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Between the Rows

Between the Rows: two good books

Friday, May 22, 2015

There comes a time when a gardener just throws up her hands and says “I can’t do this anymore!” She doesn’t really mean she can’t do it at all, she just can’t do it all the way she has been. That moment came for Kerry Ann Mendez when her husband was in a terrible accident, broke his neck and had to retire. Mendez then needed to work full time and could no longer spend long hours tending her extensive gardens. There are other reasons for throwing up our hands, full-time employment while taking care of young children, or waking up one morning and realizing you … 0

Between the Rows:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Who wouldn’t want friends who like to play in the dirt? Who are always learning new things? Who like to get out and about and see new beautiful places? Who every day notice and appreciate the glorious world around them? Who are always thinking of ways to make their community more beautiful? A … 0

Between the Rows: A celebratory trip to the southland

Friday, May 1, 2015

My husband and I just returned from a celebratory trip to the southland. We visited an uncle in Gulfport, drove through very wet bayou country in Mississippi and Texas, and then on to beyond the big Houston metropolis, where towers of the city are a showy exclamation point in the flat landscape. We … 0

Between the Rows: foliage plants hold a garden together

Friday, April 11, 2014

When people think of the ornamental garden, their first thought is of flowers, but it is foliage that holds a garden together. Flowers on naked stems would not be as lovely as they are when surrounded by foliage: … 0

Between the Rows: Fresh, local produce, anyone?

Friday, April 4, 2014

For some people, the initials CSA are just another of those annoying acronyms that can make our conversations sound like an unintelligible inter-office memo. For some, CSA means Community Supported Agriculture, which encompasses delicious local food, help for … 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