K is for Kalmia latifolia

  • Post published:April 13, 2016

K is for Kalmia latifolia, the beautiful mountain laurel, is a hardy broadleaf evergreen that blooms in May. It should be deadheaded after it blooms. Kalmia prefers acid, moist but well drained humusy soil, and some shade. In nature it is an understory shrub in the woodlands. It tolerates deer and rabbits. The native Kalmia used to bear white flowers tinged with pink, but now hybrids bring an array of colors to the garden from a pure  white…

B is for Button Bush

  • Post published:April 2, 2016

  B is for Buttonbush, more properly known as Cephalanthus occidentalis. I was thrilled to find this native woody shrub which will grow to about eight to ten feet because it is not only wet tolerant, it has been known to live on river banks where the water often rises enough so that the buttonbush is actually growing in the water. My garden is periodically inundated for days at a time after rain. However, I am trying to…

I Went Shopping for Spice Bush for the Swallowtail Butterfly

  • Post published:March 24, 2016

It's spring and I went shopping  for Spice Bush. Yesterday, at the Hadley Garden Center I found a Spice Bush with bursting green buds. This Spice Bush, Lindera benzoin, is hardy, takes shade, and gets big, up to 12 feet tall and just as wide.  I will plant it next to the fence which a relatively dry spot, but spice bush can also tolerates some wet. One special reason for planting spice bush is that it attracts Spice…

Home Outside Plan for Pat and Henry

  • Post published:July 25, 2015

My husband Henry and I stood outside the back of our new Greenfield house. We each clutched a different custom garden design prepared for us by Home Outside  Julie Moir Messervy’s newest service to help homeowners create the garden they had always dreamed of. We looked at each other, we looked at the designs, and we looked at the blank green space that was our back yard. Both Home Outside plans used the information I had sent them. We…

The Shrub and Rose Border Begins in Greenfield

  • Post published:July 20, 2015

I first became acquainted with Julie Moir Messervy through her book The Inward Garden: Creating a space of beauty and meaning. This beautiful book approaches garden design through seven archetypes, the cave the prairie, the mountain, the sea etc., and the way that a garden makes you feel. It is this attention to the mood I might want in my garden that interested me. That attention to mood might have begun when as a graduate student she spent…

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – July 2015

  • Post published:July 15, 2015

On this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day I am celebrating blooms in two gardens, although I dearly hope it will not be too long before I am once again tending a single, small garden. In Greenfield the hydrangeas in the Shrub and Rose border are beginning to bloom even though they were planted only a month ago. Angel Blush is joined by Limelight and Firelight. These hydrangeas will form a beautiful privacy fence. Buttonbush was only planted two weeks…

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2015

  • Post published:May 15, 2015

It has been a  while since I have been able to post on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, but May has brought many blooms to the end of the road. Old apple trees and wild cherries  are blooming in the garden , along the road and in the fields. Blooming trees are wonderful, and each blossom is a delight. The Sargent crabapple could not fit any more blossoms on itself. Didn't I tell you no more blossoms could fit…

Monks Garden at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

  • Post published:May 12, 2015

On Mother's Day we went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum so I could revisit the Monks Garden , newly designed by Michael VanValkenburg in 2013. I wanted to see how it was filling out, and if it really went 'crazy with hellebores" in the spring. This is where we entered on the graceful curving path. Visitors to the Museum can also enter the Monks Garden from one of the galleries. The trees are indeed filling out. Hellebores…

First Dandelion – First Signs of Spring

  • Post published:May 6, 2015

The first dandelion seems  early this year, an indication that spring has arrived almost all in an instant after our very long and very frigid winter. The grass is suddenly green and the green veil across the trees at the edges of our field is becoming more opaque. The lilac leaf buds seem to double in size every day. Violets are blooming in the hots spots along the house foundation, too thick with weeds to make a good…

Shades of White for Winter, Spring and Summer

  • Post published:March 4, 2015

There are many shades of white in this world. Snow white is what I have been looking at for three frigid months now, but I dream of shades of white for spring and summer. First come the snowdrops - as white as snow. A very welcome white. Rhododendrons bloom towards the end of May, but 'Boule de Neige'  (Snowball) has a memory of the white winter. Somehow this pristine white seems prettier than the snow. High summer and…