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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of December 9, 2019
  • Use a shallow pottery or plastic saucer to grow groups of narcissus that bloom in four to six weeks.  Stagger the planting to have blooms well into the winter months.  Fill the saucer with polished stones, washed marble chips, gravel, glass marbles or pebbles ½” below the rim.  Gently twist the bulbs, with the pointed side up, downward into the pebbles.  Water thoroughly allowing the water to just touch the base of the bulbs.
  • Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb.  Its flowers bloom for upwards of one month and produce large amounts of nectar making them a magnet for pollinators.  Thriving in full sun to partial shade, coriander will grow up to 3’ tall and produce a beautiful display of white or pink flowers.
  • Use an eggshell for seed starting this spring.  Simply use a needle to poke a small drainage hole in the bottom of half an empty eggshell, fill the shell with soil and press in the seeds.
  • Halve cherry tomatoes and scoop out the seeds.  Combine yogurt, minced fresh thyme, basil and a touch of Dijon mustard.  Fill the tomato halves with the mixture and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.  Enjoy!
  • A beautiful, and often underused, shrub for the landscape is red vein enkianthus (enkianthus campanulatus).  Clusters of creamy white, bell-shaped flowers adorn the plant from spring until early summer.  Red veins on the flowers give this plant its name.  Enkianthus has deep green foliage which turns yellow, orange and red to provide a stunning fall display of color.  Thriving in zones 5-8 with full sun to part shade conditions, enkianthus can grow 6’-15’ tall and wide.
  • Low-maintenance, ornamental and high in antioxidants, elderberries are a great choice for the edible landscape.  The beautiful flowers, which look like white umbrellas, are very showy in early summer.  They, too, are edible.  The berries are delicious as a juice, or in pies and jams.  Be sure to strain away the many seeds.
  • To add color to the winter landscape, consider ‘Filifera’ Sawara Falsecypress (Chamaecypris Pisifera ‘Filifera’).  Threadlike foliage in shades of green to golden yellow cover Filifera and gives it a weeping effect.  A standout in the winter garden, Filifer can grow up to 12’ tall, however, other varieties of falsecypress stay 3’-4’tall and wide.  Thriving in moist, well-drained soil, in full sun to part shade, Filifera is hardy in zones 4-8.

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