Arbor Day Celebration

  • Post published:03/24/2010
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I got the most wonderful present in the mail today - Arbor Day Square - written by my good friend Kathryn Galbraith. We met more than 30 years ago when we both lived in NYC and were taking a writing class at the New School of Social Research.  Kathryn and I both left the city at about the same time, but she left for the State of Washington where she went on to write beautiful books for children.…

Muse Day March 2010

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only…

Christmas Trees – of a sort

  • Post published:12/28/2009
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When we woke early on Christmas morning we immediately lit our Christmas tree, but we also admired the majestic yellow birch out in our field. This is the most notable tree in our landscape; it still shows the damage wrought by last year's historic December ice storm. It would be pressing a point to say that I did any gardening over the holiday weekend, but I did devote some time, energy and nerves to prepare another type of…

Evergreens I Have Known

  • Post published:12/06/2009
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            Sometimes I think you have to be a mature person to fully appreciate evergreens. In youth, when we are changing and changing again, it is flowers and trees that are always changing in their own seasons that catch our attention, but evergreens are more stable. Which is not to say that their growth, even from season to season is static, but that the changes are more subtle.             This fall, when the deciduous trees were bare, I…

Blossoms of the Fall

  • Post published:11/21/2009
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  During the spring and summer most of look at the trees surrounding us and see a generally undifferentiated green. The tree foliage grows full and heavy; for the most part we don’t see the individual hues, or shapes.  That changes in the autumn.             During the past few weeks I have been particularly aware of the changes in the trees, partly because of the color changes each hour with the fluctuation of sunlight and shadow. Then, each…


  • Post published:11/11/2009
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I went to the NYBGfor the roses but I got chrysanthemums, kiku, too. This is the third and final year for this extraordinary exhibit of Japanese chrysanthemum art forms set up at the Enid Haupt Conservatory courtyards. I was familiar with this form, Kengai, because similar cascades are created for our local Smith College Chrysanthemum show. All season long a single chrysanthemum plant is trained through wire mesh, pinched and artfully pinched again to create this waterfall of bloom.…

Seeing the Details

  • Post published:11/02/2009
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The week of rain and wind have blown all the trees nearly bare, but the rain was much needed, and mild weather in between allowed the garden clean up to continue. Now that so much is bare I can notice and admire details. The few leaves left on my weeping birch can be seen individually, the color and form better admired. I also have to wonder about the brain of this birch. Surely it has a brain, or why else would…

Technicolored Dream Trees

  • Post published:10/28/2009
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In my youth I only admired brightly colored maples. I don't think I am alone. When people talk about the New England fall and set off leaf peeping, it is the brilliance of the maples that they are looking for. But even maples cannot be counted on to be consistently scarlet. Now that I am older, and spend so much time driving up and down Route 8A which winds through woodlands and along a stream, then onto Route 2,…

A Mysterious Fragrance

  • Post published:07/23/2009
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At this time of the year the walk to the hen house and back is a particular delight because of the subtle fragrance in the air. The linden trees are blooming. Lindens are also called basswood or lime trees. We planted 6 linden trees (Tilia cordata, with cordata referring to the heart shaped leaves)  about 18 years ago.  Three were for our three daughters, and three for the three (at the time) granddaughters.  We chose them because they are…

The Oakes Garden of Sun and Shade

  • Post published:06/26/2009
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Pam Oakes assures me that neither her house, nor the lush surrounding gardens existed in 1976. When she and her husband Gordon first walked this piece of land by a pond once used for harvesting ice, they could not even imagine where to place a house until a friend bulldozed a stand of sumac and said “Build here!”  They did and she said it is a perfect site.             The gardens grew and continue to grow. Oakes said…