Water – Utility and Beauty

  • Post published:09/20/2013
  • Post comments:4 Comments

Water is vital to a healthy productive garden. A friend, Marie Stella, has put gutters on her house that feed rainwater into this retention pond below the house which sits on a rise. Other gutters feed into a 550 gallon food grade plastic cistern in the little greenhouse she has added to the end of her house. The retention pond is not only utilitarian. She has turned it into a beautiful element, and introduction to her sustainable landscape when visitors drive…

Water in the Garden – Fountains, Birdbaths and a Waterfall

  • Post published:07/10/2013
  • Post comments:3 Comments

  Most of us will never have a reflecting pool in our garden, but water in the garden comes in many forms. The Bloedel Reserve has many beautiful ways to use water in the garden., this is just one. A small fountain near the house makes electricity for the  recirculating pump easy. This small waterfall has been 'tuned' to make lovely music. The water enters in a lovely fishpond. A simple birdbath in the shade. A more elaborate…

X is for Xeric – and Drought Resistant Plants

  • Post published:04/27/2013
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X is for Xeric. Xeric plants are those adapted to an extremely dry habitat. While the weather/climate in my area is definitely changing with periods of drought, and  heavier rains when they come. I am paying more attention to those plants that are drought tolerant, if not really xeric. These Gaillardias are a wonderful perennials that have done beautifully in my garden.  After checking a list of drought resisant plants I was happy to see that I have a number…

W is for Water – and Dr. Betsy

  • Post published:04/26/2013
  • Post comments:4 Comments

W 1s for Water, and for Dr. Betsy our fourth child, second daughter, and Queen of Water. That actually isn't her title, which I don't remember, but she has been working for the Mass Water Resources  Authority for a number of years, as the scientist on the staff, although she also has administrative duties.  Why is it we parents never understand our children's jobs anymore? Anyway just in time for her 50th birthday celebration, she has been given…

Jono Neiger – Mimic Nature in Your Garden

  • Post published:02/02/2013
  • Post comments:8 Comments

  Jono Neiger of the Regenerative Design Group which has its office in Greenfield, spoke to the Greenfield Garden Club a couple of weeks ago. His inspiring talk explained how gardeners could mimic nature, and require less work and inputs to create a garden that would give us what we desire out of our garden and what wildlife and pollinators require. He gave some very specific advice beginning with the suggestion that vegetable gardens, and gardens that need…

Priorities and Preparations for Hurricane Sandy

  • Post published:10/29/2012
  • Post comments:3 Comments

While Hurricane Sandy was making its slow and warning filled way to Heath we had to set priorities and make preparations to weather the storm. With so much notice, and stories about a possible Sandy snow  storm (like last year) I realized it was time to plant the garlic. Fortunately I had already prepared the bed so it didn't take much to pull apart my choice garlic bulbs and plant each clove about eight inches apart in four rows. Then…

Bruce Cannon’s Mountainside Garden

  • Post published:08/17/2012
  • Post comments:2 Comments

How long does it take for a vision to become flesh? Or in this case patios, stone walls, cool shady flower beds and a koi filled pond? For Bruce Cannon who found and bought a hilly wooded site on South Mountain in Northfield fifteen years ago, the vision was complete in only three or four years, but the building took a little longer. The house came first, set on the only bit of flat land on this steep…

Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens and Raised Beds

  • Post published:05/05/2012
  • Post comments:3 Comments

We finally got rain. Hallelujah! And more was promised, but it does not seem to be arriving, at least not in the amounts I was hoping for. The lesson seems to be that we need to be always prepared for flood or drought. The question is how do we do that. Rain barrels, rain gardens and raised beds can help us to moderate, though not eliminate, both of those problems. Rain barrels that collect the rain from our…

I Love Water – Earth Day – Every Day

  • Post published:04/28/2012
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Water is everywhere around us. In streams, rivers and the oceans. We need water for everything, drinking, cleaning, agriculture, powering turbines. We cannot exist without water. In fact, we are water – about 60 percent water. Because it is so easy to turn on our taps and get all the clean, sweet water we need, we rarely think about water, how much we use, how we use it, what other people use it for, who doesn’t have safe…

Bridge of Flowers Is Sweetly Fragrant

  • Post published:04/20/2012
  • Post comments:1 Comment

As I walked across the Bridge of Flowers yesterday I was suddenly aware of a sweet fragrance. Looking around and sniffing first in one direction and then another I realized the fragrance was coming from this Viburnam carlesii, just beginning to bloom. This shrub is also called Koreanspice viburnam, and the fragrance certainly certainly is spicily sweet. It is not a surprise this is a member of the honeysuckle family. It is not fussy about soil, but I…