09/14/2017 TimberGardener

In Canada, there is a winery that produces several varieties of fine tomato wine.  It is said that tomato is one of the most difficult wines to place in taste tests.  Since Omerto does not ship to Idaho, I guess I will have to make my own.  Our zone 3…

03/07/2017 TimberGardener

Technically it was a practical purchase.  It was the hardiest fig available, at zone 5.  If it froze, shoots would quickly regrow from the hardy roots. Violetta de Bordeaux fig, recently arrived and repotted. In 2016 I ordered a Violetta de Bordeaux fig from Burpee’s.  It…

03/07/2017 TimberGardener 1Comment

A pluot has a complex family tree.  It starts off simply enough, just cross an apricot and a plum.  Both are stonefruit, both in the Prunus genus, both easily identifiable in the grocery aisle.  It is simple to cross-pollinate these fruits.  The result is a plumcot, bred over 100 years…

02/13/2017 TimberGardener

Berries might be the most successful perennial you can grow in our area.  There are so many to choose from, and it seems like there is a new ‘superberry’ in the news daily.  I think it is safe to say berries, regardless of type, are good for you.  Here is the…

01/21/2017 TimberGardener 2Comment

During our first winter as homeowners, we plotted what fruit trees we would plant in the spring.  “Apples, of course.  Apples like chill hours.  And pears would be practical.  And an edible crabapple to help pollinate them.” We bought a Honeycrisp  apple and a Honeygold apple, which are very cold…

10/17/2016 TimberGardener

When we first carved out a garden from the surrounding trees, we knew we couldn’t grow a sun-loving shrub like the blueberry. Blueberries needed a little more warmth and light than we could provide, so we researched cold-hardy berries like the honeyberry, seaberry, and lignonberry, and planted a 30 ft…

06/11/2016 TimberGardener

Utah Honeysuckle (Lonicera utahensis) If you’ve ever walked through the woods near McCall, ID, you’ve probably seen several honeysuckle varieties growing wild. The distinctive red twinberry, or Utah Honeysuckle (Lonicera utahensis) looks like two translucent fish eggs glued together. The black twinberry (Lonicera involucrata) looks like…

06/04/2016 TimberGardener

In 2015 I posted that you should never purchase raspberries because they are probably invading someone else’s home and garden. I didn’t expect it to happen to me so soon, but I had sprouts coming up that fall. Now they are coming up in the path, in the former rhubarb…

06/04/2016 TimberGardener

Last weekend we started building a kiwi trellis. Most people’s reaction to this is “Inside your greenhouse?” or “Inside your actual house with that fig you’re going to kill eventually?” or just “WHAATT?” But the kiwi endeavor, unlike the fig tree or the maypop vine, might actually be successful. When…

03/04/2016 TimberGardener

A few days ago Toby called me from Mississippi, where he is doing prescribed burning for 6 weeks. One of his coworkers lives in New Meadows, and his wife had found mouse damage girdling their fruit trees. “Can you check our trees?” he asked. Our trees are still under 3 feet…