Category Archives: Plant Portraits and Stories

Scaring Skunks Away

  SKUNK SCARING TACTICS All of a sudden, after years of peace in the skunk department, we had a nasty nightly fragrance in multiple adjoining yards. Several dogs and a couple of people had been squarely hit, and the neighborhood smelled decidedly skunky most mornings. Just a few weeks before our Open Garden and a […]

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The Earliest Plants, Zone 5B

You can make Winter shorter. The earliest flowering things of Zone 5B can grant this wish. You can count on certain early plants absolutely. Just as the snow recedes, they flower, and we are encouraged in the impression that the winter is ending. Some are common kinds, but many others, though entirely hardy and dependable, […]

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Stone and Hypertufa Container Gardens

Stone Trough Gardens  Miniature gardens can be very satisfying elements in small personal landscapes. Hypertufa and stone troughs or copper pots are among the best of planting containers, remaining in place outdoors through all the seasons, and lasting for many years. It turns out that there are a lot of perennial plants which are preadapted […]

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Pretty Pink Pumpkins and Breast Cancer Research

 Some New Varieties of Pumpkins Support Breast Cancer Research In this year’s farm and nursery travels, Pretty Pink Pumpkins turned up here and there. The name of this kind is Porcelain Doll. She is a shiny corally pink, and each individual pumpkin seems to have its own personality. Mine had blue underlying highlights here and […]

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The Latest Flowering Shrubs

THE LATEST FLOWERING SHRUBS SOME LATE BLOOMING FAVORITES  ‘Recency is Primacy’ In general, people call to mind most easily those things that have happened most recently. Each year, the last plants to flower in a freshly beautiful way seem very precious. In fond memory, they seem to stay close by as we go through the […]

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Marblehead Open Garden Day 2015

4 Private Gardens in Marblehead and 1 in Beverly will be Open for viewing on August 8th from 10 AM until 4 PM (Click above for further information) 40% of our proceeds go to the MARBLEHEAD CONSERVANCY Hope You May be able to Visit One or All of Them …….. Below is a list of […]

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The Longest Blooming Clematis of my Acquaintance

  LONG BLOOMING SMALL FLOWERED CLEMATIS Many of the longest blooming Clematis are found among the smaller flowered kinds. Their myriads of small individual flowers combine to make as exciting a show as any of the large flowered Clematis can offer. I find that their stems and foliage also last more nicely and can be […]

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Fourth of July Plant, Spigelia marilandica

Spigelia marilandica is spectacular every Fourth of July – A living Sparkler. If you have a few hours of good sun somewhere, this beautiful and tough plant will return each year, bringing in Hummingbirds for the festivities. It will give you its amazing display for quite a while, and if you trim it after flowering, […]

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Hellebore Favorites

Some Hellebore Favorites An Evergreen groundcover plant with fresh flowers for Christmas and New Year’s Day in New England, Zone 5….. Seems quite magical. Staunchly evergreen, most Hellebores are treasured for their handsome leaves in all seasons and for their flowers through winter and early spring, when there are few other showy plants in the […]

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Choosing Stone and Hard Materials: Landscape Design Advisories / Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Choosing Stone and Hard Materials Choose a Family of Stone and Hard Materials from the Beginning. It will save alot of problems if you considerately select the set of stone and hard materials you will be using together for your ‘palette’ before you begin to design your projects in any detail. You are […]

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Long Island Harvest Stories

Around this time of year, there is always a wonderful Harvest Fair at the Hallockville Farm Museum on Long Island. This year the Quiltmaker’s Guild, the Basket Maker’s Guild, the Rug Maker’s Guild, the Herb Society,  the Woodworker’s Alliance and other masterful craftspersons were represented. Members worked at their respective crafts all day, providing continuous […]

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In Bloom Plant List / August 10th 2014 / Zone 5B

IN BLOOM OR OF NOTE AUGUST 10th 2014 The plants listed below were among those in bloom or looking great on our Open Garden Day. This list was very popular, so I thought I would provide it for those of you who could not be there or didn’t get things written down that you might […]

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Best Evergreen Floor Plants

A Suitable Plant for Memorial Day : Vinca  The word ‘Vinca’ can be derived from the Italian verb ‘Vincere’, which refers to success by winning or conquering, whether I, you, he or she. The Vincas are a seriously reliable and handsome Genus of plants, so it is easy to think of them being referred to […]

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Good Green Words

Green Words

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Free Flowers for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

Free Flowers for Valentine’s Day and Beyond In February and later, nicely shaped cut branches of  Forsythia brought inside to a vase with lots of water will flower gracefully within 2 weeks. Yes, it really is as simple as that. Just keep the water refreshed, nearly to the top of the container. If you cut some […]

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Potatoes and Rocks on Long Island

The Rock who Tried to be a Potato When you hand harvest potatoes in Eastern Long Island you soon learn that the sandy earth coats the stones which also inhabit the earth there so thoroughly that, before washing, the two entities are often virtually indistinguishable. Their weight difference is the only clue sometimes. If you […]

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Long Blooming Plants: Thalictrum rochebruneanum and Other Fabulous Flower Fireworks

Thalictrum rochebruneanum is a Star for the Fourth of July. You can expect Lavender Flowered Fireworks, every year…. Sometimes called ‘Meadow Rue’, or ‘Lavender Mist’, this plant is elegantly vertical. When in bloom, each individual is like a 6’ magic wand, with delicate foliage and perfect lavender sparkles, which fluff out at the top in […]

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Volunteer Vegetables : Edible, Ornamental…and they come back every year.

Certain edible plants return each year, and some are easy to have in the garden. These I call volunteer vegtables since they so willingly come back in Zone 5B. Red Leaf Shiso = Perilla frutescens crispa I first met the red leaf Japanese Perilla, also known as Shiso, at a supermarket in a plastic bag. […]

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Long Blooming Hardy Perennial Plants : Prizewinning Series

A First Prize in the category of Longest Blooming, Hardy Perennial Self – Sowers goes to: Corydalis lutea  and to Corydalis lutea alba…… Easy, long flowering friends can be found among the many perennial choices in the plant world. Among the handsomest of hardy, long blooming plants, these two enthusiastic Corydalines are willing to volunteer […]

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Happy Valentine’s Day……. Love, Earth

 A Heartful Potato  Plants are not exactly friends, but they’re friendly. This potato was born in a heart shape. It was harvested last year in Newtown, Connecticut at the Sticks and Stones Farm. This farm of  moss and stone is a living gallery of ideas and instruction on how to design, build and live with […]

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Halloween Orange

An organised colony of mini Pumpkins for You. … Pumpkins in Kindergarten, early 1800s.

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Long Blooming Perennial Plants : Prizewinning Series

Long Blooming Perennial Plants : Prizewinning Series A First Prize in the category of Longest Blooming, Best Standing Perennial Self Sowers goes to: Linaria purpurea (purple) and to Linaria purpurea Canon J. Went (pink) Linaria purpurea Canon J. Went The pink form of this Linaria is named in honor of Canon J. Went (ecumenical), and […]

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Euphorbia, Beautiful but Sometimes Dangerous

EUPHORBIA WARNING!!!   BE CAREFUL OF THE SAP !!! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ When you trim ANY Euphorbia variety – and there are many lovely ones among the 2000 or so species in the Genus – Be Careful not to get the latex like sap that bleeds from cut stems onto your hands or face ……and Oh my Goodness, […]

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Long Blooming, Self Sowing, Comeback Plants

Prizewinning Self Sowing Plants : Annuals and Perennials .Longblooming Comeback Plants for Zone 5B It is a good feeling to have some favorite plants that you know are So Happy in your place that they will be coming back of their own accord, year after year, through generations of new individuals.  Some kinds of plants […]

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Landscape Design in Snow

DRAWING IN YOUR SNOW Taking time over the drawing phase of your landscape making journey, whether in snow, on sand, lawn or paper, will strongly influence the quality of the choices you will ultimately make in the design of the things for your landscape. Drawing in snow is a pleasant way to get thoughts going […]

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