Thinking about tomorrow’s predicted nor’easter, the fourth this month of March, and hoping the old proverb “In like a lion, and out like a lamb” holds true. Many spring ephemerals are already showinging themselves and it won’t be long before the peonies are poking their red tipped heads out from beneath the leaf litter. Happy first day of spring!
Category Archives: Home and Garden
Please join me Thursday, February 8th, for my Pollinator Garden program at Ebsco, 5 Peatfield Street, Ipswich. The program begins at 6:30pm and is sponsored by the Ipswich Town and Country Garden Club. I hope to see you there!
“Following the rhythm of the seasons, celebrated landscape designer Kim Smith presents a stunning slide show and lecture demonstrating how to create a welcoming haven for bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Native plants and examples of organic and architectural features will be discussed based on their value to particular vertebrates and invertebrates.”
I regret to say tomorrow’s program “The Fragrant Garden,” in Belmont, has been postponed until further notice. I know that a group of friends from Cape Ann were planning to attend and will let you know when the new date is scheduled. Thank you!
I am so love with the blossoms of our fanciful Amaryllis ‘Clown.’ She opened the first of three bodacious blooms on Christmas Day–three blossoms on one stalk, that is–with the flowers of two more stalks yet to emerge! She’s a treasured bulb, and so easy to force indoors. The following is excerpted from a book that I wrote and illustrated between 2003-2006 titled Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden, which was published by David Godine in 2008.
Living in New England the year round, with our tiresomely long winter stretching miles before us, and then a typically late and fugitive, fleeting spring, we can become easily wrapped in those winter-blues. Fortunately for garden-makers, our thoughts give way to winter scapes of bare limbs and berries, Gold Finches and Cardinals, and plant catalogues to peruse. If you love to paint and write about flowers as do I, winter is a splendid time of year for both, as there is hardly any time devoted to the garden during colder months. I believe if we cared for a garden very much larger than ours, I would accomplish little of either writing or painting, for maintaining it would require just that much more time and energy.
Coaxing winter blooms is yet another way to circumvent those late winter doldrums. Most of us are familiar with the ease in which amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs will bloom indoors. Placed in a pot with enough soil to come to the halfway point of the bulb, and set on a warm radiator, in several week’s time one will be cheered by the sight of a spring-green, pointed-tipped flower stalk poking through the inner layers of the plump brown bulbs. The emerging scapes provide a welcome promise with their warm-hued blossoms, a striking contrast against the cool light of winter. Perhaps the popularity of the amaryllis is due both to their ease in cultivation and also for their ability to dazzle with colors of sizzling orange, clear reds and apple blossom pink.
December 6, 2017 – more photos to come!
Hundreds of guests streaming in to enjoy the 10th Annual Women’s Luncheon, Cape Ann Museum’s wonderful annual benefit to help raise funds for a unique collections-related project.
Ahead of the lunch, happy guests are viewing the stunning wallpaper in the Davis house,l– acquired with support from last year’s luncheon–, current exhibitions, and holiday shopping in the museum’s boutique shop.
New to the gift shop- custom sampler
The 2017 luncheon campaign will support “the purchase and installation of historically accurate carpeting in the Captain Elias Davis House, a Federal style structure built in 1804…Carpet for this project will be made by the Grosvenor Wilton Company Ltd. founded in 1790.”
Photo – Davis House before carpet
The 10th Annual Women’s Luncheon welcomes Melissa Geisler Trafton, an art historian specializing in 19th century landscape painting, as the special speaker. Trafton was the Adjunct Curator and Managing Editor for the museum’s momentous Fitz Henry Lane Online and wrote one of the essays in the exhibition catalog for the current exhibition: Drawn from Nature & on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane.
Joey asked Pauline’s Gifts for information about the 6th annual Small Business Saturday and a list of specials. She was an early adapter. Here it is, and thanks Pauline!
“In 2011 the Senate unanimously supported Small Business Saturday, and in 2012 all 50 states had participants. This one day event is bringing awareness of the importance in supporting your Local Small Businesses and giving many small businesses a way to promote at no cost to them. If you are an American Express merchant you are able to use the tools made available to you by AMEX. Many of us receive banners, balloons, postcards, reusable bags, and lots of other swag to use for our businesses. Even those who do not take AMEX are able to utilize the promotion working with a Neighborhood Champion. These champions obtain the materials and are able to share with other businesses in their neighborhood. In 2016 there were over 6,700 Neighborhood Champions in the country. Small business owners embrace the day. Through their own promotional efforts small business owners generated an estimated $15.4 billion dollars on Small Business Saturday in 2016.” GMG search pulls up posts about Small Business Saturday in 2012. Some of the 2017 GMG posts: Bridgette’s post, Donna’s post, Kim’s post about PRESENT, and GMG podcast (timestamped!)
*GC = gift certificate
Call your other favorite shops to find out what specials they may be having!
7 Seas Whale Watch: Adult GCs $29 & Season Pass Discounts
Cake Ann: 10% off Next in-store Purchase When You Buy a GC
Cape Ann Olive Oil: Buy 6 Same Size Bottles, Get 1 Free
Design of Mine: 20% off Total Purchase
DIVA : 12-20% off
Dogtown Books unique gifts, rare & used books, work by local artists
Essex Bird Shop and Pet Supply, 121 Eastern Ave, Essex: 20% off Treats, Toys, & Accessories
goodlinens – Gloucester buy-two-get-the-third-50%-off special on all of our linen on Friday and through December
Hair & Color Studio, The: Buy $50 GC get $10 GC free
LifeBloom Massage & Spa: Refer a Friend & Both Get 10% off Any Treatment (no limit)
Magic Scarf Company: Wholesale Prices, Wine/Snacks
Manchester Athletic Club: $50 Join Fee thru 11/30, 1/2 Donated to The Open Door
Maplewood Car Wash: 25% off Book of 5 Washes, 10% off GCs
O’Neil Fitness: 20% off Package of 12 Personal Training Sessions
Pauline’s Gifts: 512 Essex Ave, Gloucester: 20% off Entire Purchase (Excludes Pauline’s Painted Items)
Premier Imprints: Gloucester: 20% off Premier Imprints gifts
Present: Celebrate Small Business Saturday as we release our holiday ornaments!
R & B Carpet Cleaning Services: 10% off
Sand to City Style: 20% off
Sea Meadow Gifts and Gardens, 7 Main St, Essex: Up to 40% Off
The Urchin Exchange: 20% off
Stopping by for only a few brief moments, a rarely seen and travel weary Spicebush Swallowtail made an appearance in our garden this morning. He drank nectar from the wildflowers, the native Heleniums and Phlox, before departing over the garden gate. We’ve planted a Spicebush just for these beauties, so begged him please come back Mr. Swallowtail, when you have a bit more time, and bring the Mrs. so she may deposit her eggs on the foliage of the Spicebush. They make the cutest caterpillars!Faded Male Spicebush Swallowtail
Happy Cape Ann news:
Anna Lisa and Porter Grieve, “a recently married couple in their early 20s from Manchester-by-the-Sea” turned their blog and Instagram account “into a means of full-time travel.” Boston Sunday Globe, Making a living living the dream, Sept 17, 2017, Kaitlyn Locke
The recess city instagram account has 52,600 followers today.
recess city blog: https://www.recesscity.com/
“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.
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)
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 ~
Cedar Rock Gardens is located at 290 Concord Street in West located. For more information, visit their website here.
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.
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.
The Mary Prentiss Inn is located at 6 Prentiss Street, Cambridge. Call 617-661-2929 or visit maryprentissinn.com
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 Catties❣️My friend Patti Papows invited me to stop by and photograph her Fabulous milkweed patch. She purchased her plants several years ago at our Cape Ann Milkweed Project plant sale. Her plants have really come into their own this year and are rife with beautiful Monarchs, every bee species imagined in a New England garden, and other butterflies and insects too. More tonight on Good Morning Gloucester! #pollinatorhero #milkweed #nativeplants #gloucesterma #monarch #monarchbutterfly #caterpillar
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.
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.
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
Hope to see you!
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.
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.
Amy’s pumpkin on the vine
Amy’s towering sunflowers.
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.
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.
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/
Patti Amaral July 4, 2017
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
Piping plover 3rd shift brought a hammer