Planning Ahead in the Garden

Published Date: 
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

It’s July. Let’s talk about planting bulbs this November. No, I haven’t gotten too much sun- well, yes, of course I have – but the point remains that the MSV garden staff plan displays 6 months to a year in advance. Spring blooming bulbs are on my mind, and I think they should be on yours as well.

By Horitculturist Chantal Ludder

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The 2020 Heritage Plant Sale … online!

Published Date: 
Friday, May 1, 2020

I was supposed to write this blog about our annual Heritage Plant Sale with our 15th anniversary in mind. I was supposed to do a blog featuring 15 of our top plants. But this blog is not going to do that.

By Deputy Director, Museum Operations and Director of Gardens Perry Mathewes

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Behind the Scenes: The Greenhouse

Published Date: 
Monday, March 16, 2020

In March the greenhouse is a warm puddle of sunlight.

By Horticulturist Chantal Ludder 

The smaller section is full of pots with seeds planted but not yet germinated, and large trays full of the tiniest handfuls of green. The larger, cooler half is already crowded with the pansies destined for the spring display in the Parterre garden.

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Seed Exchanges

Published Date: 
Monday, January 20, 2020

January, notably cold and dreary, is the time to curl up somewhere warm with a pile of notes, drawings, and seed catalogues, dreaming of gardens to come. It can feel a little lonesome for a gardener when you are waiting for spring thaw – until you hear about an upcoming seed exchange.

By Horticulturist Chantal Ludder 

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Showing Their True Colors

Published Date: 
Monday, November 4, 2019

Peak leaf season is upon us and the Garden is ablaze in fall foliage. 

By Deputy Director, Museum Operations and Director of Gardens Perry Mathewes

But have you ever wondered why the leaves change color? Why are some trees red, others orange and yet others are yellow? Let’s talk.


Norway maple leaf (yellow) and Japanese maple leaf (red).

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Ghastly Plants of Interest

Published Date: 
Monday, October 28, 2019

Autumn is upon us, Halloween is around the bend, and all is well in the gardens. Probably. Maybe. Perhaps you are the sort of person who is content to enjoy the colorful leaves and nothing more sinister than a cup of spiced cider.

By Horticulturist Chantal Ludder 

Or, perhaps, you’ve caught a bit of the Halloween mischief, and want to hear some stories about the most dreadful and ghastly plants growing in the MSV gardens. Come with me.

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MSV Heritage Plant Sale May 17 & 18, 2019

Published Date: 
Monday, May 13, 2019

by MSV Horticulturist Chantal Ludder

“Come buy, come buy!” As much as I would like to do a pastiche of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, I promise to refrain. But quite soon you are going to see a line of MSV gardeners trotting diligently back and forth from up the hill to bring hundreds and hundreds of plants down to the museum patio. What plants are we selling? Why, anything you could want, of course. All plants labeled, all plants priced.

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Cold Frames

Published Date: 
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

It was around this time last year the MSV exchanged the original windows on the building for newer, more environmentally conscious ones. Since the old windows were not of use to anyone else, and probably would have been left to languish in a landfill otherwise, the Gardens and Grounds Department quietly laid claim and spirited them away to our workshop. To be honest, I’ve never been more pleased to be in possession of a pile of debris in my life. Old windows, especially the large, sturdy ones, do not run cheap. They are also hard to find in any real quantity, especially if you are looking for a uniform size. Until this happy little windfall, the Museum was unable to offer the workshop I’ve wanted to run for years: Building a Cold Frame.

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