Ellen Sousa in The American Garden

  • Post published:11/19/2010
  • Post comments:8 Comments

The November/December issue of The American Gardener: The Magazine of the American Horticultural Society arrived the other day. As I was browsing through it last night I was surprised, but thrilled, to see Ellen Sousa, who lives in Central Massachusetts, quoted in Kris Wetherbee's article Garden Cleanup Reconsidered.  Ellen's own landscape is not only a Certified Wildlife Habitat, it is a Monarch Waystation so it was no surprise to hear her say, "instead of doing the traditional fall…

Three Reds for Thursday

  • Post published:10/28/2010
  • Post comments:5 Comments

I planted this redvein Enkianthus because the description promised pendulous clusters of bell shaped yellowish flowers. I imagined a graceful plant with graceful flowers, but this is what mine looks like at this time of year. It is so upright - as it was described - that it is almost corseted, it is so rigid looking. I am disappointed in the shape of the shrub which can reach up to 12 feet, but it is growing slowly.  The…

Three Natives, in the pink

  • Post published:09/16/2010
  • Post comments:3 Comments

I wasn't going to miss another Three for Thursday hosted by Cindy over at My Corner of Katy. Right now I have three pink natives blooming in my garden.  I might be stretching a point to all this bee balm pink, but it is not brilliant scarlet so I am including it.  Bee balm, Monarda, is native to North America as are the other two pinks in my garden. Bee balm is in my herb garden in front…

Native Alternatives to Invasives

  • Post published:09/04/2010
  • Post comments:7 Comments

“Invasive species have the potential to completely alter habitats, disrupt natural cycles of disturbance and succession, and most importantly, greatly decrease overall biodiversity, pushing rare species to the brink of extinction. Many ecologists now feel that invasive species represent the greatest current and future threat to native plant and animal species worldwide, greater even than human population growth, land development and pollution.” William Cullina of the New England Wildflower Society We do not have to travel far to…

A Bow to Queen Anne’s Lace

  • Post published:08/18/2010
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Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) appears on our roadsides and in the fields beginning in mid-July. I always think of it as a high summer plant. I never liked it much as a child, probably because I often saw it, or noticed it, when it was going by and curling into a cup-like shape that has given rise to another  of its names, bird's nest flower. Like many flowers it does have several names. Others are bishop's lace…

Rain Garden at UMass

  • Post published:07/22/2010
  • Post comments:3 Comments

I have to say how happy I am that my alma mater, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has just installed its first Rain Garden. It is 150 feet long, 20 feet wide and 18 inches deep.  It is near the new (and very green) Studio Arts Building, below North Pleasant Street. The rain garden will collect run off from the street,  protecting the wetlands and Mill River on the west side of the campus from pollution and…

Cherokee or Prairie Rose

  • Post published:07/20/2010
  • Post comments:3 Comments

Rosa setigera, otherwise known as the Cherokee rose or Prairie rose is the only climbing rose native to North America.  Its range is from Canada to Texas, as far west as Nebraska and Kansas.  I bought my plant at Nasami Farm in Whately last year. My rose collection was calling out for a native American rose.  I was told that although this is listed as a climber most people let it just grow into a mounded tangle. I didn't really…

Ends and Starts

  • Post published:06/24/2010
  • Post comments:6 Comments

Ryan left for home with his father last night - but not before a final flurry of activity. He helped me move the chicks out of the brooding box and into a larger space. The henhouse has two sections, one for the laying hens, and the equally large 'entry' which we arrange so the chicks only have 2/3 of the space. It is so dark in the this area, with the brooding box still in place, that I…

Our Sustainable Home & Landscape

  • Post published:04/12/2010
  • Post comments:6 Comments

Jan over at Thanks for 2day is asking us to write about our current and or planned efforts to garden and live sustainably by April 15. There are prizes!  And a chance to learn more about each other, and more ways to live a greener life. Check out Jan's blog for all information and don't forget -  Earth Day is coming up - for the 40th year! I have been documenting, to some degree, our attempts to live…

Mark Your Calendars

  • Post published:04/09/2010
  • Post comments:1 Comment

As the gardens green up and come into bloom special events are also popping up everywhere. Tower Hill Botanic Garden will have its Free Spring Open House on Sunday, April 11 from 10 to 5 pm. For the first time visitors will enter through the new Reception Gateway. Right now the famed field of 25,000 daffodils is in bloom. Read about my trip to Tower Hill last summer here. Next weekend IKEBANA--the Japanese art of floral design--will be…