Bruce’s Homemade Potting Bench

  • Post published:03/25/2013
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Last summer I visited Bruce Cannon's fabulous garden. His potting bench is one of the elements that impressed me.  He took an old stainless steel sink and built his potting bench around it  in the shade. The faucet does work, but the water just drains out onto the ground. Yesterday I was talking to my friend Bob who is one of our town's volunteer fire fighters. Last fall the fire department  held a practice and burned down an old…

Talcott Greenhouse and the Spring Bulb Show, Mt. Holyoke College

  • Post published:03/10/2013
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While the rest of us have been shivering in our snowy landscapes, Russell Billings, Director of the Talcott Greenhouse at Mt. Holyoke College, has been busy cooling and slowly warming hundreds of bulbs and other blooming plants coaxing them to a perfect stage of bloom. On Saturday, March 2 the doors of the greenhouse will open to the public to present Primavera, this year’s bulb show featuring glorious tulips and daffodils as well as many plants of the…

Winterfare – Always a Delicious Success

  • Post published:02/04/2013
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Saturday more I went down to Greenfield for Winterfare - always a delcicous success. People in our area are so happy to be able to buy fresh vegetables directly from farmers, even in winter. Of course, this winter farmer's market isn't limited to vegetables. Real Pickles had a booth selling - Pickles! Sunrise Farm was selling maple syrup, Apex Orchards was selling apples, Warm Colors Apiary was selling honey and other bee products, Barberic Farm was selling  lamb…

Welcoming Spaces in Wendell

  • Post published:09/29/2012
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Thirty years ago Diane Kurinsky and her husband Steve Gross built a house on a plot of land in Wendell that included fields and woodland. The land was a blank slate where they have managed to create a domestic landscape that welcomes and invites the visitor, luring her on to one delight after another. When I drove up I parked my car in the circular drive that curves around a large ‘bed’ that Kurinsky calls the heather garden.…

Bruce Cannon’s Mountainside Garden

  • Post published:08/17/2012
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How long does it take for a vision to become flesh? Or in this case patios, stone walls, cool shady flower beds and a koi filled pond? For Bruce Cannon who found and bought a hilly wooded site on South Mountain in Northfield fifteen years ago, the vision was complete in only three or four years, but the building took a little longer. The house came first, set on the only bit of flat land on this steep…

CR Lawn and Fedco Seeds

  • Post published:08/04/2012
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We’ve all faced the spring task of combing through the seed catalogs trying to decide which squash, or tomato or whatever variety to buy. Will it be dark green Raven zucchini, the light green Magda or the striped Safari? We might be considering days to maturity, disease resistance and spininess of the plant. If we agonize over our few choices, can you imagine what a seed company has to take into consideration? Recently I spoke with CR Lawn,…

Flax for Textiles, Oil, Nutrition and Paper

  • Post published:07/30/2012
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Rory had to go home to reorganize for Boy Scout camp, but not before he caught this snake in the garden. He has such sharp eyes. I've seen a lot of snakes this summer, but none as pretty as this one. We keep Rory pretty busy with travels and projects - and chores. He began the garlic harvest and I finished today. Time with Granny and The Major is never complete without a couple of stints in the…

Eli Rogosa and the Heritage Wheat Conservancy

  • Post published:07/28/2012
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“O beautiful, for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain . . .” These words, written by Katherine Lee Bates in 1895 capture an image of our country that we still treasure today. However, there are differences between 1895 and 2012. The tall waving wheats that gilded our midwest in 1895 are now only a foot tall, barely shuddering in the breeze.. The early 1940s saw the beginning of the Green Revolution, an agricultural shift that used technological…

Meadows – and Art – Are Where You Find Them

  • Post published:07/27/2012
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During our trip to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art I found a new way of looking at meadows and art. The plan is to turn Mass MoCA's rear access utility road into a green space  and a work of art. The Rounds are created by using rammed earth and dry-stacked stone. The Rounds provide places to sit and visit and picnic in the midst of wildflower gardens. Thyme is a another featured plant in this meadow. I…

Planting Japanese Iris – Pruning Trees

  • Post published:07/21/2012
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One of the benefits of the summer garden tour and event season is the chance to meet new people with unique passions and knowledge. When I attended the Western New England Japanese Iris Show in Shelburne Falls at the end of June. I saw exhibition blossoms of beautiful Japanese irises grown by local gardeners, stunning arrangements, and was inspired. Japanese iris bloom from mid-June into July, coming into flower when the Siberian and then the bearded iris seasons…