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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 and pleasures of the present. Catalogs for spring bloomers have already arrived. The Old House Gardens catalog is a favorite because I … 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 from the late blight that is hitting many tomato patches in the area. Harvest time … 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 E in Springfield and the Little E in Greenfield, or working at Wisteriahurst in Holyoke, … 0

Between the Rows: new flowers

Friday, January 31, 2014

By tomorrow afternoon, Punxsutawney Phil will have told us whether we can count on an early spring. I have heard a rumor that he may very well do so. Maybe. I already know that it is still light … 0

Between the Rows: Planning your garden, Part 4

Friday, January 24, 2014

Before I end my discussion about garden planning, I want to add a few words about the view from the house, or more specifically, the view from a window. We spend time in the garden working and time socializing in the garden, but we can also enjoy the … 0

Between the Rows: Planning your garden, Part 3

Friday, January 17, 2014

Garden Planning takes a new direction after you have decided how much time you have, what activities you want to enjoy in the garden and what the garden needs in terms of soil improvement. You will also have decided whether you want a strictly ornamental garden, or if … 0

Between the Rows: Form follows function

Friday, January 10, 2014

For me, garden planning is difficult because I am always rushing about with a new idea for a new project. Things work out in the end, but I understand the unfettered enthusiasm that a new gardener, or a gardener with a new space, feels as she looks out … 0

How much time do you have to play in dirt?

Friday, January 3, 2014

There is a pile of seed and plant catalogs next to my chair so garden planning for 2014 has begun. I already have existing gardens, the big fenced Potager, the blueberry patch, the Herb Bed, the little Front Garden for early vegetables, the Daylily Bank, the Rose Bank, … 0

Between the Rows: Get ready to make glorious mistakes!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The noted essayist and poet Charles Lamb (1775-1834) said “New Year’s Day is everyman’s birthday.” As I look at the snow covered mowing near the center of Heath, I cannot help thinking that the mowing is like the first day of the year. It is perfect and flawless … 0

Between the Rows: The gift of time

Friday, December 20, 2013

This is the gift giving season. The season inevitably leads to lots of shopping. This past Monday, I had a morning appointment in Northampton and I thought I would take the opportunity to shop along the way home. I didn’t have much shopping left because, of course, I … 0

Between the Rows: Isn't this a good time to read a good book?

Friday, December 13, 2013

The vegetable garden has been put to bed and, right now, is neatly covered with an inch of snow and ice. The planting, cultivating, harvesting and preserving seasons are past; now we are in reading season. For me, plans to make things better usually start right about the … 0

Between the Rows: Think before buying plant gifts

Friday, December 6, 2013

Plants, one way or another, play a big part in our Christmas festivities and gift giving. I can’t think of any other holiday when plants are so important. We decorate our houses with evergreen wreaths and deck our halls with holly. Or at least with laurel ropes, evergreen … 0

Between the Rows: A gardening life

Monday, December 2, 2013

Beatrix Potter is known to almost every parent, but not as well known as her most famous creation, Peter Rabbit. In Marta McDowell’s new book “Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: the plants and places that inspired the classic children’s tales” (Timber Press $24.95), we meet Peter’s progenitor. In 1890, … 0