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Photo by Pat Leuchtman
Marsha Sessions’ conifers in Heath have grown substantially over the years.

Between the Rows: Conifers, a large and versatile family

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pines, firs, junipers, spruces and others are all conifers, cone-bearing evergreen trees. Within this large family there are many sizes, from low-growing ground covers to very tall trees, with many types of foliage and many foliage colors from green to blue-green to gold. Evergreens like pines, firs and spruces have needles, while junipers, cedars and arborvitae have scalelike foliage. Recently, I visited two friends with conifer collections. Both bought their plants locally at different nurseries so they could choose the exact plant they desired. One friend has made use of low-growing conifers for the edges of her in-town garden, while the other lives in Heath … 0

Between the Rows: Broadleaf Evergreens

Friday, January 16, 2015

Rhododendrons are probably the largest group of broadleaf evergreens that are familiar to most of us. They can play a big part in adding substance and interest in the garden during the winter. I do confess it took me a while to understand the cigar roll shape those broad leaves take when the … 0

Between the Rows: houseplants and nurseries

Friday, January 9, 2015

Some of us may have gotten a gift plant during the holidays. If we are not experienced indoor gardeners, this can cause some anxiety. “Now what do I do?” the recipient may wonder when the gift givers have left the premises. I personally think it is perfectly acceptable to treat any gift plant … 0

Between the Rows: Fall cleanup

Friday, October 17, 2014

The weather has been kind to those of us who procrastinate and go about fall cleanup in the garden with a little less energy than we once had. Right now I am buckling down and in the midst … 0

Between the Rows: garlic planting time

Friday, October 10, 2014

It is not widely known but I was crowned the Garlic Queen at the Heath Fair this year. It is only right that I was crowned by Rol Hesselbart, who gave me my first garlic cloves to use … 0

Between the Rows: These berries are for the birds

Friday, October 3, 2014

Feeding the birds is a enjoyable activity, but because I have always had cats, I have planted highbush cranberries, holly and cotoneaster instead of putting up bird feeders. However, my first reason for planting these shrubs that produce … 0

Between the Rows: Flowers of autumn

Friday, September 26, 2014

Iyou are planning a flower garden, it’s a good idea to consider what kinds of flowers bloom well into the fall. Chrysanthemums immediately come to mind, if only because in September every supermarket dresses itself with ranks of … 0

Between the Rows: A windowsill garden

Friday, September 19, 2014

Many of us are very reluctant to put together a flower arrangement. We see photos of complicated bouquets accompanied by complicated descriptions of color and texture and know we could never aspire to making such a thing. In … 0

Between the Rows: spring blooming bulbs

Friday, September 12, 2014

These chilly days and cool nights have got me thinking about spring. Or more specifically, the need to plant spring blooming bulbs this fall. There is something about gardening that makes us gardeners keep one eye a season or two ahead, even as we work with the challenges … 0

Between the Rows: Pickling pondered

Friday, September 5, 2014

Harvest season is upon us. This is the reward of summer-long labors. I’ve been talking to neighbors who are canning dilly beans and corn, making peach jam and drying herbs. One neighbor is seeing what she can rescue … 0

Between the Rows: master gardeners

Friday, August 29, 2014

Over 200 master gardeners are volunteering their knowledge and energy up and down the Pioneer Valley. You might have called upon them to test your soil at local farmers markets, or found them answering questions at the Big … 0

BetweenTheRows: Weeds in my garden

Friday, August 22, 2014

Weeds. The weeds are thriving in my garden. In the middle of August when we are getting ready for the Heath Fair there is no longer even a pretense that I am keeping up with the weeds. This … 0

Between the Rows: Sunny flowers for August

Friday, August 15, 2014

I am an August baby, born under the sign of Leo, and I am in love with the sun and the golden rays of summer-blooming flowers. In fact, many summer flowers like black-eyed Susans, sunflowers and heleniums do … 0