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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: Jessica Van Steensberg

Friday, November 22, 2013

Last month when I went to visit Shelly Beck at the Greenfield Community Farm, I learned that a new Heath neighbor of mine, Jessica Van Steensberg, is the associate director. I immediately had to meet her. I found her at the house on a three-acre plot she bought … 0

Between the Rows: The mighty oak

Friday, November 15, 2013

Suddenly, there seem to be many young oak trees growing by the side of Heath roads. They are particularly noticeable at this time of year because they retain their leaves until late in the season and they have … 0

Between the Rows: Broccoli, the Alpha Vegetable

Friday, November 8, 2013

Broccoli is a popular vegetable at our house. I like to have a head of broccoli on hand and I’m always happy during gardening season when I go out and get enough for supper any time I like. Even after harvesting the main head of broccoli, I can … 0

Between the Rows: Exuberant blooms

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chrysanthemums are an iconic autumn flower. Pots of blooming mums are sold at every garden center, supermarket and roadside stand by the end of August. Their rich colors of garnet, purple, bronze and brilliant yellow or pale cream have tempted me many times. I buy them, but am … 0

Between the Rows: Is your garden put to bed?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Recently, my gardening chats with friends all begin with “Have you finished yet? Is the garden put to bed?” The answer usually comes with a groan, or a noncommittal “Mmmmmm,” letting you think they might actually have done all the jobs on their fall clean-up list. I certainly … 0

Between the Rows: DYI autumn

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Color is a major element in any garden. Autumn color in New England brings a richness to the garden that no other season can match. We become especially aware of this in our area, with everyone watching the development of autumn color on the hillsides, along country roadsides … 0

Between the Rows: Cultivating food

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Greenfield Community Farm out on Glenbrook Road actually comprises four gardens. First, there is a production market garden, operated by grant-funded David Paysnick and his assistant Daniel Berry, that grows produce for sale through the Just Roots CSA at the Farmers Market and at Green Fields Coop. … 0

Between the Rows: The signature of all things

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I expected a story that would involve herbal medicine when I began reading “Thee_SNbSSignature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert, the famous author of the autobiographical “Eat, Pray, Love.” Instead, I got a 19th-century story that included a highly profitable pharmaceutical business, a passionate botanizing heroine, desire, travels … 0

Between the Rows: Efficient by design

Sunday, September 29, 2013

As she began my tour of Beaver Lodge in Ashfield, Marie Stella said, “I’m a designer. I’ve always been absorbed by fashion, interior and landscape design,” Her current and ongoing design project is the landscape surrounding her beautiful house, which has been given a Platinum LEED (Leadership in … 0

Between the Rows: Monks Garden magic

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Last week, I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to meet the noted landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburg and hear him speak about how he approached the challenge of redesigning the Monks Garden. He said that Isabella Stewart Gardner herself acknowledged that she was never satisfied with the … 0