The American Grove

  • Post published:09/29/2011
  • Post comments:3 Comments

Our house is surrounded by fields, and the fields are surrounded by woodlands.  Trees are an important part of the New England Landscape and I just learned that Massachusetts is about to join Connecticut, Vermont, Maine and 34 other states in an online organization called The American Grove. Their website is full of useful information about planting trees, even coming at how to choose a tree in an unusual way. We have planted trees for our each of…

Seeing Trees Contest

  • Post published:08/26/2011
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I haven't seen Seeing Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo, but I have seen some of the gorgeous photographs by Robert LLewellyn. This book promises to give many ways of recognizing trees in the most delightful way, through all the tree's stages. Timber Press, which publishes some of the most distinguished garden books around is holding a contest.  A signed, 16"×20" print of a Robert Llewellyn photograph from Seeing Trees, custom matted and framed (see contest site for image)…

Pearl Fryar

  • Post published:07/02/2011
  • Post comments:5 Comments

Topiary as an art dates back to ancient Roman days. Over the centuries it has been used as symmetrical or whimsical ornament in the garden, as gardeners snipped and clipped various sorts of plants from large evergreens to small herbs into geometric or animal shapes. Pearl Fryar of Bishopville, South Carolina, creates his sculptural topiary by clipping with a power hedge clippers. For the most part his designs do not resemble those classic designs of old. He feels…

Things I Never Thought About

  • Post published:06/06/2011
  • Post comments:2 Comments

It is one thing to know about the life cycle of a tree.  It is quite another thing to know about the life of a pine cone. Today we parked our car near some low hanging branches of a Norway Spruce, and I could not help noticing little groups of tiny cones.  Then I looked down and saw six inch cones under my feet. I had never thought that 'pinecones' did not start out at mature size.  Did…


  • Post published:05/11/2011
  • Post comments:3 Comments

There was a time when peony roots for planting were only available in the fall, the best time for planting.  Today I saw several pink peony plants that are going to be put in the Bridge of Flowers Plant Sale on Saturday.  I know I will also see peony plants in local garden centers. No one can resist the thought of having a peony bloom almost as soon as you plant it. June is peony season in my…

We’re in Texas

  • Post published:03/28/2011
  • Post comments:5 Comments

I got to Houston just in time for the Garden Conservancy's Open Garden Days.  My daughter Kate (R),  Melissa the Houston Garden Girl (center) and I set off to see many beautiful gardens surrounding beautiful houses in some of the historic neighborhoods in the city. I can't show you all 500 photos I took, but I want to give you just a taste of what we saw.  More will show up over time. It is azalea season in…

Two Garden Styles – Two Books

  • Post published:02/12/2011
  • Post comments:7 Comments

Every gardener is an individual with different dreams, desires, skills, interests – and constraints. Thus every garden is unique reflecting those differences.  William Robinson (1838-1935) was a British gardener who propounded a new flower garden aesthetic, away from hundreds of annuals being bedded out each season, to a wilder, more informal planting of perennials, shrubs and trees, many of them natives. He wrote several books, most notably the influential  The Wild Garden. That book went through several editions.…

Winterfare and Ice

  • Post published:02/08/2011
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Saturday dawn cold with another storm promised. I dashed right out to the Greenfield Winterfare to stock up, and I wasn't the only one. Every booth was busy. These young women from Wheatberry Farm and Bakery were selling the wheatberries AND delicious muffins. Ben and Adrie Lester, the founders of Wheatberry are also founders of The Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA. At the Simple Gifts booth I bought lots of roots - and make a shredded vegetable slaw…