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CAROL LOLLIS
Drifts of deep yellow yarrow behind gray-leafed stachys and blue salvia form the perennial garden at the home of Stephanie and Chris Frank.

‘I’ve got the perfect place for it’ How a rocky landscape became a splendid arboretum with sweeping lawns, koi pond, waterfalls, more; Belchertown Garden Tour July 12

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Many Belchertown landscapes feature huge boulders and stone walls made from the rocks found on the property. They create a challenge in creating a harmonious garden. Stephanie and Chris Frank have succeeded with unusual specimen trees and shrubs nestled against the boulders with sweeping lawns edged with wide perennial borders. Their garden will be among six on the Belchertown Garden Tour July 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Perhaps it helps that Chris Frank owns C.L. Frank & Company of Northampton, arborists. “He’s at nurseries all the time. He’ll bring a plant home and say, ‘Why don’t we see what we can do with … 0

Get Growing tips from Master Gardener Cheryl B. Wilson: Hungry plants

Thursday, July 10, 2014

All this torrential rain is washing nutrients out of the soil and vegetables and flowers are getting hungry. We gardeners tend to neglect fertilizing or, on the other hand, use too much. Right now, however, is a good time to give plants a nutrient boost. Vegetables can be side-dressed, that is, given a … 0

Living Smart: Easy projects to spruce up your lanscaping

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Having a mid-summer’s dream of better landscaping? Here are three easy projects to help realize your vision: ∎ Mulch makeover: Fresh mulch will liven up your flowerbeds and areas around trees. Landscapers and garden centers sell mulch in bulk or by the bag. The most standard bag size is 2 cubic feet. Bulk mulch sells by the cubic yard, which is equal to … 0

Your Place: Salty ocean air can harm air conditioners

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Jersey Shore homeowner wrote me several weeks ago about replacing an air-conditioning unit and expressed disappointment that I didn’t show up to install a new unit guaranteed to last 100 years for free. Yet the problem of salty ocean air doing in air-conditioning units before their time … 0

In May, let a thousand plant sales bloom: Get the scoop on plant sales in your area

Friday, May 9, 2014

May is the season for area plant sales featuring perennials, shrubs and trees dug from your neighbors’ gardens. The sales benefit schools and libraries, historical societies and beautification projects. They are organized by garden clubs, women’s clubs, library … 0

More plant sales in the Valley

Friday, May 9, 2014

∎ MAY 10: Williamsburg: School support group, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., soil testing for acidity level (pH) by master gardeners from 9 a.m. to noon. All proceeds go to schools including a new greenhouse. To donate plants call Elaine Hyde at 268-7826. ∎ MAY 17: Pelham: Pelham … 0

Ask a Designer: The evolving outdoor kitchen

Friday, May 9, 2014

For years, it was enough to park a barbecue grill next to a picnic table on a patio and call it an “outdoor kitchen.” But over the past decade, Americans have taken backyard cooking and dining to a … 0

Initially yours: monogrammed gifts for mom

Friday, May 2, 2014

Thanks to modern technology, we’re now able to monogram just about anything, cheaply and easily. Teens can initial their water bottles, kids can get their names on lunch boxes, dads have their own golf balls, and moms . … 0

Your Place: Condensing furnace exhaust vapors can freeze near chimney

Friday, May 2, 2014

A reminder: Asking a question here should not be a substitute for hiring a professional to handle a problem. The most important function of this column is as a forum for ideas. Some problems look alike but often are not exactly the same, so one person’s solution may … 0

On Gardening: Revel in the beauty of the hardy ice plant

Friday, May 2, 2014

If you have been to California you’ve probably seen the shockingly colorful display of ice plants blooming everywhere. Now, after growing them at two different locations in the Southeast, I am convinced the rest of us can revel … 0

Connecticut’s Glass House hosts ‘Veil,’ a poem in fog and glass

Friday, May 2, 2014

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — The Glass House, architect Philip Johnson’s iconic Modernist structure set in the woods here, has been wrapped in a poetic fog by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya, a sort of Christo of mist. Like the … 0

Get Growing: Winter hardships and May flowers

Friday, May 2, 2014

A year ago we had a spectacular and early spring flowering season, especially with ornamental trees like magnolias and crabapples. This year, so far, is less spectacular and several weeks late. However, considering the harsh winter we have … 0

Friday, May 2, 2014

◂ EASTHAMPTON — This gracious Victorian-style home has numerous traditional features including stained glass windows, natural woodwork, decorative fireplace, wood floors and spacious rooms. The first floor has five rooms, two bedrooms, enclosed porch/mudroom area, rear deck and … 0