Between the Rows
 Photo by Pat Leuchtman
At left is a harvested garlic bulb whose scape had been cut off. I missed the scape on the other bulb, which means not as much energy went into the bulb and it didn’t grow as large.

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 for planting. Hesselbart has been growing garlic and saving the best bulbs to use as seed for many years. The bulbs he … 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 autumnal berries is because they are beautiful. In addition to the plants I have deliberately … 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 potted mums. These mums are colorful, although a bit straitlaced in their pots, and may … 0

How much time do you have to play in dirt?

Friday, January 3, 2014

There is a pile of seed and plant catalogs next to my chair so garden planning for 2014 has begun. I already have existing gardens, the big fenced Potager, the blueberry patch, the Herb Bed, the little Front Garden for early vegetables, the Daylily Bank, the Rose Bank, … 0

Between the Rows: Get ready to make glorious mistakes!

Monday, December 30, 2013

The noted essayist and poet Charles Lamb (1775-1834) said “New Year’s Day is everyman’s birthday.” As I look at the snow covered mowing near the center of Heath, I cannot help thinking that the mowing is like the first day of the year. It is perfect and flawless … 0

Between the Rows: The gift of time

Friday, December 20, 2013

This is the gift giving season. The season inevitably leads to lots of shopping. This past Monday, I had a morning appointment in Northampton and I thought I would take the opportunity to shop along the way home. I didn’t have much shopping left because, of course, I … 0

Between the Rows: Isn't this a good time to read a good book?

Friday, December 13, 2013

The vegetable garden has been put to bed and, right now, is neatly covered with an inch of snow and ice. The planting, cultivating, harvesting and preserving seasons are past; now we are in reading season. For me, plans to make things better usually start right about the … 0

Between the Rows: Think before buying plant gifts

Friday, December 6, 2013

Plants, one way or another, play a big part in our Christmas festivities and gift giving. I can’t think of any other holiday when plants are so important. We decorate our houses with evergreen wreaths and deck our halls with holly. Or at least with laurel ropes, evergreen … 0

Between the Rows: A gardening life

Monday, December 2, 2013

Beatrix Potter is known to almost every parent, but not as well known as her most famous creation, Peter Rabbit. In Marta McDowell’s new book “Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life: the plants and places that inspired the classic children’s tales” (Timber Press $24.95), we meet Peter’s progenitor. In 1890, … 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: 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: 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: 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: Pollinators Welcome

Saturday, July 20, 2013

When we think of pollinators, we think of honeybees, being trucked to orchards in the spring or to pollinate vast mid-western fields in the summer. The decline of the honeybee, because of disease, mites, and the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder, has been in the news for some years. … 0