I cannot say enough good things about BLACK EARTH COMPOSTand the amazing guys, Andrew and Connor, who provide this fantastic product. My client’s gardens have never looked as lush and beautiful since I began strictly only using Black Earth Compost to replenish the soil.
Andrew even delivers to my butterfly and ABC gardens at Philips Andover. Thank you Black Earth for making such a great product!
Our fall pollinator gardens are a rich tapestry of expiring stalks, fresh blossoms of asters and goldenrods, fading blossoms of garden favorites, and vibrant annuals getting a second wind after the intense heat of summer. Blooming in a medley of of rose and dusty pink hues, violet, purple, crimson, rusty red, yellowed greens, Spanish orange, golden yellow–the colors are made more vivid in the atmospheric glow of autumn’s light.
Monarchs, Sulphurs, Painted Ladies, American Ladies, Swallowtails, and Buckeyes are just some of the butterflies on the wing, hungrily seeking nectar to sustain their journeys. Not to be forgotten are a host of songbirds, and too, honey bees and native bees, all also in need of sustenance.
Tips for early fall maintenance, with pollinators in mind.
1) Tidy-up anything that looks really raggedy, but leave the tall dry stalks of plants such as sunflowers, Joe-pye, Echinacea, and Rudbeckia. The stalks provide winter shelter for many species of bees.
2) Dead head plants such as Butterfly Bushes and Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia), which encourages continued bloom.
3) No need to bother deadheading Zinnias and Cosmos as they will flower whether or not the expired blooms are removed. The seed heads provide food for Goldfinches, Nuthatches, and many species of resident and migrating songbirds.
4) Don’t forget to provide blossoms and sugar water for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Our annually returning female and her 2018 brood of two has departed for the season, but we have been daily visited by southward migrating RTHummers.
Even on a cloudy October day our front dooryard garden at the Mary Prentiss Inn is abuzz with blossoms and pollinators. The Monarch nectaring at the Tithonia was the first to greet me while checking on the garden.
Playing with triadic color–the planters at the Mary Prentiss Inn are a great example of a classic triad. Triadic color schemes use colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. When successful, they are really quite vibrant and seem to sing. In these arrangements, the orange color dominates while the shades of purples and greens are the accents.
Loads of earth-moving in the fall equals a world of beauty in the spring. Thanks to my awesome crew, Patrick from the Mary Prentiss Inn and Jackson from the Kendall Hotel!
The Mary Prentiss Inn is truly the most welcoming of guest houses and yesterday while there planting the smell of the cook’s apple muffins baking wafted through the garden. A bit later, plates of warm muffins greeted guests; I couldn’t resist when offered. They were divine and are without a doubt the best muffins I’ve ever tasted! I’ve been promised the recipe and can’t wait to give it a go and to share!
Last fall I began a new project, The Mary Prentiss Inn, located on Prentiss Street off of Harvard Square. The old garden had grown up and out and the plants had become too over-sized for the little borders out front of the Inn.
Mary Prentiss Inn ~ Before
Jennifer Fandetti, who runs her family’s Inn, had wanted more color throughout the growing season, as well as flowers to bring indoors to decorate the rooms.
Jennifer and bulb-planting helper
Our awesome fall crew planting the bulbs
We are all so weary of winter’s drab hues that when spring at long last arrives the tulips and jonquils are a wonderfully welcome sight. I make a special mix of color and variety for each client and later this season we’ll add perennials and annuals. The boxwoods give the borders a neat appearance and the hollies and magnolia provide structure and beauty throughout the year. Coming soon is a little cutting garden along the side of the building. For now, everyone, including guests and neighbors, are enjoying the new look at the Inn!
Harvard and MIT are just around the corner from the Mary Prentiss, and with all the graduations and events, if you need a wonderful place to stay, or recommend to a friend, The Mary Prentiss Inn is an absolutely perfect and delightful inn in the heart of Cambridge. The staff is gracious and helpful, the building has been beautifully renovated and restored (and is meticulously maintained) and all the rooms are charming and beautifully appointed, with decor by Charlotte’s Forsythe. Amenities include high speed internet service (wired and WiFi), cooked to order breakfasts, and 100 percent cotton bed linens. Every afternoon tea is served with super delicious homemade cookies and other sweet treats. Around back is a stunning secret garden and sunny courtyard used for breakfast, afternoon tea, and relaxing.
I watched as these two women were were walking down Mass Ave. They looked down Prentiss Street, and continued to walk by, but on second thought turned around and came back to photograph the flowers!