Monthly Archives: March 2010

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It’s time to prune trees and shrubs!! I will be holding a PRUNING WORKSHOP at my garden (in New York’s Hudson Valley) on April 10th from 2-5:30 pm. Learn the tools of the trade, how plants respond to pruning, and watch Lee demonstrate pruning of apple trees, blueberry bushes, lilac bushes, and other plants. Limited space, so pre-registration is necessary. The cost is $35 per person with pre-registration before April 6th, $40 otherwise. Contact me for registration information.

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You hear a lot of buzz these days about honeybees, mostly about how poorly they’re faring. No specific cause has yet been found for this so-called “colony collapse disorder.”

I heard a lot of buzz today from the bees themselves. My Arnold’s Promise variety of witch hazel is in all its visual and aromatic glory. As I approached the plant to better drink in its sight and smell, it was all a-buzz with the frenzied flitting about of myriad honeybees moving from flower to flower.

It’s nice to know that at least some honeybees are happy – and I take some credit for their well-being. By planting showy flowers, for instance. We find them pretty; bees crave them as a source for the nectar and the pollen they need to survive. Early blossoms, such as those on witch hazel, are especially welcome to bees after a winter …

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It’s time to prune here in New York’s Hudson Valley, and I’ll be holding a PRUNING WORKSHOP here in my garden on April 10th. Learn the tools of the trade, how plants respond to pruning, and watch demonstrations of pruning of apple trees, blueberry bushes, lilac bushes, and other plants. Limited space, so pre-registration is necessary. Anyone who is interested should contact me for more information.

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Still, I’m hoping to make enough maple syrup to last until next year about this time. Four tapped trees should do it. It has to, because that’s how many spiles (taps) and buckets we own. This operation is nothing like what I came upon a couple of weeks ago cross-country skiing in the woods of northern Vermont. All of a sudden tubes had appeared in the pristine, white wilderness. Tubes everywhere! Baby blue plastic tubes, black plastic tubes, interlocking connectors, …

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Snow today – a perfect time to plant seeds outdoors. Yes, really!

Obviously, not just any seed can be sown in snow. The ground is still frozen solid so I can’t easily cover seeds with soil. And cold temperatures are going to rot most seeds before the weather warms enough for them to germinate and grow.
I’m planting poppy seeds. It does seem harsh to sow a flower whose seeds are hardly finer than dust and whose petals are as delicate as fairy shawls. But early sowing is a must, because poppy seedlings thrive during the cool, moist weather of early spring. Covering the seeds with soil? No problem: Poppy seeds sprout best left uncovered. And because poppies don’t transplant well, their seeds are best sown right where the flowers are going to grow.
I’ll be sowing annual poppies, whose petals and leaves are more delicate than those of Oriental …

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WORKSHOPS!!!!!

It’s that time of year: The growing season is just about upon us here in New York’s Hudson Valley. This season I’m planning a series of gardening/farmdening workshops here in my garden/farmden. I invite anyone interested in keeping posted about these to contact me and I’ll put you on my email list for notifications.

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The end of February is a slow time of year in the barely heated greenhouse. I go in there to pick some fresh leaves for salads and the pickings are slim compared to the overflowing greenery that greeted me a couple of months ago. Still, by the time I’m heading back out the greenhouse door I have the makings of a fresh, green salad in my harvest basket.

Mâche, also known as corn salad or lamb’s lettuce, is what provides the bulk of these midwinter salads. Most people …

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