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Greenfield Garden Club Had a Party . . .

Fog

Fog in Greenfield

but I didn’t attend. The Greenfield Garden Club always has a delightful Christmas party complete with a delicious pot luck and a Yankee Swap which is always great fun. Last night I set out, clutching the party address on Bernardston Road. It was foggy when I set out, but I gave it never a thought.

House hiding in  the fog

House hiding in the fog

As I drove along I noticed that even the houses near the road were camouflaged by the fog. I drove past where I knew (approximately) the party was being held but I could hardly see the roads opening onto Bernardston Road much less a driveway.  I drove along until I could turn around and tried to see a house number and driveway from the closer vantage on this side of the road. No luck.

Thicker fog

Thicker fog

My husband was so fascinated by the fog that he took photos all night. I did not find it delightful. It was so thick that even on familiar streets I became disoriented and felt lucky to have found Elm Street, and even luckier to be able to see where Allen Street began. A night of mystery, and some unease, but no party for me. I wonder how long it will take us to eat the big bowl of Gujerat carrot salad intended for the Pot Luck.

So  to all the Greenfield Garden Club members who I did not get to celebrate  with last night, I wish you all a happy holiday and clear driving from now on.

REMINDER: You still have till midnight on December 13 to leave a comment here, and have a chance to win my book, The Roses at the End of the Road, and Maria Colletti’s book Terrariums: Gardens Under Glass.  I will have a drawing on December 14. You still have a chance to win!

Bridge of Flowers Gains New Fame

 

Bridge of Flowers

Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls, MA

This post is a little off the subject, but as a member of the Bridge of Flowers committee I can’t help blowing the Bridge’s horn. The famed magazine Architectural Digest has opened their on-line article about elevated gardens around the world  with our beautiful Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls. They even noted that our Bridge is probably the first renovated Bridge in the United States. Our Bridge of Flowers now attracts thousands of visitors every year and sends each one home with new inspiration for their own gardens.

Tokyo’s Bridge is already in place, but we’ll have to wait a couple of years more before the Bridges in London, Rotterdam and Washington D.C. are planted. I am so glad we inspired all these other grand and green Bridges. Surely we can take credit, can’t we?

Terrariums: Gardens Under Glass by Maria Colletti

Terrariums: Gardens Under Glass by Maria Colletti

REMINDER – There is still time to leave a comment here and win a copy of Terrariums: Gardens Under Glass as well as my own book, The Roses at the End of the Road, when I have the Giveaway Drawing on Monday, December 14.

 

The Roses at the End of the Road by Pat Leuchtman

The Roses at the End of the Roa

We have a winner!

Beardless irises 7-21We have a winner for Beardless Irises: A plant for every garden situation by Kevin C. Vaughn. Congratulations to Cathy over at Rambling in the Garden.

Last Chance for the Beardless Irises Giveaway

Beardless Irises: A plant for Every Garden Situation

Beardless Irises: A plant for Every Garden Situation

 

Today is your last chance to leave a comment here to win this book, heavily illustrated with beautiful photographs of irises you never heard of. At least irises I never heard of. Beardless Irises  is by Kevin Vaughn who knows all about Siberian and Japanese irises and even Louisiana iriseswhich I am familiar with, but also Pacific Coast Irises which I can’t grow, and the amazing tall, water-loving Spuria irises which  sound perfect for my new garden.  Leave a comment here. The drawing will be tomorrow morning, August 19.  You could be a lucky winner.

Beardless Irises – and Giveaway

Beardless Irises: A plant for Every Garden Situation

Beardless Irises: A plant for Every Garden Situation

I recently reviewed Beardless Irises: A plant for every garden situation and now Schiffer publishing is offering a Giveaway of this beautiful, fascinating and useful book.

  I have been reading Beardless Irises: A Plant for Every Garden Situation by Keven C. Vaughn and published by Schiffer.  My own experience with beardless irises is with Siberian irises which are one of the most beautiful and easy care flowers in the world, and Japanese irises which often have a flatter flower and are truly spectacular. I never knew that beardless irises ranged from the sweet and petite, to the tall and stunning spurias.

            I never knew anything about Pacific coast native irises which we cannot really grow in our area because of the winters, but amazingly Louisiana irises, and spuria irises are definite possibilities. I will never take the iris family for granted again.

            Vaughn is a scholar, hybridizer and has a PhD in plant genetics. He gives us  common gardeners the information about whether a particular type of iris will thrive in our climate, as well as the usual cultural info about soil, fertilizer and sun requirements, but the book is also rich in the stories of hybridizers and their work. If you like to know how a stunning plant came to be, or even how to create your own hybrids, this is the book for you.

If you would like a chance to win a copy of this book with its stunning photographs of the many varieties and cultivars of beardless irises, all you have to do is leave a comment below. Perhaps you have a favorite iris to mention. I will have a drawing for this book on Wednesday, August 19.  Good luck!

 

Japanese iris

Japanese iris on display

Blogoversary – and Cultivating Garden Style by Rochelle Greayer

Cultivating Garden Style by Rochelle Greayer

Cultivating Garden Style by Rochelle Greayer

My first blog post went up on December 6, 2007, which means I have seven happy years to celebrate on this blogoversary. In that first post I wondered whether 67 was too old to begin blogging. I  guess I didn’t need to worry. I don’t have statistics until 2010, but since then I have written 1582 posts and received over 6000 comments. I don’t feel a day older and there are many new ideas and plants, and gardeners out in the world to meet and learn from. And many wonderful books.  In that first post I mentioned Eleanor Perenyi’s book Green Thoughts and I have written about many more garden books since then.

On this Seventh Blogoversary Timber Press and I are giving away a copy of Rochelle Greayer’s new book Cultivating Garden Style: Inspired ideas and practical advice to unleash your garden personality. This bright and cheerful book contains hundreds of ideas for creating a beautiful and personal garden. Browse through the wonderfully illustrated page and consider – is your garden Wabi Sabi Industrial? Hollywood Frou Frou? or a Pretty Potager?  Do you long for a Forest Temple? A Sacred Meadow? Or are you Organic Modern?  Of course, as you browse you might think you cannot pigeonhole yourself like that, and why should you. Rochelle herself describes her garden as being influenced by her childhood in Colorado but she’s a little bit Rock ‘n’ Roll as well as Handsome Prairie.

We all deserve to let our best selves shine, but sometimes we need information about how to make that happen. What do you know about decking or outdoor fabrics? Rochelle has answers and ideas.

Roses at the End of the Road

Roses at the End of the Road

I will also be giving away a copy of my own book, The Roses at the End of the Road, with charming illustrations by my husband. I do give some basic information about growing roses, but when people ask me what my secret of success is I always say it is choosing the right rose. I don’t fuss with my roses or use any poisons. I was a beekeeper and I treasure all the pollinators who come into the garden. I do talk about neighbors, the history of roses, and my own adventures among the roses. I had no long held desire for a rose garden until I planted the Passionate Nymph’s Thigh rose and thus began my own love affair. There is no explaining passion.

To win both of these books all you have to do is leave a comment here by Midnight on December 13 here I will draw a winner at random on Sunday, December 14. Once I have the winner’s address, I will send the books right out.12-2 me illustration

You’ve got to love a man who thinks you look like this. And I do!

 

 

 

 

We Have a Winner for Hellstrip Gardening

We have a winner!  A copy of Hellstrip Gardening: Create a paradise between the sidewalk and the curb by Evelyn J. Hadden will be sent to Rose of Rose’s Prairie Garden. Congratulations, Rose!

We Have a Winner! And a Continuing Sale

Seeing Flowers from Timber Press

Betsy Johnson is our winner! Practically a neighbor over there in Williamstown.  Timber Press will send Seeing Flowers directly after I have her address, and I’ll be sending her The Roses at the End of the Road.

Everyone can order their own copy of The Roses at the End of the Road, or a copy to give as a gift to anyone who loves  roses or tales of life in the country by emailing me at commonweeder@gmail.com or clicking here so you can order through Pay Pal. The December sale price is $12 wtih free shipping. All I will need is a check and an address. The book is also available as a Kindle edition.

Best wishes to all in this holiday season. Happy reading and happy gardening.

Giveaway to Celebrate Six Years of Blogging

Seeing Flowers

Six years of blogging and I’m celebrating with a Giveaway. It hardly seems possible. Six years of documenting my garden, mostly, but also family events. Because of my blog I have met gardeners from around the country at Flings.  All you have to do to meet some of them is click on the Buffa10 badge on the right side of the page.

Over these six years and 1,406 posts I have learned that gardeners have a wide range of interests.  My post about bee balm remains my most popular for another year. Did I insert some SEO magic inadvertantly? Is it because it reviews the lesson Elsa Bakalar gave me about color? I don’t think I will ever know. This year hydrangeas and heritage wheat also won a big audience.

Timber Press is helping me celebrate my blogoversary.  They will Giveaway a copy of their beautiful book  Seeing Flowers: Discover the Hidden Life of Flowers with amazing photography by Robert Llewellyn, and written by Teri Dunn Chace. I wrote about Seeing Flowers here,  but I cannot say too many times what a stunning book this is, providing us with a closeup view of  each blossom, a view we could never get in real life. There are all manner of fascinating facts, some of which are sure to put a plant on your must have list. For example, did you know that the milky latex sap of euphorbias is toxic and will cause stomach upset? This means deer won’t eat them. A whole new family of plants is newly attractive to me!

Along with Seeing Flowers I will giveaway a copy of my own book, The Roses at the End of the Road, which is the story of how we got to the End of the Road, the roses and life we found here.  Kathy Purdy, who was so generous with technical advice when I began blogging, writes Cold Climate Gardening and posted a review here. All you have to do is leave a comment before midnight on December 12. It would be lovely if you would tell me the name of your favorite flower.  Especially if you have a favorite rose. I will choose comment at random and announce the winner of the Giveaway on Friday, December 13.

 

Giveaway – Seeing Flowers: Discover the Hidden Life of Flowers

Seeing Flowers by Llewellyn and Chace

Seeing Flowers: Discover the Hidden Life of Flowers with amazing photographs by Robert Llewellyn and charming essays by Teri Dunn Chace, is a beautiful companion to the stunning Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees  which also features Robert Llewellyn’s unique photographic process.  The book, and a gorgeous 16 x 24 gallery quality print to celebrate the release of this book by Timber Press is being given away to some flower lover.  All you have to do is click here and you may win a copy of the book with its 345 photographs, and the large print.

Seeing Flowers gives us a way to see the extraordinary details of ordinary flowers. While  the red poppy is a brilliant show stopper, I love the photographs of the pale Queen Anne’s Lace with the single, tiny red flower in its inflorescence that calls to pollinators flying by.  Even the closed up, ‘bird’s nest’ stage of Queen Anne’s Lace, indicating pollination has been completed,  is newly beautiful to my eyes. I never liked the ‘bird’s nests.’

The book is divided by flower families, from Amaryllis to Daisy to Viola. In addition to Chace’s essays many of the flowers have been given a poetic flourish from poets like Shakespeare who treasured all growing things.

“O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies/In herbs, plants, stone, and their true qualities;/For nought so vile that on the earth doth live/But to the earth some special good doth give.”  (From Romeo and Juliet.)

This specially good book could be yours with just a click and an email address. It would  also make a specially good gift for the gardener as we approach the happy gift-giving season.