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      Photo by Pat Leuchtman
Pat’s Clethera alnifolia.

Between the Rows: fragrant flowers

Friday, August 14, 2015

Earlier this week, I was watering plants in my new Greenfield garden and noticed a wonderful fragrance. My Clethera alnifolia is blooming, with upright pink panicles that perfume the air with a spicy fragrance. This shrub will possibly reach a height of 6 feet and is known by the common names of summersweet and sweet pepperbush. Butterflies love it. As I have said before, the greater area of my new garden demands plants that are tolerant of wet. Fortunately, this does not mean I have had to give up fragrance. Clethera alnifolia is a beautiful shrub that is tolerant of wet clay soil as well … 0

Between the Rows: Rules don't always rule

Friday, August 7, 2015

Everything 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 … 0

Between the Rows: New garden taking shape

Friday, July 31, 2015

“Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade” Kipling said, and I must add that they are not made by looking at a plan, even one as beautiful as the custom design I am holding created by Home Outside. Gardens are made by thinking and digging, moving compost, planting and getting very … 0

Between the Rows: Flooding forces a backyard break

Friday, July 31, 2015

The day after we planted all our water-tolerant shrubs Greenfield was inundated by torrential rains. I was told over three inches of rain fell the afternoon and evening of July 7. We knew that our Greenfield house had … 0

Between the Rows: The path to a new backyard

Friday, July 17, 2015

My husband Henry and I stood outside the back of our new Greenfield house. Each of us was clutching a different custom garden design prepared for us by Home Outside Palette, Julie Moir Messervy’s newest service to help … 0

Between the Rows: Cardboard and Compost

Friday, July 10, 2015

I first became acquainted with Julie Moir Messervy through her book “The Inward Garden: Creating a space of beauty and meaning.” This beautiful book approaches garden design through seven archetypes: the cave, the prairie, the mountain, the sea, … 0

Between the Rows: End of the Road gardens

Thursday, July 2, 2015

As I begin planting new gardens in Greenfield, I have been reminiscing about the adventures we’ve had with gardens at the End of the Road. When we moved here in November of 1979, I must confess to having … 0

Between the Rows: Getting to know your weeds

Friday, June 26, 2015

I’ve been weeding. I’ve learned a lot about weeds over the decades, but I was never given the ominous warning “one year of seed, seven years of weed” until last year. I think every novice gardener should be … 0

Between the Rows: Curbside garden or hellstrip?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Now that I have planted Greenfield hellstrip I can make the official announcement: we are the proud owners of a small house with a small yard in Greenfield. The house has garden space on the south side and … 0

Between the Rows: Franklin Land Trust Garden Tour June 27

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ruah Donnelly’s house overlooks a wooded ravine, a tapestry of shades of green and shifting light. There is not a flower in sight. Donnelly says that over her years as a gardener, she has experienced a growing struggle … 0

Between the Rows: Does your garden need a tree?

Friday, June 5, 2015

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 … 0

Between the Rows: The dirt on soil

Friday, May 29, 2015

Many of us take soil for granted. I just spoke to my daughter, who said she broke sod for a tiny new vegetable garden. After taking away the sod, she said she filled that space with good dirt. … 0

Between the Rows: two good books

Friday, May 22, 2015

There comes a time when a gardener just throws up her hands and says “I can’t do this anymore!” She doesn’t really mean she can’t do it at all, she just can’t do it all the way she … 0