Ron Finley, Guerilla Gardener— This Is Awesome!

Every one of my guerilla and therapeutic gardening friends must watch this video! Ron Finley says “gardening is my graffiti” and “gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant thing you can do.” His goal is to improve health and society in South Central LA one unused space at a time.  I LOVE it!

Check Out the Link to This Wonderful Post: Creating Your Own Special Retreat From the World by Linda Buzzell

Don’t we all need our own special retreat from the world? Here’s the link to a post by new-to-me author and blogger, Linda Buzzell. She writes about the healing benefits found in nature and the garden.  She expresses my feelings so well that  I had to share!

A Quick Derby Garden Update, With a Stop at West Beach

Here’s the Derby Garden when I blogged about it on March 26thIMG_0415

Here it was on Sunday. It’s greened up beautifully. I’m sure that it’s at an even different stage now, a few days later.
IMG_0938I love these old chimneys. Maintaining them here on the waterfront is probably quite challenging.IMG_0958 This was taken by my littlest girl. We girls were out for a ride.IMG_0947 Aren’t these tulips great? Donna Seger at Streets of Salem posted a photo of them in bloom on May Day and I was sure that I was going to miss them. I was so happy to see that they were still going strong on Sunday.IMG_0925 Beautiful peach columbine, coming into bloom.IMG_0924I’m not sure about this plant’s identity… does anyone know what it is? Let us know!
IMG_0922Before the garden we stopped at the beach for a few minutes. It was windy and cold but still a nice little break in the busy weekend. Sorry, no kid pictures… girls don’t always want to be photographed. That’s okay, neither do I.IMG_0916


I thought that the view might make you smile 🙂

Summer is coming~

Enjoy Everything!


Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day- April 2013

And now for something new and different–I  thought that I’d participate in “Garden Bloggers Bloom Day” this month. This is a group of garden bloggers from all over the world who share a post about what’s blooming in their gardens on the fifteenth of the month.  You can see all of the participants and link to their blogs here at It’s really fun to check out all of the beautiful gardens and see the huge variation by climate!

My one reservation about doing this is that it’s still early here in Salem, Massachusetts. I didn’t plant daffodils last year and everything is a few weeks behind due to the cold weather we’ve had. In spite of that I’ll show you quite a bit of green, and a little color. Don’t worry, in May and June we’ll be overflowing with blooms!

Since it hasn’t snowed or sleeted for the past three days the primrose popped out!IMG_0723This morning there was dew on the lady’s mantle.IMG_0695 And I had my first glimpse of the bride and groom plant that my mother gave me years ago.IMG_0699The chives are ready to enjoy.
IMG_0702 And the tomato cages are waiting. Our neighbors gave us the lupine plants last year. I’m hoping that these will be blooming as beautifully as theirs do soon.IMG_0705 This is largely a children’s chicken garden, as evidenced by the “sculpture” that Michael brought home recently and the three gnomes waiting for their summer assignment out in the garden.IMG_0706The chickens may not be blooming but they add lots of color and personality.IMG_0708

Lamb’s ear is poking out…IMG_0715 Siberian irisIMG_0716 And finally a little bit of bloom from the scillaIMG_0717and from the pansies that I planted a few days ago.

Happy Spring from the Salem Garden! Thanks for visiting!

Enjoy everything!


The Edible Bus Stop

When I posted the link to Pam Warhurst’s talk yesterday the Mass in Motion Coordinator for the city of Salem left me a message about his familiarity with (and I dare say enthusiasm for) the concept of her work. He also mentioned a program called the Edible Bus Stop so of course I immediately had to google it.  Check out the great video that I found on their web site. You’ll love it!!

Good things are happening here!

Thanks John!!

A Spring Morning In The Derby Garden

I had a chance to pop into the Derby garden this morning. This garden is really precious to me. Michael and I helped with it’s installation about 23 years ago. At that time I had an appreciation for gardens but no experience or knowledge.  This is where gardening really started for me. The young couple who created it worked very hard to design it to represent a garden typical of this setting and the early 1700s time period. I should back up a bit and explain that it sits behind the home of the first American millionaire, Elias Haskett Derby, hence it’s name the Derby Garden. 

At first glance over the fence it may look a bit barren and gray, but if you slow down and look closely you’ll see that the beds are about to spring to life.IMG_0415

I believe that these are the first few leaves of hollyhock.IMG_0409There are plenty of snowdrops.IMG_0384They really are one of the first signs of spring. These will be there for a few more days before it’s time to say goodbye till next year.IMG_0385I’m pretty sure that these are small daffodils. I’ll have to try to check back in a few days to confirm.IMG_0387Something from the allium family? Time will tell us exactly what.IMG_0388CrocusIMG_0390A beautiful carpet of green, maybe grape hyacinths? IMG_0407

This apple tree bears small, tough fruit but I’ve made a pie or two from here.IMG_0406

Here’s the view looking out toward the water. We lived in the blue building to the left when we were first married. It was a perfect honeymoon loft for us. We have lots of good memories from our days on Derby Street.


I loved thinking about how we were looking at the same view that the Derbys did when they lived there.


It has changed a bit but their spirit is here.  I can feel it. Especially when I spend time in the garden and imagine what they might have grown and raised in the yard.

Enjoy Everything today!


Who’d Have Thought I’d Become An Adaptive Gardening Specialist?

I’m sorry that I’ve been absent from The Salem Garden all week. Sometimes life gets in the way and I have to step back and take care of things. We are in a pretty big adjustment period here because last week I began a part-time paid position as an adaptive gardening specialist! Yes, I can now combine my passion for gardening and my love of and past experience in working with adults with developmental disabilities. The agency that I work for provides opportunities for the men and women whom we serve to work and to broaden their life experience in a huge variety of ways.  We have an amazing garden on the rooftop of our building (hmm, did I talk about rooftop gardens recently?  😉  ) and we will have lots of things growing at ground level for those who can’t get up to the roof. I believe that gardening is therapeutic and educational on every level. I’m looking forward to using that approach to help others develop an appreciation for nature and their food supply, along with self-esteem, patience, hope, the list goes on and on. Needless to say I’m really excited to be there!  I have so much to learn and I hope to share a few parts of my journey here. A special note from a blogger’s perspective is that my blog served as a sort of resume for my new employer. Reading it gave my supervisor a way to look at my work and see how I might fit in to the program. When I started The Salem Garden last May I never dreamed that it would help me in this way. You never know where your blog may lead you. Keep blogging! Good things will happen!

With lots of love from very snowy Salem,


Need a Smile? Here You Go!

There are so many interesting things to see in Salem and one of my favorites is this mural that was painted last May by artist Kenny Scharf.  It’s right across the street from the Visitor Center on the wall of the city’s downtown parking garage.  It’s fun and whimsical and it really brightens up that corner!DSC01875 Seriously, this guy has to make you smile…DSC01876Peek around the corner and there’s a whole gaggle of interesting characters.DSC01880 Don’t they all have different personalities?DSC01883 I could name each one if I had time.DSC01885 Amazing and fun!!DSC01888

Be sure to check out this cool video of the artist at work on Salem Patch.

Witches, ships and amazing art, we have it all!


One Last “Nemo In Salem” Post

Michael took a little ride yesterday, dropping people off and picking them up while I took care of things at home. I didn’t leave my house for three full days over the weekend. There were two blizzard days with the driving ban, my little guy was sick yesterday, and it was just so nice to be hunkered down (in the words of our governor) here at home that I never went further than the chicken coop. I’m making up for that today of course. Anyway, here are some scenes from Michael’s trip.

Two of our former homes are in these photos. Anyone remember, or want to guess which ones?















Hint, we didn’t live in the Lobster Shanty (in the photo just above) but it was on The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show last year.

Leave a comment if you know (or think you do).


An October Saturday Night in Salem

Last night we took the kids for a walk downtown with the idea that we would visit a Haunted House that Michael had tickets for. We got there and looked around the entrance. This is everyone hanging in the door making the decision about whether or not to go in. I was very clear, I don’t do haunted houses, sorry, but I did strongly encourage the rest to give it a try if they wanted to… The final verdict was “not today, maybe another night”… Just call us “the brave family”!We walked by the Salem Witch Museum, where my oldest son was at work. The museum erects these canopies for the month of October so that guests don’t have to wait outside in bad weather. The line stretched out the door and way down the street! Needless to say I had a very tired teenager coming in at 10:45 after work.There are lots and lots of places like this right now… we, of course, say hi and keep going  🙂  but the crowds waiting to vist are huge!Here’s one of many guided tours that we saw. There are lots of these right now with different themes, everything from “ghosts of Salem” to a food tour that stops at different restaurants. They look like fun!Salem Common is the place to head for carnival food and games…
There’s a cute hay maze on the common for toddlers and small children (and they don’t have to be “too small” to enjoy it)!Donations collected at the maze benefit the schools.
This young lady was encouraging people to visit one of the haunted houses. She said that we just had to say “monsters be gone” and they would back off if we were too scared.. still no takers from my crowd! Michael looks ready to go!There’s lots of interesting shops to visit..and a witchcraft and wizardry school..
Or for a lighter experience you can relax on the ferris wheel…My little kids loved this ride..So did Dad, but he was concerned about the safety of it. We’ll stick with the ferris wheel and merry go round next time.You can win a great witch decoration at the water gun game..

And there are ghosts in windows everywhere…

Just a very small glimpse of an October night in downtown Salem. Next Saturday the costumes will be out! We just saw a few last night, nothing too exciting, but their coming!!