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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 …

Garden renegades: Three fresh ideas for front yards

Thursday, August 13, 2015

For decades, the perfectly mowed lawn has endured as an American pursuit. But today, a growing number of homeowners are rethinking this default landscape feature in the neighborhoods of America’s heartland as they downsize or replace these grassy …

Get Growing: Strolling an allee, a memorable experience

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Have you ever heard of a lime walk? I’m not referring to a stroll through tropical gardens of the Caribbean but to a European landscape tradition. In England linden trees are called lime trees (don’t ask me why). …

Happy to be ‘haphazard’: Meredith Michaels’ Amherst gardens are an impressive profusion of colorful flowers and robust vegetables

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The garden created in South Amherst by Meredith Michaels and her husband, Lee Bowie, over the past eight years is the epitome of the successful country garden, reflecting its pastoral surroundings of pastures, swamps and orchards. Michaels is …

Get Growing: Learning the Latin pays off

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Most gardeners only know plants by their common names like marigold or black-eyed Susan. But frankly this can get you in lots of trouble. It pays to take time to learn the Latin binomial names that are more …

Get Growing: Seed saving reemerging

Friday, July 31, 2015

It’s harvest time in vegetable garden. These days, home gardeners are harvesting not only for food but for seeds to sow next year. Seed saving is a burgeoning hobby. Our grandparents assumed they would save seeds from their …

Brownie troop gets backstage pass at Morgan show

Saturday, July 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Members of Girl Scout Brownie Troop 12960 got a backstage look Saturday at what it takes to mount a major equestrian event by spending time in the stables of the Morgan Horse Show in Northampton. …

Building tiny garden houses: Fairy fantasy feeds campers’ imaginations

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fairies have long captured the imagination of children and adults. Who can forget James M. Barrie’s evocative words in “Peter Pan”: “Do you believe in fairies? Say quick that you believe in fairies. If you believe, clap your …

Guerrilla gardening

Friday, July 17, 2015

Get Growing

Thursday, July 2, 2015

‘Gardening is a powerful force to help communities grow,” Roger Swain told a gathering of nearly 200 people last weekend in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Garden Club of Amherst. Swain, the former host of The …

Banding of American Kestrels in Hadley

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A project sponsored by the Kestrel Land Trust is seeking to better understand population declines affecting the birds. …