A Step Missed

  • Post published:09/25/2008
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My autumn crocus (Colchicum) is blooming at the foot of my wisteria. I cleared away the lemon balm that had totally overrun that area. Autumn crocus, sometimes called Naked Ladies, send up their blossoms in the fall with no stem or foliage, hence their naughty common name. The leaves come up in the spring; the bulbs can be transplanted in late summer when the foliage starts to fade.I intended to move the bulbs where they could be more…

My House is Not a Barn

  • Post published:09/22/2008
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This is our old stove, a Magic Chef c.1930s. It was in our old farmhouse when we bought it, and I used it for the first couple of years. It only has three working burners, but the oven worked and as the cook I was happy. But we worked on the house and moved the kitchen space and I got a modern stove. After renovating the old kitchen space (some years later) the old stove was moved and…

Summer’s Over – for Some

  • Post published:09/19/2008
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There was a serious frost warning last night but the temperature was 36 degrees when we woke. Not even the basil was nipped.However, it seems that it is only prudent to give the houseplants that have been vacationing on the piazza an insnpection for disease or pests, a watering and a good shower. This task done they are certified safe and I bring them back into the house.The census this year is a giant jade plant, a jasmine,…

Bloom Day

  • Post published:09/15/2008
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It's Dahlia Season! So far, only three of my dahlias are blooming (I got 2 of the tubers in very very late) but they suggest to me that what I am developing is a garden that is full of bloom in June with our 'famous' Rose Walk and rose collection, the peony border and a few other spring perennials, and then not too much bloom until the fall. This is a concept I will try and build on.…

I Scooped the NYTimes!

  • Post published:09/15/2008
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Yesterday's New York Times had a story about how a group of Californians were harvesting unwanted fruit from old orchards and homewoners who had ornamental fruit trees and bringing it to local hard pressed food banks.I told this same story on Saturday in my Between the Rows column about how local farmers here bring leftover produce to the Center for Self-Reliance on Osgood Street (413-773-5029) in Greenfield after the Saturday Farmers Market! And then I learned that it…

Oh, No!

  • Post published:09/13/2008
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How can it be? The leaves are turning and the other night there was a frost warning. I had a fire in the wood stove the past two days. This year, as we approach the heating season with some trepidation, and a new (efficient we hope) heating system, we are still getting our firewood ready and hoping that the Farmer's Almanac's prediction of a very cold winter is wrong.

At the Garden Gate

  • Post published:09/11/2008
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Marion Ives, the metalsmith (and Hawley neighbor) calls this copper and brass garden gate, currently on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum Good Morning Glory. I think of it as Good morning. Glory! which is the way I feel when I walk into my garden early in the day. This detail shows not only the morning glories, but the dragonfly which I find so charming.Although Marion has shown her work at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge before,…

Eat The View

  • Post published:09/08/2008
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What is more beautiful than a bountiful vegetable garden? Why should the President of the United States be denied such a view? Why should he be denied a meal fresh fresh fresh out of the garden. Why shouldn't he encourage all of us to grow healthful organic gardens instead of arguing with our neighbors over the state of our lawn? Why shouldn't he donate some of the harvest to a DC food pantry?Roger Doiron founded Kitchen Gardeners International…

Before the Storm

  • Post published:09/06/2008
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Planting a new bed is exciting, but also has elements of discomfort. Its kind of like letting your hair grow out - there is that wretched in between stage, neither long nor short. But there is always the vision of what it will be. After I had a strong young man remove the sod from the end of one of our Lawn Beds, the soil was revealed as dry and not promising. Still I finally had a space…

Black Beauty Lily

  • Post published:09/03/2008
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My Black Beauty lilies are planted in the herb bed along the piazza in front of the house. Here their tall turk's cap blossoms are high in the sun, but their roots are well shaded by the tarragon, garlic chives and bee balm.They have lived up to their publicity. They are trouble free vigorous growers and are considered one of the best lilies of the 20th century. I have had no trouble with disease or pests since I…