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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: 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

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