What if the secret to happiness lay right outside your kitchen door? In a pretty little garden, full of delicious things to eat. It might sound far-fetched to suggest that a kitchen garden can relieve stress, lift your mood, and even ease depression, but new studies suggest there’s a scientific basis – perhaps even a soil bacterium that elevates serotonin – for the pleasure we can get from digging in the dirt.

Susie Middleton

Prudy Burt swung her Toyota Tacoma off of North Road and onto the shoulder. She traipsed confidently through the brush, pushing branches out of her way as she headed for Mill Brook. A Burt-led tour of the brook is both history lesson and gossip column, environmental report and storytelling session. She names each pond and knows the property owner responsible for every dam (and whether their children like to fish).

Heidi Sistare

Martha’s Vineyard is not particularly hospitable when it comes to fruit trees.

Susan Catling

Overflowing with colorful blooms, window boxes dress up many Island homes and businesses in the spring and summer, but with a little extra effort, you can have eye-catching displays through fall and winter too. We asked four State Road garden centers for some window box ideas for all four seasons.

Susan Catling

Rampaging foxtail grass staves off one homeowner’s attempts to halt its advance in her garden.

Margaret Knight

Four different plant combos can bring a variety of colors, textures, and looks to your yard, and you won’t have to worry so much about them getting nibbled by your neighbors.

Justin Ahren

Professional gardener Peggy Schwier addresses the challenges of designing a property responsibly within the Vineyard landscape.

Peggy Schwier

“Dahlias really make me sick!” Could the etiquette author, known for her Edgartown garden of shoulder-high dahlias, really have written these words? Even Emily Post couldn’t make the Vineyard’s weather behave.

Susan Catling

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Rhodie Scholar

Peter Norris of Chilmark is on a quest to create the holy grail of rhododendrons.

Thirty Years in the Garden

After more than three decades designing and taking care of Vineyard gardens large and small, Peggy Schwier has learned that the best horticulture teacher of all is the garden itself.

Look to the Sea to Enrich Your Garden

The Vineyard has many spots where eelgrass conveniently washes ashore, ready to be shoveled up and hauled off to improve a home garden.

Holy Homegrown!

What if the secret to happiness lay right outside your kitchen door? In a pretty little garden, full of delicious things to eat. It might sound far-fetched to suggest that a kitchen garden can relieve stress, lift your mood, and even ease depression, but new studies suggest there’s a scientific basis – perhaps even a soil bacterium that elevates serotonin – for the pleasure we can get from digging in the dirt.

Island Classic: Garden Gloves

If there’s one thing most gardeners can agree on, home hobbyists and landscapers alike, it’s that a good pair of gloves is a must.

Oh, Yeah. We’ve Seen Your Kind of Dirt Before

You stare at that dry, sandy patch of finicky Island soil in front of your home and envision a low flowering shrub that is drought tolerant and can thrive in partial sunlight. Wouldn’t hurt if the plant were a Vineyard native, too. But you wonder, is that combination possible to find?

Goats on a Boat

The Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation is now in its second season of using goats to clear invasive Asiatic bittersweet vines from Cedar Tree Neck. That decision was mostly a logistical one. “We were just brainstorming different ways to manage the neck because it’s really hard to access with machinery to mow,” said Kristen Fauteux, director of stewardship for Sheriff’s Meadow.

Have Goats, Will Travel

The only sounds were the rustling of branches and the crunching of leaves. It was a brilliant late-summer morning, and a herd of goats was having breakfast on a piece of land near Black Point Pond, where Rebecca Brown of Island Grazing was working on a private meadow restoration project. There were tall Kiko and Boer goats stretching up on their legs to grab leaves, and smaller Arapawa goats staying closer to the ground. The goats – fifty-five of them – moved down the road, eating as they went.

Island Classic: The Picket Fence

Something there may be that doesn’t love a wall, according to Robert Frost, but who can resist a white picket fence?

No one in Edgartown, it would seem.

A River Runs Through It

Prudy Burt swung her Toyota Tacoma off of North Road and onto the shoulder. She traipsed confidently through the brush, pushing branches out of her way as she headed for Mill Brook. A Burt-led tour of the brook is both history lesson and gossip column, environmental report and storytelling session. She names each pond and knows the property owner responsible for every dam (and whether their children like to fish).

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