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Between the Rows

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: “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 laugh when I opened it to the first myth: “A perennial garden is less work … 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

Between the Rows: Black raspberries

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Black raspberries are delicious and make great jam, but they will take more care than blueberries or red raspberries. Black raspberries, sometimes called blackcaps, need a site that gets full sun and has access to watering. In my own experience, I have found that regular watering, two inches … 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: 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