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Mary Hocken removes rose buds from the bushes behind Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst.

Time for bed: Tucking the garden in for the winter, but not too tight

Friday, November 20, 2015

The weather in early November was perfect for planting bulbs, raking leaves and putting the garden to bed. It was pretty wet and chilly last week but let’s hope there is balmy weather this weekend to get more fall chores done. Putting the garden to bed is a controversial topic these days. Bird enthusiasts say leave the seed heads to feed our feathered friends over the winter. Soil conservators don’t like disturbing the soil and leaving it bare in case there is no snow cover and good soil blows away in winter storms. And naturalists agree that forest fertility relies on the rich leaf litter …

Fall garden chores

Friday, November 20, 2015

Remove tomato plants, brassicas and any other diseased plants from the vegetable garden. Remove stems of peonies and phlox from the ornamental garden. Rake maple leaves from the grass since they tend to mat down under the snow. Compost the leaves or run the lawn mower over them and use the chopped leaves as mulch for the gardens. Wait until the ground freezes …

Your Place: Whatever the winter forecast, prepare your house for it

Friday, November 20, 2015

Clean off the snowshoes, and sharpen the shovels. Winter is coming, and from what some old farmers have been saying lately, this year may well be even worse than last year. Frankly, I’m taking my usual wait-and-see attitude. Last Thanksgiving, we drove north to see relatives in the snow, but at Christmas it was 60 degrees and not a patch of white could …

Get Growing: Taking stock for next year’s planting

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Before Jack Frost knocks down everything in the garden — and he will sometime in October — take time to mull over the successes and failures of the gardening season. And, most importantly, record your musings in a …

Garden pros share dirt on common mistakes that drive them crazy

Saturday, October 3, 2015

You would be wrong, so wrong, if you imagined a gaggle of garden gurus shuffling off to the potting shed, whispering, trading reports of the trowel-and-error so often committed by the unwitting, the innocent, the ill-informed home gardener. …

Living Smart: Come clean on these common washing machine mistakes

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Unless you possess a never-ending supply of money and never wear the same outfit twice, laundry is an essential part of life. While the sudsy concept may seem simple enough, some of us make small mistakes that may …

South Hadley historic homes open to the public Sunday

Saturday, October 3, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — Two of South Hadley’s oldest homes will be open to the public on Sunday. Guided tours of Sycamores, the mansion built in 1788 by Ruggles Woodbridge of Bunker Hill fame, and the attached Rawson House will be offered from 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is …

Quabbin photo group features wildlife photographer Peter Christoph Monday

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Quabbin Photo Group will hold its monthly meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the Quabbin Visitor’s Center in Belchertown. Wildlife photographer Peter Christoph will present a narrated slideshow of his favorite bird photos, all taken in Massachusetts. His program will include stories of his photographic adventures and …

Sun shower

Friday, September 25, 2015

Robert Floyd gallery in Southampton hosts exhibit of panoramic photos

Friday, September 18, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — The Robert Floyd Photo Gallery and Learning Center opens the photo exhibit, “Nature Panoramas: DSLR Seminar Theme Assignment,” Sept. 29. The show runs through Oct. 18 with receptions on Oct. 11 and Oct. 18, at 3 p.m. The panoramic images on display provides a deep sense …

Backyard sanctuaries At a busy crossroad in Leverett, two homeowners have carved their outdoor bliss

Friday, September 11, 2015

Nancy Paglia steps into Shutesbury Road in Leverett, at the bottom of its steep and winding passage down the hill from Shutesbury. “This is where you take your life into your hands,” she says. It’s the spot where …

Get Growing

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fall is the season for asters to shine. They are literally the stars of the garden in September as well as the stars of the wild. The edges of woodlands are studded with white wood asters and pale …

It’s a wrap: decorating with throws and blankets

Thursday, September 3, 2015

If you’re not up for big projects like repainting the walls or adding insulation to the attic this fall, consider stocking up on throw blankets for an easy, low-commitment way to change the look of your rooms — …