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Valley Bounty: From seed to vase: At Passalongs Farm and Florist in Florence, Adrienne Bashista grows and designs custom floral arrangements
06-21-2024 10:32 AM

By JACOB NELSON

“In a different life, I think I would have been an artist from the beginning,” says Adrienne Bashista, owner of Passalongs Farm and Florist. “I wasn’t forbidden from a career in art, it just didn’t occur to me. But now in my 50s, I’ve realized what I...

Displaying articles 1 to 18 out of 18 total.
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Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: ‘This is my playground’: Saturday’s Northampton Garden Tour grants access to six beautiful home gardens
06-07-2024 12:38 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

I recently heard about a practice called Forest Bathing, which involves spending a few hours in a forest, or at least a sheltered patch of trees, and allowing one’s awareness to settle on all the immediate sensory surroundings. Forest Bathing is...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: Venture beyond your garden walls: Plant sales and noteworthy gardens to visit this season
05-10-2024 2:56 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

After long weeks of yearning for gardening weather, we’re suddenly inundated by spring. Endless outdoor chores beg for our attention — composting, mulching, edging, scrubbing birdbaths and, at least in my garden beds, pulling out multitudes of maple...


An artist with a green thumb: The creative vision and resilience of Kathleen Chapman, designer of Tuesday Market poster
05-09-2024 3:20 PM

By PAT JAMES

Kathleen Chapman (“KC”) and I met under a clothesline near her patchwork garden behind McDonald House in downtown Northampton. I wanted to learn more about her artwork, what brought her to Northampton, and how she connected with Grow Food Northampton...


Valley Bounty: Your soil will thank you: As garden season gets underway, Whately farm provides ‘black gold’ to many
04-19-2024 11:13 AM

By JACOB NELSON

“Compost is not soil, but it makes your soil better,” says Mike Mahar, owner of Bear Path Compost in Whately. “It adds life to it. If you’re going to take something out of the soil by harvesting, you should put something back in, and compost is...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: Become an educated gardener: Three upcoming symposia will answer all your gardening questions
03-08-2024 9:51 AM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

Most of us humans assume that other creatures experience the world through their senses of sound, taste, smell and touch, the same way we do. But we couldn’t be more wrong, as science writer Ed Yong explains in his fascinating new book, “An Immense...


Greening our brains and our thumbs: The many opportunities in the Valley to increase your garden knowledge and skills
02-29-2024 2:22 PM

By PAT JAMES

After moving from the city into a rural home with land 25 years ago, I was excited that the property was mostly bare ground that I could bend to my will and create beautiful gardens over time. As a kid, I’d helped in the garden a lot, so how hard...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: A garden is a canvas: “Painting the Modern Garden: From Monet to Matisse” comes to Amherst Cinema
02-08-2024 1:35 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

As the calendar page flips to the short but cruel month of February, I suspect that many gardeners, like me, are getting tired of the somber palette of gray and brown.Just in time to rescue us from seasonal ennui, a wonderful documentary, “Painting...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: Thoughts of the garden in winter: Gardening has its discouraging moments, yet we persevere
01-12-2024 12:13 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

There’s not a lot going on in my garden, now blanketed under a foot of snow, to inspire this month’s column. So I took a break from dreaming over the spring promise of seed catalogs and went in search of a soul-satisfying poem about the garden in...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: The importance of talking to plants
01-13-2023 4:26 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

A few years ago I was having coffee with my two sisters-in-law at a family gathering in North Carolina. Both of them had recently built new houses and were quizzing me about how to create gardens in the bare dirt surrounding their homes. The question...


Shutesbury designer brings vision and long view to laying out greenspace
09-09-2021 5:05 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

SHUTESBURY — Many of us find ourselves puzzling over what to do with a bare yard, or an outdoor space that doesn’t quite work, or even an established garden that has gone “meh.” We want to make a change, but we’re stuck. We might have too many ideas,...


Ask a Local Master Gardener: To rake or not to rake?
10-24-2019 1:00 PM

By PRISCILLA TOUHEY

Q: My husband and I are “discussing” when we should rake up the leaves in our yard — after they are all down (him) or as soon as the lawn is covered (me). Help! Any thoughts on a solution? —C.J., NorthamptonA: We New Englanders love our vibrant red,...


Get Growing: Why crabapple trees are looking sad this year, and what to do about it
10-18-2019 2:15 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

Crabapple trees are one of my favorite ornamental spring trees. A mainstay of the New England landscape, they offer three seasons of interest, plus a handsome branching habit that looks good all winter long, especially when decked with freshly fallen...


Get Growing: Beware the tawny daylily
08-09-2019 12:04 AM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

I have a big patch of daylilies behind my house. They are a disorganized jumble of plants that were given to me along with others that I’ve bought at plant sales, nurseries and farmers markets. I have never paid much attention to this part of the...


Ask a (local) master gardener: Native groundcovers for sun and shade
08-02-2019 12:02 AM

By PRISCILLA TOUHEY

Q: I have a ton of vinca growing under my trees and would like to start replacing it this fall with native groundcovers. Any suggestions of good options? –R.M., Hatfield A: I am so glad you asked, R.M.! Vinca minor (Periwinkle) does fit the...


Randy and Sue Frost show off their colorful hillside on the Forbes Library Garden Tour
06-02-2017 12:53 AM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

Some garden sites are more challenging than others. But to say that Randy and Sue Frost’s property poses landscaping challenges is an understatement. They purchased their house, on Coles Meadow Road in Northampton, in 2001, while it was still under...


Mickey Rathbun: Coaxing the life-giving pollinators to your garden
05-19-2017 9:36 AM

Most people don’t pay much attention to bees, wasps and other pollinating insects, other than to swat them when they come too close. But these insects are crucial to our food supply. Between 75 and 90 percent of all flowering plant species require...


Coordinating purple hues yields a stunning garden display
04-20-2017 7:51 PM

By Maureen Gilmer

The color purple has evolved well beyond links to Barney the dinosaur to become a favorite color for politics, hair and flowers. It’s little understood as a hue because royal purple is not the only shade offered. In fact, purple has two faces. It...


On Gardening: Cora Cascade vinca spreading color and happiness
08-04-2016 5:24 PM

By Norman Winter

The last time I reported on the Cora Cascade was in 2010; so much has changed with this trailing beauty, it’s now even better than we knew it then, so I thought I’d write an update. Cora Cascade vinca has been beating the brutal summers in...

Displaying articles 1 to 18 out of 18 total.
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