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

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

Between the Rows: The signature of all things

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I expected a story that would involve herbal medicine when I began reading “Thee_SNbSSignature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert, the famous author of the autobiographical “Eat, Pray, Love.” Instead, I got a 19th-century story that included a highly profitable pharmaceutical business, a passionate botanizing heroine, desire, travels … 0

Between the Rows: Efficient by design

Sunday, September 29, 2013

As she began my tour of Beaver Lodge in Ashfield, Marie Stella said, “I’m a designer. I’ve always been absorbed by fashion, interior and landscape design,” Her current and ongoing design project is the landscape surrounding her beautiful house, which has been given a Platinum LEED (Leadership in … 0

Between the Rows: Monks Garden magic

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Last week, I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to meet the noted landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburg and hear him speak about how he approached the challenge of redesigning the Monks Garden. He said that Isabella Stewart Gardner herself acknowledged that she was never satisfied with the … 0

Between the Rows: Pat goes nuts over these trees

Saturday, September 14, 2013

On a spring walk in the Betty Maitland Memorial Forest here in Heath, we admired a tall beech tree (Fagus grandiflora) that is also known as the bear tree. The trunk is scarred by bears that climb up into the foliage for the nuts. Beechnuts are an important … 0

Between the Rows: Even dummies can raise their own chickens

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dogs and cats are so 20th century. Chickens are the new trend in “pets.” They are colorful, cheerful, easy to care for and productive. Think of all those fresh eggs! Dogs only give you sticks you have thrown for them to bring back. OK, sometimes they bring you … 0

Between the Rows: Conway home a model of permaculture

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How would you plan your retirement if you had already received a degree from Wellesley College, earned a further degree in Russian and Middle Eastern Studies, hitchhiked to Morocco, lived in Paris, worked for the United Nations, as well as in the cable TV world and for the … 0