Neil Sperry: Gardener’s Mailbag | Lifestyle

Neil Sperry: Gardener’s Mailbag |  Lifestyle

Dear Neil: While visiting a friend, I was admiring a groundcover bed she has. She called it “purpleheart,” and she said it’s a winter-hardy cousin to wandering Jew. How dependable is it? I’d like to plant some myself. Answer: It’s an amazing plant. Yes, it freezes to the ground for the winter, but it comes … Read more

Pass Along Strawberries | Lifestyle

Pass Along Strawberries |  Lifestyle

This spring, yellow spikes of forsythia and the red blossoming flowering quince passed along to me from my mother’s yard are now adding spectacular spots of perennial color in my own yard. And, vicariously, my father’s strawberry field thrives once more in my accidental strawberry patch this year. I never intended to have a strawberry … Read more

Neil Sperry: Gardener’s Mailbag | Lifestyle

Neil Sperry: Gardener’s Mailbag |  Lifestyle

Dear Neil: Attached is a photograph of my lawn. I’ve had the same problem with my St. Augustine every year for the past five years. I have applied a fungicide and Canadian peat moss with no apparent effect. I have planted new sod squares only to watch them die within a couple of seasons. My … Read more

Celebrating Smolak Farm | Lifestyle

Celebrating Smolak Farm |  Lifestyle

NORTH ANDOVER – Michael Smolak never planned on becoming a farmer. “When I left here, I was not coming back,” he said. Smolak set out for the University of Pennsylvania, where he first studied to become an architect. But a mentor convinced him there would not be any jobs in the field when he graduated, … Read more