Karen Shreefter

Author's posts

Moira Banks-Dobson & Sanjiban Sellew

Garden is about growing and beauty, but so much of life is also filled with sadness. In the Berkshires where I live, two people who made the world a better and more beautiful place recently died. Sanjiban Sellew, a filmmaker and so much more, died because cancer still has the last word. His short films Road Kill …

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Spring Yesterday, Winter Today

One day the air brims with geese Vs returning, damp warming soil aromas, and tufted titmouse birds performing mating calls. The next day, heavy, gray/white snow, somber, quiet stillness, and chilly, wet intruding cold. As my hubby would say, “Just like real life.” Yet, given our lack of snow and rain of late, mercifully, you …

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Winter Vegetable Gardening

Coldframe Magic Fresh greens for dinner. What a wonderful phrase to use in the winter… Here’s how you do it: Purchase a coldframe – I like the company Juwel, because their products last. Purchase one of Juwel’s automatic openers. This ensures plants aren’t killed on on warm and/or  sunny days. Plant spinach and other cold …

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This summer I’ve had many new clients from whom I have learned much.  One client wanted a predominantly blue garden. My research led me to “Twist-N-Shout, a blue lace cap hydrangea for zone 5.  Just looking at it makes this crazy world in which we are living disappear.  Another client had recently purchased a home …

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A tools for all reasons

Karen Shreefter Landscape Design’s Favorite  Tool! Hori Hori – Japanese Farmer’s Knife It will dig out most weeds;  it’s great for dividing plants, and even planting plants; and it will slice fingers (I know from experience).

Spring always arrives

The grey/brown got to me today. So I kept peeking at the yellow flowers of Hamamelis or spring witch hazel (cultivar Arnold’s Promise), and decided to take the plant at its word. And, just to be on the save side, I’m off to the south to see colors.

Japan in Happier Days

I gardened today to ease my worry and sorrow about Japan’s tragedy. It didn’t help. When I saw the moss I have been cultivating, I remembered the moss gardens in Kyoto that brought such calm. When I used my Japanese tools, I ached, worrying about my almost Japanese cousin Hiromi, who brought them to me …

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Green Tips, Weeding & Damage

Good news! My daffodils are 3 inches up and Ladies Mantle has begun to show green. Bad news¡ I did my first weeding today. News I can’t yet face. Many branches of my new mountain laurels were broken by the winter.

Snow’s Striptease

Chris and I went to NYC where there was no snow. He had never been to the Cloisters so off we went, and in one of their gardens, I saw snowdrops – not in the sky, but growing at the base of a very old espaliered pear tree, and then nearby, surrounding quince trees. I …

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Growing in the snow

Best vegetable garden book

Out every window there is white. I love snow, but… My seeds have arrived, and I’m ready for my note-filled, The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, by Edward C. Smith.  He helps with my annual redo of the vegetable garden design. So it may be ice-jams outside, but it’s luscious tomatoes, crispy greens, and messy strawberries inside …

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