About Keri Girts

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So far Keri Girts has created 59 blog entries.

Week 26
September 16, 2020

Week 26: CARING FOR YOUR IRISES! Cutting back perennials last week I came across a beautiful clump of bearded iris foliage hidden in the garden. I had forgotten that this plant was here because I have not seen it flower in years! While the rhizomes of Japanese and Siberian Iris can be planted 3 to 4 inches deep, rhizomes of the bearded iris need to be at the surface to have optimum flower performance. Flowering of these rhizomes is diminished over time due to the added depth of seasonal applications of bark mulch, compost and shredded leaves. This is [...]


Hermine’s Oatmeal Cookies
Sept. 16, 2020

Week 25:  I originally stumbled across this recipe in a book called Rage Baking which my niece sent me last winter.  They are, as Ruth Reichl says:  “chewy, delicate, and very addictive.”  I like to have them on hand to serve with fresh fruit after dinner, or as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea. [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:25] Email Gail


Week 25:
September 9, 2020

Week 25: TIME TO DIG & DIVIDE! Recently I mentioned that fall is a great time to dig, divide and move perennials. We are all guilty at some point of not giving plants enough room to grow. Those shrubs and perennials that we planted years ago may now be competing for space and sunlight! Check your gardens this fall for perennials such as astilbe, hosta, daylilies and peonies that may be overgrown by adjacent shrubs. Deciduous shrubs like forsythia and viburnum can sometimes be cut back to accommodate these perennials. Evergreens such as arborvitae and holly are better left [...]


Roasted Ratatouille
September 9, 2020

Week 24:  This roasted ratatouille is adapted from alexandracooks.com who found it on food52.  It’s very flexible, use what you have—sometimes I even put in some cubed potatoes.  Adjust the oil and vinegar as you wish.  Let the vegetables cook until the liquids reduce, and the mixture becomes thick and stewy; freeze in small containers to enjoy a taste of summer all year long! [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:24] Email Gail


Highfield’s Winter Wonderland Village
November 2020

Highfield's Winter Wonderland Village NEW EXHIBIT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! November 27 - December 13,  2020 Highfield Hall & Gardens in Falmouth has been a destination for those seeking fairies and whimsical miniature fairy houses for several years!  The current climate of social distancing and pandemic concerns effected every person visiting Cape Cod this year, and by offering an outdoor exhibition Highfield served thousands of visitors since June of 2020 looking to engage in healthy and creative activities. Highfield’s current Fairy House installation remains on view through September. We wish to continue to offer the public an outdoor, holiday [...]


Week 24:
September 2, 2020

Week 24: GARDEN TO-DO LIST Sometimes it is just too darn hot or I am a bit too tired to work in the garden. Occasionally, at times like this, I will work on my list-- my garden to-do list. My garden to-do list is divided into two parts to keep things manageable and not overwhelming. The first part of the list include tasks that need immediate attention like deadheading the rose bushes and weeding the porch bed. The second part of the list is the wish list, larger projects to be done when time, energy, and budget will allow. [...]


Week 23:
August 27, 2020

Week 23: SEDUM Much time is spent this time of year cutting back summer flowering perennials such as tall phlox, day lilies and echinacea. Over time these summer perennials grow to be two to three times larger than when originally planted. Splitting or dividing these larger clumps becomes necessary to leave room for garden diversity. Dividing these large clumps now lends space to the addition of fall color in the garden. Local garden centers carry the traditional mums, cabbage, and kale for fall planting, but they also have a full selection of fall annuals that will flower until frost. [...]


Week 22:
August 20, 2020

Week 22: THE HOSTAS I have been observing the plants in my garden during this current drought and taking note of those that seem to be tolerant to these dry conditions. One group that appears to be very drought tolerant despite having extensive leaf surface are the hostas. I have hosta varieties that grow in the shade under trees and other varieties that grow in morning sun and all are showing little sign of distress due to dryness. Hosta varieties can differ in size from miniature plants to large tropical looking plants with paddle shaped leaves. Larger growing hosta [...]


Tomato, Beet & Watermelon Salad w/ Balsamic Syrup – Aug. 20, 2020

Week 22:  RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM OUR CULINARY INSTRUCTOR KENDRA KOHLER I found a lovely variety of heirloom tomatoes, as well as golden and red beets, at the local grocery chain which I’ve been excited to incorporate into a dish. Regular summer tomatoes and beets will work just fine for this recipe too though! I added some sweet watermelon and balsamic syrup to balance the peppery taste of arugula. Hope you’ll try this recipe out soon–it’s a beauty! [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:22] Email Gail


Week 21:
August 13, 2020

Week 21: SUMMER GARDEN EDITING Most varieties of daylilies have finished their summer bloom. The foliage of these plants are yellowing, collapsing and becoming quite unsightly in the garden. Summer garden editing includes cutting these tired plants to the ground. They respond to this cutting by sending up fresh green mounds of new shoots that are an attractive addition to the late summer garden that last until frost. There are some varieties of daylilies (Happy Returns, Stella D'oro, etc. ) that are rebloomers. These varieties are not cut back but it is important to remove  seed pods and apply [...]


Corn, Zucchini & Roasted Tomato Frittata Aug. 13, 2020

Week 21:  This week’s recipe comes from Highfield’s Culinary Instructor, Kendra Kohler, and it’s a beautiful way to make use of all of the tomatoes and zucchini you can find locally (or from your neighbors!). Whether you serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this recipe won’t disappoint! Kendra adapted the original recipe by substituting leaks for the onion because of how buttery they become when sautéed. She also added roasted tomatoes to add some sweetness and umami flavor. Finally, the addition of dill really brings it all together!  [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:21] Email Gail


Week 20:
August 6, 2020

Week 20: WATERING NEW PLANTINGS  It is always important to keep new plantings properly watered. It is even more important during a drought. New plantings should be watered deeply two or three times a week as opposed to adding a little water every day. Deep watering encourages deep root growth. A good way to accomplish deep watering is to leave a small berm of soil around the plant. The berm should be at least as wide as the plant so that, when filled, the water infiltrating the soil is wider than the root ball. This will encourage roots to [...]


Cantaloupe and Cucumber Salad
August 6, 2020

Week 20:  This week’s recipe comes from Highfield’s Culinary Instructor, Kendra Kohler, and it features delicious cantaloupe and cool cucumber in a tasty salad! The combination of sweet, ripe cantaloupe, cool, crisp cucumber and crunchy pumpkin seeds make this salad perfect for summer. I love the blend of coriander, cardamom and mint. They really bring this salad to a new level and we hope you will give it a try this week! [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:20] Email Gail


Week 19:
July 29, 2020

Week 19: "LIMBING UP" YOUR SHRUBS Many of us have experienced a small evergreen shrub planted many years ago growing into a massive clump that crowds out walkways, driveways or garden beds. The simple solution to this problem is to “limb up” the shrub from the ground up to a height of three to six feet. This process involves cutting the bottom limbs flush to the trunk and exposing the stem structure of the plant. Rhododendrons, holly and juniper respond well to this type of pruning with the result being an interesting display of stems and branches. The diameter [...]


Ancestry + Legacy
September 2020

Ancestry + Legacy SEPTEMBER 2nd - OCTOBER 31st Curated by Jon Moore Featured Artists: Mark Chester - Photgraphy John Cira - Mixed Media, Sculpture Hollis Engley - Photography Jon Goldman - Mixed Media Jan Lhormer - Painting Jon Moore - Photography/ Video Richard Neal - Mixed Media, Sculpture Nate Olin - Painting, Drawing Jackie Reeves - Painting Kimberly Sheerin - Ceramic Art Ancestry + Legacy is a meditation on how past, present, and future are inextricably intertwined. Artists in the show contemplate how their own unique ancestries influence both their present lives [...]


Week 18:
July 22, 2020

Week 18: PRUNING YOUR HYDRANGEAS Pruning techniques for hydrangeas in the early spring varies by type and is a subject to be covered at a later date. Summer pruning of hydrangeas however is a very simple task and can be applied to any type of hydrangea and should be done in mid July. Buds have been set and in most cases flowers have developed at this time. Summer pruning involves removing the green growing shoots that rise above the flowers. Cutting these shoots just below the height of the adjacent flowers improves the appearance and shape of the shrub [...]


Week 17:
July 15, 2020

Week 17: PLANT LAYERING is a good planting technique (not to be confused with root layering) to consider when planting beds, borders, and gardens. This is the practice of planting material of different heights from low to high and from front to back in the planting area. Plant layering adds depth and interest and can include ground covers, small, medium and tall plants, and even the tree canopy as the final layer. Annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees can all be planted using this layering technique. Mixing the heights a bit and staggering the lines of planting produces a more [...]

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