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Between the Rows

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 her new book “Windowsill Art: Creating one-of-a-kind natural arrangements to celebrate the seasons” (St. Lynn’s Press $18.95), Nancy Ross Hugo shows us a way to make arrangements that are beautiful in their simplicity. I am a person who is known for looking at the big picture. For me the delight of “Windowsill Art” is the way it encourages me to look at the details, of a flower … 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 and pleasures of the present. Catalogs for spring bloomers have already arrived. The Old House … 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 from the late blight that is hitting many tomato patches in the area. Harvest time … 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

Between the Rows: Variegated plants to brighten the shade

Saturday, January 5, 2013

I always think shade in the garden is cooling and restful. Some people think that the palette of plants that grow in deep shade provides little visual diversity in color and texture but this is not true. Variegated plants can alter that perception. First, I have to say … 0

Between the Rows: Houseplants as gifts

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A living plant can be a wonderful holiday gift whether it is chosen for its flowers or for its foliage. However, before you give a plant, think about the recipient. Will she accept the plant as a long-lived bouquet and then let it go to its eternal reward … 0

Between the Rows: Why mow?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What has your lawn done for you lately? That is the question asked by “Beautiful No-Mow Yards” by Evelyn J. Hadden and published by Timber Press ($24.95). My husband would answer “Not much.” He was happy to find a strong boy to give the lawn a final mowing … 0