Archives for category: plants
The Buckeye or Horse Chestnut tree (Aesculus californica) reminds me of my native California. Its white flowers are a signal that spring has arrived; and when the leaves drop in July, it’s a signal that the scorching hot weather has begun. 

In Europe, the Red Horse Chestnut (Aesculus x carnea) is very similar to the California variety except its flowers are pink and the leaves drop in the Fall. After the Linden tree, the Red Horse Chestnut is probably the most common street tree in Berlin. Berlin is trying to add more trees to the city, and their work is beginning to pay off. All over town, I’m seeing a lot of newly planted trees. It certainly softens this gray and rather cold city. 
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The Buckeye or Horse Chestnut tree (Aesculus californica) reminds me of my native California. Its white flowers are a signal that spring has arrived; and when the leaves drop in July, it’s a signal that the scorching hot weather has begun. 

In Europe, the Red Horse Chestnut (Aesculus x carnea) is very similar to the California variety except its flowers are pink and the leaves drop in the Fall. After the Linden tree, the Red Horse Chestnut is probably the most common street tree in Berlin. Berlin is trying to add more trees to the city, and their work is beginning to pay off. All over town, I’m seeing a lot of newly planted trees. It certainly softens this gray and rather cold city. 

The unmistakable fragrance of the linden tree (genus Tilia) is everywhere in Berlin. It’s summer, and lindens are teeming with flowers (and sap). At night, I open all the windows and breath the rich aroma of the linden blossoms. For a few months a year, the Berlin air is scented with the sweet perfume of the linden. It’s a welcome change from the auto exhaust and cigarette fumes.  

The unmistakable fragrance of the linden tree (genus Tilia) is everywhere in Berlin. It’s summer, and lindens are teeming with flowers (and sap). At night, I open all the windows and breath the rich aroma of the linden blossoms. For a few months a year, the Berlin air is scented with the sweet perfume of the linden. It’s a welcome change from the auto exhaust and cigarette fumes.  


This year, I planted Mammoth Sunflowers in the corner of the parking strip to hide the unsightly telephone pole. They’re now blooming, and they’re amazing!

The Mammoth Sunflower (Helianthus annuus ‘mammoth’) is the grand daddy of all sunflowers rising up to 8-12 feet in height with a huge sunflower head. A note on these sunflowers is that when they mature, they always face east, so think about where you want to plant them.

Not only are these flowers good for harvesting sunflowers seeds, but they are beautiful as well. And if you don’t mind sharing the sunflower seeds, you will find plenty of birds coming to your yard to enjoy them. These flowers are a BIG hit with the neighborhood kids as well. 


The Mammoth Sunflower is a type of plant that can’t be missed or ignored! If you want to dramatically change the way your yard looks this is a very simple and fun way to do it.  

This year, I planted Mammoth Sunflowers in the corner of the parking strip to hide the unsightly telephone pole. They’re now blooming, and they’re amazing!

The Mammoth Sunflower (Helianthus annuus ‘mammoth’) is the grand daddy of all sunflowers rising up to 8-12 feet in height with a huge sunflower head. A note on these sunflowers is that when they mature, they always face east, so think about where you want to plant them.

Not only are these flowers good for harvesting sunflowers seeds, but they are beautiful as well. And if you don’t mind sharing the sunflower seeds, you will find plenty of birds coming to your yard to enjoy them. These flowers are a BIG hit with the neighborhood kids as well. 


The Mammoth Sunflower is a type of plant that can’t be missed or ignored! If you want to dramatically change the way your yard looks this is a very simple and fun way to do it.  
Pfingsten or Pentecost is a Christian feast commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Christ. Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday. Pfingstrose or the Peony, as it is called in the USA, blooms around the time of Pfingsten, hence its name. Everywhere I go in Berlin, I can’t escape the Pfingstrose. Cut Pfingstrose/peonies are being sold throughout Berlin.
Clusterhead Bellflower (Campanula glomerata ‘Joan Eliot’) has handsome blooms, typically bell-shaped, blue flowers from spring to fall. It should be planted in sweeping drifts in the perennial border or naturalized under trees. It takes sun/part shade. It reaches a height of 18″ and can be invasive. During its blooming period (May-June) in Maine, it is spectacular; however, the rest of the year, it is undistinguished. I noticed the blooms this week. Wow!
Clusterhead Bellflower (Campanula glomerata ‘Joan Eliot’) has handsome blooms, typically bell-shaped, blue flowers from spring to fall. It should be planted in sweeping drifts in the perennial border or naturalized under trees. It takes sun/part shade. It reaches a height of 18″ and can be invasive. During its blooming period (May-June) in Maine, it is spectacular; however, the rest of the year, it is undistinguished. I noticed the blooms this week. Wow!

Siberian Iris’s (Iris sibirica) are easy to maintain and have few problems. They are excellent flowers for cutting and spectacular when massed in a large border. The dried pods are also handsome. They are just beginning to bloom in Maine.

When I arrive in Berlin next week, I will begin posting plants found in that city.