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Therapy in the Dirt

As soon as things warm up in New England, gardeners will gallop outside every chance they get. Everyone knows that gardening, the number-one outdoor leisure activity in the United States, is a psychological upper. But the reasons why this is so may not be immediately apparent.

Warming Trends

Thanks to the warmth provided by a Rumford fireplace, life outdoors starts earlier in the year and lingers all the way into autumn. With wiring and Ethernet connection cleverly concealed in the stone pillars, the space serves as both office and media room. This ingenious idea gets everyone outside.

A Community Effort

Pity the would-be gardeners who have long dreamed of growing heirloom tomatoes in their backyard. Discouraged by the many obstacles that bedevil them here in Wilton—too much shade, hungry deer, and thin, rocky soil—they resort to store-bought vegetables instead.

On the Edge

Ten years ago, John Docherty discovered his personal Shangri-la when he was looking to relocate from White Plains. The Bedford property he found, known as Quarry Lake, was simply magical to him.

Grassy Goodness

When it comes to landscaping, changing from synthetic chemicals to organics is a transition — one that can take five or six years.

Peony Heaven blooms at Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston

The Furman family displays hundreds of flowers at their Annual Peony Festival

Daffodil Dance

Mud season is barely over and already John Morosani, owner of Laurel Ridge Grass Fed Beef, is fielding calls. “I’ll be in the middle of moving the herd and my cell phone will ring and it’ll be somebody asking if they’re up yet," says Morosani.

On the Wing

This April, at the Birdcraft Sanctuary in Fairfield, some 500 migrating birds will be caught in 15 mist nets stationed strategically throughout the property. Culling the information gathered, scientists can track how far birds travel, how long they live, and discover where they rest and spend the winter. Over time, scientists can assess whether a specie’s numbers are rising or falling.

Thugs

There was a time when I could look out and gaze adoringly at the perky purple flowers of ajuga, a spring-blooming ground cover, gaily romping across the lawn. Myrtle (aka vinca), another ground-covering charmer, would exude pale blue-purple blossoms—hence the nickname “periwinkle”—to my delight. But that was before I got wise to the wiles of nature.

My Favorite Rooms

Bunny Williams is a much-sought-after interior designer, with her own line of home furnishings. She is also a dedicated gardener, having worked on her extraordinary garden in Falls Village, Connecticut, for more than 30 years.

Gardening Gurus

Growing and maintaining any kind of garden in New England, particularly after a winter like the one we’ve just endured, comes with a multitude of challenges. This makes the accomplishments of the Wilton Garden Club, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, pretty impressive.

Horror in the Garden

Toiling in the garden can be risky business, friends, as anyone who’s ever drawn blood with loppers, or ruptured something wielding a pick-axe, or mashed a foot with a fumbled rock can tell you. Some cautionary advice.

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