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The artful garden: Decorating our outdoor spaces

Posted on November 17, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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With winter fast approaching and this year’s garden put to bed, our thoughts turn towards our gardens of the future. As with our homes, every garden must meet certain functional needs, such as providing easy access from driveway to doorway. But also, like our homes, all gardens give us personal space to indulge and please our aesthetic sensibilities.

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New England's holly: Brightening our gardens when the days are shortest

Posted on October 20, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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The holly of my childhood was the “Christmas card holly,” with fat red berries and shiny spiny leaves that stayed green all winter long.

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Season of mists, mellow fruitfulness: Bidding adieu to garden past

Posted on October 6, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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It’s early October. The forests are ablaze in color and the valleys cloaked in morning mists. And in my garden the final flowers of the year — asters, chrysanthemums, bush clover and even the Rozanne geranium — having survived an early light frost, are sounding one last glorious hurrah for the season now ending. Any day now the first heavy killing frost will signal the end of this year’s garden.

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Grand finale: What's doing in the autumn garden

Posted on September 22, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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Does your garden finish the year with a beautiful glorious bang, or does it just fade away with a whimper?

Summer’s exuberance may be over but, in its own way, the autumn garden can be every bit as lovely. At this time of year the gardener’s palette includes yellows and bronze, lavender and purple, dusky pinks and whites. There are colorful shrubs and beautiful grasses, plus some easily grown perennials, which all harmonize together to complete the gardening season with a flourish.

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On gardening: Dancing grasses — magical movements in our gardens

Posted on September 8, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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Rhythmic motion captivates as it soothes — a group of dancers twirling in time with the music or the wind rippling through a field of uncut hay.

And in the garden motion always delights — as a host of swallowtail butterflies swarm over the spring lilacs, or a flock of cedar waxwings swoop in to feast on the ripening crabapples.

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A garden can be a loving journey through ages and stages

Posted on August 25, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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“A garden should be in a constant state of fluid change, expansion, experiment, adventure; above all it should be an inquisitive, loving but self-critical journey on the part of its owner.”

— H.E. Bates

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All gardening is landscape painting

Posted on August 7, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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The well-known garden quote, penned over 200 years ago by landscape designer William Kent, that is the headline for this week’s column still rings true today. Creating a beautiful garden is akin to making pictures where you, the artist, get to choose the plants and manipulate them on your canvas to create a vibrant glorious whole.

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Pictures on the ground: Planning your garden

Posted on July 28, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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It’s high summer and already some of us are contemplating next year’s garden. Perhaps this fall we will move some plants from one spot to another or maybe dig a completely new bed. And so the gardening cycle continues.

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Vive la difference: Middlebury gardens on display

Posted on June 30, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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Sunday, June 8, was a gardener’s paradise. Coming on the heels of a long cool spring, the weather felt deliciously warm and sunny and the perfect afternoon for the annual Middlebury Garden Tour, run as a benefit for the Sheldon Museum.

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Cultivating scents: Gardening for the nose

Posted on June 16, 2014 |
By Judith Irven



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Last week an unexpected package was delivered to our doorstep. As I carefully began to unwrap it, a mesmerizing fragrance spread through the room. And there, nestled between layers of damp newspaper, I discovered a delightful gift from a gardening friend — two Star Jasmine plants (Trachelospemum jasminoides) direct from a specialty nursery in Raleigh, N.C., where she lives.

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