New England

April, 2004
Regional Report

Shows & Events

Elegant, Exceptional Gardens
The New England Wildflower Society is sponsoring a symposium titled "Elegant, Exceptional and Ecological Gardens for the Northeast" at New Pineland Conference Center, Gloucester, ME, on Saturday, April 24, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Session topics include ecological design, using native trees and shrubs, native ground covers, and controlling invasives. For more information, visit the NEWFS Web site: http://www.newfs.org/symposia.html#SYM0401

Books

Lasagna Gardening
If you've ever dug up sod to make room for a new garden, you know how back-breaking and tedious the job can be. This fall, why not take the easy way out? Try a different approach that involves reading lots of newspapers.

In Lasagna Gardening (Rodale Press, 1998; $15.95) Patricia Lanza tells how to create a new garden bed by making a soil lasagna — layers of newspapers and organic material laid directly on top of sod or a weedy patch. Newspaper (soaked in water first) smothers the grass and weeds. The layers of organic matter (peat moss, compost, grass clippings, chopped leaves) provide the planting medium.

You simply pull aside the organic matter with your hands to set in plants right away, or wait until spring when the mulch has begun to decompose and settle.

Fall provides an abundance of lasagna materials, from fallen leaves to hay, straw, even compost that's been slowly cooking all summer long. With 50 years of gardening experience, Lanza has lots to share on using the layering technique to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, and berries.

No removing sod, no tilling or deep digging? This could spoil a gardener, let alone give us more time for reading gardening books.

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