Lunar Eclipse

  • Post published:02/21/2008
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The lunar eclipse was very clear up here on our Massachusetts hill. We have perfect conditions for star - and moon - gazing because there is no light pollution. The skies are dark, but brilliant with a splash of the Milky Way and the host of heroes and gods from the Greek and Roman mythologies including Selene, the goddess of the moon whose chariot is pulled by two white cows whose horns are symbols of the crescent moon.Of…

Native Ferns, Moss & Grasses by William Cullina

  • Post published:02/18/2008
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William Cullina, director of horticultural research at New England Wildflower Society's Garden in the Woods in Framingham has just come out with the third book in his Native trilogy. This is an excellent reference book, but one that is so charming that it make frequent dips into it irresistible. The helpful and copious color photographs, many taken by Cullina himself, are easy to use and easy on the eye. From Emerald Carpet to Amber Wave: Serene and Sensuous…

February Bloom Day

  • Post published:02/17/2008
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Two days late and a photo short, but my abutilon or parlor maple is the only things blooming in the house at this point. I'm using last month's photo, but there is no substantial difference. That is one of the benefits of the abutilon; it is always in bloom. I have enjoyed the health and vigor of this plant which is undeterred by nights that routinely dip below 50 degrees. We live on a windy New England hill…

Ice Upon Ice

  • Post published:02/14/2008
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On Valentine's Day some girls get the kind of ice that is measured in karats, but the only ice up here in Heath is the kind that makes life difficult. The walk out to the henhouse might be better made with skates than boots.With all the ice - albeit bright now today, my thoughts turn to the New England Spring Flower Show in Boston at the Bayside Exposition Center from March 8 - 16. Flowers! Greenery! That wonderful…

Poor Man’s Fertilizer

  • Post published:02/10/2008
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Over the past 24 hours another five inches of snow has fallen already blanketed fields. The snow has fallen wet and deep, laying heavily on the pine trees, and even on each twiggy branch of the bent birches, like lace tutus on bowing ballerinas. Snow began falling again this morning on my way home from church. The wind picked up, blowing snow across the road, and knocking it off the trees. Between the falling and blowing snow, and…

Gingerbread Roads

  • Post published:02/08/2008
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Out here in the country where most of us have to communte to work in our cars, the state of our roads in winter is of paramount importance. However we are not only commuters, most of us in Heath worry about the environment and are always seeking ways to live more lightly on our beautiful landscape.This desire is not only felt individually. Last year and this the town is using a new method of 'salting' the roads to…

The Sprout Harvest

  • Post published:02/04/2008
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You can get alfalfa sprouts at every salad bar, and you can even buy them in little plastic boxes at the supermarket. If you spout seeds at home you can use a mix of flavorful seeds - radish, broccoli, clover, lentil and others inaddition to alfalfa.I used to have some plastic screened lids that were intended to be used on canning jars for sprouting, but I have been told that in order to give sprouting seeds proper air…

Garden Bloggers Book Club

  • Post published:01/31/2008
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My Friend Elsa Though I haven’t read Dear Friend and Gardener I have my own great garden friend. When I moved to my Massachusetts hilltop, I found that one of our area’s most famous perennial gardeners, Elsa Bakalar, lived on a neighboring hilltop. She was a generation older, British, much more knowledgeable about flower gardens, and way more opinionated than I was about anything but happy to befriend a novice. She is a born teacher, and even now…

Weeds of the Northeast

  • Post published:01/28/2008
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At this time of the year when the ground is covered with white snow, and yet the sun is brilliant and almost warm, the desire for something green growing in the earth is great. Even the sight of a weed would be cheering.Of course, it is the weeds that may be the first things that I notice when things start up in the spring. At least that is the way it usually is here at the End of…

Wolf Moon

  • Post published:01/25/2008
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The Wolf Moon, the January full moon, shone over our house this week. According to country wisdom you should still have half your firewood left when the Wolf Moon is full. We do! The wood pile is ornamented with snow and ice, but there is plenty to get us through the winter, and those cool, damp spring evenings.The freezer also contains a good ration of our blueberries and strawberries, as well as the chickens that we raise for…