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December 11, 2005

We got whacked with a huge snowstorm in Boston on Friday so the weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to take out the new Tubbs snowshoes for their FirstUse.   We had done cross-country skiing around the city, but not snowshoeing.  We were eager to see what it would be like to hike around the Arnold Arboretum with snowshoes.

Even though the main goal for this outing was to take a FirstLook at the Tubbs Adventure snowshoes, it was also a good chance for us to give a quick check on some of the other gear (Magellan eXplorist GPS, UnderArmour, Columbia Skier Cross jacket) that we'll be taking with us on our January outing.  Take a FirstUse look here.


September 5, 2005

The Art's Dune Tour was part of the PTown Pass for Labor Day weekend in Provincetown.  We had never heard of a "dune tour" and had no idea what was in store for us.

We were treated to a wonderful ride out to some of the most scenic, beautiful, and fragile parts of the dunes.  Go read all about it here!  We also created a 360 panorama of a view on top of one of the dunes...check it out here.


August 8, 2005

If your dad was a steel magnate and your wife was rich... what kind of house would you build?

John and Margarita Phipps built Westbury House, which was plenty big enough for them and their four children.  The estate was about 160 total acres; about half of which were formal gardens, tree-lined walks, grand allées, ponds, statuary, and other architectural expressions of English gardens.

RainyDayMagazine was on Long Island this weekend and had a bit of time, so we took a drive out to the Old Westbury Gardens.  Go here to read all about our visit.


July 15, 2005

We went to the Forest Hills Cemetery Lantern Festival last night.  This annual community event, inspired by Buddhist traditions, was very well attended (over 3000 folks). 

Simple inscriptions are placed on the paper shades of the wooden lanterns.  At dusk, the lanterns are set afloat to bring the messages to the world of the spirits.  It was a nice way to remember departed family and friends.


June 26, 2005

We RainyDayGardeners buy a lot of our plants at the local nurseries and Home Depot.  However, some of the more exotic plants are just not available at these neighborhood outlets.

Our friend Bill has been amassing an interesting collection of tropical container plants (banana, coffee, guava, and citrus).  He told us the source of all of his tropical foliage came from a nursery in CT called Logee's.

Here are some of Logee's less exotic varieties we brought back with us to the RainyDayGarden.  Go read all about it here.


June 13, 2005

We took a very pleasant drive out to Sturbridge MA this weekend to visit Old Sturbridge Village.  Old Sturbridge Village is a kind of living museum of what a MA town was like in the early 1800s.

We went mostly because it was Garden Weekend at OSV, but we also had a great time walking through all of the other exhibits.

Their well tended herb garden had an amazing assortments of local herbs, grown for cooking, canning, and medicinal purposes. There were lots of events through out the day (musket firing, old time baseball game, crafts demonstrations, etc...).  We ended up staying for about 4 hours!  You will be able to read all about it when Carolyn is done soaking her feet and write it up in Carolyn's World :-)


May 29, 2005

The Nor'easter has finally passed.  It looks like we'll have a few days of sunny 70 degree weather to clean up and get things into the ground before the rain hits again.  We took the opportunity yesterday and got out in the RainyDayGarden to do some weeding.  Carolyn also got her tomatos and basils into the ground. Carolyn ordered some from a mail order place. 

I went and got some from our local Home Depot.  Home Depot has revamped their packaging for their vegetables and flowers. 

The planting and care instructions are now right on the container.  All the information are clear and concise.  I really like it and I think they did a great job!

We also had a lot of damage to our front lawn from the snow plows this past winter.  I took that opportunity to try something I always wanted to use... Scott's PatchMaster Lawn Repair.

The seeds are already mixed with fertilizer and what appears to be green paper.  The stuff was super easy to use... just loosen the spot, grab a handful of the stuff, mix it with the loose dirt, and water.  The water is absorbed by the paper/seed mixture and everything stays where you put it.  We'll let you know how well this stuff actually works.


May 7 , 2005

Today there is Nor'easter rolling through Boston...so it's a perfect day to do some writing about what we would be doing out in the garden if the sun was out. One thing we all have to do is control the various pests that show up to dine on all of the beautiful plants we all so lovingly tend to in our free time.

If you grow lillies like we do at the RainyDayGarden, at some point you will come across a bright red beetle on those shiny green leaves. The name of this pest is the Red Lilly Beetle. One or two of these bugs can clean a plant down to the stalk in no time.

If you have just a few plants, the best way to control them is to just pick them off every day. Go to the RainyDayGarden article on Red Lilly Beetles for the gruesome details :-)


May 3 , 2005

We weren't sure if we had missed the blooms at the Arnold Arboretum due to the rain. So we took advantage of yesterday's clearing skies and walked around the Arboretum checking out the various Spring blossoms.

We are happy to report that things are in full swing at the Arnold Arboretum. On May 15th, the Arboretum will be having their annual Lilac Sunday festivities. If you have not been to one... just for the heady lilac fragrances alone, it will be worth the trip.


May 1 , 2005

The April showers really did bring May Flowers :-) After three days of rain, the flowers of RainyDayGarden have started to show themselves. We, as well as the cat, were going stircrazy from being inside. Buffy made good her escape at first light. I found her tracking something behind a cluster of Irises that had bloomed sometime in the past three days.

Buffy goes outside as often as Carolyn will let her. When she does decide to come back in, she may bring some of her outside "friends" with her... "friends" like ticks and fleas. I'm usually the first thing they'll bite, so I'm much more attuned to their presence. Normally, I just get the $3 flea collar for the cat and change them when I remember. This year we went high tech and tried the Frontline Flea & Tick Protection from Merial. At $40 for three applications... it better not only kill the ticks and fleas that get on her, but their friends and relatives as well! Unlike the flea collar, Frontline is a liquid that you apply to a spot on the cat's skin (back of the neck) and works for a month. It's suppose to be waterproof and will kill fleas before they can infest the animal. We'll report back at the end of the season on how Frontline performed.

We did note one side effect upon giving her the liquid...for some reason, she became completely wigged out for about 3 hours. She would run away (and we mean bolt at full speed) if you tried to get anywhere near her. This, of course, caused great distress to Carolyn. I think Frontline should put THAT "side effect" as a warning on their package somewhere!


April 28 , 2005

We have been busy the past couple of weeks searching out various sites for the new gardening section of RainyDayMagazine. We are happy to announce the first "release" of RainyDayGarden is now ready!

We will be adding new sites, projects, tool reviews, and "how-to" as often as we can. We hope you will enjoy them when the weather is keeping you inside, try some of them yourselves when the sun is back out, and give us feedback on things you would like to see covered!


April 23 , 2005

All of this head snapping temperature changes had us looking around for something to give us a heads-up on the weather. There are a lot of weather forecasting options out there... ranging from handheld models to roof mounted sensor that will withstand hurricane conditions. Some will even interface directly with your computer via WiFi and others will allow you to check on status from anywhere via a web connection.

In the end, we decided to go for a little more form and a bit less function. We got a copper "weather station" from Restoration Hardware that had all the basic sensors (temperature, air pressure, humidity). We'll report back on its utility after a few weeks.


April 21 , 2005

One day of 90 degree weather and everything in the garden went into high gear! Nevermind that tonight may be 34 degrees :-)

Look for the launch of RainyDayGarden at the beginning of May in the Workshop section. The primary focus will be urban gardening, but there will be plenty of projects that will be of interest to everyone... composting, container gardening, and water projects just to name a few!


April 20 , 2005

Today is going to be one of those freaky Spring days in Boston... where the temperature can be 80 degrees during the day and 45 degrees at night. It might also snow by the end of the week :-) The crocuses and Johnny Jump-ups don't seem to mind the blast of summer heat.

RainyDayMagazine will be introducing a new section in the Workshop called RainyDayGarden at the beginning of May. It will feature a variety of garden projects such as how to build a cold frame, a gardener's bench, a trellis, and lots of other things to help you and your plants be vigorous!

So get out there today and enjoy the warmth for tomorrow it may snow :-)


April 6 , 2005

Want to work on something with a slightly more immediate time scale? If you live in a city, how about learning to care for your local "urban forest"?

If you live in Boston, you should check out the upcoming workshop hosted by the Community Forest Partnership. The workshop will be on April 23rd in Roslindale. Topics will include: tree indentification, urban ecology, public health benefits of the urban forest, and tree inventory methods.  Contact Jessica Noon (617-552-1563) to find out more!


March 16, 2005

A few days ago we were at the New England Flower Show celebrating the coming of Spring. It appears that visitors to California's Death Valley National Park are getting an even more spectacular, once in a lifetime, flower show!

Because of all the heavy rain in California, conditions are perfect for all kinds of the wild flowers to take advantage of the unusual amount of water. The blooms started in December and are now at their peak. In another two weeks, the temperature will be above a hundred and this show will be over.

So, if you are in the area, pack up your vehicle, bring plenty of water, and take a trip out to see something that you may not see again in your lifetime!

You can find more about the hours, fees, and other useful information about the Death Valley National Park here.


March 14, 2005

The New England Flower Show has been the first sign of Spring for Boston since as long as I've been here...which is more years than I care to mention :-) We spent a wonderful afternoon wandering around the show getting ideas for when the snow is gone and ground thaws.

The show also featured many artisans that create items to make your garden special! These items may be metal planters, stone carvings, or specially created water features.

The New England Spring Flower Show will be at the Bayside Expo Center until March 20th... get over there before the blooms fade!


January 23, 2005

The storm blew in to New England last night and it was still blowing this morning. We went out to get a first hand look.

It was too cold out for the snow to be anything but light and fluffy. The problem was not the snow, but the snow drifts. To get out the door this morning meant we had to push our way through a foot and a half of white stuff.


January 16, 2005

Looks like the NorthEast is finally done with the 60 degree weather... it's now back to the seasonal 25 degrees F.   It makes no difference to Barbara and Eliot on Four Season Farm. They harvest all year long and they are up in Maine!

it might have something to do with the greenhouse, the type of produce, or something else. If you want to find out, order their "Winter Harvest" manual.  The farm looks pretty amazing the other times of the year as well.  We might have to do a roadtrip up to visit them come Spring!



December 7, 2004

This orchid bloomed over a period of two days... an image was captured every 15 minutes to create this time series.

By stacking all the images together, we made a QuickTime movie. This is another interesting way to see the changes in a time series. You can see the movie here.


November 13, 2004

An early snow storm turned Boston into a winter wonderland overnight.  Our cat woke up to a beautiful sight and went out to inspect the "white stuff".  I, on the other hand, went back to bed and let the snow plows do their thing before venturing out for coffee.

The snow tires installed just a few days ago proved to be just in time! I'm sure there will be more days like these in the next few months.


November 9, 2004

The virtual world inside your computer display just took a small step into the physcial world with this little item from Media Lab Europe.

The "flower" in the pot can be programmed to "blooms" in reaction to things like an Instant Message or Email in your inbox, someone you want to talk to is online, or a host of other virtual world events.  The "pot" communicates with the computer wirelessly...so you can take it from room to room. [More..]


November 7, 2004

I'm fascinated by time series photos ...especially ones that reveals everyday changes.  This beautiful maple is right outside.  Every fall I see it change, this year it finally dawned on me that I should capture that in a series.  The plan is to take a photo once a day for the next year.  I hope you check back once in awhile and share in the progress.  If you are interested in doing the same, let me know...perhaps we can point to some interesting ones! [More...]


November 1, 2004

Fall colors are peaking in Boston. The maple in the backyard is in full color...quite rich this time of the year! Looks like the weather will be clear in Boston for the 2004 Election tomorrow. If you need any voting info, you will find it here.


October 28, 2004

It was such a nice day here in Boston that we had to go for a walk.  The Arnold Arboretum is always a treat to visit.  Today, it was a peaceful retreat from all of the Red Sox celebratory festivities going on all around town.  It is wonderful to have such santuary so accessible in the city. 

The colors are still turning...so if you are in town and have time, go for a walk.




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