Water-Saving Gardens by Pam Penick

  • Post published:08/27/2016
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Pam Penick, who grew up in the southeastern part of our country, wasn’t expecting the very dry garden she would get when she and her husband moved to Austin, Texas. The years she has spent learning how to have a beautiful dry garden have resulted in a desire to share all she has learned. The Water-Saving Garden: How to Grow a Gorgeous Garden with a Lot Less Water (Ten Speed Press $19.99) begins by showing us some beautiful…

G is for Groundcover – Gill-over-the-ground

  • Post published:04/08/2016
  • Post comments:3 Comments

G is for Groundcover like ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) otherwise known as gill-over-the-ground, seen here creeping from my lawn into the new Lawn Beds. There is a lot of cross-over, if not confusion, about what is a wildflower, weed, or ‘real plant.’  A friend was trying to figure out how to rid of the gill-over-the-ground that had suffocated the strawberries growing under her grapevines. We discussed carboard and solarizing, but another friend asked why she didn’t just leave…

First Dandelion – First Signs of Spring

  • Post published:05/06/2015
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The first dandelion seems  early this year, an indication that spring has arrived almost all in an instant after our very long and very frigid winter. The grass is suddenly green and the green veil across the trees at the edges of our field is becoming more opaque. The lilac leaf buds seem to double in size every day. Violets are blooming in the hots spots along the house foundation, too thick with weeds to make a good…

Bountiful Bouquet of Roadside Weeds

  • Post published:09/12/2014
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A bouquet of roadside weeds. My roadside. Quite lovely, don't you think. Two kinds of aster, blackeyed susans, lots of goldenrod, tansy and a bit of a cheat - red highbush cranberry (Viburnam) berries and some rugosa rose hips. Mother Nature must love us a lot to give us these beauties in such abundance.

Weeds in My Garden

  Weeds. The weeds are thriving in my garden. In the middle of August when we are getting ready for the Heath Fair there is no longer even a pretense that I am keeping up with the weeds. This week I am resolved to begin a major weeding. One friend I met at the Fair said she had given up weeding for the season and would worry about it next spring. I understand the feeling, but there is…

Touring Colleges with Rory

  • Post published:04/24/2014
  • Post comments:3 Comments

High schools are off this week so we had the chance to go touring colleges with grandson Rory. It was pouring all during the UMass-Lowell campus tour, but we were undaunted, and got to see the O'Leary Library, the bookstore, a dining hall, a classroom and lots of students very busily going about their business. We were also fortunate enough to speak to one of the faculty members who gave us lots of  good advice. While we were…

Seeds and Seed Cases on Wordless Wednesday

  • Post published:11/06/2013
  • Post comments:8 Comments

Seeds and seed cases make something new to see in the garden. Coriander is the little round seeds left on the cilantro plants. That means cilantro/coriander is both an herb and a spice. Cotoneaster (Co-tone - e - aster) berries are brighter than coriander. These rose hips are not the kind for rose hip jelly. The tiny black seeds inside the petit columbine seed case will scatter themselves. More plants in the spring.   This milkweed stem shows…

Impatiens, Jewelweed, Touch-Me-Not and What I Have Learned

  • Post published:10/21/2013
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Jewelweed is one of the plants I named as a child. I was fascinated by how easy it was to rip out, although it never grew anywhere that required weeding. Nowadays, I do have places that require I pull it out, but I am happy to find it growing along my roadside. I learned that the juice of its succulent stems can relieve skin irritation from bug bites, nettle stings, and even poison ivy if it is rubbed…

Wildflower or Weed – An Roadside Bouquet

  • Post published:09/10/2013
  • Post comments:3 Comments

Definitely a weed! And invasive. But very pretty. Definitely a wildflower, in spite of the name. I think it is a white aster. My ID skills are nil. I think. For more Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.  

Goldenrod or Ragweed?

  • Post published:09/09/2013
  • Post comments:8 Comments

In August goldenrod fills the fields surrounding our house. It is more than time to get the fields mowed, but for the moment I am enjoying the sunniness of the various types of goldenrod. Therefore, I was taken aback by someone who told me I did not  have fields of goldenrod, but with a glare, told me I had fields of ragweed. I am more than willing to doubt myself, so I did not protest. However, it seemed…