Orra White Hitchcock

  • Post published:03/19/2011
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Orra White Hitchcock was a college president’s wife, a mother of eight, and an artist. The art she created, drawings and watercolor paintings of flowers, grasses and other plants, were scientifically accurate yet transformed by a lyrical delicacy and artistry. An exhibit  of her work, Orra White Hitchcock (1796–1863): An Amherst Woman of Art and Science, co-curated by Daria D'Arienzo and Robert L. Herbert, will run through May 29 at the Mead Museum of Art at Amherst College.…

Master Gardener’s Spring Symposium

  • Post published:03/05/2011
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The days are longer and the sun is brighter, so even though snow lies deep on the ground we know that spring is coming.  That means that the annual Master Gardeners Spring Symposium held on Saturday, March 19 at Frontier Regional High School is coming up, too.. This year I am presenting a slide show of Elsa Bakalar’s perennial gardens in all their glory. Elsa passed away last year, but her memory remains green for many of us.…

Ohhhh – Look at that!

  • Post published:05/04/2010
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Ohhhhhh - Look at that! I cannot tell you how many times I uttered those words, and Le Flaneur listened patiently, turned and followed my pointing fingers at heucheras, sailboats, meat packing establishments, roof top restaurants and etc., etc., etc. We took the train into the city and set off to explore an array of Parks.  We began at Battery Park, South Ferry, where people can get ferries to Staten Island, or Ellis Island or the Statue of…

Fashions for the Ladies Who Mulch

The Ladies Who Lunch need to refresh their wardrobes with a new little black dress from time to time. While I was in Boston for the Flower Show I stepped into Macy's to get a new pair of little blue jeans.  I like the styling of these which have retained the integrity of the originals designed by Levi Strauss. Blue jeans are  a staple of the gardener's wardrobe, so easy to dress down, and versatile when combined with…


  • Post published:11/19/2009
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Ted Watt has worked with the children of the Heath Elementary School for years, teaching them about the land and the world they live in. One of the blessings of the school landscape is a woodland where the childrren have studied the seasons and phases of life of many woodland creatures and plants. On their most recent exploration of the woods they  found - drumroll please - a truffle. I know nothing about truffles, except that they are a…

Read Until Your Heart Stops!

  • Post published:09/26/2009
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The sun shone, the crowd gathered and the celebration began. Ground was broken for the new Buckland Public Library addition. I was there for this joyous occasion. For nine of the happiest years of my life I was the Buckland Librarian. The library is small, only about 900 square feet, but the Board of Directors was devoted to making it the best library possible, and the patrons were all devoted readers.  While libraries are full of information of…

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…

At Least It Didn’t Snow

  • Post published:07/06/2009
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The past week was  cold, wet and windy. Not much time out in the garden, although I did pick the last of the lettuce in the herb bed, and lots of sugar snap peas. We eat them raw. On the cloudy, cold and windy Fourth of July we went to a neighbor's BBQ where we huddled in the kitchen, only nipping out to the fire and hot dogs occasionally. We all know that kitchens are the best for…

Art all Around

  • Post published:02/06/2009
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Beverly Duncan grew up amid the lush landscapes of Hawaii, and her art has always tended toward the natural world, but it was not until a dozen or so years ago, when paintings that she had done of autumn leaves for a Buffalo (NY) Science Museum, that she rejoiced "to have found a place in the art world".Those paintings caught the eye of someone at the Hunt Institute of Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University and she was…

The View From Wilder Hill

  • Post published:08/29/2008
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Lilian Jackman, owner, grower and general factotum of Wilder Hill Gardens, invited me over to see the late summer garden. I found her at her shady potting bench, situated so that she could keep working in the heat of the day. I admired the thought that went into the design and siting of the potting bench, but did not feel up to the concept of working all morning, having a little lunch and digesting time and then setting…