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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, the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, … 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 week I am resolved to attack them with vigor. One friend I met at the … 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 not have petals, they have rays around a central disk of tiny florets. One of … 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

Between the Rows: Pat goes nuts over these trees

Saturday, September 14, 2013

On a spring walk in the Betty Maitland Memorial Forest here in Heath, we admired a tall beech tree (Fagus grandiflora) that is also known as the bear tree. The trunk is scarred by bears that climb up into the foliage for the nuts. Beechnuts are an important … 0

Between the Rows: "Vegetable literacy"

Saturday, September 7, 2013

LDeborah Madison is well known as a chef and queen of vegetables. In “Vegetable Literacy” (Ten Speed Press $40), her new cookbook, I learned she had never been much of a gardener until her mid-thirties. I have always said that a walk down the garden path is a … 0