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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: ‘Give it a try’

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dry shade is a challenge in the garden, but epimediums and hellebores, two very different plants, both turn dry shade into an opportunity. For years I admired epimediums in other gardens, always asking the name of the beautiful … 0

Between the Rows: Some plants play nice, some don't

Friday, March 21, 2014

When I first learned about companion planting, I thought it was a bit of simple folk wisdom. Plant your peas and carrots together, but keep them away from dill. Plant marigolds near the tomatoes and soybeans with anything. … 0

Between the Rows: ‘Five Plant Gardens’

Friday, March 14, 2014

Nancy Ondra has been gardening for over 20 years and she has 10 books to show for it. Her latest is “Five Plant Gardens: 52 ways to Grow a Perennial Garden with Just Five Plants” (Storey Publishing $18.95). … 0

Between the Rows:

Friday, March 7, 2014

I never imagined that tea changed the world. In my world, tea was served endlessly in the English novels I love, but tea did not become a regular part of my life until I met Elsa Bakalar in … 0

Pesticides: a complex subject

Friday, February 28, 2014

Banish the winter blues and get In the Pink at the Annual Bulb show at the Smith College Lyman Plant House. This annual show, always fabulous, is running from now through Sunday, March 16. It is no surprise … 0

Between the Rows: What’s the deal with microgreens?

Friday, February 21, 2014

You can find microgreen seed mixes in the seed racks. You can find “baby” greens mixed in with salad mixes at the supermarket. Why are these tiny greens becoming more and more popular? The term microgreen is fairly … 0

Between the Rows: Do you know your cabbages?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cabbage. Such an ordinary vegetable. We don’t give it much thought. We shred it into a salad, dress it into coleslaw, or boil it up with corned beef. But, there are many types of cabbage in the world … 0

Between the Rows: What’s new in vegetables?

Friday, February 7, 2014

What’s new in vege-tables? What a question. While I am not aware of any completely new species of vegetables, there are always new varieties which at least purport to be better, have a shorter or longer growing season, … 0

Between the Rows: new flowers

Friday, January 31, 2014

By tomorrow afternoon, Punxsutawney Phil will have told us whether we can count on an early spring. I have heard a rumor that he may very well do so. Maybe. I already know that it is still light … 0

Between the Rows: Planning your garden, Part 4

Friday, January 24, 2014

Before I end my discussion about garden planning, I want to add a few words about the view from the house, or more specifically, the view from a window. We spend time in the garden working and time socializing in the garden, but we can also enjoy the … 0

Between the Rows: Planning your garden, Part 3

Friday, January 17, 2014

Garden Planning takes a new direction after you have decided how much time you have, what activities you want to enjoy in the garden and what the garden needs in terms of soil improvement. You will also have decided whether you want a strictly ornamental garden, or if … 0

Between the Rows: Form follows function

Friday, January 10, 2014

For me, garden planning is difficult because I am always rushing about with a new idea for a new project. Things work out in the end, but I understand the unfettered enthusiasm that a new gardener, or a gardener with a new space, feels as she looks out … 0