Latin Lesson Warning Macro – Big Cephalum – Head But we Hidden Hill Folks have always called …

The Best Gardens Are Homemade

The Best Gardens Are Homemade

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

There is a plaque on the wall in the room where I toss my muddy boots after tramping in dirt all day that states: “Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are?” I forget where the plaque came from, and I’ve never quite believed that philosophy; just never got around to taking it down. I do …

The Real Story of Color-Coded Redbuds

The Real Story of Color-Coded Redbuds

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

To my knowledge – a disclaimer worthy of the mince-meat word “arguably” – there are no truly red redbud trees. Their flowers do come in violet, regular pink, screaming reddish-pink and frothy white – see attached photo of the ‘Appalachian Red’ cultivar for the screaming pinkish-red number. They flower in straight lines, and in bunches, or clumps. They will also …

Home is Where the Hellebores Are

Home is Where the Hellebores Are

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

When we moved into our 1860s farmhouse on the edge of Utica, Indiana more than 40 years ago it included all the attributes realtors never talk about; a leaky tin roof; no insulation; drafty windows; outdated wiring; inadequate plumbing –all of that surrounded by six acres of weeds, locust seedlings, messy mulberry trees and honeysuckle vines run wild. We instantly …

Hidden Hill Nursery Opens for the 2016 Season

Hidden Hill Opens for 2016!

Bob Hill Hidden Hill News & Updates

So, welcome to the first FarmerBobBlog of 2016. As a man with a willful ignorance of social media – and a 50-year-addiction to writing columns – I find this process both a little mystifying, and gratifying. I can sit here at home and potentially connect with thousands of readers. I can still pick and choose exactly what I want to …