Between the Rows
Photo by Pat Leuchtman
Marsha Sessions’ conifers in Heath have grown substantially over the years.

Between the Rows: Conifers, a large and versatile family

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pines, firs, junipers, spruces and others are all conifers, cone-bearing evergreen trees. Within this large family there are many sizes, from low-growing ground covers to very tall trees, with many types of foliage and many foliage colors from green to blue-green to gold. Evergreens like pines, firs and spruces have needles, while junipers, cedars and arborvitae have scalelike foliage. Recently, I visited two friends with conifer collections. Both bought their plants locally at different nurseries so they could choose the exact plant they desired. One friend has made use of low-growing conifers for the edges of her in-town garden, while the other lives in Heath … 0

Between the Rows: Broadleaf Evergreens

Friday, January 16, 2015

Rhododendrons are probably the largest group of broadleaf evergreens that are familiar to most of us. They can play a big part in adding substance and interest in the garden during the winter. I do confess it took me a while to understand the cigar roll shape those broad leaves take when the … 0

Between the Rows: houseplants and nurseries

Friday, January 9, 2015

Some of us may have gotten a gift plant during the holidays. If we are not experienced indoor gardeners, this can cause some anxiety. “Now what do I do?” the recipient may wonder when the gift givers have left the premises. I personally think it is perfectly acceptable to treat any gift plant … 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: “Coffee for Roses,” a book review

Friday, August 8, 2014

C.L. Fornari book “Coffee for Roses” is subtitled “and 70 Other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening” (St. Lynn’s Press $17.95. Fornari covers a lot of ground in this book, which gives more than it promises. I had to … 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

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 … 0

Between the Rows: You'll find this berry interesting

Friday, July 18, 2014

Elderberries and chokeberries are not as beautiful or familiar as spring’s strawberry, but these small, dark berries that ripen in late summer pack a nutritional wallop. I’ve known the elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) since childhood, but the chokeberry (Aronia … 0

Between the Rows: Mary Lyon Church Garden Tour

Friday, July 11, 2014

Garden tour season continues! The Mary Lyon Church garden tour is scheduled for Saturday, July 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes seven gardens in Buckland and two gardens in West Hawley. I had the good fortune to visit Shirley Scott and Joe Giard’s garden ahead … 0

Between the Rows: Dioecious plants

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Editor’s note: Pat Leuchtman also writes online. You can find her at www.commonweeder.com. The Annual Rose Viewing was a success, but it was the hardy kiwi vine on our shed that also got a lot of attention. Of … 0

Between the Rows: Book reviews

Friday, June 27, 2014

The book “Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside (Knopf 26.95)” tells the story of Andrea di Robilant’s quest for the name of a rose that grew on his family’s former estate near Venice. His journey took him from the wild overgrown park on the estate … 0