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So far Highfield Hall has created 219 blog entries.

Garden Tip 151
May 9, 2024

Garden Tip 151:  DEADHEADING FLOWERING BULBS Some garden chores are more time critical than others. Edging the lawn or weeding flower beds, for example, are good jobs to get done; but the timing of these do not really affect the growth or performance of garden plants. Deadheading of flowering bulbs such as tulips and daffodils just after they flower, however, is a chore where timing plays an important role. As the flowers of these plants wilt and die, the plant goes into seed production mode, developing a seed pod at the tip of the flower stem. Removing this seed [...]


Garden Tip 150
May 2, 2024

Garden Tip 150:  GETTING A TWOFER IN THE GARDEN Some of you will remember from reading my tips in the past that I always enjoy a twofer– getting two things accomplished at once.  My favorite two for this time of year is getting out to the garden for a daily visit and controlling the spread of the dandelion weed at the same time. Daily plucking of the flower or seed head prevents its spread and weakens the overall plant. For those wanting to leave the flower for the bees, the seed head can be plucked just before it ripens and [...]


Garden Tip 148
April 25, 2024

Garden Tip 149:THE VERSATILITY OF FORGET-ME-NOTSThe woodland forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica, is one of the strongest, brightest, and more prolific growers of the early spring flowering plants. It’s so prolific, in fact, that it is considered invasive in some parts of the mid-west. Here in New England it can be somewhat aggressive, but it is easy enough to tame with a little effort at the proper time.A biennial for the most part, it’s spread can be controlled by pulling the plants before they go to seed. Conversely, it is very easy to spread or share with fellow gardeners by simply collecting [...]


Crème Brûlée
March 2024

March 2024: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS STAFF, GAIL BLAKELY Our new Culinary Director, Kate Davis, started off the new year with a fabulous class featuring Tristan Feufeu of Bleu restaurant in Mashpee Commons. His father, Fred, has been a long time contributor to our Meet the Chef series—in fact, he was the first one to present back in 2009 when I started the (now hugely popular) set of classes. Unfortunately I was on vacation and unable to attend, but our Culinary Volunteer Coordinator, Vicki Harris, sent me the accompanying photo. It’s one of the [...]


Garden Tip 148
April 18, 2024

Garden Tip 148: THE REINTRODUCTION OF OVERWINTERED PLANTS Warmer days and night temperatures in the forties means it is time to reintroduce some of the overwintering plants on the porch to the great outdoors. Tender plants such as ferns, begonia, and citrus will go out in mid-May, but hardier varieties such as Bay leaf, fig, sweet olive, and rosemary can be moved out now. These plants may still need some protection in the unlikely event of extreme cold. We have cared for these plants all winter long and must now protect them from direct sunlight and the potential sunburn [...]


Garden Tip 147
April 11, 2024

Garden Tip 147: GET AN EDGE ON SPRING This spring has certainly been a wet one. I won’t complain about getting moisture into the ground, but weekly storms and lingering moisture do put a crimp in the garden to-do list schedule. Although we plan our chores and projects, priorities can change weekly with the ever-changing weather. I have always said that if you only have time to do a single chore, edging the lawn has more impact on the landscape than any other spring project. I use a crescent-shaped lawn edger to cut the edge and a handheld cultivator to remove [...]


Garden Tip 146
April 4, 2024

Garden Tip 146: FLOWERING MINOR BULBS A couple of weeks ago, we spoke of flowering minor bulbs heralding the coming of spring. Right along with them, or shortly thereafter, spring ephemerals also confirm that spring is indeed in the air. Spring ephemerals are small growing plants that complete their life cycle in early spring– growing, flowering and setting seeds before the foliage of trees and shrubs emerge above, them casting too much shade for them to exist. Here is the best part– they quickly die back to the ground and disappear, leaving only their roots, rhizomes or bulbs to [...]


Garden Tip 145
March 28, 2024

Garden Tip 145: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS! We are all familiar with the idiom “the devil is in the details.” One of the definitions of this phrase, given by the Writing Tips Institute is “the importance of paying attention to the smallest aspects of a task, project or plan.” This is of particular importance when working with garden features, those prominent or conspicuous elements that we add to the landscape to lend interest, dimension or surprise. Birdbaths for example, can have a function and be a feature at the same time. A crooked birdbath makes no difference [...]


Garden Tip 144
March 21, 2024

Garden Tip 144: BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR BULBS Longer days and warmer temperatures awaken the spring flowering bulbs in the garden. As we scan the landscape for emerging daffodils, tulips and hyacinth it is important to remember that minor bulbs can play a major role in the spring garden as well. Minor bulbs are small or miniature bulbs that have small or miniature flowers. These small bulbs, with their small flowers, are best planted in groups or drifts for overall affect. Planted in the fall, minor bulbs are carefree. They reliably return year after year and many will [...]


Garden Tip 143
March 14, 2024

Garden Tip 143: MARCH IN THE GARDEN The longer days and warmer nights of March bring the dormant winter garden back to life. Crocus, snowdrops, and hellebore herald the coming of spring. There is, however, much more activity on the garden surface not quite that obvious as plants awaken from their winter slumber. Look closely and you will see the light green growth tips of perennials, bulbs, and groundcovers poking through the leaf litter everywhere.  Now is the time to proceed with caution as we go about our spring chores of picking up sticks, gathering wind rows of leaves, and [...]


Garden Tip 142
December 14, 2023

Garden Tip 142: EVERGREENS IN THE WINTER GARDEN Evergreens play an important role in the winter garden. Deciduous trees and shrubs have lost their leaves, and while their forms add interest to the landscape, evergreens add structure, weight, and even color to the winter scene. They are what we call part of the ‘bones’ of the winter garden. Planting assorted varieties can add hues of blue, gold, bronze, and white to the garden in winter. Properly placed, they can block prevailing winter winds, muffle noise and provide year-round privacy. Birds find them especially attractive in the winter for shelter, [...]


Veal Stew with Mushrooms
January 2024

January 2024: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS STAFF, GAIL BLAKELY While our new culinary director, Kate Davis, works on organizing our Meet the Chef series, I will be continuing to contribute a recipe each month here in this space. The following is a lovely winter recipe from Marcella Hazan.  It came to me through Alison Martin, who was a guest chef in a November cooking class here at Highfield.  She mentioned the dish, and I have made it almost monthly since then.  Our local supermarkets seem to have a good supply of veal cut for [...]


In Flux: Perspectives on Arctic Change
May 21, 2024 – July 14, 2024

In Flux: Perspectives on Arctic Change L to R: Aaron Dysart, Michaela Grill and Karl Lemieux, map from Greg Fiske, Gabrielle Russomagno, and Georgia Nassikas MAY 21st - JULY 14th In Flux: Perspectives on Arctic Change Woodwell Climate Research Center will sponsor an exhibition of new work based on Arctic research conducted by Woodwell scientists. Installation art by Aaron Dysart, encaustic art by Georgia Nassikas, photography by Gabrielle Russomagno, a documentary film by Michaela Grill and Karl Lemieux, and maps by Woodwell Senior Geospatial Analyst Greg Fiske will be shown together in the 1st and 2nd-floor galleries. [...]


Nantucket to Lahaina: A Fifty-Year Journey of a Plein Air Painter
July 23, 2024 – October 27, 2024

Nantucket to Lahaina: A Fifty-Year Journey of a Plein Air Painter Sunrise Easy Street Basin, Nantucket JULY 23rd - OCTOBER 27th Nantucket to Lahaina: A Fifty-Year Journey of a Plein Air Painter This exhibition of paintings by Paul Arsenault includes exotic and domestic ports and rivers of the world while acknowledging local and indigenous heritage. Over five decades, Paul’s travels have allowed him to inhabit and document many soulful waterfront destinations. His love of history and his adventurous spirit heighten his appreciation of the cultures he is privileged to experience. As a witness to the environmental [...]


Terry Dunn: A Life in Color
February 7, 2024 – May 12, 2024

Terry Dunn: A Life in Color West Falmouth Boat House by Terry Dunn FEBRUARY 7th - MAY 12th Terry Dunn: A Life in Color Celebrate the life of colorful and expressive art by the late artist Terry Dunn (nee Shirley Ruth Leavitt, 1927-2023). Highfield Hall is hosting this memorial exhibit of Terry’s work, On view are several landscapes and still life paintings illustrating her distinctive color palettes. a Dunn moved to Falmouth in the 1990s after a long career in fine and commercial art in the Washington D.C. area. Dunn was active as painting instructor at [...]


Kat O’Connor: Swimming the Jewel
July 23, 2024 – October 27, 2024

Kat O'Connor: Swimming the Jewel Green Suit, 22x30 acrylic on PVC panel JULY 23rd - OCTOBER 27th Kat O'Connor: Swimming the Jewel Artist Kat O’Connor brings her poetic and sublime paintings of water to Highfield Hall for the summer season. In Swimming the Jewel, O’Connor paints the subject that has been her muse for over a decade. O’Connor captures water and light and sometimes the movement of figures in water together and creates a seemingly new world of the senses. O’Connor works in watercolor, acrylic, and oil, with subject matter reflecting what is important in her [...]


Fired Up: Juried Show of the Cape Cod Potters
July 23, 2024 – October 27, 2024

Fired Up: Juried Show of the Cape Cod Potters By Corine Adams JULY 23rd - OCTOBER 27th Fired Up: Juried Show of the Cape Cod Potters Fired Up: Juried Show of The Cape Cod Potters, aims to highlight and celebrate the diversity of ceramic work being created on this small, sandy spit of land. Cape Cod’s unique geography can inspire and constrict, can push artists to explore their local influences, and can lead them to reach beyond their geographic boundaries. Each of the many potters living and working on Cape Cod brings their own unique voice [...]


The Language of Pattern: The Quilter’s Lexicon
February 7, 2024 – May 12, 2024

The Language of Pattern: The Quilter's Lexicon Wen Redmond “A Day in the Woods, 51x62 FEBRUARY 7th - MAY 12th The Language of Pattern: The Quilter's Lexicon The exhibit will include historic traditional quilts along side contemporary studio art quilts by artists who pay homage to the legacy of traditional patterning. Lending her historical quilts is Karen Wyche, featuring a selection of pieced quilts, including, album, log cabin, star,  flying geese, popcorn, to name a few.

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