Early July on the Hellstrip

The milkweed flowers wither and give way to their plump, silk filled pods. Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpura) begin to open, attracting cheerful bees. The Indian Blankets (Gaillardia pulchella) continue to bloom – their red and gold petals contrast the tall green milkweed stalks.

No Spray!

Large-scale spraying of insecticides are in the works. Insecticide use affects all living creatures. Microbes, invertebrates, birds, and mammals are all intrinsically linked in the web of life. Although the government claims that spraying is targeted towards mosquitoes, their website admits that the chemicals are toxic to invertebrates and fish. From the Mass.gov website: But,Continue reading “No Spray!”

Mystery Plant Blooms

Gardening is a leap of faith. You can plan, but you must be flexible. Trust in Nature – and you will find joy “Plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom.” —  Ken Kesey A couple of years ago, we noticed a strange squash-like plant growing near our garage. We were unableContinue reading “Mystery Plant Blooms”

Late June on the Hellstrip

The Hellstrip becomes a living rainbow – a riot of color and life. Flame red Indian Blankets (Gaillardia pulchella) burst through the fading milkweed blossoms. A mature Asclepias tuberosa is enchantingly bright and beautiful. Towards the east end of the strip, a large cluster of bright white daisies seem to look at us with cheerfulContinue reading “Late June on the Hellstrip”

Garden in the Woods

Garden in the Woods is a botanical garden which is singular for its focus on the exhibition of native plants.  Nestled in the heart of busy Middlesex County, Garden in the Woods is a peaceful sanctuary.  Visitors enjoy rustic trails which are dotted with different biomes.  We started out on a pathway of sun dappledContinue reading “Garden in the Woods”


All at once, the milkweed have bloomed. The air is redolent with their heady perfume. My Hellstrip plantings seem to facilitate conversation about milkweed. I have had many great chats with the people who have stopped to both admire and ask questions about the growth. In my mind, Milkweed is a vital part of theContinue reading “Rejoice!”