Lyman Plant House and Smith College

  • Post published:10/24/2011
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Last week I visited the Lyman Plant House at Smith College in preparation for a column and post about the Annual Chrysanthemum Show which begins Friday, November 5 with a talk by Smith alum and author Paula Dietz about the gardens she has visited and written about in her book, On Gardens. The Smith Botanical Garden and the Lyman Plant House are treasures for the whole community to use. The Lyman Plant House is open every day (except Thanksgiving and…

Ray and Melanie – Heath and Heather

  • Post published:10/19/2011
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Gardens are planned, grow and develop over time as dependably as any single plant. Ray and Melanie Poudrier’s garden could be said to have begun when Ray’s father bought land in Hawley in 1942. Ray’s father joined his mother and their brood of thirteen children on Hawley summer weekends to see the latest developments. The family grew a vegetable garden, had an orchard and a blueberry patch. They even rented a cow for the summer to have milk…

Spoons and Quills – Mums that is

  • Post published:10/07/2011
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Nurseries and roadside stands are filled with tidy pots of tidy chrysanthemums, but I planted a collection of these fall bloomers in my Circle Garden this spring. The chrysanthemum family is so various in form, as well as color, that I wanted to branch out a little. My collection of six from Bluestone Perennials got whittled down to three because of rabbits! Fortunately, a reader suggested black netting which discouraged the bunnies, but ineptly placed as it was,…

Heath and Heather

  • Post published:10/05/2011
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Yesterday, in the rain, I visted the gardens of Melanie and Ray Poudrier and paid special attention to their collection of heaths and heathers. These two evergreen shrubby plants are often mentioned together in the same breath, but I never really knew how to tell them apart until Melanie made me look at the foliage closely. Heaths and heathers are both members of the Ericaceae family, but heath of the genus Erica has needle-like foliage. The foliage of…

Water and Delight

  • Post published:09/23/2011
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Our area suffered flooding from Tropical Storm Irene and the storm that followed a week after causing enormous damage as rivers and streams overflowed their banks. We have recovered on our road so today I prefer to think about the gentler water in our gardens that calms and soothes.  Here are some of the the quiet waters I saw in Seattle this summer at the Garden Bloggers Fling. Only a big public garden can have a big water…

Little Big House Gallery

  • Post published:09/20/2011
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Artist Glenn Ridler says his Little Big House is a major work of his career, playfully and artfully shifting proportions to build his living space and the Little Big House Gallery. The house is set amid beautiful gardens that were the setting for his daughter's wedding in June. I have known Glenn and his wife Christine Baronas for many years, but I do not often get to visit up on their Shelburne hill.  A shed I had not…

Maize Maze

  • Post published:09/17/2011
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Paul Hicks has been farming in Charlemont just about since the day he was born 54 years ago, following in his father’s and grandfather’s steps. Now grandsons Tucker and Brody (aged four and two) are out in the barn and advising their father on how to drive the oxen. Of course, the farm has changed over the years. Paul’s father Richard and his uncle Walter had dairy herds. My husband and I got to know them because they…

Lorene Forkner’s Garden

  • Post published:08/16/2011
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Lorene Forkner, one of the organizers of the fabulous Seattle Fling, invited us to her own garden which is not large, but filled with enough plants and art of interest to keep me inspired for the next decade. I cannot help it. It is the roses that catch my eye first. This rose cluster was so heavy it would have been on the ground in my garden, but Lorene whipped up a support. My question is - did…