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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 the greatest (in every sense of the … 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, lima beans, garbanzo beans, soy beans, butter beans and tepary beans. Within each of those … 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 never been willing to try and to put spring bulbs into a flower bed that … 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

Between the Rows: Even dummies can raise their own chickens

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dogs and cats are so 20th century. Chickens are the new trend in “pets.” They are colorful, cheerful, easy to care for and productive. Think of all those fresh eggs! Dogs only give you sticks you have thrown for them to bring back. OK, sometimes they bring you … 0

Between the Rows: Conway home a model of permaculture

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How would you plan your retirement if you had already received a degree from Wellesley College, earned a further degree in Russian and Middle Eastern Studies, hitchhiked to Morocco, lived in Paris, worked for the United Nations, as well as in the cable TV world and for the … 0