Spring at last!

  • Post published:03/20/2010
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The calendar says it's spring, but I can drive past my snowy lawn and only DREAM of coltfoot growing at the side of my road. Coltsfoot, an herb, is one of the very first plants to bloom here on the hill. More dreaming - of daffodils - my celebration of the first day of spring. I'm off to the Western Mass Master Gardener's Spring Symposium. I will be sharing what I learn. On Sunday I'm off to the…

Behind the Scenes at the Bulb Show

  • Post published:03/15/2010
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The Smith College Annual Bulb Show, always spectacular, is one of the ways some of us flower starved gardeners manage to get through the last bit of winter as we wait to get out hands back in the soil. The show opens today, March 6 and runs through Sunday, March 21, when spring will have officially arrived. This year’s Turkish garden and will feature many species tulips from Turkey. Robert Nicholson, Lyman Conservatory manager, who has been busy…

Smith College Bulb Show

  • Post published:03/08/2010
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Robert Nicholson, Manager of the Lyman Conservatory at Smith College complained about the challenges of all the cloudy weather we have been having, but, once again, he and the crew more than met the challenge of forcing 5000 bulbs to bloom all at the same time. The Conservatory is a Turkish Delight of flower and fragrance, with all the usual bulbs, but also many freesias and delicate species tulips from Turkey. On Friday evening I attended the lecture…

Lynden B. Miller

  • Post published:03/03/2010
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The annual Smith College Bulb Show at the Lyman Conservatory will begin with a free lecture by Lynden B. Miller (Smith '60) in the Carroll Room at the Campus Center at 7:30 pm on Friday, March 5.  Miller is a noted public garden designer and will be talking about her new book Parks, Plants and People: Beautifying the Urban Landscape.  She feels that "beautiful parks and gardens are essential urban oases with economic benefits and the power to…

Still time to plant

  • Post published:10/29/2009
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              While at the Shelburne Farm and Garden shop the other day, a woman stopped me to ask if it was too late to plant tulips.  Absolutely not! I had gone into the shop myself to pick up a package of Angelique tulip bulbs, a beautiful pink double tulip that is one of the most popular bulbs sold.             Fall is bulb planting season and it will last pretty much until the ground is frozen. However, it…

Cleaning Up and Digging In

  • Post published:10/26/2009
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When I called Old House Gardens to order some bulbs last week I feared I might have missed their shipping season, but they reassured me  and on this perfect morning I found my order in the mailbox. It took only a few minutes before I  was out in the garden. I knew just where to plant the ivory Beersheba daffodils - right under the Miss Willmott, a white flowered lilac Jerry Sternstein gave me last year. To say under…

Bloom Day April 2009

  • Post published:04/15/2009
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Finally I have blooming flowers other than houseplants to report on Bloom Day. I planted scillas and a few Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa) in the grass a few years ago. Yesterday, when I tramped through all the dead tansy stems from last year, out to the new Potager my eye caught these two tiny plants pushing up through the rough stems and weeds. I can tell you that I have never planted any little bulbs in this…

Daffodil Days

  • Post published:04/14/2009
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It is early in daffodil season in my part of the world. This photo shows part of a low stone wall in Charlemont, the adjoining town, fronted by a show of daffodils, among the earliest I see. The wall faces south, providing protection and warmth, and cheering those of us who pass by and are weary of winter gray. Charlemont is also the home of the Mystery Daffodil Planter. Several years ago, small clumps of daffodils popped up…

Roots and Bulbs

  • Post published:03/28/2009
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Promises of glory at Smith College Bulb Show                   Mary McClintock, with her Root for Your Favorite Root project, has made me think a lot more about the root vegetables I plant than usual.  I’ve also been thinking about root crops in general because many of them are good keepers. They can be stored in the fall without a lot of laborious processing if you have a cool cellar, or can provide the necessary root…