A Sign of the Early Times – Coltsfoot

  • Post published:03/23/2012
  • Post comments:5 Comments

Coltsfoot started blooming three days ago on the Rose Bank. This is the first flower in my garden and this year it is much earlier than usual. I wrote about Coltsfoot's properties as a medicinal herb here on April 17 in 2009. Coltsfoot is also known as Coughwort and is known as a remedy for coughs and other respiratory ailments across several culture. I wrote about it as a wildflower here last year on April 26. I wonder…

Asters for Wildflower Wednesday

  • Post published:09/28/2011
  • Post comments:1 Comment

Right now the roadsides in our area are blooming with the late purple aster, Aster patens.  I think I have identified this aster properly, although as you can see the color of the blossoms is NOT deep blue violet. The crooked stem aster, Aster prenanthoides, has the more accurate 'pale violet' flowers, but not the crooked stem or teeth on the leaves. Can anyone give me a better ID? Thank you Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting…

Bloom Day May 15, 2011

  • Post published:05/15/2011
  • Post comments:7 Comments

I don't think I have ever had this Bloom before on my blog. Several forsythia bushes were here when we bought they house : they are so old and entrenched that we have never been able even to contemplate the work it would take to pull them out. They rarely bloom, but they sure do grow.  But this year!  Not spectacular, but a regular profusion. A milder winter?  Global climate change? I have no idea why, but the…

Trout Lilies

  • Post published:05/13/2011
  • Post comments:2 Comments

This patch of trout lilies, Erythronium americanum, is growing by the roadside on the edge of a drainage in the woods near my house. Trout lilies are so called because the mottled leaves are thought to resemble the markings on brook trout, but it has other common names: adder's tongue because of the look of the new unfurling leaves, and dogtooth violet because of the appearance of the white corm, but, of course, it is not a violet…


  • Post published:04/26/2011
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Gail of Clay and Limestone is celebrating wildflowers this week and I wanted to get in on the fun. Fortunately I have one wildflower in bloom here at the End of the Road, coltsfoot, coughwort or Tussilago farfara. I usually call it an 'herb' because of its medicinal uses. Its leaves are used in an infusion or to smoke, in both cases to cure a cough.  Of course the word 'herb' in its broadest sense means only a…

Nasami Farm Opens

  • Post published:04/13/2011
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Nasami Farm in Whately, the nursery of the New England Wildflower Society, will open for the season tomorrow, Thursday, April 14.  Hours are 10 am to 5 pm from Thursday through Sunday every week.The Nursery offers about 400 nursery propagated native wildflowers and shrubs. I go every year to buy groundcovers like barren strawberry and shrubs like Rosa setigera. What will you need from Nasami this spring?

Native Buzz!

  • Post published:04/03/2011
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Butterfly gardening is becoming very popular. Schools are having their students plant butterfly gardens, and adults can find more than a dozen books devoted to gardening in a way that will attract butterflies to their landscape. Butterfly gardening could just as well go by another name, pollinator gardening.  Everyone knows that bees are pollinators, but butterflies along with many other creatures like wasps and bats are important pollinators. Planting a butterfly garden helps support pollinators. Most of us…

My Logo

  • Post published:03/25/2011
  • Post comments:5 Comments

When I began my blog, slightly more than three years ago, I had just finished reading The Uncommon Reader, a delightful short comic novel by Alan Bennett.  I am a reader and understood the reference to Virginia Woolf's Common Reader essays so the phrase 'common reader' was whirling around in my brain  when I thought of that most common of weeds - the dandelion.  I thought the dandelion was a perfect flower to refer to me; I am…

Jump Ups on Blooming Friday

  • Post published:12/03/2010
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Yesterday I was visiting Sue Reed, author of the excellent Energy Wise Landscape Design, to talk about her book and our local landscape.  You will be hearing more about our talk soon.  Before I left we walked around the house to see how she had edited and added to the elements of her own landscape. More on that later, too.  As we came around the southern corner of the house we saw this energetic bunch of Johnny Jump…

Ellen Sousa in The American Garden

  • Post published:11/19/2010
  • Post comments:8 Comments

The November/December issue of The American Gardener: The Magazine of the American Horticultural Society arrived the other day. As I was browsing through it last night I was surprised, but thrilled, to see Ellen Sousa, who lives in Central Massachusetts, quoted in Kris Wetherbee's article Garden Cleanup Reconsidered.  Ellen's own landscape is not only a Certified Wildlife Habitat, it is a Monarch Waystation so it was no surprise to hear her say, "instead of doing the traditional fall…