My Friend Peter, Traveler

  • Post published:12/18/2007
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My friend Peter is not a devoted gardener, but he is discerning and witty with a strong visual sense and a lot to say about the world around him. The following is his dispatch from San Francisco.Being an architect can be difficult if one lives in a rural and relatively remote part of the country. Architecture is largely an urban exercise. For an architect the city is his garden. Sometimes it can be highly instructive or illuminating to…

Jenny’s Garden

  • Post published:12/17/2007
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Jenny Ruhl bought a house in Gill four years ago and started a new garden. She also started a new website describing all the limitations of her landscape - rocks, thin soil, lots of shade - and then documented the 2007 garden year with wonderful photographs and brief text. Jenny's Garden can be seen at is the time of year when we can all review the garden year and think about 2008. This is what Jenny had…

I’m No Martha

  • Post published:12/17/2007
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I'm no Martha Stewart, but it doesn't take much skill to make a welcoming swag of trimmings from the balsam Christmas tree we cut from our snowbreak. While we were down in the field I took a few extra branches from a nearby pine that included little pine cones. Many people buy their holiday wreaths, garlands and swags at one of the numerous holiday fairs that benefit churches, schools and other worthy organizations. This is a Good Thing!…

Snow and the Wind Doth Blow

  • Post published:12/16/2007
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This the the view from my bedroom window on Sunday morning. The outbuilding is our Cottage Ornee where we spend fine summer Sunday afternoons with tea and the Sunday papers. Not today.And this is the view from my reading chair. Note the chicken waterer defrosting by the fire. No Sunday papers in this storm, so I am reading The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms by Amy Stewart, one of the witty and knowledgeable members of…

Eggs At Last!

  • Post published:12/14/2007
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The day old Americauna chicks we got the first of June have matured and are finally laying eggs!I have always been amazed that Auracaunas which origninated in Mexico did so well in our cold climate. I guess they have been slightly hybridized because the name has changed in the Murray McMurray catalog. We have had many breeds of chicken over the past 25 years, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Silver Laced Wyandottes and even a few…

Our Snowbreak

  • Post published:12/13/2007
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The second winter here at the End of the Road there was a terrific storm. Not only did more than a foot of snow fall, there was wind. And the wind blew snow from our open fields down on to the road to our house. We were snowed in!We didn't mind. It is always fun to play hooky from work - not our fault! We sat by the fire, eating and reading and having a wonderful day. But…

Bringing Nature Home

  • Post published:12/10/2007
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When I choose plants for my garden I often choose a plant that will supply food or shelter for the wildlife I welcome to my garden.This means I have looked for native plants, but I never fully understood why this was necessary.In his book, Bringing Nature Home, Professor Douglas Tallamy explains that "native plants support a diverse and balanced food web essential to all sustainable ecosystems". In the book he gives the best explanation of the food web…

Nature red in tooth and claw

  • Post published:12/09/2007
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A friend of mine who has his first tiny flock of chickens heard a great ruckus outside the other day. He ran out of the house and saw two of his chickens fighting each other. Odd. Then he realized one of the chickens was a hawk! He screamed. The hawk flew off. The chicken ran into the hen house and promptly laid an egg. When I told my husband he said clearly the chicken's response to the threat…

Unappealing Incentive

  • Post published:12/07/2007
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In the December 5 issue of The Recorder reporter Richie Davis described a program the Commonwealth is considering for forest owners. Apparently Georgia and Michigan have 'carbon sequestering' programs which allow forest owners to sell the their carbon credits to businesses that are 'under pressure to cut their greenhouse emissions'. Governor Patrick is considering a similar program. I acknowledge that farmland and other open space all over our country is under pressure by developers but I don't understand…

Inauguration Day

  • Post published:12/06/2007
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Am I too old (at 67) to Blog? We'll find out, but in any event I thought that the Feast of Saint Nicholas would be the perfect day to inaugurate my blog. There isn't anything going on in the garden outside so when the temperature is only 7 degrees above 0, as it was this morning, my only gardening desire is in books. I just picked up my old copy of Green Thoughts: A Writer in the Garden…