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Selected Podpieces


There was a time when I could go to any garden center – yea, even unto a big box store – and wander through the aisles as if through a wonderland of vegetative possibility. The stunning colors, the surprising shapes of blossoms and leaves, everything was subject to my phytophilia. If it was in a pot and would grow in the ground, I brought it home and planted it.  Read More 
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This morning I took my coffee, a jelly doughnut from the Hole In One, and a book, and went outside with the dogs to sit on the wooden swing. The weather was perfect for sitting in for the first time in a long time – the temperature 73, the humidity 70%, the wind at 7, and on the far side of the white pine and the red oak, the sky was Cape Cod blue. Read More 
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Spicebush swallowtail baby.
Recently I read an article in Better Homes & Gardens that sets forth a number of terrific principles for natural-looking gardens. It emphasizes grouping both native and non-native plants with similar requirements to create a “natural” look in the garden; to grow the “right plant, right place” in order to effect waterwise, ecological gardening. Read More 
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The Dutchman's Pipe

Dutchman's Pipe Flower
One day last summer I was poking around in the yard with my clippers, eyeing a tendril of American bittersweet that was shooting too vigorously toward a white pine, when a dark spot on the leaf of another plant caught my eye. I turned, blades raised, ready to nip incipient disease in the bud, but the spot moved.  Read More 
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What makes a gardener fall in love with native plants? For me, the explanation’s simple: native animals. There’s nothing I like more than seeing a ruby-throated hummingbird hovering at the crossvine, grey squirrels collecting acorns or a praying mantis lurking in the clematis. And the more native plants you have, the more native animals will come to call. Read More 
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