Groundcovers – Base for the Layered Garden

  • Post published:04/28/2018
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The layered garden is created by arranging plants from the ground up beginning with groundcovers ranging from delicate tiarella, epimediums, and lamium to taller plants like ferns, and even low growing shrubs like cotoneaster and very spready junipers.             The layers continue upwards with an herbaceous layer of perennials and annuals, followed by a shrub layer and ending with trees. Layers will  spread out across the garden space. For example, I have planted two river birches in one of my…

May – A Golden Month

  • Post published:05/03/2017
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It's May and the flowers that bloom in the spring are beginning to show themselves. Lots of gold in May, not counting the dandelions. The barren strawberry plants on The Hugel are thriving and blooming. They are not really strawberry plants at all. It's just that Waldsteinia have strawberry-like foliage and flowers. Trollius laxa is a more lackadaisical form of Trollius europaeus, which is taller and even more golden. It is also called globeflower which is more prominent…

Review of New Garden in May 2016

  • Post published:06/01/2016
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The view of the new garden from the office at the beginning of May shows a good recovery from April snow and frigid temperatures. You can see the nearly wood filled hugel at the back border. A big May project was collection logs for the hugel at the west end of the garden. This load came one of the two Hawley friends who donated logs to the project. We are so lucky to have good Hawley friends -…

W is for Waldsteinia on the A to Z Challenge

  • Post published:04/27/2016
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  W is for Waldsteinia fragarioides, otherwise known as barren strawberry. Indeed, the leaves resemble strawberry leaves and there is some similarity of the small golden spring blossoms to strawberry blossoms, but this is a native groundcover and produces no edible fruits. In Heath I had Waldsteinia fragarioides growing in the shade where it ultimately covered a sizeable swath of soil. It is obviously hardy (it thrives in Heath) and the deer pass it by. It is a trouble free plant…

G is for Groundcover – Gill-over-the-ground

  • Post published:04/08/2016
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G is for Groundcover like ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) otherwise known as gill-over-the-ground, seen here creeping from my lawn into the new Lawn Beds. There is a lot of cross-over, if not confusion, about what is a wildflower, weed, or ‘real plant.’  A friend was trying to figure out how to rid of the gill-over-the-ground that had suffocated the strawberries growing under her grapevines. We discussed carboard and solarizing, but another friend asked why she didn’t just leave…

E is for Epimedium or Fairy Hat

  • Post published:04/06/2016
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  E is for Epimedium, a beautiful lowgrowing groundcover with heart-shaped leaves that likes dry shade. I admired it for years, but never planted it because I thought it was tender.  That was a mistake. Epimediums are hardy in zone 5 where I live. My new house and garden might even be zone 6, the climate is changing so rapidly. The MissouriBotanical Garden website says epimedium flowers are showy, and they are in their own way, but they…

Groundcovers for a Lawn-less Garden.

  • Post published:02/27/2016
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One of the goals we had for our new Greenfield garden was to make it  lawnless. We certainly did not want a wild lawless garden, but we did not want large areas of grass that would need mowing. To prove his devotion to this goal my husband bought an inexpensive power lawn mower and said that it would probably last two years. He was giving me two years to design and plant a garden that would not include…

Forbes Library Garden Tour June 14 in Northampton

  • Post published:06/13/2014
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Time for the Forbes Library Garden Tour June 14 10 am - 3 pm. The time comes for many of us gardeners when we think we cannot carry on with our gardens, or houses, as they are. We are older, the children have gone, and we are not quite so energetic or willing to toil for hours in the summer sun over our weeds and slugs. The time comes to think about a smaller house and a smaller…

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2012

  • Post published:05/15/2012
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Spring has come in starts and stops here in Heath, Massachusetts and so has the blooming season. The lawn, otherwise known as the flowery mead, is in full bloom. Here I show dandelions (of course,) white violets, and ajuga that has migrated into the lawn in a number of places. There are blue violets, too, and creeping ivy with its violet flowers. Colonies of this plant have come up in various sections of the lawn. I think I…

Epimedium or Fairy Wings or Yin Yang Huo

  • Post published:04/25/2012
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Epimedium or, yin yang huo. Take your pick. This spring blooming ground cover: hardy, delicate, beautiful. For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.