For many years, UMass Extension has worked with the citizens of Massachusetts to help them make sound environmental choices about growing, planting, and maintaining plants in their landscapes, including vegetables, backyard fruits, and ornamental plants such as trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, annuals, and grasses.
Our annual Garden Calendar continues UMass Extension’s tradition of providing gardeners with ways to reduce pesticides, conserve water, and create habitat for humans and wildlife while also enjoying the beauty of their landscapes. It is our hope that the photos selected for this calendar will not only bring pleasure but will also inspire and educate the gardener. Represented in this calendar are plants that are collector’s plants, some that are not widely known and some that are just ‘great’ plants that deserve increased use. Whether it is a disease resistant apple variety, a drought tolerant perennial, or a pest-free and non-invasive shrub that provides food and shelter for wildlife, the choices we make in our own backyards will affect the larger community that we all live in as we move towards a more sustainable future.
Each year, the Garden Calendar presents a selection of plants chosen by the UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery & Urban Forestry staff for pest resistance, adaptability to specific growing environments, and seasonal effectiveness. A brief description accompanies each photo to help understand these plant choices. Furthermore, daily gardening tips provide information on garden pests and management strategies to help gardeners reduce pesticide usage. Also included are “how-to and when” tips such as dates to plant peas, renovate lawns, prune and fertilize roses, conserve water in the landscape, and many more.
Our perennial wish is that you enjoy this calendar as much as we enjoy producing it, and that it is helpful in all your gardening endeavors.