Enjoying Christmas Gifts

  • Post published:01/03/2013
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Those who know me know  that books, or a bookstore gift certificate, are my favorite Christmas gifts. Latin for Gardeners, Over 3,000 plant names explained and explored by Lorraine Harrison is a beautiful book. The textured cover even feels beautiful, and the interior pages are subtly tinted with green. Special sections of Plant Profiles, information about Plant Hunters like Sir Joseph Banks and Jane Colden and Marianne North, and Plant Themes like The Qualities of Plants, are a deeper but…

Taking Stock of Experiments and Projects

  • Post published:11/11/2012
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Every spring we begin the gardening season with new energy and new plans. After a winter of reading and thinking we stride out into the spring sun to build and dig, to add and subtract with confidence and high hopes. In the fall, while we are hoping we still have time to plant some bulbs (we do) it is time to review and see how our projects and experiments turned out. Our big project this year was really…

Mary Lyon and the Annual Spelling Bee

  • Post published:11/09/2012
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Mary Lyon, the founder of Mount Holyoke College, was born in Buckland in 1797. Nowadays the Mary Lyon Foundation supports local education in the hilltowns of western Massachusetts which include the town of her birth. Last night my team, the Prescriptive Orthographers sponsored by local Baker Pharmacy, was one of 25 teams who participated in our Annual Spelling Bee. Every team got themselves up in more or less outrageous costumes. The Woodward Wordsmiths even brought the car that…

CISA -The Power of We on Blog Action Day 2012

  • Post published:10/15/2012
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On this Blog Action Day where many bloggers are describing and celebrating "The Power of We" I give thanks for our local Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture - CISA. I live in a rural area and like many people I have become more and more concerned about the food my family and I eat. About 20 years ago, farmers producing vegetables, fruit, fiber, maple syrup and dairy, businesses, politicians, and consumers got together to talk about how to…

Counting the Days with Inspiration and Education with UMass Garden Calendar

  • Post published:10/11/2012
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The 2013 UMass Garden Calendar gives us inspiration and education as this season closes down, and we gardeners are already thinking about a new growing season. For many years , UMass Extension has worked with the citizens of Massachusetts to help them make sound choices about growing, planting, and maintaining plants in their landscapes, including vegetables, backyard fruits, and ornamental plants. Our 2013 garden calendar continues UMass Extension's tradition of providing gardeners with useful information. This year's calendar includes tips…

Greenfield Garden Club Farm and Garden Tour

  • Post published:07/07/2012
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Denise Leonard, current chair of the Greenfield Agricultural Commission, past president of the New England Border Collies Association, and chief farmer at TANSTAAFL Farm is one of the featured farmers on the Greenfield Garden Club’ annual garden tour which is including farms for the first time this year. THIS VERY DAY! July 7! Denise explained that her husband David came up with the name of their farm when they were still living in Leverett more than 25 years…

Benefit Plant Sales Galore

  • Post published:05/04/2012
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Benefit plant sales are a traditional spring event. Gardeners can spruce up their gardens and benefit various community organizations. Which will you choose? Or will you choose them all? Have you thought about giving your mother a gift certificate (one way or another) so she can pick out  some flowers herself? This Saturday, May5 the Greenfield Library will open its plant sale at 9:30 am on the front lawn. It will close by 12:30, unless everything is gone…

Massachusetts Horticultural Society

  • Post published:11/20/2011
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After I gave my talk about my roses, and other disease resistant roses, at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society last week, I  took a brief tour around the gardens. I can just imagine what this Wedding Garden must look like in June! Weezie's Garden is the children's garden at MHS. It is a charming space with a sand pit for the very youngest, a tower for the most adventurous, shade and sun and place for conversations. Lots of benches…

Our Food, Economy and Community

  • Post published:11/19/2011
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When I drove down the Greenfield Community College driveway last Saturday I passed ‘my tree,’ a weeping cherry that I donated when I left the College in 1989. I reveled in its good health, parked my car and walked towards the steps. A head popped out of the Sloan Theater door, calling to tell me I could take the elevator up. I called back, “No, no. Step to health. Step to health,” ever my motto as I was…

Yesterday and Today

  • Post published:11/18/2011
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Yesterday was a gray day at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, but all was sunny in the classroom where I talked about hardy and disease resistant roses to an enthusiastic group of gardeners. Maureen Horn, MHS librarian, introduced me in this, the first of a series of Meet the Author talks. This morning we woke up to snow. Again.