A Search for Shade

  • Post published:07/10/2010
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Gardens can change overnight, as many people learned after the great May storm that took down so many large trees.  Those who had treasured their trees for the serene shade they provided, and the cooling they often brought to the house, found themselves in a new situation that could not soon be remedied. Marty and Jan McGuane’s cool shady garden became a hot sunny garden  less dramatically, but with the same result. “We had a beautiful and very…

The Walk Begins

  • Post published:07/09/2010
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I couldn't wait to start showing you Buffalo's gardens. Yesterday evening, on our way to meet one of our hosts, Elizabeth Licata of Garden Rant, we visited several urban gardens. This garden smelled heavenly with a single magnolia still in bloom and banks of lilies.  I have pink lilies and bee balm in my garden too. We saw plants I do not have like this amazing echinacea glowing in the late afternoon sun. When we arrived at the…

Buffalo, Here I Am!

  • Post published:07/09/2010
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I'm in Buffalo, home of the Buffalo Garden Walk, the biggest garden tour in the nation.  Over 350 gardens. Free.  Along with 50 of my favorite garden bloggers I am getting a preview of some of these gardens - which you will also see right here.  Soon.

Hurry to Hawley

  • Post published:07/03/2010
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Who would not like to live on Pudding Hollow Road? It is clearly a road steeped in the history of Hawley, a town settled in 1760, and a unique pudding contest which took place in the late 1770s.  Farms and food have always been important parts of Hawley’s history and culture so I could not resist the opportunity to visit the newest farm and an old established garden, both on Pudding Hollow Road, and both a part of…

Gardens Are More Than Plants

  • Post published:06/29/2010
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It takes more than plants to make a garden. First, it takes time. Deirdre Bonifaz  and her husband Cristobal moved to Conway in 1985. For Deirdre it was a return to a part of the world she knew as a youngster. In the 1950s her father had moved the family from New York to a West Whately farm, to be closer to the soil and the essentials of life. ‘He was a man ahead of his time,” Deirdre…

Goldthread Herb Farm

  • Post published:06/12/2010
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“I have a good imagination,” William Siff told me as we sat in the shade overlooking the new Learning Garden in the midst of fields of medicinal herbs. He said he didn’t imagine the Goldthread Herbal Apothecary with its farm, workshops and national speaking engagements all at once, “But they are all a part of the same focus. “As a move towards sustainable living herbal medicine is a powerful vehicle. As a society we know a lot about…

William Baffin – on Tour

  • Post published:06/11/2010
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This is not my William Baffin rose! Alas!  I visited Deirdre Bonifaz whose garden is on the Franklin Land Trust Garden tour on June 26 & 27. Her garden has everything - blooming trees, blooming shrubs, fruit trees, perennials, vegetables, herbs, AND roses! We went around identifying the roses when we could, and admiring them always.  Deirdre could hardly believe that I had managed to kill a William Baffin rose.  You can see what hers looks like. When…

Gardens of Possibility

  • Post published:10/07/2009
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                              “We live where there is so much possibility in the landscape,” Marie Stella said to me as we stood on the deck of Beaver Lodge, her house in Ashfield, looking through the woods down to the beaver pond.  Stella has entered into most of those possibilities, using native plants, planting vegetables and fruits where a lawn might be expected, harvesting rainwater, using stone from the house site to…

Tours of Delight

  • Post published:07/17/2009
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These tours are over, but even these brief garden descriptions may be useful to others.   When I visited Mary Manilla’s garden in Hawley this week it was a ribbon of green along the stream that borders the garden. By the time the Hawley Garden and Artisans Tour takes place on Saturday, July 11, there will be a river of color along the stream as the hundreds and hundreds of daylilies in every hue come into bloom. It…

The Oakes Garden of Sun and Shade

  • Post published:06/26/2009
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Pam Oakes assures me that neither her house, nor the lush surrounding gardens existed in 1976. When she and her husband Gordon first walked this piece of land by a pond once used for harvesting ice, they could not even imagine where to place a house until a friend bulldozed a stand of sumac and said “Build here!”  They did and she said it is a perfect site.             The gardens grew and continue to grow. Oakes said…