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So far Karen Bussolini has created 126 blog entries.

Like an Oak

A venerable oak presided on the far side of a hump of land behind the house where I grew up. Deeply rooted, steady, its head was in the clouds and arms open wide to embrace whatever came its way. It seemed to stand guard over some wonderful secret, and it dropped the biggest acorns I'd [...]

By |2021-06-17T18:21:32-04:00May 15th, 2021|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Like an Oak

Make a Cheap, Easy, Lazy-Way Compost Bin

Along with doing what I can to keep water on my property, I compost most garden and food waste. Compost - naturally decomposed organic material - improves soil structure, enhancing its ability to hold air and water, yet drain well. It is not fertilizer. Fertilizer is like vitamins. You can't live on vitamins. Compost is [...]

By |2021-04-26T19:03:23-04:00April 26th, 2021|Categories: How-To's|Comments Off on Make a Cheap, Easy, Lazy-Way Compost Bin

Plants I’ve Loved and Tossed

We all fall in love with plants - and then at some point, we're so over it. I've loved and lost many plants over the past 30+ years. But I've loved and tossed plenty of them too. Sometimes a plant just isn't as interesting as I first thought. Or it was a hot new release [...]

By |2021-04-26T18:51:16-04:00April 5th, 2021|Categories: Clues, Garden Coaching|Comments Off on Plants I’ve Loved and Tossed

Small Actions and Satisfactions

Small actions can keep us mindful. Actions have reactions, whether they happen far away or right at home, whether we see them or not. Every spring, when the fever to plant runs high, I remember the words of Bill Duesing, founding executive director of NOFA (Northeast Organic Farmers Assoc.). "We grow lettuce (which is 95% [...]

By |2021-04-26T18:40:58-04:00March 29th, 2021|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Small Actions and Satisfactions

Get Amaryllis to Bloom Again Next Year

Amaryllis (properly Hippeastrum) are the gifts that keep on giving. This year I've had the privilege of filling my house with top-sized potted bulbs from White Flower Farm. No more cheap supermarket bulbs for me. Eventually the show will be over.  But after enjoying two or three bloom stems with clusters of colorful trumpets, I'm [...]

By |2021-03-07T09:08:10-05:00February 26th, 2021|Categories: Garden Coaching, How-To's|Comments Off on Get Amaryllis to Bloom Again Next Year

Forget the Rules – It’s Your Garden

My "there are no rules" attitude and "keep throwing color at it until it sings" way of gardening doesn't work for everyone, especially beginners afraid of making mistakes. There are no mistakes. That's how you learn. But it does help to have some guidance. Although Stephanie Cohen and Nancy Ondra's Perennial Gardener's Design Primer was [...]

By |2021-03-07T08:53:51-05:00February 16th, 2021|Categories: Books, Clues|Comments Off on Forget the Rules – It’s Your Garden

Playing With Color

Color is so personal. We all gravitate toward certain colors and color combinations. Our choices express our personalities and creativity. Favorite colors make us feel good. I love gold foliage in the garden. It makes dynamic combinations with other colors and looks like sunshine. One of my clients thinks gold plants look diseased. Don't let [...]

By |2021-03-07T08:35:50-05:00February 7th, 2021|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Playing With Color

How to Water Houseplants

Cats and dogs train their owners to stick to a regular schedule. But plants are on their own timetable. Watering every Wednesday and Sunday, like clockwork, doesn't cut it. Some (most) plants need to dry out between waterings. Some must never be allowed to dry out. If a plant is suffering and you don't know [...]

By |2021-02-07T15:36:47-05:00January 31st, 2021|Categories: How-To's|Comments Off on How to Water Houseplants

Houseplant Habitats

I got out of the houseplant habit for a while. Except for the odds and ends and amaryllis bulbs I grew in the greenhouse window over my kitchen sink, my windowsills were bare. For years, I had enough creatures to take care of. I put houseplants outdoors in summer and pretty much forgot about them [...]

By |2021-02-07T15:39:17-05:00January 25th, 2021|Categories: Clues|Comments Off on Houseplant Habitats

No More Lawn – It’s Set in Stone!

I did it! After years of sinking money into things that don't show - chimney liner, new oil tank, electrical upgrades, insulation, etc. etc. etc. - I finally got to do something I want. The entire yard on the east-southeast side of my yard is lawn no more. Never again will I have to tip [...]

By |2021-02-07T15:14:47-05:00January 15th, 2021|Categories: Views|Comments Off on No More Lawn – It’s Set in Stone!