A Paradise Garden in Turners Falls

  • Post published:06/20/2014
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Ed McAvoy (88) and Lynn Hoffman ('nearly 90') are peeking into their paradise garden in Turners Falls. When Lynn and Ed built their little suite in the house belonging to Ed's daughter, they knew they had to have a garden. When I saw it I was reminded that the word paradise originally came from the old Persian word for a walled compound. This small walled garden shows that paradise can exist at any size. There is room for…

View from the Bedroom Window – May 2014

  • Post published:06/09/2014
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The view from the bedroom window on May 5 shows that the grass is greening up, but it is cold, 46 degrees, cloudy and windy. I dug up plants for the Bridge of Flowers plant sale, but then went back in the house to work in front of the woodstove. Now it is hot! 80 degrees. What a difference a week makes. We had a little rain and warmer days - although with strong  breezes it has still felt…

Container Gardening – Annuals in a Pot

  • Post published:06/01/2014
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“Container gardening is such hard work!” a friend said to me the other day. Work I thought?  A lot of thought which is in itself a lot of work, but I didn’t think that is what she meant. I soon learned that the work she had taken on was lugging  a heavy watering can to the end of a long country driveway to water a hanging basket. That is work! And it has to be done because container…

Annuals for a Long Bloom Season

  • Post published:05/19/2014
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The Bridge of Flowers taught me that annuals are the easiest and most dependable way of insuring a flowery garden all season long. This spring I am concentrating on adding annuals that will be in full bloom for the Annual Rose Viewing. Of course, I do have perennials in bloom at that time, but this year I am determined to have a very flowery garden at the end of June, and then for the rest of the summer.…

Plant Sales in the Spring

  • Post published:05/17/2014
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The Bridge of Flowers Plant Sale is Today, Saturday, May 17, 9 am - noon.  Don't Be Late. Plant sales are a sure sign that spring is here. When spring arrives plans and projects to spruce up our outdoor spaces, in our yards and in our towns, are set in motion. The Bridge of Flowers is a big beautiful public space, but other public spaces are getting their spruce up, too. The Bridge of Flowers is one of…

Plant Sale Season is Upon Us

  • Post published:05/08/2014
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These Van Sion antique daffodils are strong growers. So strong that they persist in blooming in a rose bush no matter how many time I try to dig them out. No matter. I am glad to see them blooming. They are the earliest of my daffs, but a few others are coming into bloom. And if daffodils are blooming in Heath it must be time for plant sales. The first plant sale is organized by The Greenfield Garden…

Companion Planting – Folk Wisdom or Science?

  • Post published:03/29/2014
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When I first learned about companion planting I thought it was a bit of simple folk wisdom. Plant your peas and carrots together, but keep them away from dill. Plant marigolds near the tomatoes, and soybeans with anything. This information, which is available in lists in books and on the Internet, has been my guide every spring when I rotate the vegetables around in my garden. Of course, in my small rotating vegetable garden I am also practicing…

New Flowers for 2014

  • Post published:02/16/2014
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  Is it too early to talk about new flowers for 2014?  NO! By tomorrow afternoon Punxatawny Phil will have told us whether we can count on an early spring. I have heard a rumor that he may very well do so.  Maybe. I already know that it is still light at 5:30  in the evening. Spring seems like a real possibility and it is time to pay serious attention to the plant catalogs piling up since before…

Garden Planning III – Mixed Borders and Rock Gardens

  • Post published:01/26/2014
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                     Garden Planning takes a new direction after you have decided how much time you have, what activities you want to enjoy in the garden, and what the garden needs in terms of soil improvement. You will also have decided whether you want a strictly ornamental garden, or if you want to include edibles.             In urban and suburban settings the first consideration is the front yard. Most front…

Not Too Late for UMass Garden Calendar

  • Post published:11/22/2013
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  It is not too late to order the 2014 UMass Garden Calendar. This is always beautiful, and this year the monthly photographs feature a floral  happy dozen from potted tulips to Linda Campbell rugosa blossoms to a glorious sunflower. But the calendar is not only beautiful it contains a wealth of gardening advice and information for those of us in the norhteast. This year there is a thorough explanation of the USDA climate zones.  I always forget…