About Keri Girts

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So far Keri Girts has created 161 blog entries.

French Chicken Casserole
Oct. 13, 2021

Week 78: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM THE STAFF AT HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS, KAY BENAROCH! This recipe from Julia Fry of Vikalinka is a delicious hearty meal that’s perfect for cooler fall nights. The chicken thighs and legs are slowly braised in apple cider and served with fried apple wedges– yum! This dish would go perfectly with mashed potatoes and roasted root vegetables. Bon appétit! Email Gail


Garden Tip 67:
October 6, 2021

Garden Tip 67: DROPPING TEMPERATURES! Night temperatures dipping into the forties is a sure sign that it is time to move houseplants indoors. At this time of year I start collecting houseplants from out in the garden and gather them on the driveway next to the sunporch where they will spend the winter months. Once I have a group collected I wipe and rinse down the pots to remove any clinging garden soil. If time allows I also give pot saucers a quick dish soap wash. Most plants will require a bit of trimming and shaping after a summer [...]


October 6, 2021

Week 77: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM THE STAFF AT HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS, GAIL BLAKELY! There are a gazillion recipes for meatloaf out there, probably as many as kale soup on Cape Cod.  This is one of my favorites—very basic, but really good.  October calls for heartier meals, and this is one of them.  Then of course, there are always the leftovers for a sandwich the next day, served on a soft potato roll with an indecent amount of mayonnaise! Email Gail


Garden Tip 66:
September 29, 2021

Garden Tip 66: REPAIR & REJUVENATE! Late September into early August is probably the best time of year to repair and rejuvenate the lawn. I do not irrigate my lawn so I have a few areas that are showing the stress of a hot, dry summer. There is a practice in the trade called overseeding that works great in restoring areas such as these and as it turns out it doesn’t  require that much work. Overseeding in the fall simply requires a light raking of affected areas, applying grass seed, and watering in. This time of year I lightly water [...]


Creamy Spaghetti Squash
September 29, 2021

Week 76: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM THE STAFF AT HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS, KIM COURCHESNE! This yummy dish makes the perfect lunch or side to any dinner. It’s main ingredient is the winter squash, Spaghetti Squash, which is harvested in the early fall and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I love this particular recipe because it checks all of my families proverbial boxes. It is colorful, loaded with flavor, comforting, and extremely filling. I, also, love that Weight Watchers suggests, “…switch[ing] up the flavor profile by swapping crumbled feta for the mozzarella and fresh dill for [...]


Winter Village 2021
Nov 26, 2021

Highfield's Winter Village 2021 November 26 - December 12, 2021 Stickwork Installation returns this Holiday season! Before it leaves the grounds forever, we will again be creating a special outdoor holiday “village” for Highfield Hall’s Stickwork sculpture A Passing Fancy by world renowned environmental sculptor Patrick Dougherty. Located on the Highfield front lawn and in the fairy house tradition, the miniature village will be created using natural or upcycled elements and be inspired by the the theme, Time for Joy! Highfield Hall & Gardens has been a destination for those seeking fairies and whimsical miniature fairy houses for [...]


Garden Tip 65:
September 22, 2021

Garden Tip 65: FALL CLEANUP! While doing some fall cleanup in my garden this weekend I noticed some bare and barren areas under oak trees and hollies in one corner of the garden. The soil under these plants can be compact and extremely dry and the areas are in deep shade as well. One perennial that grows well under these conditions is the mighty Epimedium. It being the perfect time of year for digging, dividing and transplanting Epimedium I spent a couple of hours improving this part of the garden. Though small and fragile looking, Epimedium perform well in [...]


Pizza Chez Julia!
Sept. 22, 2021

Week 75: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM THE STAFF AT HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS, LISA WALKER! Twenty-four days ago (but who’s counting) my husband and I were given one of the greatest gifts we will probably experience in our lifetime (children notwithstanding, but hey let’s admit that most days teenagers are no great gift!).  Our wonderful friends Gail Blakely (Highfield’s own Culinary Director) and Helen (Hoagy) Ladd were unable to use their reservation to stay at little cottage in Provence, France.  This on its own would be an incredible adventure but the cottage was no ordinary cottage it was [...]


Garden Tip 64:
September 15, 2021

Garden Tip 64: TIME TO DIG & DIVIDE! Garden editing seems to peak in September. Shorter days and cooler nights are signals to perennials that it is time to slow down growth and prepare for colder weather. Many plants will be ready for a cut back soon. Fall is a great time to dig and divide spring and summer flowering perennials. Dividing perennials promotes heavier bloom and creates space between plants in the garden by controlling their size. Perennials that benefit from being divided every two to three years include astilbe, heuchera, shasta daisy and tall phlox. Daylily, echinacea [...]


Garden Tip 63:
September 8, 2021

Garden Tip 63: GARDEN TO DO LIST! A while back I mentioned keeping a to do list for the garden to keep things organized. I have divided my list into three sections. The first being things to do right away, like cutting the deadwood out of rhododendrons and removing old flowers from hosta plants. The second section are things that I will do a bit in the future, like planting bulbs and digging and dividing peonies. The third section is for noting long range ideas and plans, such as expanding a garden bed or adding a special garden feature. [...]


Garden Tip 62:
September 1, 2021

Garden Tip 62: FALL PERFORMING PERENNIALS! This late in the summer some annuals and summer perennials have passed their prime, and garden editing oftentimes results in empty spaces. Luckily your local garden center is well stocked with fall color for the garden. Besides the usual garden mums and asters, there are some great fall performing perennials such as Helianthus, Japanese Anemones, and my favorite, the sedums. Sedums seem to be indestructible. They thrive in full sun, are heat and drought resistant, and are not touched by deer or rabbit! Upright sedum varieties grow in thick fleshy clumps of foliage [...]


Garden Tip 61:
August 25, 2021

Garden Tip 61: PRUNING TREES & SHRUBS! One of the more time sensitive tasks of garden editing is the pruning of trees and shrubs. In general trees and shrubs should not be pruned after late August. Late summer pruning oftentimes promotes new growth and new growth late in the growing season is susceptible to winter injury. I do a bit of last minute shaping this time of year and hand prune those errant branches that shoot out beyond the main growth of the shrub. Azalea, viburnum and weigela are a few that require a little attention. I leave any [...]


Zucchini & Chicken Enchiladas
August 25, 2021

Week 72: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM THE STAFF AT HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS, TARA BURKE! Take advantage of summer’s squash bounty by rolling up sliced zucchini with shredded chicken, garlic and scallions. Salsa makes a quick sauce topper. Sour cream and hot sauce are the finishing touch! Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen Email Gail


Garden Tip 60:
August 18, 2021

Garden Tip 60: LANDSCAPE MOGULS! I recently cleared a small area along a garden path where I wanted to plant a group of small growing unusual plants. The planting bed was flat and I wanted to figure out a way to feature these plants and not have them get lost in the landscape. Most of us have seen those rounded mounds of hard snow on ski slopes, the mogul. I decided to create a series of landscape moguls constructed of compost and wood chips. The moguls are twelve to eighteen inches high and sculptured together for a natural look [...]


Garden Tip 59:
August 11, 2021

Garden Tip 59: GARDEN EDITING! Recently I spoke about the importance of garden editing. Pruning, deadheading, cutting back, in general removing anything that isn’t adding to the picture. July into August is the time for serious garden editing and planning. Gardens are maxed out now and it is important to take a good hard look at the overall picture. Gardens can get over crowded at this time of year and plants competing for light and air often times become weak and scraggly. Sometimes it is best just to remove entire plants or shrubs. Tall phlox, daylilies, and hosta are [...]


KRIPALU STYLE Aug. 11, 2021

Week 69: RECIPE OF THE WEEK FROM THE STAFF AT HIGHFIELD HALL & GARDENS, MICHELLE ITZKOWITZ! I make these muffins at least once a week! I change up the berries for what I have on hand and play around with type of gluten free flour, but this recipe is foolproof and delicious! Adapted from Kripalu Center for Yoga, kripalu.org (Wheat-Free Vegan) Email Gail

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