Wedding and Work

  • Post published:08/10/2009
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First I have to say the very most important event of the past week was the wedding of my cousin Jay  and his beloved Juliet in a beautiful garden in Manchester by the Sea. It was a glorious day and celebration was in  the air. Our hotel was hosting three wedding receptions and packed to the rafters with SEVEN groups of wedding guests. Juliet is a Nanny in the classic mode. The wedding guest list was filled with her…

Beautiful for a Day

  • Post published:08/04/2009
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  Lorraine Brennan is not a woman daunted by a challenge. When she and her husband bought a house by the side of the road in Northfield 20 years ago, it was surrounded by what seemed to be acres of blacktop parking lot. Now it is surrounded by what seems to be acres of garden – trees, shrubs, and perennials. Especially daylilies. The house by the side of the road, Route 10, was perfect for Brennan’s antiques business.…

Malabar Farm on Muse Day

  • Post published:08/01/2009
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Malabar Farm   Book Review (of Malabar Farm by Louis Bromfield 1948) by E. B. White “Malabar Farm is the farm for me, A place of unbridled activity. A farm is always in some kind of tizzy, But Bromfield’s place is really busy: Strangers arriving by every train, Bromfield terracing against the rain, Catamounts crying, mowers mowing, Guest rooms full to overflowering, Boxers in every room of the house, Cows being milked to Brahms and Strauss, Kids arriving…

Jane Markoski’s Garden

  • Post published:07/27/2009
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“I guess you can see I like water,” Jane Markoski said as she gave me a tour through her gardens. There was a birdbath in the shady entry garden, a trickling fountain as you turned the corner of the house, a bubbling faux millstone fountain at the corner of the barn, a lotus tub in the middle of a mixed shrub and perennial border, a small fish pond with a waterfall, and a larger fish pond with a…

Tours of Delight

  • Post published:07/17/2009
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These tours are over, but even these brief garden descriptions may be useful to others.   When I visited Mary Manilla’s garden in Hawley this week it was a ribbon of green along the stream that borders the garden. By the time the Hawley Garden and Artisans Tour takes place on Saturday, July 11, there will be a river of color along the stream as the hundreds and hundreds of daylilies in every hue come into bloom. It…

The Most Important Crop

  • Post published:07/13/2009
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No matter how devoted we are to our gardens, most of us would admit that the most important crop we tend is the children in our lives. The Major and I are happy to let the gardens take a back seat to grandson pleasures on these cool summer days.  We had to say farewell to Tynan, but we met our daughter Betsy and her older son, Rory, in Amherst for lunch and a 'backyard circus at the Emily Dickinson…

Japanese Iris Show

  • Post published:07/03/2009
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The Western New England Iris Society is having its annual Iris show at the Community House in Shelburne on Sunday, July 5 from 1-4 pm.    This is an opportunity to see a variety of beautiful Japanese irises and learn about their needs and culture.  Japanese irises have a flatter more horizontal flower and bloom slightly later than Siberian and bearded irises.  I always thought they required a wet site to thrive, but Kathy Puckett told me this…

The Iris Queen

  • Post published:07/03/2009
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Kathy Puckett is a collector. She has hundreds of orchids and hundreds of daylilies. She has lilies and roses and peonies. But right now she is celebrating her Siberian irises. Blue, purple, yellow and white. Great clumps of healthy gorgeous plants.             When I asked if she had a favorite flower family (it was obvious she could never choose a favorite individual flower) she hesitated.  “I love them all for different reasons. Sometimes I love the flower, or…

Muse Day

  • Post published:07/01/2009
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  A little Madness in the Spring Is wholesome even for the King, But God be with the Clown-- Who ponders this tremendous scene-- This whole Experiment in Green-- As if it were his own!                                   Emily Dickinson We had our moment of madness at Sunday's Rose Viewing, and I am not fool - or clown - enough to believe the roses are all my own. With the help of my friend and Dickinson scholar, Martha Ackmann, I…

The Oakes Garden of Sun and Shade

  • Post published:06/26/2009
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Pam Oakes assures me that neither her house, nor the lush surrounding gardens existed in 1976. When she and her husband Gordon first walked this piece of land by a pond once used for harvesting ice, they could not even imagine where to place a house until a friend bulldozed a stand of sumac and said “Build here!”  They did and she said it is a perfect site.             The gardens grew and continue to grow. Oakes said…