Permaculture Gardens at UMass

  • Post published:09/20/2022
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Permaculture – Use & Value Diversity

Last week I travelled to UMass with members of my Greenfield Garden Club to visit one of the permaculture vegetable gardens. UMass has wanted to create an international model to inspire permaculture projects in campuses around the world, and it certainly looked like a great idea to me! (more…)

Autumn is the Season for Making Compost

  • Post published:09/10/2022
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Compost Bins

Autumn is a good  time to collect leaves to make compost to feed the garden. We have found different  ways to do this. The photo shows a wire ‘barrel’ which we pack with leaves every fall. There is also a regular store bought bin where I put kitchen scraps and leaves along with some soil periodically, which helps make very good compost. Behind that bin is another bin that we can use to wait for the first bin  to finish the compost. You will also notice that the bottom sheet on top of that bin has holes, evidence that rats were eating through it to get to food they like. (more…)

The Garden Refresh – Give Impacts on a Small Budget

  • Post published:08/25/2022
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Garden Refresh by Kier Holmes

A few weeks ago, after reading Garden Refresh: How to Give Your Yard Big Impact on a Small Budget, I was inspired and told my husband  that we really needed to take down a large viburnum to provide sunlight. Having an obliging husband makes it easy to spend very little money to give more plants needed sunshine.  But this book provides many ways to help choose plants, and how to care for them. (more…)

Joyous Attendance at the 104th Heath Fair

  • Post published:08/22/2022
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Ned – at the barn

The 104th Heath Fair takes a lot of people to provide great events and pleasures. Ned is just one of  the people who works at the Heath Fair.  He is watching the attendees look at all the equipment that has found a place in the Solomon Temple barn including books about Heath, and items like a loom that has been used over the years. There is also a raffle – I’ve  got my eye on that quilt! (more…)

Queen Anne’s Lace Along the Roadsides

  • Post published:08/17/2022
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Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) grows wild throughout our country.  These lovely wild biennials produce a carrot-like taproot, hence its proper name. One of the stories of this flower is about the British Queen Anne II (1665-1714) who was tatting white lace with her needle and pricked her finger. A drop of blood fell on the lace, and sometimes a dark red flower appears on the center of the flower. (more…)

Mayapples in May Do Not Look Like Mayapples in August

  • Post published:08/12/2022
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Mayapples

Mayapples ((Podophyllum peltatum) are not a fruit I would eat. And though I have never  heard of anyone else eating them you can eat the bland fruit, but not the seed. This year is so dry that the plants started shrivelling in early July. (more…)

Attracting Garden Pollinators by Jean Vernon

  • Post published:07/27/2022
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Attracting Garden Pollinators by Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon has  written an amazing book, Attracting Garden Pollinators, unlike other books about the importance of garden pollinators. She has gone beyond talking about butterflies and bees. (more…)

A Handfull of Water Loving Shrubs

  • Post published:07/20/2022
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Cardinal Flowers

In this dry summer, I’m thinking about the wet, swampy flowers, like the Cardinal Plant. Early on I read that Cardinal flowers love the wetlands, next to streams, ponds, swamps, and anywhere that will stay moist – which includes my garden.

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Olallie Daylillies for Beauty, and Blueberries

  • Post published:07/14/2022
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Me and Chris Darrow in the Olallie Daylily Gardens

In 1988 my friend  BJ said we  should visit the Olallie Daylily Gardens. I’d get a great story for my column. We met Chris Darrow, who tended the ever growing fields of flowers.  The first of these daylilies were sent to Vermont by Dr. George M Darrow, a geneticist who worked for the USDA as a breeder for small fruits, blueberries, strawberries and more in Maryland.  He wanted to share these daylilies with the rest of his family in Vermont. He explained that Olallie is a west coast native American name which translates loosely to Place Where Berries Are Found, providing a name for what became a great collection of daylilies. (more…)

Sara-Evelyn Lane, Broadfork and Successful Pruning

  • Post published:07/07/2022
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Sara-Evelyn Lane of Broadfork with cut branches

Our two dogwoods grew amazingly in 5 years!  Sara-Evelyn said from now on we’d need to be  doing substantial pruning every year. Sara-Evelyn came to our garden in March to trim our little redbud. We were happy to watch its spring beauty. Time passed and things seemed to be going well, but a day before her second visit to us arrived, one branch broke off because of heavy winds.  Sara-Evelyn took time to talk about the Redbud and give it a little extra trimming. (more…)