Archive for August, 2009

Winter Vegetable Gardening

I’ve planted some lettuce and snap peas and now reading Brian Minter’s column on winter vegetable gardening, I’m thinking about going out to look for some of the varieties he recommends:

quote from the webpage: If you do a little digging, you’ll find all kinds of other interesting winter gems, like corn salad, arugula and lettuces like ‘Continuity’, a great buttercrunch variety and ‘Cimmaron’, a fabulous red romaine.

David Hunter’s have 10% off on Wednesday – I think I’ll go looking and maybe for radishes too. It’s so satisfying to grow things that you can harvest in less than a month.


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The sedums are in bloom – turning pink and red. I bought a Red Emperor on Hornby Island and it’s coming back to life (I left it at the edge of the property and deer came and ate it before I got it home).

Mine are the normal greenish ones, but I agree with Brian minter that all Sedums are good things.  If you want some or have red ones to trade, contact me!

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Creeping Jenny

This is the stuff that is creeping(!) on the west side of the building. In the spring it has yellow flowers. In Massachusetts (and possibly elsewhere) it’s illegal to sell or grow it. Hmmnnn.  Here it’ll grow in full sun and also partial shade – I just learned that so I’ve put some over on the trafalgar side to see how it does.

Want to try some as a “mulch” or over a pot or just in the ground? I’d be delighted to share some with you.

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New blueberry plant from Richmond

I bought a blueberry bush at the Richmond market on Sunday, but now: where to put it!

Brian Minter at


To say blueberries love acidic soil is an understatement. It is also important to choose a location that is rich in organic matter, but be careful to avoid manures.

He also suggests I not count on a big crop; get a second plant of a different species if I actually want blueberries. (I don’t know what species mine is!)

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Renovations to end September 30

People are asking WHEN are the renovations going to be finished? The answer is: the end of September.

They also ask WHY are we renovating – well briefly the building might have fallen apart due to rot in the wood, so we had to take all the stucco off and then discovered we had to take the stairs off (wow, that was noisy).

In case you’re really curious, we’ll be painting the co-op red (seriously) at the end of this adventure – well, we’ll be painting the east side red and the rest will remain orange. until we have the money to continue renovations on the other 3 sides.

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Garden addition: Pieris, lily-of-the-valley shrub (Pieris japonica) –

Pieris, lily-of-the-valley shrub (Pieris japonica) –

This is a description of the shrub in a pot in front of Fifth Ave. Compliments of R. who brought from previous abode. Lots of little white flowers right now (Jan, 2010)

• Evergreen
• Climate zones 3-9, 14-17, 31-35, 37
• Partial to full shade
• Regular watering

A useful shrub for shady parts of the garden, pieris is often grown under taller broad-leafed evergreen trees. Most striking when it is adorned with white, pink, or nearly red flowers in late winter to early spring, it stays attractive throughout the year thanks to its glossy dark green foliage. Since it is taller than it is wide (to an eventual 9 by 6 feet), it’s a suitable choice for somewhat narrow spaces. It grows slowly, so start with plants in 15- or 5-gallon containers.

Flowers of all pieris resemble lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria), hence the common name.

Give moist, well-drained, acid soil rich in humus. Attractive shape and lush appearance make pieris a good companion for rhododendrons or azaleas, which sometimes have less desirable leaf coloration and leggy growth. Prune by pinching off dead flowers.

Note: Leaves and flowers of pieris are toxic if ingested.

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