Jack Russell Mayhem

Monday, January 6th, 2014 / Leave A Comment

You need to be half nuts to own a Jack Russell terrier.  When Biz and I got married 31 years ago, someone gave us a Jack Russell puppy as a wedding present.  We have owned five since then, one being an outstanding stud dog named Otis and a female named Cassie who dropped some magnificent litters.  Anyway, our son Sam recently acquired his first Jack Russell and named him Samuel B. Pendergast Jr. We simply call the puppy, "Junior".  At 12 weeks old and a whopping eight pounds, I can tell this creature is going to be a handful! Continue reading...

A spectacular sunset last week in eastern Massachusetts.  This is the leading edge of a cold front about to shroud the moon and eventually led to a pretty good snowstorm (a foot of snow in our area) followed by yesterday's low temperature of -5 degrees.  This was a perfect time to get a fire going and pull out the first seed catalog of the year, in my case Johnny's Selected Seeds of Albion, ME Billie hunting for voles after the storm: DSC_0364 photo

Billie on Leeks

Friday, December 27th, 2013 / Leave A Comment

Hi. For those of you who may not know me yet, my name is Billie. I am a six year old female Jack Russell Terrier who lives with the Pendergasts and generally follow Hec around wherever he goes. You can read more about us on Billie's Blog on our homepage. DSC_0356 Anyway, the other day Hec snuck outside without me and I noticed he was digging something up from one of the raised beds. It was Christmas Eve and the temperature had jumped up to the high 40s, but even I know that nothing would be growing out there at this time of year. Through the picture window that overlooks part of his garden, I watched him tugging stuff out of the ground…tall green leaves attached to white roots. He lopped off the leaves and came back inside with the bottoms of the plants. He washed them off and then I realized what they were, those rolled up white rawhide bones that Biz gives me once in a while.

I scratched at Hec's leg and he gave me a sniff of one of the "bones". Whoa now, this was not a rawhide bone! I've eaten just about anything that hits the ground in our kitchen, but this thing he called a leek was new to me. He explained that from October through April, when nothing seems to be going on out in the garden, these beautiful leeks can be harvested and really enjoyed, at least by humans. Continue reading...


A Law Beyond Belief!

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 / Leave A Comment

Red Sails lettuce is something many of us have grown over the years. It is a beautiful bibb type lettuce with red tipped leaves...very tasty and attractive in any garden. A retired architect, Hermine Ricketts of MIami Shores, FL has been growing Swiss chard, cabbage, blueberries, pineapples, lettuces and flowers in her front yard for 17 years. No more says the town of Miami Shores. Evidently, there is a law on the books that prohibits the growing of vegetables in FRONT yards. Back yards are ok. Continue reading...

It is early December and as I am out and about, I see an awful lot of cars with Christmas trees tied to the roof or sticking out of the rear window. People hustle home, put their trees up and let the decorating begin. Everything looks beautiful, but by the time the big day arrives, the branches are starting to droop and needles have fallen all over the presents. This year, try a little preventative maintenance and your tree will sparkle throughout the season. One hint before we start: Don’t waste your money on “tree food” or “extend the life of your tree” products. They are not necessary. Continue reading...

Rosemary is one of the most popular herbs grown in home gardens. It can also be one of the most frustrating. For those of you who live in the north, or climate zones below number six, keeping a rosemary plant in healthy condition throughout the winter is a real challenge.  Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean Basin and and trying to replicate that climate within a house in New England is the real trick. Continue reading...

Horse Manure

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 / Leave A Comment

We are closing in on Thanksgiving and now is a great time to get your gardens prepped for next year’s planting season.  We use a lot of horse manure in the Agora Garden raised vegetable boxes and flower beds.  We have done this for many years and the results are fantastic. We are lucky to live within a few minutes drive of several stables and farms that happily part with loads of composted horse manure.  Why waste money at Home Depot or Lowes where pre-packaged animal waste is costly and probably not as effective as the “local stuff”?  Collecting and applying horse manure is pretty basic so let’s not complicate the process. Continue reading...

Tobacco (Geranium) Budworm

Thursday, November 21st, 2013 / Leave A Comment

Biz is at war. The enemy is the Tobacco Budworm that is attacking her precious geranium cuttings from the Gasparilla Inn in Florida. The caterpillars of the budworm go after the ovaries and flower buds of the plants with devastating results and the biggest problem we face is that they are widely resistant to most garden insecticides. Temperatures below 15 degrees will solve the problem, but for those of us who are trying to overwinter geraniums indoors, the challenge is daunting. Continue reading...