• Post published:07/14/2008
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This is garden tour season. It is a pleasure to leave the weeding chores and go off to look at beautiful gardens where I am sure whole energetic crews took care of the weeding before we tourists arrive. The Lenox Garden Club arranged a wonderful tour of the Hidden Treasures of the Berkshires that sent me into fantasy mode pretty quick. Since I have no ancient specimen trees or bedrock boulders, this kind of shady garden is one…

The Cottage Ornee is a Winner!

  • Post published:07/07/2008
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A few days ago Amy Stewart at Garden Rant was talking about a beautiful new book, Shed Style and Elegant Hideaways by Debra Prinzing with photographer William Wright and published by Clarkson Potter, which was all about the various useful and elegant sheds that gardeners used. Some are totally functional, but others have more elevated styles and uses. Then Amy asked all of us to write and describe our fantasy shed. I wrote about our Cottage Ornee which…

More Guests

  • Post published:07/05/2008
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These two tiny creatures are yellow spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) that my husband dug up when he was cleaning the drain in our dirt cellar - part of the continuing work on our new foundation.These are our first cellar salamanders, but our neighbor had one living for years in his wet basement. Apparently this is not unusual. Yellow spotted salamanders can live as long as 20 years and except for their mating season in March or April (depending…

The Garden is Now Closed

  • Post published:07/01/2008
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That's me in the blue dress, chatting with visitors to The Annual Rose Viewing. The weather reports were threatening, but so far our luck has held and it has never rained on the Rose Viewing. In fact, there was so much sun that my husband was busy handing round extra garden hats and parasols, but as the afternoon progressed it became less humid and one of Heath's lovely zephyrs began to whisper across the hill.Even so, some visitors…

Rachel’s Rose

  • Post published:06/28/2008
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Not all of my roses came from nurserseries. Not all of them have official IDs and names. I have several Farmgirls tht have come from neighbors in Heath. This magnificent rose was given to me by Rachel Sumner the summer before she died. She told me this was a mighty and vigorous rose. Many years before her husband was building a big garage which required substantial excavation; he piled all the excavated soil on top of her rose.…

Greenfield Garden Club Visits

  • Post published:06/27/2008
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If you take the long view, from my bedroom window, things look pretty neat. You even get a little more sense of the roses in bloom than the picture shows. I hoped the Greenfield Garden Club would be happy with the big picture, and wouldn't be too bothered with details like weeds.After slathering ourselves with bug repellent we took a walk to the Shed Bed which has really good soil, possibily because it is right next to the…

Unexpected Guest

  • Post published:06/25/2008
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The peahen has visited in years past. We don't know where she spends most of her time - especially during the winter, but we occasionally get excited phone calls from other people who wake up to find her in their yard. Sometimes these calls are just to share exotic news, and sometimes from people who wonder if we have added pea fowl to our chicken flock. She is a mystery.This year she has been sticking around for a…

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…