Annual Climbing Vines – Delight and Camouflage

  • Post published:April 24, 2016

  Annual climbing vines add an important dimension to any garden. We have trees reaching for the sky and flowers and vegetables covering the ground. Climbing vines as simple as scarlet runner beans or morning glories and as elegant as clematis add something very special to our gardens. I have a friend who made a small arbor for herself in the middle of her garden, where she put a chair to give herself someplace to rest between bouts…

How to Start Seeds Indoors

  • Post published:March 26, 2016

It is easy and fun to start seeds indoors. Seeds are just magical - tiny bits of stuff that can turn into a delicious fruit or vegetable or gorgeous flower with only the help of a little soil, sun and rain. That magic is available to us all. All of us can plant seeds, and wave our magic wands to keep ourselves busy while we watch the magic show produced by Mother Earth, Father Sun and Sister Rain.…

Zinnias in Space

  • Post published:January 25, 2016

While browsing the web for information about plant hunter Augustine Henry I found a Daily Telegraph story about zinnias in space - space horticulture!  Major Tim Peake, the UK's first astronaut has coaxed a zinnia into bloom in a micro-gravity environment. The seeds were planted by NASA's Scott Kelly as part of VEG-O1 to see what plants might grow in this environment.  Lettuce was planted - harvested and eaten by the crew of the International Space Station earlier this…

Autumnal Container Arrangements

  • Post published:September 5, 2015

  The Heath Fair is over. Facebook is full of photos of kids going off to college and kindergarten for the first time. You can hardly get into the supermarkets for the ranks of rigidly potted containers of mums by the doors. It must be fall. Time for an autumnal arrangement. Chrysanthemums are certainly the iconic autumnal plant, but other plants can also perk up our summer weary gardens or containers. I took a tour around the area…

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’

  • Post published:September 1, 2015

Salvia 'Hot Lips' seems to be a really hot plant this summer. Several of these flowers are in bloom on the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, and I have a couple blooming on my hellstrip in Greenfield. Visitors to  the Bridge have written and asked the name of this beautiful shrub. It took me a while to identify it because  I think of it as an annual and not a shrub. However, Monrovia Nursery calls it a…

Drought Tolerant Perennials

  • Post published:August 29, 2015

My drought tolerant perennials: Russian sage, cosmos, coneflowers, and phloxI need water loving plants, but I have not forgotten that many need drought tolerant perennials. Some gardeners have soil that drains quickly, and we all fret about summer months when no rain falls, or have periods of very hot weather of the kind we’ve enjoyed recently. Fortunately there is a long list of plants that do not mind long periods of hot and dry weather. Some of them…

Greenfield Garden Club

  • Post published:May 26, 2015

  Who wouldn’t want friends who like to play in the dirt? Who are always learning new things? Who like to get out and about and see new beautiful places? Who everyday notice and appreciate the glorious world around them? Who are always thinking of ways to make their community more beautiful? A group of people who all wanted friends like that decades ago and formed the Greenfield Garden Club and happily had their regular meetings in the…

Bridge of Flowers – Blooming for 85 years

  • Post published:May 17, 2015

This year is the 85th anniversary of the Bridge of Flowers. There have been many changes since the trolley was discontinued and Antoinette Burnham declared that if an abandoned bridge could grow weeds it could grow flowers. It was with community effort that the Bridge of Flowers first bloomed in 1930. It blooms exuberantly today, from April and well into October. Anyone who has ever owned a house and dealt with necessary ongoing maintenance will understand the changes…

Is Your Poinsettia an Annual or Perennial?

  • Post published:January 13, 2015

Do you treat your Christmas Poinsettia as an annual, and throw it way when it finally loses all those beautiful bracts, or do you care for it, baby it, and suffer its dormancy in order to bring it back into glorious bloom next December? Can you guess which approach I take with a Christmas poinsettia? I'll give you a hint. This is my second poinsettia, a gift from my husband. I left my first one in the car.…

What’s New for 2015

  • Post published:January 3, 2015

What's new for 2015? In just five days we’ll have entered a new year where unimagined things may happen. How much of 2014 did you forsee on January 1, 2014? I’ll bet lots of the unimagined entered your life, and I hope that much was positive and joyful. You know that there will be many banners of NEW in the nursery and seed catalogs that are starting to fill our mailboxes. Perhaps the most unimagined new plant I…