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Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 2:44 PM
A white Christmas doesn’t have to mean a holiday with snow blanketing the ground. While searching through racks of antique Christmas cards and postcards over the weekend I noticed a recurring theme: holly and greens were . . .
  • Over the past few weeks, with autumn winding down and winter drawing near, we’ve been enjoying winter vegetables — carrots and potatoes, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, squashes of all sorts. Some of these squashes weren’t quite ...
  • Before beginning my turkey-brining riff, I’d like to speak briefly about gratitude. Many Americans, given the results of the recent presidential election, in which ONCE?AGAIN the candidate receiving the most votes lost in the . . .
  • As we turned into the yard after a 26-day cross-country trip, I saw drooping half-frozen flowering tobacco plants and pots of dessicated annuals. October temperatures reached near-record highs in many areas of the country . . .
  • I’m at a truck-stop plaza on I-80 in Minnesota, eyeing the myriad flavors of coffee creamers offered in tiny, single-serving plastic containers — hazelnut, salty caramel, Bailey’s, vanilla — when a California couple, headed east . . .
  • When we left the East a week ago, foliage season was peaking in northern Maine and Vermont and leaf-peepers making their annual Columbus Day weekend pilgrimage. We left the brilliance behind to travel 3,500 miles to . . .
  • I’ve traveled over a thousand miles in the last two weeks visiting friends in northern Massachusetts and Maine and the signs of this summer’s drought are writ large on the landscape. The USDA estimates that 80 percent . . .
  • Fall is officially here, with nights longer and cooler and meals becoming a bit more substantial after a summer’s worth of grilling and salads. More time is spent in the kitchen these days as I try to incorporate warty carrots, potatoes . . .
  • Autumn has come on slowly this year, with no early frost and a gradual cooling in the evenings and early mornings. In the middle of the day, temperatures have been just about perfect for working outside. . . .
  • My fellow gardeners, this has been a strange and magical growing season. While spring showed up early and mild, there were a couple of surprise cold snaps, such as the one that completely decimated fruit tree crops in Connecticut . . .
  • Discussions of fall planting for spring displays often begin and end with bulbs — daffodils and tulips. And it’s true that when we picture the return of spring to sad, brown New England we picture drifts of daffodils or . . .
  • When I walk through the garden at this time of abundant harvest, I can’t believe that we ever worried or agonized over emerging seeds and vulnerable seedlings. Corn is nine feet tall, tomatoes toppling from their cages . . .
  • Late August is the perfect time for planting new perennials and fruit trees in the garden: the severe summer temperatures are cooling down, rains fall a bit more reliably and there’s plenty of time for the new selections . . .
  • By late August both gardeners and gardens are somewhat the worse for wear, especially after a summer like this, with drought and record heat. It’s tempting to toss in the trowel and call it a season, but wait . . .
  • Succulents, including sempervivums, sedums, aloes, kalanchoes, echeverias and other fleshy-leaved varieties, have become increasingly popular in recent years. While once found primarily in the crevices of stone walls . . .
  • Summer is putting on its final burst, the late daisies and early goldenrod dusty and drooping in the heat. We also are drooping by the end of a 90-degree day. Now is the time when dinner need only be . . .
  • I often think that planting blueberries in Maine is, as in the British idiom, like bringing coals to Newcastle. Why bother growing them when Maine has 44,000 acres of wild blueberries in cultivation throughout the state . . .
  • The smallish island of Vinalhaven has what may be one of the more unusual Maine garden clubs: no slate of officers, no dues, no meetings. If you want to open your garden up for visitors, you tell a coordinator . . .
  • Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language,” said the oft-quoted Henry James. I feel he might have improved . . .
  • So far it’s shaping up to be a hot, dry summer. Rainfall has been scant, with temperatures more resembling those of July and August rather than late June. In general, a garden needs at least one inch . . .
  • After a week of unseasonably cold, wet weather it was a relief to return to days filled with warm breezes and sunshine. Garden paths dried out, the lawn mower came out of the shed, and it was possible to . . .