BLACK EARTH COMPOST – SIMPLY THE BEST ON THE PLANET!

I cannot say enough good things about BLACK EARTH COMPOST and the amazing guys, Andrew and Connor, who provide this fantastic product. My client’s gardens have never looked as lush and beautiful since I began using strictly Black Earth Compost to replenish the soil.

Andrew even delivers to my butterfly and ABC gardens at Philips Andover. Thank you Black Earth for making such a great product!!!

Black Earth Compost not only makes a great product, they provide residential, commercial, and municipal compost pickup. Go here to learn more about their excellent services.

WHY IT’S WAY TOO EARLY IN THE SEASON TO DO YOUR ANNUAL FALL GARDEN CLEAN-UP!

Our fall pollinator gardens are a rich tapestry of expiring stalks, fresh blossoms of asters and goldenrods, fading blossoms of garden favorites, and vibrant annuals getting a second wind after the intense heat of summer. Blooming in a medley of of rose and dusty pink hues, violet, purple, crimson, rusty red, yellowed greens, Spanish orange, golden yellow–the colors are made more vivid in the atmospheric glow of autumn’s light.

Monarchs, Sulphurs, Painted Ladies, American Ladies, Swallowtails, and Buckeyes are just some of the butterflies on the wing, hungrily seeking nectar to sustain their journeys. Not to be forgotten are a host of songbirds, and too, honey bees and native bees, all also in need of sustenance.

Tips for early fall maintenance, with pollinators in mind.

1) Tidy-up anything that looks really raggedy, but leave the tall dry stalks of plants such as sunflowers, Joe-pye, Echinacea, and Rudbeckia. The stalks provide winter shelter for many species of bees.

2) Dead head plants such as Butterfly Bushes and Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia), which encourages continued bloom.

3) No need to bother deadheading Zinnias and Cosmos as they will flower whether or not the expired blooms are removed. The seed heads provide food for Goldfinches, Nuthatches, and many species of resident and migrating songbirds.

4) Don’t forget to provide blossoms and sugar water for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Our annually returning female and her 2018 brood of two has departed for the season, but we have been daily visited by southward migrating RTHummers.

Even on a cloudy October day our front dooryard garden at the Mary Prentiss Inn is abuzz with blossoms and pollinators. The Monarch nectaring at the Tithonia was the first to greet me while checking on the garden.

DESIGN INSPIRATION: TRIADIC COLOR

 

Mary Prentiss Inn copyright Kim Smith copy Triadic color copyright Kim Smith Playing with triadic color–the planters at the Mary Prentiss Inn are a great example of a classic triad. Triadic color schemes use colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. When successful, they are really quite vibrant and seem to¬†sing. In these arrangements, the¬†orange color dominates while¬†the shades of¬†purples¬†and greens are the accents.

Mary Prentiss Inn poppies copyright Kim Smith

Iceland Poppies orange copyright Kim SmithVibrant orange Iceland Poppies steal the show!

 

Happy First Day Of Spring!

Azure Bluets, Quaker Ladies, Houstonia caerulea -2 ©Kim Smith 2014Bluets, also known by the charming name Quaker Ladies

The first day of spring! It’s official although,¬†with temperatures hovering in the twenties, its hard to believe. Close your eyes and imagine along with me pink¬†and orange tulips, spring dresses, (stick with me here–just don’t look out your window at the still high drifts¬†of snow) fields of bluets, sailboats in the harbor, windows open, the music¬†of buzzing bees, shoots of new green grass, blue skies, robin bird songs, the smell of freshly tilled earth, fog horns in the distance, baby birds, misty warm April¬†showers, the sweet scent of jonquils, bird’s nests along the meadow’s edge, the song of the Baltimore orioles returning, walking along¬†the beach (without bundling¬†up), friendly Red Admiral¬†butterflies, lilacs, plum blossoms, magnolias in bloom, dogwoods in bloom, orange poppies, sweet pea tendrils, and sweet alyssum¬†(see there, its not that hard).

Hurry Up Spring!

Tulips Mary Prentiss Inn ©Kim Smith 2014JPG

Tulips at The Mary Prentiss Inn 

Cornus florida rubra ©Kim Smith 2013

Cornus florida rubra

Lilac Presidnet Grevy ¬©Kim Smith 2011 copyBlue Lilac ‘President Grevy’

Bee and Rosa rugosa ©Kim Smith 2014Rosa rugosa and Bee

Lilacs bloom in in an array of hues ©Kim SmithLilacs flower in an array of beautiful hues

Dreaming of Spring Ephemerals at the Mary Prentiss Inn!

Spring Tulips Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge MA. ©Kim Smith 2014JPGLoads of earth-moving in the fall equals a world of beauty in the spring. Thanks to my awesome crew, Patrick from the Mary Prentiss Inn and Jackson from the Kendall Hotel!

Jackson and Patrick Mary Prentiss Inn ©Kim Smith 2014jpg copy

The Mary Prentiss Inn is¬†truly the most welcoming of guest houses¬†and yesterday while there planting the smell of the cook’s¬†apple muffins baking wafted through the¬†garden.¬†A bit later, plates of warm muffins greeted guests;¬†I couldn’t resist when offered. They were divine¬†and are¬†without a doubt¬†the best muffins I’ve ever tasted! I’ve been promised the recipe and can’t wait to give it a go and to share!

mary-prentiss-inn-c2a9kim-smith-2013

See previous GMG post here.

For more information on the project, visit my Design Projects page here.

Link to The Mary Prentiss Inn here.

Happy Easter! Happy Passover! and Happy Spring!

The Power of Flowers!

Pink Tulip ©Kim Smith 2013White Bleeding Heart ©Kim Smith 2012Feathered Tulips © Kim Smith 2012Purple Pink Tulips © Kim Smith 2013Carolina Silverbell Pink ©Kim Smith 2013Pink Carolina Silverbell is a native flowering tree (Halesia tetraptera var. rosea)

Carmine tulip ©Kim Smith 2013 copyTemple of Beauty

Click to see more spring beauties here ~ Continue reading “Happy Easter! Happy Passover! and Happy Spring!”

The Mary Prentiss Inn

mary prentiss inn ©Kim Smith 2013 copy

Last fall I began a new project, The Mary Prentiss Inn, located on Prentiss Street off of Harvard Square. The old garden had grown up and out and the plants had become too over-sized for the little borders out front of the Inn.

mary prentiss inn before ©Kim Smith 2012Mary Prentiss Inn ~ Before

Jennifer Fandetti, who runs her family’s Inn, had wanted more color throughout the growing season, as well as flowers to bring indoors to decorate the rooms.

Jennifer fandetti and helper ©Kim Smith 2012Jennifer and bulb-planting helper

Mary prentiss Inn fall planting ©Kim Smith 2012Our awesome fall crew planting the borders

We are all so weary of winter’s drab hues that when spring at long last arrives the tulips and jonquils are a wonderfully welcome sight. I make a special mix of color and variety for each client and later this season we’ll add perennials and annuals. The boxwoods give the borders a neat appearance and the hollies and magnolia provide structure and beauty throughout the year. Coming soon is a little cutting garden along the side of the building. For now, everyone, including guests and neighbors, are enjoying the new look at the Inn!

Mary Prentiss Inn spring tulips ©Kim smith 2013

Harvard and MIT are just around the corner from the Mary Prentiss, and with all the graduations and events, if you need a wonderful place to stay, or recommend to a friend, The Mary Prentiss Inn is an absolutely perfect and delightful inn in the heart of Cambridge. The staff is gracious and helpful, the building has been beautifully renovated and restored (and is meticulously maintained) and all the rooms are charming and beautifully appointed, with decor by Charlotte’s Forsythe. Amenities include high speed internet service (wired and WiFi), cooked to order breakfasts, and 100 percent cotton bed linens. Every afternoon tea is served with super delicious homemade cookies and other sweet treats. Around back is a stunning secret garden and sunny courtyard used for breakfast, afternoon tea, and relaxing.

Mary Prentiss Inn spring tulips -1 ©Kim smith 2013

I watched as these two women were were walking down Mass Ave. They looked down Prentiss Street, and continued to walk by, but on second thought turned around and came back to photograph the flowers!

Mary Prentiss Inn spring tulips -2 ©Kim smith 2013