With Wolf Hill located right here in our neighborhood, there’s no reason to travel to Michaels or Target for your holiday decorating whimsy. Their trim-a-tree shop is extra, extra outstanding this year, with pinecones, shells, ribbons, and much, much more.
Many of the decorations are handmade by Gloucester’s own Grace Novello and Jodi Sivak and the decorating workroom tucked in the back is abuzz filling custom holiday orders.
Grace Novello creates the mussel shell Christmas trees
Designer Jodi Sivak cleverly decorates the butt ends cut from Christmas trees
Grace Novello, Owner Pam McKechnie, and Jodi Sivak
See more photos here ~ Read more
We are so fortunate in Gloucester to have not one, but two, terrific garden centers, Wolf Hill and Goose Cove Gardens (and Corliss Brothers in Ipswich isn’t too far off the beaten track, either). Barbara and her team at Goose Cove are phenomenal as is the team at Wolf Hill–Kate, Joe, Ben, Dave, Jake, and all the guys. Both Wolf Hill and Goose Cove take wonderful care of the wildlife that makes their home in the very inviting environment of their nurseries. Last year Kate kept me well supplied in butterfly eggs, which had been deposited on Wolf Hill plants, and whenever I shop at either garden center, a frequent topic of conversation is the robins because they oftentimes build their nests smack dab in the middle of a plant, or group of plants, that are for sale. Robins especially like to nest in hanging flower baskets. This year was no exception. Today when at Wolf Hill I spied a mama robin zooming away from a balled and burlapped tree. The nest was at eye level! I ran and got my cameras but filmed for only a moment because both parents found it highly disturbing. The babies were hungry, with wide gaping greedy mouths, and it was clear my presence was keeping them from their breakfasts. As soon as I turned away, the parents resumed feeding the babies.
Isn’t this sweet how they take care of the robins at Wolf Hill?
Thanks for that splendid talk on bees (Why Bees are Disappearing). I’m ready to go and eager to plant. Can you post on Good Morning Gloucester a list of places where one can find (affordable) bee-friendly flowers and plants. (Maybe even some free wild flowers). Recently, we lost our only nursery in Rockport. Blue Gate Gardens, alas, is gone.
Nat Johnson Rockport
Thank you for writing. We have two absolutely fantastic resources for purchasing bee friendly plants right here on Cape Ann and they are Goose Cove Gardens and Wolf Hill.
The staff at both nurseries are super helpful, friendly, and extremely knowledgeable, and you will find a rich assortment of nectar-rich bee friendly plants. Tonight I’ll put together a post with my reccomendations for bee friendly plants specifically for our region.
Best wishes and happy planting!
Autumn Beauty Sunflower ~ click the photo once to view larger, click again to see the bee dusted in pollen!
Newly Emerged Male Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Thanks to Kate and the team at Wolf Hill for giving me a second Black Swallowtail caterpillar of the season. And, as I was getting ready to discard the parsley plant from the first caterpillar they had found at the garden center earlier in May, I discovered yet a third caterpillar.
Chrysalis #2 eclosed yesterday in the early morning hours. The butterfly in the photo above is newly emerged, so much so that you can see its abdomen is still swollen with fluids as it is expelling a drop. After first drying his wings on the zinnias, he flew off in search of nectar and a mate. I just can’t thank you enough Kate, and everyone at Wolf Hill who is taking an interest in the caterpillars!
Male Black Swallowtail Butterfly and Zinnia
Round Two with Hippeastrum
‘Orange Sovereign’ has given us a second stalk, and it too, is laden with gorgeous, satiny buds.
Bulb-buying tip: Upon seeing the second stalk, a friend visiting our home last week remarked that the amaryllis she purchases at the supermarket typically only have a few flowerheads and rarely a second stalk. I recommend purchasing Hippeastrum (amaryllis) bulbs in the fall, through local nurseries and bulb suppliers. Select the plumpest and firmest bulb available. The supermarket bulbs are usually boxed and pre-packaged, which doesn’t allow the opportunity to inspect the bulb. Both Corliss Bros. and Wolf Hill carry a great selection of Hippeastrum bulbs.
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