Happy Birthday Gertrude Jekyll

  • Post published:11/29/2012
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Gertrudy Jekyll (1843-1932) was one of the great British gardeners. It is her gardens and writings that essentially define the British perennial garden to this day.  This is the 169th anniversary of her birth in in London. Though she did travel throughout England, Europe and even the United States she spent most of her life in Surrey, England. There she built her final house and garden, Munstead Wood, with Edward Luytens, the well known architect.Most of the photographs show…

Rain Didn’t Deter the Crowds

  • Post published:06/27/2011
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Saturday dawned gray and misty. At 10 am those driving up to Heath for the Franklin Land Trust Farm and Garden Tour found themselves driving through thick Shangi-La fog to the mythical land of Heath with its fields and forests, blueberries, maple syrup, its country gardens, its history, and of course, its roses. The air and the grass were wet, flowers somewhat rain battered after a week of downpours, but enthusiastic gardeners came from across the state, from…

Monday Record June 13, 2011

  • Post published:06/13/2011
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Rain. Downpours. But the intrepid Garden Club of Amherst members were undaunted. I met them for a tour of the Elsa Bakalar/Scott Prior garden. In the background you can see that the old rhododendrons in back of the house near the woodland path are still blooming. The daffodils are long gone It's iris season in the garden right now. The Siberians don't mind how much rain they get. Of course, there are other bloomers right now like these…

Three Special Events for Thursday

  • Post published:03/10/2011
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Some events are not just for one day. The wonderful art exhibit at Mead Art Museum on  the Amherst College campus, will run until May 29.  There is no admission charge and the Mead is open from 9 am til midnight!  There is no excuse for Amherst students to not get their art assignments done.  Closed Mondays, and closed  at 5 pm on Friday and Saturday.  I guess those students need a little time for social life. Orra…

Three Women, Three Gardens

  • Post published:09/09/2010
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Layanee of Ledge and Gardens came to Heath to see Elsa Bakalar's gardens, now owned by Scott Prior and his wife Nanny Vonnegut.  I joined her, pleased to have an opportunity to introduce a new friend (we met at the bloggers July meet up in Buffalo) to the garden of an old friend. We got a private peek, but there is a tour on Saturday, September 19 being given by Jeff Farrell of Trillium Workshops. There are still…

Muse Day August 2010

  • Post published:08/01/2010
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Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening preparing for, and enjoying a memorial for Elsa Bakalar,  my friend, neighbor, colleague, and garden mentor who passed away in January at the age of 91.  The flowers at the buffet supper in Jan and Cal's party barn were provided by The Passionate Gardeners, Mary, Susan and Eileen, gardeners who had come to learn from Elsa, and continued to help her in her garden- until that garden had to be given…

Elsa Bakalar’s Garden

In 1985 (could it be that long ago?) Elsa Bakalar,  my Heath neighbor and friend, and I started writing an article about color in the garden for Horticulture magazine.  One summer day in 1986 the brilliant photographer, and gardener, Garry Mottau arrived in Elsa's garden at dawn. That's when I learned about the importance and desirability of that early morning light for photography. I even got to hold a piece of shiny Thermax to throw some gentle light on Elsa's…

Thirty Years Between the Rows

  • Post published:06/04/2010
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How has your garden changed in 30 years?  How has your life changed in 30 years? As a person who moved every two or three years (on average) for the first four sevenths of my life, I was stunned to realize that Henry and I have been in Heath for 30 years! And that means, that on May 22, today, I celebrate my 30th anniversary as garden columnist for The Recorder. It was a happy day for me…

Flowers and More Flowers

  • Post published:03/22/2010
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What a weekend. While I am waiting for the snow to melt I had a glorious weekend thinking about - and looking at flowers! On Saturday I got to meet Kerry Mendez, the spirited, humorous and knowledgeable keynote speaker at the Master Gardener's Spring Symposium on Saturday. She engaged the audience in lively conversation and talked about how to have a successful flower garden- choose the right plant for the right site - and gave great design tips.  Fortunately, if…

My Friend Elsa

  • Post published:02/13/2010
  • Post comments:3 Comments

Elsa Bakalar was my friend. This morning I got the call that I had been dreading. Elsa passed away peacefully on January 29. We moved to Heath in December of 1979, but I did not meet Elsa, who also lived in Heath until I began writing a weekly garden column, Between the Rows, for The Recorder. I had heard about Elsa and her garden and finally got up my courage to ask her for an interview. It must…