American Sycamore

  • Post published:11/13/2015
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  One of the blessings of our new Greenfield house is the tall and majestic American sycamore which gives the front of the house shade and helps cool it in summer. My husband Henry and I have never had such a large domestic tree. New York’s residential trees cannot be too big, and the big trees in Heath were nowhere near the house. They were wild trees in the woods. We were told that the tree was a…

Made in the Shade Garden

  • Post published:09/12/2015
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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…

Everything Changes – Even the Garden Rules

  • Post published:08/21/2015
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River Birch tree bedEverything changes. Our whole life is changing, but there are smaller changes in the world, like changes  in cultivation rules, come to all gardeners with some regularity. We have been planting trees and shrubs in Greenfield and have followed new rules, and rubbed up against others unhappily. One old practice, if not a rule, about planting trees was that you could leave on the wire cage if it came with one, and that you could…

Home Outside Plan for Pat and Henry

  • Post published:07/25/2015
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My husband Henry and I stood outside the back of our new Greenfield house. We each clutched a different custom garden design prepared for us by Home Outside  Julie Moir Messervy’s newest service to help homeowners create the garden they had always dreamed of. We looked at each other, we looked at the designs, and we looked at the blank green space that was our back yard. Both Home Outside plans used the information I had sent them. We…

Forbes Library Garden Tour – June 13, 2015

  • Post published:06/12/2015
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Virginia Rechtschaffen has always loved trees. She and her husband Rob even once owned a house in Belchertown that came complete with an orchard. Lots of trees. For the past 20 years she and Rob have lived in Northampton and accomplished something I would have thought impossible. Their in-town garden is embraced by a ring of large trees with a heart of sunshine at its center. How did they do it? Virginia said when they moved into the…

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – May 2015

  • Post published:05/15/2015
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It has been a  while since I have been able to post on Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, but May has brought many blooms to the end of the road. Old apple trees and wild cherries  are blooming in the garden , along the road and in the fields. Blooming trees are wonderful, and each blossom is a delight. The Sargent crabapple could not fit any more blossoms on itself. Didn't I tell you no more blossoms could fit…

Monks Garden at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

  • Post published:05/12/2015
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On Mother's Day we went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum so I could revisit the Monks Garden , newly designed by Michael VanValkenburg in 2013. I wanted to see how it was filling out, and if it really went 'crazy with hellebores" in the spring. This is where we entered on the graceful curving path. Visitors to the Museum can also enter the Monks Garden from one of the galleries. The trees are indeed filling out. Hellebores…

Considering Small Blooming Trees

  • Post published:04/12/2015
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Blooming trees are an important part of our domestic landscape, giving it substance as well as beauty. Planting a blooming tree requires more thought than planting a perennial or pots of annuals. A tree cannot be moved at will. No matter what we plant in our garden we have to consider the site, sun or shade, and we have to consider the growth rate and the ultimate size of the plant. With a tree these considerations become even…

First Day of Fall Colors – Shades of Change

  • Post published:09/22/2014
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The colors of the landscape on the first day of fall are shifting. Fall colors are  mutable, first draining and then gathering richness. The dawn sun on the trees across the field show the rustiness of the trees as the fresh green seeps away. As I drove around on my errands I saw the different fall colors arrive in different ways, vibrantly on the treetops. The low branches of the beeches are turning gold and if I look…

First of the Month Review – August 2014

  • Post published:08/01/2014
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On this First of the Month I am going to show you some long views. My camera isn't really ideal for long views but you might get  a different idea of  the garden, and the text is still a bloom record.  I  confess the weeds are not  as visible in a long view.  This is the bee balm in the Herb Bed right in front of the house. We can watch the hummingbirds, butterflies and bees from out…