Peter Kukielski and the Sustainable Rose

  • Post published:03/27/2014
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The April 2014 issue of Fine Gardening magazine has an article by Peter Kukielski, former curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden titled Easy Picture Perfect Roses.  Peter knows all about 'Easy' roses because during his tenure at that garden he ripped out 200 or so of the roses in the garden that needed pesticides and fungicides to survive and then replaced them with 693 roses that did not need that kind…

The Monks Garden at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

  • Post published:09/28/2013
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Last week I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to meet the noted landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburg and hear him speak about how he approached the challenge of redesigning the Monks Garden. He said that Isabella Stewart Gardener herself acknowledged that she was never satisfied with the small walled garden she called the Monks Garden. “That gave me the confidence and courage . . . to make a garden for the future of the Museum.” Certainly the…

Boston Public Gardens

  • Post published:09/04/2013
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  The Boston Public Gardens begin at the foot of the Boston State House. First is the Boston Common where cattle once grazed, then the Boston Public Garden, the oldest botanic garden in the nation, and finally the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Here are a few photos from my recent visit. Frolicking tadpoles in the Boston Common Frog Pond watched over by parents and the frog statues! The Boston Public Garden, established in 1837 is the first botanic garden…

Water in the Garden – Fountains, Birdbaths and a Waterfall

  • Post published:07/10/2013
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  Most of us will never have a reflecting pool in our garden, but water in the garden comes in many forms. The Bloedel Reserve has many beautiful ways to use water in the garden., this is just one. A small fountain near the house makes electricity for the  recirculating pump easy. This small waterfall has been 'tuned' to make lovely music. The water enters in a lovely fishpond. A simple birdbath in the shade. A more elaborate…

P is for Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden

  • Post published:04/18/2013
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  P is for the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden. I last visited this garden in November of 2009 when there was still plenty of bloom on view although you wouldn't know it from this photo of the view from the entry to the Gazebo where Awakening roses twine around the beautiful iron framework. I had gone to meet Peter Kukielski, self-taught rosarian, and the then curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden,…

O is for Organizations on the A to Z Challenge

  • Post published:04/17/2013
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O is for Organizations. We gardeners have all sorts of enthusiasms, about plants, about conservations, and about education. There are many Organizations that support those enthusiasms. I belong to the Massaachusetts Horticultural Society which is headquartered in Wellesley. There Mass Hort has a library, classrooms, and wonderful gardens from the Italianate Garden to the delightful Weezies Garden for Children. Founded in 1829 this organization isty is "dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the…

L is for Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum

  • Post published:04/13/2013
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L is for Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Aroboretum on Sunday, May 12, 2013. Lilacs are the only plant at the Arboretum that gets its own Day. Not only will there be music and dancing, family activities and vendors, Lilac Sunday is the only day that picknicking is allowed at the Arnold Arboetum. I have attended and it is a fabulous event. The Arboretum, as usual will be open from 10 am to 4 pm. It is best…

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…

Look Within for Spring Bloom

  • Post published:03/04/2013
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The best place to find fresh spring bloom is to look within the greenhouses at Mt. Holyoke and Smith Colleges. Both colleges are having their annual spring flower shows and giving us the strength to get through these last days of winter. This looks just the supermarket primrose that I planted years ago and that blooms every spring in the dappled shade in back of our house. Could it be that the goddess Flora has found her way to reign…

Tulips Are Blooming – Indoors

  • Post published:02/26/2013
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Yesterday I drove into the valley to see tulips, and many other  bulbs and flowers, blooming at the Mt. Holyoke College Talcott Greenhouse and the Smith College Lyman Plant House. Both institutions are preparing for their annual Spring Bulb shows which require attentive and scientific handling of the potted plants, cool and then slowly warming so that they are at the perfect moment for spring-hungry flower lovers to visit them when the shows open on Saturday, March 2.  Both…