Carry on Cyclamen

  • Post published:01/11/2011
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As you can see from the photo I am not skilled at carrying over a cyclamen. I buy one or two in November or early December, and they look great right through and past Valentine's Day. But once they lose all their blossoms and start to wilt all over I never know quite what to do.  Today I got my e-leaflet from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and saw the clearest directions for handling cyclamen after bloom that I…

Bloom Day May 15, 2009

Dandelions and violets in the flowery mead are still blooming. Johnny jump ups are scattered everywhere. Where do they all come from? I wonder what a johnny jump up seed looks like flying on the wind. I'm not sounding like much of a gardener so far. Many of the daffodils are starting to wind down, but others like this pheasant eye daff (Poeticus) bloom late. When I visited the daffodils at Tower Hill Botanic Garden last year I…

Cover Your Ground

  • Post published:05/13/2009
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                                                “Green your garden” sounds like an unnecessary admonition, but as the discussion about global warming heats up (pun intended) gardeners are looking at ways to lower their gardens’ carbon footprint.             Because digging the soil releases carbon into the atmosphere no-till cultivation methods have gained new advocates.  In addition to saving human energy, sheet composting/lasagna gardening has become more popular.             Another way of reducing the carbon footprint of the garden is to reduce the size of the…

Snow in May?

  • Post published:05/10/2009
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Even though snow has been recorded in Heath in every month of the year, including August at the Annual Heath Fair, this 'snowy' lawn is actually comprised of drifts of mayflowers. At least I thought they were mayflowers, but when I looked them up to find the botanical name I found that the name mayflowers refers to trailing arbutus, Epigaea repens. When I asked my husband what he called those tiny blue and white flowers with a golden…

Monday Record 4-27

  • Post published:04/27/2009
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Tynan arrived to spend part of school vacation with us and we devoted ourselves to art, the garden, and celebrating Earth Day at the eleventh most beautiful waterfall in Massachusetts.     First, off to Umass, my alma mater, to visit our friend Dan at the new Studio Arts building. He gave us a tour of the undergrad studios where we saw all kinds of art, collage, drawings, assemblages, paintings, clay sculptures, and even a work made with black…

A Cough Remedy

  • Post published:04/17/2009
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Most of us go to the drugstore for all manner of over the counter remedies, but it wasn’t so long ago, that people turned to plants for their remedies. Even now, some of us know that poppies and foxgloves still provide us with medicines, but others are quite forgotten. Coltsfoot grows along my road. Its yellow dandelion-like flowers mean spring is here. It often grows along roadsides where the soil has been disturbed. The brilliant flowers are quite…

A Thrifty Herb Garden

  • Post published:04/14/2009
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My chives on April 6                 Cooks need herbs. Since the media is filled with articles about the thriftiness of a vegetable garden in these difficult economic times it suddenly struck me that one of the thriftiest and easiest gardens to start is an herb garden. I get dizzy when I think of the money I spent (before I had an herb garden) on bunches of parsley, cilantro and basil and less common herbs that are even…

Hellebore – The Christmas Rose

  • Post published:12/22/2008
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                As a lover of roses, I longed to plant a Christmas rose, although I could not imagine how, in Heath, it would bloom at Christmas. When my garden knowledge grew I realized that while I may be able to plant a Christmas rose and have it bloom, it is no rose, and will probably not bloom for me at Christmas.             The Christmas rose is, in fact, a member of the buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family. Its…

Holiday Cactus

  • Post published:12/22/2008
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                  Flowers are a part  of the festive holiday decorations.  Some are even named for the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus bloom in shades of white, pink and red all through the holidays. They are hardy plants needing very little care, but it is important to remember that even though we call them cactus, they are not desert plants. Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus are actually a part of the Schlumbergera family, natives of moist tropical…

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

  • Post published:10/31/2008
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All through October the town of Salem, Massachusetts is awash in witches. They are all dressed in black with pointy hats and try to look as forbidding and dangerously magical as possible.Though the word witch has assumed the dark cloak of evil, there are white witches as well, and witches' gardens could as easily have included healing herbs as well as herbs that are a little more problematical. Of course, as with so much in life, how a…