Tree Peonies Lead Off Early June Bloom Record

  • Post published:06/06/2014
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My plan to have a twice a month bloom record is off to a slow start, but the tree peonies are right on time, beginning to bloom on the first of June. This is Guan Yin Mian. Guan Yin is the Goddess of Mercy, and the work 'mian' is face. Not hard to see the face of a goddess in this beautiful and hardy plant.  Next to her is a deeper pink tree peony, name lost, that was…

Annuals for a Long Bloom Season

  • Post published:05/19/2014
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The Bridge of Flowers taught me that annuals are the easiest and most dependable way of insuring a flowery garden all season long. This spring I am concentrating on adding annuals that will be in full bloom for the Annual Rose Viewing. Of course, I do have perennials in bloom at that time, but this year I am determined to have a very flowery garden at the end of June, and then for the rest of the summer.…

Plant Sales in the Spring

  • Post published:05/17/2014
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The Bridge of Flowers Plant Sale is Today, Saturday, May 17, 9 am - noon.  Don't Be Late. Plant sales are a sure sign that spring is here. When spring arrives plans and projects to spruce up our outdoor spaces, in our yards and in our towns, are set in motion. The Bridge of Flowers is a big beautiful public space, but other public spaces are getting their spruce up, too. The Bridge of Flowers is one of…

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day – May 2014

I begin this Garden Blogger's Bloom Day post with a blooming mistake. Maybe three years ago I thought coltsfoot might be a good groundcover on the Rose Bank. I was only thinking of the flowers and the size of the early spring foliage - not what it would look like in June, July, August, September and October. Or how very rapidly and strongly it would spread. I don't mind the violet which are everywhere here, and in the…

Spring at Last in the Vegetable Garden

  • Post published:05/14/2014
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Dear Friend and Gardener: Even  though I have planted seeds in the vegetable  garden, and a few seedlings that I started in the guestroom a few weeks ago, I can never resist  buying a few starts at the garden center.  I can never have enough parsley in the summer, and I don't need very much chard, and I just want a headstart on the tender basil - so purchased starts are needed. Tomorrow should be perfect planting weather…

Plant Sale Season is Upon Us

  • Post published:05/08/2014
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These Van Sion antique daffodils are strong growers. So strong that they persist in blooming in a rose bush no matter how many time I try to dig them out. No matter. I am glad to see them blooming. They are the earliest of my daffs, but a few others are coming into bloom. And if daffodils are blooming in Heath it must be time for plant sales. The first plant sale is organized by The Greenfield Garden…

Primrose or Primula- Spring Delight

  • Post published:04/30/2014
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Primroses are a wonderful early spring flower. Last weekend I toured the Leonard J. Buck Garden with my brother and his wife. Spring has been slow there, as well as here, but a few of the primroses were in bloom.   There are many types of primroses, but all of them are hardy and  like a damp site and humusy soil. I have even seen them growing in the water at the edge of  a temporary spring stream.…

Fancy Foliage for the Ornamental Garden

  • Post published:04/19/2014
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  When people think of the ornamental garden their first thought is of flowers, but it is foliage that holds a garden together. Flowers on naked stems would not be as lovely as they are when surrounded by foliage, leaves of various shapes and in various shades of green ranging from almost white, to almost blue, to almost red, as well as deep green. We take foliage for granted, but it can be used to increase the interest…

Panicum virgata ‘Northwind’ – Plant of the Year

  • Post published:04/09/2014
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For only the third time since the Perennial Plant Association's Plant of the Year program was instituted an ornamental grass, Panicum virgata 'Northwind'  has been given this designation. 'Northwind', is a 5 foot tall blue green switchgrass that turns golden in the fall. The fine flower panicles rise another foot or so above the foliage. 'Northwind' has a very erect and upright growth which makes it ideal for narrow sites. It needs sun, but is tolerant of most soils.…

Epimediums and Hellebores Thrive in Dry Shade

  • Post published:04/06/2014
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Dry shade is a challenge in the garden, but epimediums and hellebores, two very different plants, both turn dry shade into an opportunity. For years I admired epimediums in other gardens, always asking the name of the beautiful low plant with heart shaped leaves. Sometimes I got no answer, but even when I did I was incapable of remembering the word epimedium. I finally saw a pot of this plant at the Blue Meadow nursery in Montague and,…