I is for Irises in the A to Z Challenge

  • Post published:April 11, 2016

I is for Irises.  I fell in love with Siberian irises. A white one and a blue one were growing at our house in Heath when we  bought it. They had not had any care for a couple of years and yet they bloomed looking like clouds in the sky - effortless. Siberian irises are not particular about soil or watering so I never realized how much they liked wet sites. One year I noticed a big clump of…

Groundcovers for a Lawn-less Garden.

  • Post published:February 27, 2016

One of the goals we had for our new Greenfield garden was to make it  lawnless. We certainly did not want a wild lawless garden, but we did not want large areas of grass that would need mowing. To prove his devotion to this goal my husband bought an inexpensive power lawn mower and said that it would probably last two years. He was giving me two years to design and plant a garden that would not include…

Carefree Peonies – Lush Glamour

  • Post published:October 19, 2015

Herbaceous peonies are the most glamorous flowers in my garden, so lush and big, and pink, of course. I have planted mostly late varieties so that they will still have some bloom when the roses begin to bloom. That way, if for any reason, the roses are not doing what I want them to be doing on the last Sunday in June, the peonies will delight visitors who have come to the Annual Rose Viewing. You might have…

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – a day late

  • Post published:October 16, 2015

I am a day late with Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, but yesterday was spent moving the last big items from Heath to our new house and garden in Greenfield. This post records what little is in bloom in Heath on my last Heath bloom day and what is in bloom in my very unfinished garden in Heath.  Heath Garden These autumn crocus still blooming in all their weedy glory. They are in a bad spot for display -…

Made in the Shade Garden

  • Post published:September 12, 2015

Julie Abramson now lives with a graceful shade garden, but it was not always so. Like so many of us, Julie never had much interest in her mother’s garden when she was young, but over the years she has tended three very different gardens of her own. Her first garden in Albany was cheerful. “I was inexperienced, but this garden was very floriferous. I knew nothing about trees and shrubs,” she told me as we sat admiring her…

Autumnal Container Arrangements

  • Post published:September 5, 2015

  The Heath Fair is over. Facebook is full of photos of kids going off to college and kindergarten for the first time. You can hardly get into the supermarkets for the ranks of rigidly potted containers of mums by the doors. It must be fall. Time for an autumnal arrangement. Chrysanthemums are certainly the iconic autumnal plant, but other plants can also perk up our summer weary gardens or containers. I took a tour around the area…

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’

  • Post published:September 1, 2015

Salvia 'Hot Lips' seems to be a really hot plant this summer. Several of these flowers are in bloom on the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, and I have a couple blooming on my hellstrip in Greenfield. Visitors to  the Bridge have written and asked the name of this beautiful shrub. It took me a while to identify it because  I think of it as an annual and not a shrub. However, Monrovia Nursery calls it a…

Drought Tolerant Perennials

  • Post published:August 29, 2015

My drought tolerant perennials: Russian sage, cosmos, coneflowers, and phloxI need water loving plants, but I have not forgotten that many need drought tolerant perennials. Some gardeners have soil that drains quickly, and we all fret about summer months when no rain falls, or have periods of very hot weather of the kind we’ve enjoyed recently. Fortunately there is a long list of plants that do not mind long periods of hot and dry weather. Some of them…

Last Chance for the Beardless Irises Giveaway

  • Post published:August 18, 2015

  Today is your last chance to leave a comment here to win this book, heavily illustrated with beautiful photographs of irises you never heard of. At least irises I never heard of. Beardless Irises  is by Kevin Vaughn who knows all about Siberian and Japanese irises and even Louisiana iriseswhich I am familiar with, but also Pacific Coast Irises which I can't grow, and the amazing tall, water-loving Spuria irises which  sound perfect for my new garden.…

Bloom Day August 2015 AND Giveaway

  • Post published:August 15, 2015

On this Bloom Day it is clear I haven't spent as much time as usual on the Heath Garden. And yet, there are blooms like this tangle of phlox, coneflowers, Russian sage and cosmos. I can always count on cosmos to fill in. I'm trying not to capture the vigor of the weeds. Echinops There is also a tangle of Echinops down in a corner of the Sunken Garden which I often fail to mention. In all the…