Thursday, September 19, 2013

Recent flower arrangements

I think Terry Lemieux just taught me how to put photos on my blog. If it works, here are some of the flower arrangements I did this summer for the West Newbury Church, where I go. The white flowers are various cultivars of Hydrangea paniculata and Cimicifuga ramosa 'Atropurpurea', the pale lavender sprays are wild Asters and the yellow are Rudbeckias.  This year I started using a large soup tureen from my grandparents' farm as a vase because I don't think it looks valuable and we don't lock the church.

Photographs from North Hill

These photos were from my vacation the last week of August and the first week of September.  It would have been August 30th. See my previous blog  about this.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Oaxaca Journal by Oliver Sacks

I have been reading a bunch of gardening books so I can write something about them in my blog so that my blog can be utilized in filling our e-newsletter.  This is about the one I just finished.

Oliver Sacks writes about a fern "field trip" the American Fern Society took to Oaxaca in 2000.  The book is delightfully written and is more about the members of the fern society which meets in NYC than about esoteric ferns but it does sound like Oaxaca is full of ferns.  Dr. Sacks is a neurologist from NYC--also a well known aurthor-- who started going to the meetings of the AFS as an amateur fern enthusiast, and then went on their field trip.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cider Season is here

Although I made another batch of grape juice last night, we have now had a frost and generally after that happens the grapes are not the same, the only fruit left to deal with are apples. I have lots.  We made some very good (and tart) cider on Sunday with some small McIntosh(?), some small pippins (?), some Northern Spy and some small greenish yellow apples growing along Tucker Mountain road which the Carletons' gave me permission to collect.  It seems the cider is best when we use more than one type of apple.

I've been making pies lately-  we used up the last of the Duchess last night with some Yellow Transparent which were surviving in my fridge and mostly Wolf River and a few unknown large greenish-yellow tart apples.  Since a customer told me three years ago that pies are best with more than one variety of apple--just like cider.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Aronia melanocarpa and Schisandra chinensis

I just canned three gallons of grape juice last night but three days ago I made some wonderful and delicious juice from our native black chokeberry and Chinese Magnolia-vine.  I suspect that Aronia or black chokeberry which is supposedly widely used in Europe to make juice, is very good for you (anti-oxidants).  I have also read that Magnolia vine makes a very healthful juice and I am always trying new fruits and combinations thereof for juice.

Friday, September 6, 2013

North Hill Garden in Readsboro and "To Eat: a country life" by Eck and Winterrowd

I just finished "To Eat", before my vacation (which included getting our older daughter off to the University of Paris for a year and our younger daughter back to Bryn Mawr and finally burying Dad's ashes by his gravestone in Valley Forge, PA).  This was the last book by Joe Eck and Wayne Winterrowd and is delightful.  Each chapter is a different food and they describe planting, growing or raising it and discuss other things about it such as cooking it, where they first tried it, varieties, etc.  It is informal and friendly and has very short chapters.

After reading the book, we visited the Garden: North Hill in Readsboro, VT which is open to the public Fridays and Saturdays at this time of year.  We spent an hour or two meeting the dogs and cats, seeing the plantings and taking a few pictures which I am trying to post on facebook.