Flower Power in the Medicine Cabinet

  • Post published:09/19/2016
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Flower Power has been a hippy anthem but it is also a reminder that we should not underestimate the power of plants as medicine. Antibiotics have been a gift to doctors and patients for decades, but that gift has been abused. Through the overuse of antibiotics for the sick, or possibly sick, and as a preventative in livestock many bacteria strains have developed resistance to these ever more powerful and available antibiotics. In the New York Times Magazine…

School Gardens – Innovation and Discovery School

  • Post published:11/02/2014
  • Post comments:1 Comment

  When I arrived last Thursday afternoon the scene at the school gardens of the  Discovery School at Four Corners were enjoying controlled chaos. Several teachers were staying after school to divide and pot up perennials from the butterfly garden. “Is this Echinacea or a rudbeckia?” one teacher asked and her spade bit into the center of the clump. “Don’t pot the dill! It an annual,” another shouted. “Are you sure these are all bee balm?” another asked…

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Other Crucifers and Cutworms

  • Post published:06/12/2014
  • Post comments:3 Comments

Cabbage, caulifower and other crucifers seem to attract cutworms. There are thousands of varieties of cutworms that can overwinter in the garden for two years before metamorphizing into a moth. They are tiny, hard to see and often live just below the surface of the soil where they are invisible until you walk out in the morning to see that your cabbage seedlings are either wilting (because they are not yet thoroughly cut through) or lying  in a…

Companion Planting – Folk Wisdom or Science?

  • Post published:03/29/2014
  • Post comments:5 Comments

When I first learned about companion planting I thought it was a bit of simple folk wisdom. Plant your peas and carrots together, but keep them away from dill. Plant marigolds near the tomatoes, and soybeans with anything. This information, which is available in lists in books and on the Internet, has been my guide every spring when I rotate the vegetables around in my garden. Of course, in my small rotating vegetable garden I am also practicing…

Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

  • Post published:10/12/2013
  • Post comments:1 Comment

When I began reading The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, the famous author of the autobiographical Eat, Pray, Love, I expected a story that would involve  herbal medicine. Instead I got an nineteenth century story that included a highly profitable pharmaceutical business, a passionate botanizing heroine, desire, travels around the world, a charismatic man named Tomorrow Morning and a struggle between science and religion. Like many gardeners I enjoy novels that include a garden, whether in a mystery, or in some…

Walking in Our Woods with the Mass Audubon Society

  • Post published:06/21/2013
  • Post comments:4 Comments

  I’ve always known we have many different types of bird habitat here at the End of the Road. We have fields that surround our house and the garden. We have a wetland and a pond. Mostly we have woods, about 35 or so acres, surrounding the house, fields, and wetlands. I have walked in our woods. I have taken grandchildren up the lane, part of the old road to Rowe that was discontinued decades ago. The tree-lined…

W is for Water – and Dr. Betsy

  • Post published:04/26/2013
  • Post comments:4 Comments

W 1s for Water, and for Dr. Betsy our fourth child, second daughter, and Queen of Water. That actually isn't her title, which I don't remember, but she has been working for the Mass Water Resources  Authority for a number of years, as the scientist on the staff, although she also has administrative duties.  Why is it we parents never understand our children's jobs anymore? Anyway just in time for her 50th birthday celebration, she has been given…

M is for Marcescence on A to Z Blogger Challenge

  • Post published:04/15/2013
  • Post comments:7 Comments

M is for Marcescence. Marcescence refers to  the retention  of dead plant parts that are usually shed.  We all know that trees lose their leaves in the fall. Some of us may have noticed that oak trees, and beeches carry their dead leaves will into the fall. And maybe until the new leaf buds give the old leaf a final shove in the spring. Over the past few years I have noticed that there seem to be a lot…

G is for Gardening Projects for Kids on A to Z Challenge

  • Post published:04/08/2013
  • Post comments:3 Comments

G is for Garden Projects for Kids: 101 ways to get kids outside, dirty, and having fun by Whitney Cohen and John Fisher of LIfe Lab in Santa Cruz, California. Surely, my regular readers would not expect me to get through a whole month of posts without including a book or two. And this book from Timber Press is a doozy.  Garden Project for Kids is not only about growing veggies, but about other designing the garden so…

Bringing Nature Home at the Master Gardener’s Spring Symposium

  • Post published:03/30/2013
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Dr. Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, was the keynote speaker at the Western Massachusetts Master Gardeners Spring Symposium last week. His talk focused on the need for more insects to make our gardens – and the world – healthier and more ecologically balanced. “A mere 1 % [of all insects] interact with humans in negative ways. The other 99 % pollinate plants, return the nutrients tied up in…