Whither the Weather

  • Post published:06/23/2008
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Last Monday afternoon we had a terrific hailstorm that lasted over 10 minutes. Ferocious winds, driving rain and battering hail. At least it didn't really hurt the thyme - see above. The lettuce and young squash and bean plants weren't so lucky. Still, life will not be denied! Many of the battered plants are recovering. Another reason to procrastinate and not act on that despairing impulse to rip everything out and start over.Last night there were ferocious thunderstorms.…

The 100 Mile Diet

  • Post published:06/21/2008
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Last weekend I worked at The Riverfest in Shelburne Falls. Our theme was the 100 mile diet, which is really just a hook to hang eating local on. We live in a rural area with a few remaining dairy farms. However, less visibly, hidden on the back roads are an increasing number of small farm raising produce under the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) system, selling shares for weekly distributions during the growing season, as well as goat farms…

June is Bustin’ Out All Over

  • Post published:06/15/2008
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I guess I can't really take credit for this Double Knock Out which was in full bud when I planted it about a month ago, adding it to my collection of about 70 hardy roses - all that will survive on my Massachusetts hill top. The color is spectacular and a great contrast to the pastels which predominate in the garden.This is Mount Blanc, one of my favorite rugosas. I don't know why Blanc Double de Coubert gets…

Tale of the Wisteria

  • Post published:06/09/2008
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In 1990 I bought a wisteria from Wayside Gardens. I had visions of it sheltering and shading the 'piazza' on an arbor right in front of our house. Unfortunately the arbor wasn't yet built.I kept watering the potted wisteria and kept hoping that my husband and son would get together to build the arbor some weekend. This didn't happen until my birthday in August. I happily put the little wisteria in the ground next to one of the…

Deciduous Azaleas

  • Post published:06/07/2008
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One of the problems I find with local garden centers is that they cannot possibly stock specialty plants, or much variety within a species. One of the delights of Garden Open Today events is that gardeners get to see and learn about plants they never knew existed. These deciduous azaleas which are blooming now in early June are in Jerry Sternstein's garden. A riot of color that I never imagined existed. In fact I didn't know anything about…

Guan Yin Mian

  • Post published:06/03/2008
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After learning about Guan Yin (Kwan Yin, Kannon), the bodhisattva of compassion while we were living in Beijing, and became familiar with the beautiful tree peonies at the Forbidden City, the Imperial Palace, I knew that I had to have this gorgeous tree peony named for the bodhisattva.A bodhisattva is one who is so compassionate she refuses nirvana in order to help those who are still suffering. Guan Yin is often depicted with her magic tools, a pill…

Elizabeth Lawrence

  • Post published:05/31/2008
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The Little Bulbs: A Tale of Two Gardens by Elizabeth Lawrence is what inspired my interest in snowdrops, but it took many years before I actually got any planted. This is partly because I was confused by their blooming time. In Elizabeth Lawrence's southern gardens they bloomed on Candlemas Day (February 2) and sometimes "more than once known them to take advantage of an 'amazing interlude' of mild weather in January to slip out of the half frozen…

The veggies are in!

  • Post published:05/30/2008
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The vegetable garden is in. It doesn't look like much but it includes lettuce (from starts that should be ready to harvest next week) beets, chard, cilantro, sugar snaps and sweet peas, radishes, lettuce mix and zucchini , as well as broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomato and cucumber seedlings.In the garden extension on the other side of the raspberry patch I have winter squash, crookneck squash, yellow and green filet beans and a potato barrel. It is even less…

Party Time!

  • Post published:05/28/2008
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Blooms everywhere. I have two blooming rhododendrons, Boule de Neige and Rangoon, but a friend who lives in Hawley has 300! He recently invited the Greenfield Garden Club to enjoy the rhodie pictured above along with others in shades of red, yellow, salmon, and white. If they needed more variety they could wander off into the fragrant grove of 70 lilacs. Jerry invited everyone back for another Garden Open Today when he is hosting a delegation from the…

Sunday Morning Gardener

  • Post published:05/26/2008
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Obviously this is not a photo of me in the garden on Sunday morning, but there I am on my Sunday Morning Gardener show which I record in Beverly, Massachusetts on northshore104.9.Aurelia Nelson who works for the station is my partner and with the help of our producer/engineer Jay Foss we have a jolly time talking to callers, and experts like Paul Tukey of Safe Lawns and Marie Stella, garden historian and designer. Last week we were talking…