04/21/17 10:00am
CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO | The daffodils outside my front door ­ — they cheer me up both coming and going. Wherever else you plant, a few where you see them on the way in or out is at least one of the ways to go.

CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO | The daffodils outside my front door ­ — they cheer me up both coming and going. Wherever else you plant, a few where you see them on the way in or out is at least one of the ways to go.

Finally, finally, finally…

The red buds have opened, the forsythia is “syth-ing” and the early daffodils are up and out everywhere. Not only that, but it’s stopped raining almost every day – in other words, spring seems actually to have arrived. (more…)

04/09/17 3:00pm
SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Plantain may be considered a weed, but it is a powerful ally in the first aid kit.

SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Plantain may be considered a weed, but it is a powerful ally in the first aid kit.

You have seen it. You may have stepped on it. It is a very familiar, perennial weed that will penetrate a crack in a sidewalk, or diligently follow alongside a walkway or trail.

With common names such as “Snakeweed” or “Englishman’s Foot,” in some circles plantain, Plantago major, is regarded as a weed.  One of the “Super Weeds” that the chemical lawn industries have declared war on. (more…)

03/23/17 8:00am
CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO | A planter in the corner of my balcony and the poor little crocuses trying their best. Most likely doomed!

CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO | A planter in the corner of my balcony and the poor little crocuses trying their best. Most likely doomed!

If this is supposed to be spring, my inclination is to rewrap it and return it to sender, marked “Damaged in transit.” No resemblance to what I ordered.

However, history tells us that the famous Blizzard of ’88 (that’s 1888, not 1988) was in the second week of March, so we’re right on the mark, time wise, to be miserable. Fifty-five inches of snow fell then and 400 people died between Washington D.C. and Maine, if you can believe Google, so I guess we shouldn’t complain too much. Although to be honest, I like to complain and firmly believe it’s good for you, as in forget that “stiff upper lip” stuff. (more…)

03/09/17 8:00am
SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Bees visiting an amethyst crystal in Sarah Shepherd’s garden.

SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Bees visiting an amethyst crystal in Sarah Shepherd’s garden.

The countdown is here. Spring is around the corner. You can feel it with the readiness of the tree buds, and the burst of new beginning spring beauty. It has been a long winter for the honeybees I keep in my yard. One of my top bar hives allows me to remove an outer piece of wood and peek into a side window that offers a glimpse into the inner world of the residents.   (more…)

02/19/17 3:00pm
SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Aromatic herbs and flowers can help cheer the heart.

SARAH SHEPHERD PHOTO | Aromatic herbs and flowers can help cheer the heart.

In this busy age of constant communication and high speed movement, our bodies are constantly being stimulated and it may be difficult to find a pause in our day for a simple moment of relaxation. In different times we may have retreated to a garden — in a little aromatic corner, finding time for reflection and admiration for the beautiful things in life. Taking time, like the old saying goes, “to stop and smell the roses.” (more…)