B is for Bee Balm on the A to Z Blogger Challenge

  B has to be  for Bee Balm because a post I did about Bee Balm in 2009 is one of the most popular posts I ever did. I don't know quite why. Maybe I did some SEO magic without knowing? Maybe because ABC Wednesday still remains very popular, running through the alphabet for six years now? In any event, bee balm, more properly known as Monarda didyma, is an American native that has it's own place in…

Jono Neiger – Mimic Nature in Your Garden

  • Post published:02/02/2013
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  Jono Neiger of the Regenerative Design Group which has its office in Greenfield, spoke to the Greenfield Garden Club a couple of weeks ago. His inspiring talk explained how gardeners could mimic nature, and require less work and inputs to create a garden that would give us what we desire out of our garden and what wildlife and pollinators require. He gave some very specific advice beginning with the suggestion that vegetable gardens, and gardens that need…

Cynthia Boettner and the Silvio O. Conte Fish and Wildlife Refuge

  • Post published:11/17/2012
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    The first thing Cynthia Boettner had to explain to me about the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge is that the Refuge consists of  the 7.2 million acres of the Connecticut River Watershed that runs from the far reaches of New Hampshire, through Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut before it exits in Long Island Sound. That is an enormous charge and responsibility. As Boettner explained how she works to monitor, control and eradicate invasive plant…

Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn Galbraith

  • Post published:09/05/2012
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My friend Kathryn O. Galbraith was recently presented with a Growing Good Kids 2012 award from the American Horticultural Society for Excellence in Children's Literature. This book, beautifully illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin depicts the myriad of ways that we all, people, birds, and animals as well as the wind and the rain plant the beautiful and fruitful gardens that grow along the roadsides, riversides and meadows. I wrote about Kathryn and her book when it first came…

Meadows – and Art – Are Where You Find Them

  • Post published:07/27/2012
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During our trip to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art I found a new way of looking at meadows and art. The plan is to turn Mass MoCA's rear access utility road into a green space  and a work of art. The Rounds are created by using rammed earth and dry-stacked stone. The Rounds provide places to sit and visit and picnic in the midst of wildflower gardens. Thyme is a another featured plant in this meadow. I…

Rose of the Day – Rosa setigera

  • Post published:07/18/2012
  • Post comments:6 Comments

Rosa setigera, sometimes known as the climbing prairie rose, is a native American rose, and while it is a climber it merely arches gracefully in my climate. It blooms later than the other roses and is a particular pleasure. I bought it at Nasami Farm the propagation arm of the New England Wildflower Society. For more (almost) Wordlessness this Wednesday click here.  

Benefit Plant Sales Galore

  • Post published:05/04/2012
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Benefit plant sales are a traditional spring event. Gardeners can spruce up their gardens and benefit various community organizations. Which will you choose? Or will you choose them all? Have you thought about giving your mother a gift certificate (one way or another) so she can pick out  some flowers herself? This Saturday, May5 the Greenfield Library will open its plant sale at 9:30 am on the front lawn. It will close by 12:30, unless everything is gone…

Ellen Sousa’s Green Garden

  • Post published:02/18/2012
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Ellen Sousa now lives in Spencer on a small farm with animals, veggies, and many native plants that have earned it certification as a Wildlife Habitat and Monarch Waystation. But it was not always so. As a child Sousa tramped the woods with her father and read Who Really Killed Cock Robin, an environmental mystery by Jean Craighead George. My daughter Betsy also read this book in sixth grade and she determined at that moment to become an…

Bloom Day – February 2012

On this second Bloom Day of 2012 I have very little to show. There is this white supermarket cyclamen that I bought in November that has more than seen me through the holidays, and the Wolf Moon. The wonderful thing about cyclamen is its long long winter bloom period. On February 4th I attended a Garden Writers Meeting in Boston, where we not only got  invigorating information and inspiration from Mary Kate  Mackey, but gifts from various vendors…

Trees in my Landscape

  • Post published:12/24/2011
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As I look out my window today the ground is a tapestry of beige, green and white. The meadow grasses have died back, but the lawn is a brilliant green because it has loved this long cool, but not frozen, autumn and there are still patches, large and small, of the snow that keeps tantalizing us. Winter may be coming, but it is shy this year, stepping out and then retreating. The winter garden can be a challenge…