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Recreation

Why Your Hydrangea Isn't Blooming

Few sights are as beguiling to gardeners as a mature bigleaf hydrangea (H. macrophylla) covered with huge clusters of sky blue flowers. Because blue flowers are so unusual and beautiful, many of us believe that we can recreate this heavenly vision in our USDA hardiness zone 5 yards. And occasionally we are rewarded with gorgeous blue flower heads in June, but more often than not, these past few years have been hard on this species of hydrangea. 

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Farm Fresh Flower Power

What’s not to love about farm-grown summer flowers? 
I didn’t know it, but there is actually a movement — does everything have to be a “thing”? I hate it when stuff  I like becomes a thing, so I’m not even going to tell you about it, but if you want to know more about the “thing” go to www.slowflowers.com. Or you can just check out your local farmer’s spectacular flowers and support them by stuffing your house full of amazing wild bouquets like I do. 

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The Joy of Doing Things For Yourself

Outdoors

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Noise, Speed and The Love of Riding a Honda CB360

Motorcycles

There is a spirit in an engine. 
My first car was a sky-blue ’80 Corolla. I drove it all night through Texas; it smelled like an old leather glove. The radio was broken. I remember a drive on a night so black we could have been in space. The moon rose across the windshield somewhere between Dallas and Austin. Just the sound of wind and engine. Just my headlights bouncing off a gravel shoulder. I was 16 and thought I could live in a car. 

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A Slice Of Nature In The Southern Berkshires

Excursions

The village of Ashley Falls sits in the middle of old agricultural land in the broad and fertile floodplain of the Housatonic River, a few miles from Massachusetts’ southern border with Connecticut. On the west edge of town, jutting up from the floodplain and forcing the river to make a long, looping bend around them, stand a pair of rocky knolls whose jumble of calcareous marble and acidic quartzite forms a haven for a wide diversity of plants and animals. This is the Bartholomew’s Cobble nature preserve.

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Margaret Roach Explores Connections Between Gardening And Life In Talk

Garden

The Hudson Valley’s most famous gardener and NPR/WHDD’s revered garden radio host, Margaret Roach, will speak on May 2 as part of  Oblong Books’ The White Hart Speaker’s Series. 

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Spinning Into The New Year

Fitness

It’s the last week of January. It’s dark and cold, and my separation agreement still isn’t signed. I am usually a pretty optimistic person, but when I got back from the city last week and discovered my car had been towed (it wouldn’t start because of the sub-zero freeze), I started to feel a bit picked on. Wasn’t it enough that I had stopped drinking? And then, with little or no warning, I was overwhelmed by an even worse feeling: my jeans were tight. Clearly the holidays had been too much fun. 

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The Joy of Skating After So Many Years

Skating

I woke up early. The early snow had inspired me. Instead of curling up and falling asleep like a bear this winter, I decided to embrace the season. All I needed to live out my newfound Nordic attitude were ice skates and cross country ski boots. I had grown up skiing and skating, but the more boring things in life had taken over recently. That was about to change.

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Giving Thanks On a Hike to Bash Bish Falls

Hiking

The turkey is brined (or not — depending on whether you are a believer), the teenagers’ vegan casserole has been concocted, and you’ve got young, old and every age in between converging on your house in a few hours. What is one to do to keep these people happy and away from the booze until dinner starts? Or to calm your own nerves before the onslaught? Or perhaps you are on your own this Thanksgiving and would like to do something special?

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Amaryllis: The Plant That Keeps On Giving

The Lazy Gardener

When is the most important time to have big, boisterous blooms?  In the dead of winter of course, when you’re in desperate need of some real garden joy.  My friend Sally suggested an Amaryllis garden — lots of bright red and white blossoms for the Holidays. Or dark burgundy, under lit by tea lights, running down the dining room table. Perfect. I’ve always grabbed bulbs on sale at Home Depot and scattered them around.  It never quite did the trick. This disciplined use of color, form and repetition sounded truly elegant.

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