As we slip into June I also slip into high gear preparing for the Annual Rose Viewing at the End of the Road which is always held the last Sunday in June, this year June 24 from 1- 4 pm. Roses, with cookies and lemonade in the Cottage Ornee. It looks like a good year for the roses, but even when the winter has taken a toll, I love welcoming people to the garden because sharing the garden increases my own pleasure and offers a little information as well as pleasure to my visitors.
Kathy Puckett’s garden comes into it’s peak season a little earlier than mine does and she is holding her Garden Open Today on Sunday, June 10 from 10 am til 5 pm. Puckett has one of the most beautiful gardens around, irises, peonies, ladyslippers, all manner of perennials as well as roses! She has shrubs and lawns and everything is lush. I can think of no lovelier way to spend an hour or two than strolling through this beautiful garden on Skinner Road in Shelburne.
Neither Kathy nor I are part of a garden tour, but two local towns will hold garden tours next month so save some dates. The Greenfield Garden Club Tour will have an additional feature this year – farms! I was especially glad to hear this because the Franklin Land Trust will not have its Farm and Garden Tour, although they will have other events during the summer to celebrate their 25 years of work protecting land.
The Greenfield Garden Club Farm and Garden Tour is scheduled for Saturday, July 7. I always love seeing how people handle their garden spaces. Some have expansive acres and some have small lots, but both have figured out creative ways to manage their space for solitary and social pleasures. This year Denise Leonard of Tanstaafl Farm which raises sheep for wool and meat, pigs, turkeys, chickens, and ducks, will be a featured farm on the tour.
I was confused by the name of the farm and said it didn’t look like an English word. Leonard replied that it stood for “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” a phrase I have used since my days at the Rowe School which gave the children free lunches. Of course it is good for hungry children to have lunches they don’t pay for, but there is a cost somewhere. I did not know that this phrase made it into the science fiction canon when Robert Heinlein made it a central element in his book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I suspect there is no better place to learn there is no free lunch than on a farm.
The Greenfield Garden Club tour raises money for grants it gives to local schools for garden projects.
The Annual Hawley Garden Tour raises money for the Sons and Daughters of Hawley and will be held on Saturday July 14. Melanie Poudrier, Pam Shrimpton and Rainey McCarthy are this year’s organizers. The title of the tour is A Stroll Through Hawley Past – and Present: the gardens and cemeteries of Hawley. Tickets will be available soon.
Lunch will be served at the Poudrier garden where there is room to eat inside if the weather is uncooperative. Poudrier said she likes being a part of the tour. “The garden is always different, some things fail and others do really well. Preparing for the tour helps me think about the garden, and can be an impetus to change. I might work on one section of the garden to improve it. I like to share the garden. When other people visit they might see something they like, but each person has to deal with their own unique situation.”
For those who want to know more about our local farms twelve Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms are giving tours of their operations next week. The CISA website www.buylocalfood.org has full information of days and times of farm tours, but I noticed that the new Red Fire Farm in Montague is offering a tour on Thursday, June 7 at 5:30 pm. Ryan Voiland grew up in Montague, but his Red Fire Farm has been located in Granby for some years. Now he is working to make the old Blue Meadow nursery property into his main organic farm.
Wilder Brook Farm on West Oxbow Road in Charlemont is having an Open House on Tuesday, June 5 from 4-7 pm. Visitors interested in buying a share will get a gift of rhubarb and flowers.
Finally I want to mention the Berkshire Botanical Garden which gives tours all summer long, but is having a special program on June 12 and 13. Edward Maeder, museum curator, author and textile artist, who some of you may know from his tenure at Old Deerfield, will be lecturing on “The Rose in Art and Fashion—700 Years“, and “Gardens in the Decorative Arts”. The lectures will be followed by hands-on demonstrations and workshops: “Exploring Paper Possibilities with Collage and Floral Inspiration”. The cost for each lecture, and each workshop is $150. A Full information about the programs will be on the Berkshire Botanical Garden website, www.berkshirebotanaical.org.
Between the Rows June 2, 2012