Groundhog Day! February 2, 1961, above.What sayeth the “Seer of Seers,” the “Sage of Sages”? If the groundhog saw his shadow today, on February 2, 2013, we’ve got six more weeks of winter. But it appears Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, and that’s what he said last year (warmest year in recorded history). Here in the North Georgia mountains, we’ve got snow tonight….

Groundhog Day! February 2, 1961, above.
What sayeth the “Seer of Seers,” the “Sage of Sages”?
If the groundhog saw his shadow today, on February 2, 2013, we’ve got six more weeks of winter. But it appears Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, and that’s what he said last year (warmest year in recorded history). 
Here in the North Georgia mountains, we’ve got snow tonight….

Frequently the verger was surrounded by a protecting wall, of more or less architectural pretense, with towers and accessories conforming to the style of the period, and decorative and utilitarian fountains, benches and seats were also common accessories. 
Henri IV in an Old French Garden, illustration by Blanche McManus.
Royal Palaces and Parks of France by Francis Miltoun (1910). 

Frequently the verger was surrounded by a protecting wall, of more or less architectural pretense, with towers and accessories conforming to the style of the period, and decorative and utilitarian fountains, benches and seats were also common accessories. 

Henri IV in an Old French Garden, illustration by Blanche McManus.

Royal Palaces and Parks of France by Francis Miltoun (1910). 

This Terrasse de Henri IV, so called, is one of the most splendid and best-known terraces in Europe, and is noted for its extent as well as for its marvelous point of view, the whole panorama Parisward being spread out before one as if on a map, a view which extends from the Chateau de Maisons on the left to the Aqueduct de Marly and the heights of Louveciennes on the right, including the Bois de Vesinet, Mont Valerian, Montmartre and the whole Parisian panorama as fas as the Coteaux de Montmorency. 
Terrasse de Henri IV, Saint Germain, illustration by Blanche McManus. Royal Palaces and Parks of France by Francis Miltoun (1910).

This Terrasse de Henri IV, so called, is one of the most splendid and best-known terraces in Europe, and is noted for its extent as well as for its marvelous point of view, the whole panorama Parisward being spread out before one as if on a map, a view which extends from the Chateau de Maisons on the left to the Aqueduct de Marly and the heights of Louveciennes on the right, including the Bois de Vesinet, Mont Valerian, Montmartre and the whole Parisian panorama as fas as the Coteaux de Montmorency. 

Terrasse de Henri IV, Saint Germain, illustration by Blanche McManus. 
Royal Palaces and Parks of France by Francis Miltoun (1910).

The Edible Garden: Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum) 

Have you met the new Super Fruit? It is commonly known as The Wolfberry or Matrimony Vine.

Goji is hardy in zones 5 to 9, and because it is a cousin of the tomato, it also requires full sun. Purple flowers appear in spring, and by summer the sweet berries will start to ripen and be ready to harvest. (A pollinator is not needed.) The berries contain 13 percent protein and are loaded with anti-oxidants. Not only that, the Goji berry contains more iron than spinach and more Vitamin C than an orange. Eat the berries fresh, or dry them like other dried fruits. What else could you ask for from a Super Food?  

The shrub is quite vigorous, so make sure it is planted in a suitable location where the vine-like branches have ample room to spread. Try training it as an espalier, where its shape can be easily managed. Choose a main cane which will become the trunk of the plant, and prune accordingly. Planting more than one? Allow 6-8 feet between the plants. The Goji will need annual pruning to keep it in check (thin out previous year’s growth), and to encourage new growth which will produce new fruit. Because the berries are edible, be aware that birds, rabbits, squirrels, and deer will eat the leaves and the berries, so be prepared to wrap netting around your plant, if necessary.

Goji ‘Sweet Lifeberry’ is a Proven Winners Selection for 2013.  



Detailed instructions on how to grow the Goji can be found here. 

The Edible Garden: Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum) 

Have you met the new Super Fruit? It is commonly known as The Wolfberry or Matrimony Vine.

Goji is hardy in zones 5 to 9, and because it is a cousin of the tomato, it also requires full sun. Purple flowers appear in spring, and by summer the sweet berries will start to ripen and be ready to harvest. (A pollinator is not needed.) The berries contain 13 percent protein and are loaded with anti-oxidants. Not only that, the Goji berry contains more iron than spinach and more Vitamin C than an orange. Eat the berries fresh, or dry them like other dried fruits. What else could you ask for from a Super Food?  

The shrub is quite vigorous, so make sure it is planted in a suitable location where the vine-like branches have ample room to spread. Try training it as an espalier, where its shape can be easily managed. Choose a main cane which will become the trunk of the plant, and prune accordingly. Planting more than one? Allow 6-8 feet between the plants. The Goji will need annual pruning to keep it in check (thin out previous year’s growth), and to encourage new growth which will produce new fruit. Because the berries are edible, be aware that birds, rabbits, squirrels, and deer will eat the leaves and the berries, so be prepared to wrap netting around your plant, if necessary.

Goji ‘Sweet Lifeberry’ is a Proven Winners Selection for 2013.  

Goji Berry

Detailed instructions on how to grow the Goji can be found here

During the 1600’s, Tulipia ‘Semper Augustus’ was considered to be the “Holy Grail’ of tulip bulbs, and it almost brought ruin upon an entire country. (The red-and-white striped Tulip ‘Semper Augustus’ no longer exists.) The striping on this particular tulip bulb was caused by a virus spread by aphids. The virus produced flames and feathering on the petals (called “breaking”) and it created a sensation when it was released upon 17th Century Holland where the populace was all too eager to get rich on an anomaly without knowing its severe detriments. Bulbs carrying the virus lose their vigor quickly, making it almost impossible to propagate and the result is the demise of a genetic line. No one knew that, of course, when the tulip frenzy started…

Legend and Lore of the Tulip as recorded by Charles McKay in 1841: Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds 

17th Century Holland, 1636
The ‘Semper Augustus’ tulip was considered to be the most precious of all, and in 1636, only two such bulbs were known to exist (both of an inferior quality, due to the virus). One was in the hands of a dealer in Amsterdam, and the other was in the hands of a dealer in Harlaem. The desire for the ‘Semper Augustus’ tulip was so great that one speculator offered the fee-simple of 12 acres of surrounding property where the Harlaem tulip was located. In Amsterdam, another speculator purchased a single ‘Semper Augustus’ for 4600 florins (approx. $64,400…for a single bulb), plus a new carriage, two grey horses, and a complete harness. 

The demand for rare tulips was so great in 1636 that their sale was established on the Stock Exchange of Amsterdam in several towns throughout the country. “Tulip-jobbers” speculated on the rise and fall of tulip stocks, making enormous profits for themselves, and it wasn’t long before people in all walks of life began to participate in the tulip stock trade: noblemen, farmers, chimney-sweeps and aristocrats who converted their homes and properties into cash so they could invest in the flower market. 

The tulip frenzy was not to last, however. When the prudent portion of the population (namely, the noblemen and aristocrats) determined that the folly couldn’t last forever, they stopped purchasing bulbs and began to sell them off at discounted prices. Suddenly, confidence in the market was destroyed, and the streets were filled with defaulters in the tulip trade. 
When the dust settled and the fury subsided, the courts ultimately refused to interfere in the mania-inspired debacle, stating that gambling debts were not debts of the law, and the population was left to sort itself out without judicial assistance. 

It was many years before the country recovered from the economic shock resulting from the tulip-trading epidemic. 

During the 1600’s, Tulipia ‘Semper Augustus’ was considered to be the “Holy Grail’ of tulip bulbs, and it almost brought ruin upon an entire country. (The red-and-white striped Tulip ‘Semper Augustus’ no longer exists.) The striping on this particular tulip bulb was caused by a virus spread by aphids. The virus produced flames and feathering on the petals (called “breaking”) and it created a sensation when it was released upon 17th Century Holland where the populace was all too eager to get rich on an anomaly without knowing its severe detriments. Bulbs carrying the virus lose their vigor quickly, making it almost impossible to propagate and the result is the demise of a genetic line. No one knew that, of course, when the tulip frenzy started…

Legend and Lore of the Tulip as recorded by Charles McKay in 1841: Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds 

17th Century Holland, 1636

The ‘Semper Augustus’ tulip was considered to be the most precious of all, and in 1636, only two such bulbs were known to exist (both of an inferior quality, due to the virus). One was in the hands of a dealer in Amsterdam, and the other was in the hands of a dealer in Harlaem. The desire for the ‘Semper Augustus’ tulip was so great that one speculator offered the fee-simple of 12 acres of surrounding property where the Harlaem tulip was located. In Amsterdam, another speculator purchased a single ‘Semper Augustus’ for 4600 florins (approx. $64,400…for a single bulb), plus a new carriage, two grey horses, and a complete harness. 

The demand for rare tulips was so great in 1636 that their sale was established on the Stock Exchange of Amsterdam in several towns throughout the country. “Tulip-jobbers” speculated on the rise and fall of tulip stocks, making enormous profits for themselves, and it wasn’t long before people in all walks of life began to participate in the tulip stock trade: noblemen, farmers, chimney-sweeps and aristocrats who converted their homes and properties into cash so they could invest in the flower market. 

The tulip frenzy was not to last, however. When the prudent portion of the population (namely, the noblemen and aristocrats) determined that the folly couldn’t last forever, they stopped purchasing bulbs and began to sell them off at discounted prices. Suddenly, confidence in the market was destroyed, and the streets were filled with defaulters in the tulip trade. 

When the dust settled and the fury subsided, the courts ultimately refused to interfere in the mania-inspired debacle, stating that gambling debts were not debts of the law, and the population was left to sort itself out without judicial assistance. 

It was many years before the country recovered from the economic shock resulting from the tulip-trading epidemic.