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Notes From the Garden: Until the Soil Dries Out, Resist the Urge to Dig, Till and Rake

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring has been slow in showing its colors. Snowdrops, usually up in early March at my house, were a month late. Crocus, the early ones, and winter aconite (a flower that is a nice school-bus-yellow color) are finally blooming. But everything is slow, and the ground is still frozen a few inches down. I won’t be planting anything outside for weeks. So what can we do on a warm, sunny …

Notes From the Garden: The Subtle Floral Art of Ikebana

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Some people collect salt and pepper shakers, others license plates or stuffed teddy bears. I collect different species of flowers that I grow in my garden. Although I lost track long ago, I grow well over 100 species and varieties of flowers, probably over 200. If I see something new at a greenhouse, …

Notes From the Garden: Starting Seeds Indoors

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

After arguably the coldest, snowiest winter on record, I am ready for spring. OK, maybe the winter of 1934 was colder. So what? I still have snow, and my woodpile is pathetic. I am picking up sticks and burning soggy remnants of previous woodpiles. To keep my spirits up on raw, gray days, …

As Winter Gets Closer, Time to Organize the Garage

Sunday, October 19, 2014

With fall here and winter on its way, it might be time to straighten out the garage, so you can at least find the snow shovels when you need them. “Will it be another bad winter, Al?” you ask. I’ll tell you when it’s over. In the meantime, …

Notes From the Garden: Now Is the Time to Plant Garlic

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Garlic is one of those magical ingredients that give foods depth of flavor and the richness of another world. Italian food, French food, Indian food, these all include liberal use of garlic. Why the English decided on fish and chips and boiled dinners as their staples is a …

Outdoor Decorating for Fall

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Homes in the northern U.S. are treated to a measure of effortless outdoor decorating for fall: Nature does most of the work by turning the trees a vivid palette of reds, oranges and golds. Add a pumpkin or …

Notes From the Garden: Plant Daffodil Bulbs Now for a Pop of Color Next Spring

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Trees are turning brilliant colors, food from the garden is in the larder and it’s bulb planting time. Some bulbs have a bad reputation: Tulip bulbs, for example, are often food for squirrels, and their blossoms are often …

Additions to Make Yard a Comfortable Hangout for Winter

Sunday, October 5, 2014

As fun as summer at the lake is, Sue Vanderwiel and family also make the most of their Apple River, Ill., vacation home in the winter. That’s when “it is much quieter, and we can just hang out, …

Traveling Gardeners Discover New Plants

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I’m not much of a country music fan, but do love Willie Nelson’s On the Road Again — probably because I love to travel. Recently I’ve been on the road again, visiting friends and family in Pennsylvania and …

Decorating Mistakes Cramp Small Spaces

Sunday, September 28, 2014

In a small space, every inch counts — and every mistake can have big consequences. Five designers offer their go-to remedies: The mistake: Heavy window treatments. “I’ve walked into countless small spaces and discovered heavy, dark drapery that devours the space and makes it smaller,” said Trystin Kier …

Notes From the Garden: Planting Shrubs for Fall Color

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Some years ago, in a moment of enlightenment, the New Hampshire Legislature outlawed the propagation, transport and sale of three popular landscape plants: burning bush, barberry and Norway maple. All three had been proven to be invasive, seeding into the woods and crowding out native plants. Both Massachusetts …

Quechee Man Resurrects an Orchard

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Terry Dorman stands in his orchard at the top of a steep, south-facing hillside in Quechee. The morning’s showers have tapered off and the mountains to the south look azure in the patchy afternoon sunlight as the rain …

Notes From the Garden: Fall Is the Right Time for Planting Trees

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fall is hard upon us in Cornish Flat. I know I should “toughen up” and ignore the cold, but I admit it here: I had my first fire in the woodstove recently. It felt great on a raw, …