Covering Ground

Spear Head Spade The sharpest shovel in the shed
Years ago, my mom gave me a book called "Everything You Can Buy in Garden Centers." I used it for a long time as I learned the difference between pruners and loppers, spades and shovels, grass rakes and garden rakes. I used the book until it fell apart--and by that time, I knew my tools pretty well. 
Farmer's Market Display Thirty years: How gardening has changed

It was about this time of year in 1984 when I put my first home garden to bed. At the end of that season 30 years ago, I had a thousand questions about how to garden better in 1985. Now, after three decades, some questions remain unanswered. As Thomas Jefferson said, "But tho' an old man, I am but a young gardener."

Five myths about mulch

Got mulch? I hope so. Winter mulch is like giving your garden and landscape a nice new coat for the weather that's coming. But there are some pesty, persistent myths that don't do us any good. Want to see if any of these are keeping you from getting the most out of your mulching efforts?

Fall: Time to sow next year's meadow

I've had a half-acre meadow for the past 18 years. I wonder how much lawnmowing that has saved? Meadows are a great way to replace lawn—and they’re great for the bees, butterflies and birds as well.

Farmers markets now number more than 120 around CT Love your local farmer's markets?

Buy local: It's entered the public consciousness in a way never imagined 10 years ago. If foot traffic was the only indicator, we could only assume prosperity for the vendors below the colorful tent tops. But that may not be the case unless more and more consumers make it a habit to spend a percentage of their household dollars on locally grown and locally made. 

Emerald ash borer hole in ash tree Silent killers stalk backyard trees

Make no mistake: Trees live in harm's way. Whether it's emerald ash borer, Asian longhorned beetle, gall wasps, winter moths or Phytopthera blight--a tree has to survive a lot of threats to grow to maturity and thrive. As property owners, there are a few things we can do about it.

Rudbeckia and blackberries Peak summer color: Why we garden?

Ever wonder why you bother to work outdoors? In August, the landscape answers you back. Here, Brown-eyed Susan smiles alongside ripening 'Chester' blackberries. Not to be missed!


Monarch caterpillar on milkweed leaf Homely, helpful: Don't pull that weed!

More than a few plants that we humans call weeds, other creatures call home. Even among our cherished ornamental flowers, some need to stand long after the beauty pageant is over in order to support the insects they host.

Formal gardens at Harkness State Park In full bloom: Wide Range of Landscapes at Harkness State Park

Have an hour to spare? Let's take a walk. First, take in the flowering meadows, visit a wildlife preserve, then saunter down the sweeping waterfront lawns. There, catch views of lighthouses and ferry boats. Next, walk the formal gardens, the cutting gardens, and see the new working greenhouse. 

Project Native, Plant and Butterfly Haven

Update on Project Native: New Owner, New Directions

View the photos from my 7/1/14 visit to this native plant nursery and butterfly sanctuary in Housatonic, MA: