A time to seek inspiration

Lurie Garden, in Chicago, designed by Piet Oudolf, grows on the roof of a parking lot.

At this chilly time of year, with Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season approaching, gardening slows to a crawl for most of us. Yet even when confined indoors, the mind of many a gardener may wander along horticultural paths. Indoors looking out, one can plan new ways of organizing the garden: Different spots for flower […]

Delicious native fruit, ripe for re-discovery

By fall, many of the luscious fruits grown in our region have come and gone. Local strawberries, peaches and melons will remain a sweet memory until next summer. But the paw-paw, a tasty native fruit largely unknown to modern Americans, has just started to ripen. Depending on a paw-paw tree’s variety and location, the fruit […]

Collison to manage Lewis store

NECK DISTRICT — The John Lewis General Store, a venerable watering hole in the countryside west of Cambridge known as the Neck District, is to reopen on Oct. 1, after a hiatus of two years, under new management, new ownership and a new name. On Thursday, Jacob Collison, 22, will leave his job as a […]

Gardening on the wild side

In these long, hot, last days of summer, it may not be too late to find surprises in your yard, particularly if parts of it have been abandoned to Mother Nature. Last month, I went away and left my yard to its own devices for about five weeks, apart from the lawn. A friend kindly […]

Colorful, versatile hydrangeas

On a recent trip to northern France, I was blown away by hedges of brilliantly colored hydrangeas, often planted alongside thatched cottages and other traditional country dwellings. The pom-pom flower heads, set against deep green leaves, resembled a child’s drawing made with pink, blue, purple and green crayons. In the past, I’d considered hydrangea blossom […]

Gardener works miracles on semi-urban lot

Just east of Cambridge, on a half-acre lot in a peaceful development, one man has created a vegetable garden that encompasses twice as much space as his house and is well on the way to becoming a homestead. Chris Du Plessis, a self-taught gardener with only three years of trial-and-error under his belt, feeds not […]

Seasoned gardeners try something new

Many gardeners get an urge to branch out into something different from time to time, such as an unusual plant or a novel method of gardening. Personally, I’m besotted with the idea of growing a miniature lemon tree. (After how many years will it produce fruit, did the catalogue say?) Of course, if I moved […]

Plants that fertilize the soil as they grow

Imagine if gardeners could improve their soil by planting a perennial that produces spectacular cutting flowers as well as feeding bees and other pollinators. Or a tree native to our region that blooms profusely in bright pink when other trees are just starting to wake up from winter. Or tasty vegetables that will be among […]

A beautiful hedge to attract birds

The highbush cranberry, one of many native shrubs which will bring birds flocking to your yard, looks spectacular when in flower. Pollinators also love the blossom, which usually appears in May.

One of the first signs of spring are the melodious liquid notes of bird song. Open your door just before dawn and, even blindfolded, you’d know from the bird voices filling the air that cold, quiet winter had given way to the season when all living things grow and reproduce. A long time ago, I […]

An early-spring bloomer to yank out before it spreads

Fig buttercup, the early-spring flower you don’t want in your garden or anywhere near it.

Finally, early spring has arrived! Birds are calling from still bare branches, grass is turning green, a few yellow daffodils have emerged and the clumps of purple crocuses under my fig tree are expanding by the day. Amid the cheerful scene unfolding in countryside and towns, however, trouble is brewing. And it could come to […]