Solar Eclipse on Beech Street

  • Post published:August 21, 2017

My neighbor Wendy came over to our house to watch the  solar eclipse. You can see our scientific arsenal, a colander, a red plastic dish pan filled with water and a big stainless steel bowl filled with water. We did not have any of the special glasses but we heard that you could watch the eclipse as a reflection in water, even if it was only a bowl of water. You can also hold up a colander with…

Wild Rose Flower Farm

  • Post published:November 12, 2016

While shopping at the Greenfield Farmers Market last year I met Danielle Smith at her Wild Rose Flower Farm booth. I found the name of her farm, Wild Rose, irresistible, of course, and she was always surrounded by a bounty of lovely spring bulbs, and later an array of dahlias, zinnias, sunflowers, delphiniums and all manner of other annuals. At the Winter Market I bought a wonderful wreath to hang on our new front door. All this summer…

Framable Bridge of Flowers

  • Post published:October 19, 2016

Carol Purington, the prize winning poet who resides on a family farm in Colrain, has created this framable cycle of haiku that evoke the Bridge of Flowers through the seasons.  She begins with the Bridge itself Arching/the Indian old river/bridge of blossoms Arc of geese/under frosted flowers/the river too runs south Summer-green/floats out from under the arches -/flower bridge blooms. The beautifully matted work of art is available at Shelburne Falls locations: Sawyer News; Boswells Books (which also…

Franklin Land Trust Garden Tour – June 27

  • Post published:June 20, 2015

Ruah Donnelly’s house overlooks a wooded ravine, a tapestry of shades of green and shifting light. There is not a flower in sight. Donnelly says that over her years as a gardener she has experienced a growing struggle between wanting art in the garden and wanting to conserve the landscape. While she thinks conservation is winning the battle, any visitor to this garden and landscape will see no struggle, only beauty. Donnelly’s garden is only one of the…

Monks Garden at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

  • Post published:May 12, 2015

On Mother's Day we went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum so I could revisit the Monks Garden , newly designed by Michael VanValkenburg in 2013. I wanted to see how it was filling out, and if it really went 'crazy with hellebores" in the spring. This is where we entered on the graceful curving path. Visitors to the Museum can also enter the Monks Garden from one of the galleries. The trees are indeed filling out. Hellebores…

Windowsill Art and Gardens in Detail – Book Reviews

  • Post published:September 28, 2014

Many of us are very reluctant to put together a flower arrangement. We see photos of complicated bouquets accompanied by complicated descriptions of color and texture and know we could never aspire to making such a thing. In her book Windowsill Art: Creating one-of-a-kind natural arrangements to celebrate the seasons (St. Lynn’s Press $18.95) Nancy Ross Hugo, shows us a way to make arrangements that are beautiful in their simplicity. I am a person who is known for…

Bridge of Flowers in August

  • Post published:August 29, 2014

I was walking across the Bridge of Flowers this morning and it is clear this is high Dahlia season. I don't know the names of these varieties, but I am going to look through the  Swan Island Dahlia catalog and see if I can get names for some of these. Some dahlias have a more tender hue. China Doll is a dahlia that everyone loves. Dahlias come in so many forms and sizes. Do you think 'Shaggy' is…

The Bridge of Flowers and The Art Garden

  • Post published:July 21, 2014

The Bridge of Flowers is a miracle of bloom right now. High summer. The dahlias are just beginning to join the phlox, daylilies, cimicifuga, crocosmia and all manner of daisies. But there is another way to enjoy the Bridge of Flowers. Follow the Shoes for the monthly Art Walk in Shelburne Falls. The various artisans and galleries like Molly Cantor Pottery and the Salmon Falls Artisans Gallery were displaying the talents and skills of many of our area…

Gardening with Kids – Fun and Learning

  • Post published:May 24, 2014

Gardening with kids is being taken to a whole new level at the HawlemontElementary School. They have received a grant that is allowing them to establish themselves as an AgricultureElementary School. This means that the schoolyard will have a variety of raised vegetable and flower beds, including a story garden that is being sponsored by the school library. But the schoolyard will also become a farmyard with a cow, sheep, goats and chickens. And yes, that means a…

Susan Valentine – Translucent Flower Paintings

  • Post published:April 2, 2014

Before she began painting flowers Susan Valentine was a gardener. "Focusing on what each plant needs and what it produces if it gets what it needs was what I thought about most of my waking hours. Painting their portraits came very naturally out of that process," she said when I asked how she came to paint these translucent blossoms. Flowers have always been a popular subject for painters. They are varied in color and form - and they…