Thursday, February 19, 2015

We Have Moved

The London-Faringdon coach, 1835, James Pollard (1792 - 1867)

Notes from Juniper Hill blog has moved to a new location and can now be found at, or by clicking here.  In addition to writing about gardens and gardening, more and more of my time lately has been devoted to garden photography.  For that reason, it seemed like the right time to combine that work with the Notes from Juniper Hill gardening blog so that everything is in one convenient and easily accessible location on the web.

This blog will still be here for accessing archival material, so please feel free to visit anytime.  You will also be able to connect back to this site at any time from our new location.

I would like to thank all of you loyal followers of Notes from Juniper Hill over the past several years. Your thoughtful comments and encouragement have made writing the blog a true delight!  And, I hope that you’ll check out the new blog which has a fresher, cleaner and more simplified look and is now fully integrated with my photography website.  I'll look forward to catching up with you at our new home!


Joe Valentine

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Garden Inspirations Workshop

Interested in growing better vegetables next season?  Then, here's the event for you!  "Growing Vegetables," the second annual Garden Inspirations workshop to benefit the Latchis Theatre, in Brattleboro, Vermont is intended to provide gardeners with practical down-to-earth information about growing veggies, from choosing seeds this winter, growing those seeds into plants in the spring and summer, and then harvesting and cooking with them next fall.  The day will include insights from experienced Vermont farmers as well as acclaimed TV personality, Roger Swain, known to millions as the host of the popular PBS show, "The Victory Garden."  It all happens on Saturday, January 24th.  What better way to put a little springtime into a cold January day than learning how to grow warm season vegetables!  Click "read more" for additional info below....

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fickle December

It has been one of those periods in early December when the thermometer can't make up its mind where it wants to settle.  Consequently we have gone through more than a few days where it has both warmed up and cooled down in a matter of hours.  And, when you add a little moisture to this atmospheric uncertainty, you often end up with sleet or freezing rain that can pretty much blanket everything.  This makes for terrible driving on the roads and even worse walking on the pavements.  On the other hand, these conditions can create some of the most unexpected and unusual effects you'll get to see in the garden until the hornworms devour all your tomatoes next summer. 

I walked through the garden recently with my camera and captured a few photos.  As you'll see, most of the plants that are still left standing this late in the season take on an entirely different look when exposed to ice and snow.  I think they are beautiful even though many are either as dead as a door nail or, at the very least, as dormant as a hedgehog on Ambien.  Some, that are encased in ice, sparkle like the best crystal and radiate an inner beauty that rivals the plant's best appearance during the gardening season. In that sense, winter has given them a second chance to shine.

For a slideshow of photos, click on the image below...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

So Long, November

As usual, I heard a lot of complaints about November this year.  For starters, November is one of those transitional months, simultaneously marking the end of the often beautiful and colorful fall and the beginning of the often long and intractable winter.  So, it's not unexpected that people get a little whiny during November when all they have to look forward to is three months of wool scarves and mittens. However, most of the complaints I hear about November have to do with how dreary it is.  And, for this I think it gets a bad rap.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Thinking Outside The Boxwood

At the beginning of every winter you can find me dragging heavy wooden teepees out of the barn to protect my most vulnerable plants.  It's a winter garden chore I look forward to about as much as I do the return of the black flies in the spring.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Guest Blogger- Gordon Hayward

A Walk Along New York City's High-Line

The garden’s power to transform experience was never made clearer to me than a late November week when Mary and I walked south down the full length of The High Line on New York City’s West Side.  After seeing MOMA during the morning, and having a superb brunch at Norma’s in the Hotel Parker Meridien, we set out for the High Line with our niece Rebecca and her mate Michael who live in London; they were visiting NYC for the first time.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Garden Inspirations Workshop

Winters can be very, very long for New England gardeners but here's an event that will be sure to put a little June back in your January.  It's a Garden Inspirations Workshop to benefit Brattleboro's historic Latchis Theater led by four of Vermont's preeminent gardening experts; Gordon Hayward, Julie Moir Messervy, Dan Snow and Helen O'Donnell.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Guest Blogger- Maude Odgers

Make Your Garden Sing

“A garden should make you feel you've entered privileged space -- a place not just set apart but reverberant -- and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”   - Michael Pollan

Have you ever been to someone's garden and come home and said, “I wish my garden looked like that.” Well I suspect all gardeners, young and old, beginner and advanced, have felt this way. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what it is that we are drawn to in a garden, yet we have a sense it ‘feels right.’ Trying to implement what we see and sense isn’t always easy. The beauty and the mystery is that all gardens are unique. Ideas may be borrowed but how they are used becomes ours.

In my years of gardening there are some threads that I’ve discovered that help a garden work and ‘feel right.’ How you make them unique to you is your job, but starting with a few basics is helpful. These are the ones that stand out for me:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Puppets in Paradise

Looking for something to do with the kids this weekend?  Sandglass Theater presents two days of puppetry and performance in the enchanted setting of landscape architects Gordon and Mary Hayward’s gardens. Walk the gardens and view herbs, flowers, and other beautiful flora as you meet puppets, theater artists and musicians around each corner and behind every bush. This community event and Sandglass benefit is a local favorite. Food and refreshments add to the delight of a beautiful day. Click here for more info.
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