Winterberry – Ilex verticillata

  • Post published:11/10/2011
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It was Martha Stewart who first introduced me to winterberry, a native deciduous holly. Since it was Martha who pointed it out in an arrangement I thought it must be exotic, and not something I could grow.  I was wrong. I did buy and plant five winterberry plants this spring, four female 'Winter Red,' and one male 'Southern Gentleman', but this photo is of a clump of winterberry growing by the side of the road. Those roadside shrubs…

A Marital Discussion

  • Post published:11/07/2011
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This fall I mentioned to my husband that I was amazed at how many beeches there seemed to be in the woods all of a sudden. How had I not noticed all these beeches before when so many of them grew right along the roadside and still retained their leaves when most of the other deciduous trees were bare. I knew that beeches kept many of their leaves until the old leaves were pushed off by new leaves…

Good Berry – Bad Berry

  • Post published:10/29/2011
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When I walked through the garden the other day I realized how many red berries I have in the fall. Three years ago I noticed for the first time that my holly, ‘Blue Princess,’ and my cotoneasters had finally started producing berries. That berry production has gotten more prolific and beautiful each year. Hollies are dioecious plants, which means they need separate male and female plants to cross pollinate and produce fruits. While there are many holly cultivars…

Weeded the Piazza

  • Post published:10/13/2011
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All of a sudden I noticed the moss growing between the pavers on the Piazza in front of our house.  

Asters for Wildflower Wednesday

  • Post published:09/28/2011
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Right now the roadsides in our area are blooming with the late purple aster, Aster patens.  I think I have identified this aster properly, although as you can see the color of the blossoms is NOT deep blue violet. The crooked stem aster, Aster prenanthoides, has the more accurate 'pale violet' flowers, but not the crooked stem or teeth on the leaves. Can anyone give me a better ID? Thank you Gail at Clay and Limestone for hosting…

Nasami Farm – Planting Season

  • Post published:09/08/2011
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Nasami Farm in Whately is a part of the New England Wildflower Society which also operates The Garden in the Woods in Framingham. Here are the greenhouses that propagate the native plants that are then sold at Nasami and The Garden in the Woods to gardeners, landscapers and towns who are working to preserve local biodiversity. I have gotten many healthy beautiful plants at Nasami and I recommend them. Barrenwort as a groundcover, pagoda dogwood as a ornamental part of…

Native Buzz at NEWFS

  • Post published:08/27/2011
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Sometimes in the summer we are annoyed by the bugs buzzing around our heads. We swat. We worry about the bees bumbling in the flowers and move children away. We get out spray cans of insecticide. What we need to do is think about the importance of bugs, often vital pollinators, without whom we would not have beautiful gardens, delicious fruits and vegetables, and a healthy life. Ever since honey bees have gotten so much publicity because of…

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…