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Cheerful Pussy Willows Chase Away the Mud Season Blues

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In general, I don’t sing. I can’t carry a tune, and words to even the simplest of songs seem to disappear from my brain in about 20 minutes. Always have. So it was a surprise to me when, walking by a clump of pussy willows, I remembered a simple childhood tune about them and was inspired to sing it — and to ponder the joys of pussy willows. They are …

Welcome Spring, Welcome Bulbs

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I’ve been paying attention to snowdrops and crocus since I was 9 years old — I recently found entries in my diary that tell me so. My entry for March 7, 1956, in its entirety was this: “Spring is getting here at last the snow drops are in bud + will bloom in a few days.” Then on April 5 I wrote, “Today …

Early Spring Chores

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring finally seems to be coming to Cornish Flat — about a month late this year. My snowdrops are just starting to bloom and large patches of snow are still on the lawn and garden, though there are bare spots. I really want to get outside and start cleaning up the yard and garden beds, but will try to hold myself back until …

With Winter Comes Threat of Frozen Pipes

Sunday, February 23, 2014

It’s a telltale sign: you turn on the faucet and … nothing. With record cold in much of the nation this winter, many homeowners have had (or will have) to deal with pipes freezing — and then bursting. Some tips on how to protect against frozen pipes, and …

Searching for Sleeping Beauty: Finding Delight in Plants in Winter

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I like winter. I like the special quality of winter light in the late afternoon, those purples and blues that were perfectly captured by Cornish Colony artist Maxfield Parish. But most of all, I like passing through the …

Good Soil Makes Good Gardeners

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I’ve been accused of having a green thumb. I don’t. But I can understand why someone might think so. I have lots of flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables successfully growing on my property every year. But I’m willing to bet that I’ve killed more plants than that guy …

Notes From the Garden: Thinking of Trees

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Going cross country skiing is my way of keeping cheery during long, cold winters. We started off this winter with plenty of snow, but lost most of it in January rains, and recently we’ve just had cold weather. …

Consider Plants For the Wintertime

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What’s happening in your yard right now? “If the answer is ‘nothing much,’ you’re not taking advantage of the winter-interest plants there are,” says gardener Linda Pinkham of Smithfield, Va. “There is a lot going on in my garden right now, including many edibles in pots.” Wintertime favorites …

Homeyer: Seeds of Thought, Thoughts of Seeds

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The seed catalogs have been arriving in my post office box for weeks now, and I’ve been reading them and dreaming of fat, juicy tomatoes and sweet crunchy cucumbers. It’s too early to plant seeds indoors, but I’m getting ready now. The first step in starting plants from …

Notes From the Garden: Getting Through the Winter Doldrums

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

When pruning a Merrill magnolia last November, I brought home a few stems that had nice fat flower buds and put them in a vase of water. I put them in a south-facing window and pretty much forgot …

Keeping the Garden Native, Integrated

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ecology is on many gardeners’ minds these days. Gardeners who value the science of relationships between living things and their environments increasingly want to know more about those connections — how toxic chemicals worsen a yard’s overall health and why bees, birds and butterflies are crucial to our …

At Home: Cool but kid-friendly playrooms

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Outfitting a play space for children might consist of nothing more than setting up a few old furniture pieces, plastic storage bins and the extra TV. But some parents want the play space to reflect their design aesthetic. …

Resolutions For Our Gardens In 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

On a sunny winter day I walked around my property and made a list of projects I should do in 2014. I knew I’d find a few, but easily found a dozen. Maybe these will encourage you to …