Through the Year

What is an Heirloom and why should I care?

Now that large seed companies have jumped on the heirloom bandwagon, and are offering many "Heirloom" varieties, many may wonder just what makes a plant an heirloom. Are they old plants, how are they different from other plants you can purchase, and why should you consider them?
Heirloom Corn in Peru
Heirloom corn in Peru

Heirloom Corn in Peru

"Nice cheerful Dill - so easy to grow

Is a household friend but did you know

That long ago he played a part

As assistant to the enchanter's art?

Well - times have changed -

Fortune is fickle -

Now he provides

The soul of the pickle."


"There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogs"

Hal Borland

"In the depth of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer"

Albert Camus


December for most of us conjures up thoughts of holidays gatherings, snow, and the real beginning of winter. Some people like the wintry conditions and revel in outdoor activities, while others simply hibernate until the weather warms again. As a gardener, I look forward to planning for the year ahead, and use the slow time to hopefully get ahead in some garden chores that are always on the back burner (like labelling, garden plans, herbal crafts, etc).

"November comes

And November goes,

With the last red berries

And the first white snows.


With night coming early,

And dawn coming late,

And ice in the bucket

And frost by the gate.

The fires burn

And the kettles sing,

And earth sinks to rest

Until next spring."

Clyde Watson


No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace

As I have seen in one autumnal face.


"If a man be wearied...there is not better place in the world to recreate himself than in a Garden...Neither doe the Herbes onely feed the Eyes, but comfort the wearied Braine with fragrant smells, which yield a certaine kind of nourishment"


It seems as though the summer is going to continue to challenge us. Here in Massachusetts, we have had more rain than sun. This is great for some plants, but devastating for others.My tomatoes are just starting to ripen, but are splitting open as they are so full of water. The basil is just sitting there - it hasn't grown much more than an inch or so since being set out the beginning of June. Most of the herbs, though are doing great - though many plants are blooming earlier than usual.


June has certainly been a trying month - with weather that has been less than ideal. At least we haven't had to water much! This period of rain has got the grass and weeds going great, and little time available to either mow the lawn or pull weeds. Hopefully, we will begin to see some more sun soon. Take heart, we could be in the year 1816, which was claimed as "The Summer That Never Was". There was snow in June, a frost in July, and another killing frost in August.

Egg Art

AND what is so rare as a day in June?