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Friday, August 18, 2017
Thursday, August 17, 2017 7:45 AM
  • July is National Ice Cream Month, but it was so rainy and chilly in July that hot chocolate had more appeal than frozen desserts. Now that August has arrived, we’re experiencing temperatures more associated with the dog days of . . .
  • Nothing gives me more pleasure during the summer than fresh bouquets of flowers in the house: on the dining table, on bedside nightstands, and tiny ones on the bathroom sink. But with the cold and rainy spring it was hard just to put . . .
  • At a potluck barbecue last night one neighbor brought at least eight pint baskets of freshly picked raspberries from her backyard plot. “Showoff,” I thought, as I wolfed down her cake-ice cream-raspberries-and-whipped-cream dessert . . .
  • While staying at a cabin in the Vermont woods recently, I was encouraged by the variety of butterflies — primarily black and yellow swallowtails and viceroys — flitting about in the clearing surrounding the house. I attribute this . . .
  • 4-H Seeks Volunteers for Union Fair —
    University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H seeks volunteers — individuals or groups from organizations and businesses — to teach children about the importance of farming at the 4-H Farm-to-Fair interactive exhibit at the Union Fair . . .
  • When the first black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s lace join the daisies, clover and campion along the roadsides, it’s a signal that high summer is well under way. It’s such a busy time in the garden I’d never take time to stroll . . .
  • It’s that time of year when the grill reigns supreme and family reunions, neighborhood potlucks or just an impromptu gathering at a lake or oceanfront cottage mean large quantities of food served informally outdoors. It’s not the time . . .
  • Meteorologists may call them “pop-up showers,” but I call it rain, plain and simple. Summer thus far has been wet and chilly, with frequent showers making it difficult to weed or plant. Still, intermittent sun and warmth have . . .
  • The prospect of weeding a 6-by-20-foot strawberry bed was daunting, until I realized that the majority of the weeds were lamb’s quarters — easy to pull and, more important, delicious to eat. I began a two-part pulling operation, with weeds . . .
  • After an exceedingly cold and rainy spring, the recent stretch of sunny days seems like a miracle. Yet, from my upstairs windows looking out over the garden, I see reassuring signs that, despite our worst fears, everything . . .
  • This was a stellar year for lilacs. Though their billowy blooms were frequently bent over by drenching rains, they were no less fragrant or diminished in their beauty. While driving the back roads between Maine and Vermont . . .
  • What with all the rain and raw, dreary weather and lots of family activities occurring over the last few weeks, we somehow missed out on foraging for annual spring greens. Peak collection time for fiddleheads, ramps and even . . .
  • Most gardeners have a stash of seeds left over from previous seasons. How we store them ranges from tossing all the packets into that kitchen drawer dedicated to out-of-date coupons and . . .
  • It’s only human to want what we have not: apples are abundant in New England, but I would sell my soul for a honey mango any day of the week. Potatoes are a staple crop of the Northeast, but I could eat sweet potatoes . . .
  • The calendar may say it’s spring, but with the current fluctuating temperatures, it’s hard to decide when to plant or check for insect invasion. Do the old sayings that used to guide us in selecting dates for planting . . .
  • Home & Garden: Taking the Mystery Out of Composting
    In the best of all possible worlds, every household would separate its trash into returnables, recyclables, trash, and organic wastes such as kitchen scraps and yard and garden materials like grass clippings and leaves. The sanitation . . .
  • Seedlings started, check. Seeds ordered, check. New tools to start the season — not so much. Frugal gardeners — and I am in that category — jury-rig old tools, wire trug handles together and wear hole-ridden gardening gloves until it’s no longer possible . . .
  • We’re spending Easter in the Everglades, as we have for the past four years, but alligator won’t be on the menu. Nor will any egrets, once referred to as “swamp chicken” by local Floridians, be served up. In earlier times these were . . .
  • While it’s a small pollinator, the rusty patched bumble- bee made a big impact in the national news in January when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its designation as an endangered species — the first ever for a bumblebee . . .
  • If you’re a beginning gardener or a gardener with limited space in patio planters, it’s highly practical to buy started seedlings at a local nursery or garden center. But if there’s a special variety of tomato or broccoli you’d like to try, or . . .
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