Lion

The “mountain lion” track in Winchester was probably a melted coyote paw print, but the Boston Globe suggests that mountain lions, aka pumas, aka panthers, aka cougars, aka catamounts are poised to return to Massachusetts, more than 200 years after the last state specimens were killed in 2005. The 90,000 deer in the state are just too tempting for a big, hungry cat to resist.

Mountain Lion

I’m sure coyotes are on the menu too. wp.mt.gov

The good news is that Massachusetts’ regrown forest cover can support creatures like wild turkeys, deer, lady’s slipper orchids, low bush blueberries… and large predators like mountain lions. The better news is that the word “catamount” might re-enter local vocabularies. Think of what a great and terrible creature this cat must be to spawn so many names.

 

 

PARK(ing) Day

Friday, September 20, is PARK(ing) Day, when parking spaces are made into actual parks for a day, or for as long someone remembers to feed the meter. (I’d like to see the Boston police department try to tow a park.)

Boston has been ready for PARK(ing) day for months! The city has built “parklets”—the term for such things—in Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill, and plans more for Allston, Brighton, and Fort Point Channel. Even suburban Lexington has cleverly installed a parklet in front of a bicycle store. Strangely, Boston’s parklets seem to have very little in the way of plants. Perhaps they’re actually plazalets? Squarelets?

Lexington's umbrellas and planters

Lexington’s umbrellas and planters/ Lexington Patch

Temporary parklet, 141 Portland St., April 2013/BostonCurbed.com

Doesn’t every park have shelving? 141 Portland St., April 2013/BostonCurbed.com

 

Jamaica Plain's skateboard rink

Jamaica Plain’s skateboard rink

What’s more, the Jamaica Plain parklet cost $15,000 without providing any shade. All of $500 of that money was somehow spent on the plants in the above picture. Apparently tufts of grass are hard to come by nowadays.

As you’d expect, there are grumbles about removing valuable parking spaces just to give people places to sit. Frankly, those grumbles are really the point of PARK(ing) Day, if not the parklets themselves.

Parking spaces weren’t depositing in Boston by passing glaciers. They are the result of deliberate choices about land use—choices that have the potential to destroy local businesses, as happened when the city of Hartford, CT increased its parking supply by 300%.  When a city increases the space for parking, it decreases the space for everything else there; a business, a clinic, a park. Those complaints about TWO WHOLE PARKING SPACES being taken for a parklet open an opportunity to talk about space, its value, community needs, and the price of providing low-rent land for cars.

It’s not clear what the long-term effect of these parklets will be on city lift. Lexington’s two-space parklet includes a one-space corral for 20 bikes; simply providing the corral before the umbrellas and planters arrived increased bicyclists on the street by 60% on Saturdays. That number is interesting because Lexington’s parklet is on Massachusetts Avenue a block away from the Minuteman Bikeway. It could just be the result of seasonal variation—perhaps more people bike in August than May, when the first count was done. But if it isn’t, then Lexington Center is now attracting 100 potential customers on Saturdays who simply didn’t bother coming before… by giving up two parking spaces. What’s that space worth to you?

 

Boston Seeks Public Park Input

Boston wants feedback on “parks, playgrounds, and other open spaces in the city.” Please take the survey (even if you’re a non-resident.)

Go tell Boston what you want. Perhaps more bridge flowers, like the Boston Harbor Link Gardens, due to have their official ribbon cutting on Tuesday, June 25.

David Warner (L) and Sammer Bhoite install the Harbor Link Gardens, Mothers’ Day 2013/ Warner Larson Landscape Architects, Boston

May Plant Sales

Evelyn Simak/Wikimedia Commons

This is not a comprehensive list—but if you live in the Boston suburbs, it can help you spend your money wisely. Garden Club sales are staffed by the people who grew the plants you buy, and can help you choose plants and tools that will actually work in your area.

Thank you, Henry Goldberg, for assembling this list. Gardeners, start your shopping!

11-May 8:30 AM 12:00 PM Concord Garden Club of Concord Plant Sale 2013- Middlesex Savings Bank 64 Main St. Concord, MA 01742 http://calendar.boston.com/concord_ma/events/show/304956185-garden-club-of-concord-plant-sale-2013
11-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Sudbury Sudbury Garden Club Plant Sale – Sudbury Town Hall, Sudbury Center 322 Concord Rd. (at Route 27 and Concord Road) http://calendar.boston.com/sudbury_ma/events/show/323026423-sudbury-garden-club-plant-sale, http://www.sudburygardenclub.org.
11-May 9:00 AM 12:30 PM Arlington Arlington Garden Club Plant & Bake Sale Jason Russell House-Smith Museum 1048 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476 http://arlington.patch.com/events/arlington-garden-clubs-7th-annual-plant-yard-and-bake-sale
11-May 10:00 AM 12:00 PM Watertown Watertown Plant Swap 5 Appleton St., Watertown
11-May 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Spring Herb Sale Day 1 of 2 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
11-May 12:00 PM 3:00 PM Newton Newton Community Farm 2013 SEEDLING SALE Day 1 of 2 303 Nahanton St Newton, MA http://newtoncommunityfarm.org/
12-May 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Spring Herb Sale Day 2 of 2 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
12-May 12:00 PM 3:00 PM Newton Newton Community Farm 2013 SEEDLING SALE Day 2 of 2 303 Nahanton St Newton, MA http://newtoncommunityfarm.org/
15-May 8:00 AM 12:00 PM Lexington Lexington Field & Garden Club’s Annual Plant Sale  - National Heritage Museum 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA, 02421 http://calendar.boston.com/lexington_ma/events/show/318207263-lexington-field-garden-clubs-annual-plant-sale
17-May 9:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Gore Estate Plant Sale  Day 1 of 3 http://www.goreplace.org/plant-sale.htm
17-May 9:00 AM 1:00 PM Weston Weston Garden Club Garden Mania Day 1 of 2 Josiah Smith Tavern 358 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA 02439 http://westoncgc.org/garden-mania.html
18-May 8:00 AM 3:00 PM Reading Sisters Plants Perennial Plant Sale  Day 1 of 2 Reading, MA  42 Bond Street Reading, Massachusetts http://www.sisterplants.com/welcome.html
18-May 9:00 AM 1:00 PM Weston Weston Garden Club Garden Mania Day 2 of 2 Josiah Smith Tavern 358 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA 02439 http://westoncgc.org/garden-mania.html
18-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Waltham Waltham Garden Club Annual Plant Sale Where: American Legion Hall, 215 Waverly Oaks Rd Waltham
18-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Medford Medford Garden Club Annual Plant Sale Rain or shine Medford Library parking lot, 111 High Street. Medford MA http://insidemedford.com/events/
18-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Belmont Belmont Garden Club PERENNIAL SALE Belmont Lions Club.One Common Street, Belmont, MA 02478 http://www.belmontgardenclub.info/Categories/UpcomingEvents.html
18-May 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Framingham Framingham Garden Club Plant Sale Cushing Memorial Park Winter St Keefe Tech entrance Framingham, MA 01702 http://calendar.boston.com/framingham_ma/events/show/319082983-framinghamgardenclub-plant-sale
18-May 9:00 AM 3:00 PM Belmont Mass Audubon, Annual Herb Sale on May 18th 9am-3pm at Habitat, Juniper road, Belmont
18-May 9:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Gore Estate Plant Sale  Day 2 of 3 http://www.goreplace.org/plant-sale.htm
18-May 10:00 AM 2:00 PM Beverly Long Hill & Sedgwick Gardens, Beverly, MA (Trustees of Reservations Property) Annual Plant Sale  http://www.thetrustees.org/things-to-do/northeast-ma/long-hill-plant-sale.html
18-May 2:00 PM 4:00 PM Arlington Menotomy (Arlington) list plant swap 31 Sawin Street
19-May 8:00 AM 3:00 PM Reading Sisters Plants Perennial Plant Sale  Day 2 of 2 Reading, MA 42 Bond Street Reading, Massachusetts http://www.sisterplants.com/welcome.html
19-May 9:00 AM 3:30 PM Wellesley Mass Hort Annual Gardeners’ Fair & White Flower Farm Great Tomato Celebration http://www.masshort.org/Gardeners-Fair
19-May 9:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Gore Estate Plant Sale  Day 3 of 3 http://www.goreplace.org/plant-sale.htm
20-May 8:00 AM dusk Reading Sisters Plants Perennial Plant Sale  Day 4  SELF SERVICE Reading, MA 42 Bond Street Reading, Massachusetts http://www.sisterplants.com/welcome.html
21-May 8:00 AM dusk Reading Sisters Plants Perennial Plant Sale  Day 3 SELF SERVICE Reading, MA 42 Bond Street Reading, Massachusetts http://www.sisterplants.com/welcome.html
22-May 9:00 AM 2:00 PM Cambridge  MIT Endicott House Spring Plant Sale – Day 1 of 2 Student Center Stairs. http://calendar.boston.com/cambridge_ma/events/show/323926303-mit-endicott-house-spring-plant-sale
23-May 9:00 AM 2:00 PM Cambridge  MIT Endicott House Spring Plant Sale – Day 2 of 2 Student Center Stairs. http://calendar.boston.com/cambridge_ma/events/show/323926303-mit-endicott-house-spring-plant-sale
31-May 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Perennial Sale Day 1 of 3 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
1-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Perennial Sale Day 2 of 3 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
1-Jun 11:00 AM 2:00 PM West Boylston Tower Hill Botanic Garden Annual Spring Plant Sale 11 French Drive   Boylston, MA 01505 http://www.towerhillbg.org/index.php/visit/signature-events/sprouts-plant-sale/
2-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Perennial Sale Day 3 of 3 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
8-Jun ? ? Winchester Winchester Home and Garden Club Plant Sale – Winchester Town Common http://www.winchesterhomeandgardenclub.org/
14-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Hosta Sale Day 1 of 3 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
15-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Hosta Sale Day 2 of 3 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454 http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses
16-Jun 10:00 AM 4:00 PM Waltham Lyman Estate Hosta Sale Day 3 of 3 185 Lyman St. Waltham, MA 02454