Category Archives: Home and Garden

PASSIONFLOWERS FROM SCOTT MEMHARD

Scott Memhard share his gorgeous Passionflower, which he grew from seed! I asked how hardy is his vine because our Maypop died out after a very bad winter several years ago.

“Kim – I hadn’t heard them called Maypop before. They’re hard to winter over around here, even in a sheltered location with heavy mulch.  I started several varieties of these, Passionflower vines and Cup & Saucer vines, from seed last fall inside, and they’ve been doing well this summer.  My grandmother always had a Passionflower vine that she’d brought from Bermuda, where they’re grown for perfume, in her little greenhouse.  As kids we were very impressed by their incredible delicate structure and colors, especially when she preserved the flowers by dipping in hot melted wax!”

Scott’s photos are of the North American native species  Passiflora incarnata. We here on Cape Ann are located in the tippy most northern range of this beautiful vine. All the rest (500 species) are more tropical. Maypop grows prolifically in the southeastern US and the foliage is the caterpillar food plant of FOUR species of butterflies: Gulf Fritillary, Julia, Zebra Longwing, and Variegated Fritillary. One of numerous common names, it is called Maypop because in the southeast the vine has a habit of popping up in May, in a location where you did not plant. Maypop spreads by root suckers. Other common name include Wild Passionflower, Apricot Vine, Old Field Apricot, Holy-Trinity Flower, Molly-pop, Passion Vine, Popapple, Granadilla, Maycock, Maracoc, Maracock, White Sarsaparilla, and Purple Passion Vine.

Scott Memhard Photos

Great idea and beautiful new trail map! Woman Owned Businesses along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway Route 133/1A

One for All and All for One !

Local women retailers and colleagues from Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich and Rowley met early last spring about working together to market their businesses.  These street level shops represent 4 cities and towns, and share a regional ‘Main Street’ – Route 133/1A, part of the gorgeous 90 mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. The new Woman Owned Businesses Along The Essex Coastal Scenic Byway brochure will be in stores before Labor Day. I’ll re-post with higher resolution images and final copy when it’s unveiled. While you’re exploring this contemporary woman owned businesses trail, don’t miss the fantastic historic exhibition The Women of Essex – Stories to Share show sponsored by the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum, on display on the 3rd Floor of the Essex Town Hall and Library, 30 Martin Street (Route 22), Essex.

Fun route is easy to follow

#1 Pauline’s Gifts, Gloucester

#2 Essex Bird Shop & Pet Supply, Essex

#3 Sea Meadow Gifts and Gardens, Essex

#4 The Essex Exchange, Essex

#5 Olde Ipswich Shop & Gallery, Ipswich*

#6 AnnTiques, Ipswich

#7 Be Modern, Ipsiwch

#8 Lost Treasures, Rowley

#9 Serendipity at Todd’s Farm, Rowley

*Johanne Cassia, who owns Olde Ipswich Shop & Gallery –#5 on the new map–painted the illustration of their businesses featured on the brochure.

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Woman Owned Business on the Essex coastal byway

I’ve included a few scenes from The Women of Essex – Stories to Share exhibition at Essex Town Hall and the renovated bright space on the top floor, accessible for all.

photo- Women of Essex: Restauranteurs (detail from installation Essex Town Hall)

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WELCOME TO PATTI PAPOWS SEASIDE POLLINATOR GARDEN!

Forty Oaks is the name given long ago to Patti and Jeff Papows lovely home, nestled on a hill overlooking the Atlantic. Many grand old oaks still surround the updated Shingle-style “seaside cottage.” Over the years the gardens have grown in beauty and maturity, with the newest addition being the native plants pollinator paradise–Common Milkweed center stage.

Welcome to Patti’s garden ~


 Hydrangea allée, with every species and color of hydrangea imaginable

Waist-high raised beds for lettuce and herbs.Dragonflies and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds dip, dive, and criss-cross the pool throughout the day.

Adorable and funny, Nellie is the “ham” of the family.
Trellises entwined with Clematis grace a garden wall.
Planters bursting with beauty around every corner.
Vegetable Garden

Catbirds, Robins, and Monarchs are just a few of the species of wildlife that find a welcoming haven in Patti’s seaside garden.

PICK YOUR OWN SUNFLOWERS AT CEDAR ROCK GARDENS AND ELISE’S TOMATOES ARE CRAZY TALL!!

Pick your own fabulous fresh sunflowers at Cedar Rock Gardens and a butterfly may follow you home!

Elise and her amazing (and wonderfully delicious) tomatoes. Elise and Tucker supply the produce to Short and Main and The Market Restaurant in Annisquam.

Cedar Rock Gardens is located at 290 Concord Street in West located. For more information, visit their website here.

CAMBRIDGE’S MARY PRENTISS INN URBAN POLLINATOR GARDEN!

All are welcome at The Mary Prentiss Inn, people and pollinators!

Pollen-dusted Honey Bee

We’ve planted the front dooryard garden with an array of eye-catching, fragrant, and nectar rich flora for both guests and neighbors to enjoy, and to sustain the growing number of bees, butterflies, and songbirds frequenting the garden. 

Fabulously fragrant Oriental Lilies are planted adjacent to the front door to welcome visitors as they enter the Inn.

The Mary Prentiss Inn, from the pollinators point of view~

The Mary Prentiss is a stunning twenty-room Greek-Revival style inn located on a quiet street minutes away from Harvard Square. Elegant, comfortable, and charming, with period architectural detail and decor, the Inn is outfitted with all modern amenities. Visit The Mary Prentiss Inn website for more information.

Enjoy a delicious made-to-order breakfast or afternoon tea at the Inn’s secret garden.

The Mary Prentiss Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the proud recipient of the Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award for 1995.

The Mary Prentiss Inn is located at 6 Prentiss Street, Cambridge. Call 617-661-2929 or visit maryprentissinn.com

PATTI’S CATTIES AND OTHER TALES FROM THE PAPOWS BEAUTIFUL GARDEN

My friend Patti Papows very thoughtfully invited me to come film and take photos in her gorgeous garden, especially her milkweed patch. Patti purchased milkweed plants from our Cape Ann Milkweed Project several years ago, both the Common and Marsh Milkweed that we offered.

Patti’s Common Milkweed has really taken off this year. The plants are about five feet tall, lush and healthy, and bursting with sweetly fragrant blossoms. The Monarchs are daily visitors, coming not by the ones and twos, but by the dozen. Not only are her milkweed blossoms beckoning to the Monarchs, but the plants are also attracting every bee species imaginable found in a Cape Ann garden, as well as myriad other pollinating insects.

I showed Patti how to find Monarch caterpillars. She found three in about three minutes; we weren’t even trying that hard! They are safer from spiders in my terrariums, so I brought her tiny caterpillars home where they are developing nicely alongside a dozen Monarch eggs. These eggs were discovered in my garden, and at the Common Milkweed plants growing along the edges of the Good Harbor Beach parking lot.

Patti’s patch of native highbush blueberries attracts loads of Catbirds, and dozens more species of songbirds and small mammals. This morning the foliage made a perfect perch for a male Monarch butterfly.

In the above photo you can clearly see the Monarch’s two-part tubular drinking straw, called a proboscis. The Monarch is probing deep into the Milkweed floret for a sip of sweet nectar. 

Who, me? I’m innocent! Chipmunk snacking at the buffet-of-plenty in Patti’s garden.

Patti placed the purple chair in the midst of the milkweed patch so that visitors can enjoy being surrounded by the beautiful pollinators buzzing all around and the delightful fragrance emitted by the Common Milkweed. I tried it out and her plan worked, it is pure Heaven!

I had an absolutely wonderful morning filming and photographing, despite the limiting overcast skies, and plan to return on a sunnier day, hopefully this week while the Monarchs are here on Cape Ann busy egg-laying and pollinating our gardens!

 

Patti shares that at the end of the day, her Monarchs are nectaring from the flowering hosta. She sent these photos this morning, taken yesterday afternoon with her cell phone. 

Bobbie Brooks Daylilies for Days

Bobbie writes,
Once a year Bobbie Brooks opens her private gardens for viewing the hundreds of award winning hybrid daylilies that she has collected. This is their peak week for blooms.

There are approximately 1000 cultivars being grown, including her own introductions, and they are mixed in with many other unusual plants, as well as being displayed in several formal daylily beds.

The Gardens will be open for 2 weekends; Fr, Sat, Sun

July 21,22,23
July 28,29,30

from 9-1
Rt. 127N on Langford St. – Lanesville section of Gloucester Ma on the tip of Cape Ann.

For More Info and pics – Lilylady@comcast.net ; http://www.distinctivegardendesigns.com/

In Face Book under Distinctive Garden Designs

Hope to see you!

bobbie brooks

masterclassflyer

SCENES FROM BACKYARD GROWERS INCREDIBLE EDIBLE FANTABULOUS GARDEN TOUR!

Although only able to visit just two of the incredible Backyard Growers Gardens, the two that I did attend were fabulous and beautiful and overflowing with deliciousness. Lara Lepionka, founder of Backyard Growers, and Amy Clayton (one half of the Crazy Hat Lady sisters fame) are across-the-street neighbors. As a matter of interest, Amy grew up in what is now Lara and Steve’s home, and Lara’s first Backyard Growers garden customer was Amy!

This was the first ever Backyard Growers garden tour. In case you missed, don’t despair, a second is planned for next summer.

Bea, Lara, and Jen

Amy’s zucchini

Lara’s Beacon Street terraced front border is a series of raised beds. Every spare inch is devoted to growing veggies, herbs, and flowers; no high maintenance lawn here. Lara supplies the fresh greens for three local restaurants, Duckworth’s Bistrot, Short and Main, and the The Market on Lobster Cove. 

Lara’s California Poppies

Amy’s pumpkin on the vine

Sunflower bud

Amy’s towering sunflowers.

Both Lara and Amy’s gardens were abuzz with pollinators!

SAVE THE DATE FOR MY POLLINATOR GARDEN LECTURE

The Pollinator Garden at the South Branch of the Peabody Library

The South Branch is excited to welcome landscape designer and professional photographer Kim Smith to talk about gardens designed to attract pollinators. She will be presenting a slideshow with stunning, original photographs and a lecture on how to work with the rhythm of the season to create a garden that will attract bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife essential to pollination for beautiful blooms. She will discuss native plants and organic and architectural features that have value to certain species that can visit (and even help!) your garden. This program is ideal for anyone who gardens, enjoys wildlife photography or likes to learn about nature.

Kim Smith is a celebrated landscape designer, documentary film maker, photographer and author. Her specialty is creating butterfly and habitat gardens that primarily utilize North American wildflowers and native trees, shrubs and vines. For more information about Kim Smith, you can visit her website: kimsmithdesigns.com

Pollinator Gardens will take place at the South Branch of the Peabody Institute Library, 78 Lynn St. on Thursday, August 10 at 7PM. The program is free, but space is limited and registration is required. For more information and to reserve your free spot, please go to www.peabodylibrary.org or call 978-531-3380. This program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Peabody Institute Libraries.

If your deck chairs are missing…and you want to see a coyote

We found them at Good Harbor Beach, July 4 2017. The striped cushions are the right color! The pair were upended and cushions scattered along with various party remnants between the pedestrian bridge and the piping plover enclosure. We righted them and set them up for Piper Plover viewing.  Some folks vandalized the endangered species signs and littered, and others were picking up trash and repairing.  The coyote and birds were on the move.

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There was a great crow ruckus in the trees across from Blue Shutters Beachside Inn and out popped the coyote. Hung around the creek and then off down the road past http://www.blueshuttersbeachside.com/ 

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Patti Amaral July 4, 2017

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Peggy and Patty July 4, 2017– Peggy spotted the plover family of 5 this morning, Day 12. All are ok after an eventful Day 11 — see Kim Smith’s glorious photojournalism update 

 

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Piping plover 3rd shift brought a hammer

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HELP WITH THE HARBORWALK AND THANK YOU MAGGIE ROSA!!!

Would you like to help us spruce up the pollinator gardens at the HarborWalk? The wonderful Maggie Rosa called last week expressing interest in helping care for the garden. We had a nice walk through the HarborWalk and talked about weed versus wildflower. Maggie has already made a tremendous improvement. If you would like to volunteer, I’ll be at the HarborWalk on Sunday morning from 7am to 8:30, before the podcast, and happy to show anyone interested how to identify the wildflowers. Please feel free to comment in the comment section or email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com if you have any questions. Thank you.

ALPACA SHEARING DAY AT THE MARSHALL’S FARM

Just like sheep, alpacas need to be shorn at least once a year. Their beautiful fleece is so thick by the time spring comes along, the animals would suffer tremendously in warmer weather if not shorn.

Family and friends lend a hand for alpaca shearing day.

Malcolm Cooper arrived Sunday morning with his assistant Krystian Hoszkiewicz.

Expert shearing, with a firm but kind touch. 

Andrew Spinney from Paynter Saltwater Farm in Essex brought three of his alpacas for shearing, along with Maggie the sheep. Maggie likes getting shorn, so much so that she turned into an acquiescing blob of jello.

Angela administers a monthly shot to prevent parasites.

Here’s Nikki helping with the Paynter alpacas. Next is an after-shearing photo, with the Marshall’s daughter Jennifer. What a difference!

Alpaca lower teeth and upper dental pad.

Alpacas only have bottom teeth. On the top they have a hard dental pad. Alpacas eat by trapping grass between their teeth and the dental pad, and then nipping it off. Some alpacas are genetically pre-disposed to misaligned teeth and need to have their teeth trimmed. If the teeth were not trimmed, it could lead to eating disorders and starvation. A protective guard is placed in the mouth and the teeth are quickly ground with an electric grinder. It takes all of about 30 second for an alpaca’s dental treatment!

Pippi Longstocking’s first dental check up.

One-year-old alpacas Maisy, Rascal, and Pippi Longstocking had their first shearing. The yarn made from the first shearing is referred to as baby alpaca, and it is silky soft, luxurious, and super warm.

Maggie’s wool is more course and contains lanolin. After she was shorn, you could feel the sticky lanolin on her skin. Because alpaca fleece bears no lanolin, the yarn is hypoallergenic.

Pippi Longstocking’s first buzz cut.

Phew, I was exhausted just filming the Marshall Family corral twenty plus alpacas and one tubby little Maggie. The Marshall’s alpacas are beloved family members, each named, and each with a unique personality to go with their name–Pokey, Magnolia, and Rascal, to mention just a few. Animal farming is super hard, non-stop work, especially when the animals are as well taken care of as are the Marshalls.

The public is welcome to come stop by and visit the alpacas. Yarn from the Marshall’s alpacas is available to purchase. At the present time, Angie’s Alpacas is open by appointment. Call 978-729-7180 or email Angela at Angiez65@hotmail.com. Marshall’s Farm is located just next to Marshall’s Farm Stand at 148 Concord Street in West Gloucester.

SREAMIN’ PEACOCK

Today was alpaca shearing day at the Marshall’s farm. We have lots of photos to share and I’ll have time to post them tomorrow. All the while alpaca shearing was taking place, Perry, the Marshall’s peacock, was struttin’ his stuff. There was no peahen in sight, but a certain chicken seemed to have caught Perry’s attention. The peacock mating call sounds more like a piercing scream, very startling the first time heard. Have a listen!

Baby alpacas Pippi Longstocking, Maisy, and Rascal had their first shearing today.

WOLF HILL GARDEN CENTER HAS IT ALL!

Happy Memorial Day from Wolf Hill!

Wolf Hill has just about everything under the sun to make your garden sing, and then some. If not in stock, they will order it and have the item to you in a few short days. Choose from a gorgeous and super healthy selection of native perennials, shrubs, trees, flowering vines, annuals, tropicals, and every kind of garden tool and accessory needed.

Grace and owner Pam

The staff is beyond helpful at Wolf Hill. I hear customers asking questions non-stop and they always provide a pleasant and knowledgeable response. Whether answering questions, loading your car, or assisting with placing orders, the customer service at Wolf Hill is simply stellar. You can always tell when the owners are super special people when the same staff are there year after year.

These Guys! Always lending a helping hand – Jacob, Rick, and Ricky. Not only is Rick the tree and shrub manager, for which he has a wealth of information, but he is also very knowledgeable butterflies. Ask him what butterflies have been in the garden lately.

Late spring is the best time of year to pick out roses because most flower earlier at nurseries than they would in our Cape Ann gardens. You take the guesswork out and test the roses for fragrance and for color when in bloom. Wolf Hill has an extensive selection of shrub, climbing, and topiary roses.

We are so blessed to have not one, not two, but three fabulous garden centers here on our small island.

Happy Memorial Day and Happy Gardening!

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