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Bill Benner photo
A Great Spangled Frittilary on the black eyed susans.

Between the Rows: Gardening for butterflies

Friday, February 27, 2015

Bill Benner is a man with many strings to his bow, but they all play tunes of the natural world and its fragility. He will be talking about the natural world, climate change and the impact it has on our own part of Massachusetts at Greenfield Community College’s Senior Symposium on March 10. As a young man, Benner attended Cornell … 0

Between the Rows: A plethora of peas

Saturday, February 21, 2015

There are peas that need to be shelled, peas that only need to be snapped, peas named snow and sweet peas that can be smelled. There are pea plants that are small, and many that are tall. There is a pea for every taste, and every eye and nose. Peas are one of … 0

Between the Rows: Cold, snowy weather the perfect time to read and plan

Friday, February 13, 2015

With all the bad weather I’ve been happy to sit by the woodstove and read two new books from St. Lynn’s Press. “Garden-pedia: An A to Z Guide to Gardening Terms” by Paula Bennett and Maria Zampini ($16.95 paperback) is an excellent book for the novice gardener. There are so many terms that … 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

Between the Rows: beans and squash and rabbits

Friday, August 1, 2014

Beans are among the most common vegetable crops. Because they are so common, perhaps we don’t think about the great variety of beans that we can grow and enjoy. Beyond string beans, we have shelly beans, long beans, … 0

Between the Rows: Flowers, so many beautiful choices!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Gardeners who want a flower garden usually want that flower garden to be in bloom all season long. There are different ways to do this. One way is to have different flower beds for different seasons. I have … 0

Between the Rows: You'll find this berry interesting

Friday, July 18, 2014

Elderberries and chokeberries are not as beautiful or familiar as spring’s strawberry, but these small, dark berries that ripen in late summer pack a nutritional wallop. I’ve known the elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) since childhood, but the chokeberry (Aronia … 0

Between the Rows: Mary Lyon Church Garden Tour

Friday, July 11, 2014

Garden tour season continues! The Mary Lyon Church garden tour is scheduled for Saturday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes seven gardens in Buckland and two gardens in West Hawley. I had the good fortune to visit Shirley Scott and Joe Giard’s garden ahead … 0

Between the Rows: Book reviews

Friday, June 27, 2014

The book “Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside (Knopf 26.95)” tells the story of Andrea di Robilant’s quest for the name of a rose that grew on his family’s former estate near Venice. His journey took him from the wild overgrown park on the estate … 0