Category Archives: Home and Garden

Kim Smith Lecture Chelmsford Public Library

Please join me Tuesday evening  at 7pm at the Chelmsford Public Library for my lecture The Pollinator Garden. The event is free and open to the public. I hope to see you there!

Pipevine Swallowtail Eggs ©Kim Smith 2012Pipevine Swallowtail Eggs, East Gloucester

Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Annes's Lace -3 ©Kim smith 2015Queen Annes's Lace ©Kim smith 2015Although not a native North American wildflower, Queen Anne’s Lace has adapted to our climate well, reportedly growing in every state save for Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii. A member of the Umbelliferae, or Carrot Family, Queen Anne’s Lace also goes by the common names Wild Carrot, Bird’s Nest, and Bishops’s Lace. The root of young plants, although white, tastes like a carrot, and when rubbed together between fingers, the foliage smells of parsley (also a member of the Umbel Family).

Black Swallowtail osmeterium ©Kim Smith 2011 copyQueen Anne’s Lace is a caterpillar food plant of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly. Don’t despair butterfly lovers. Although the butterflies have been slow to awaken this year, I have high hopes that just as flowering plants are several weeks behind, so too will the the butterflies emerge–only later than expected.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Zinnia Male ©Kim Smith 2013.Please join me Tuesday evening  at 7pm at the Chelmsford Public Library for my lecture The Pollinator Garden. The event is free and open to the public. I hope to see you there!

Queen Annes's Lace -4 ©Kim smith 2015

Addendum ~

Reader Wendy Beer writes and submits terrific photo of a Black Swallowtail caterpillar on Queen Anne’s Lace:

Hi Kim,

I came across your web site when I was trying to find out what kind of caterpillar I had in my back yard. I was thrilled to find your website and now am following your updates. Thank you so much for answering my question about the Queen Anne’s lace and the Black Swallowtail Butterfly. I have attached the picture I took in my back yard (London, Ontario) for you.


Wendy Beer

Black Swallowtail Butterfly June 2015

Thank You Lynn Bird, Catherine Ryan, Charles, and George

For giving up another Sunday morning to help at the HarborWalk. I am so thankful for your continued help, especially this spring with our daughter’s upcoming wedding. You are doing a tremendous job. I just can’t express how greatly appreciated is your time, energy, hard work, and thoughtfulness. Thank you also to Lise Breen, Amy Kerr, Leslie Heffron, and Beth Chiancola for your help many Sunday mornings this spring.

Through working on the HarborWalk I have met some of the nicest and most kind hearted people one could ever hope to meet. If you would like to lend a hand and come work with the amazing Friends of the HarborWalk, email me at

Charles and George King ©Kim Smith 2015Today we planted patches of butterfly, bee, and songbird attracting annuals. I am so proud of the job George and Charles accomplished–64 plants all on their own!

The Uncommonly Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat Warbler ©Gloucester MA -2 ©Kim Smith 2015Male Common Yellowthroat fluffing and drying feathers after his many baths.

Splashing, and then dashing to a nearby tree, splashing and dashing again, and then returning for yet a third bath, this little male Common Yellowthroat seemed to relish in the fresh water at our birdbath. His more subduedly colored mate stayed well hidden and close to the ground and I was thrilled to see them both. This sweet pair of warblers have been in our garden for several days now and perhaps they’ll build their nest here!

Common Yellowthroat Warbler ©Gloucester MA -1 ©Kim Smith 2015Common Yellowthroats were at one time common however, their numbers have been steadily decreasing since the 1960s. Throughout the yellowthroat’s range they are suffering from habitat degradation and loss. Because they live in wetlands and eat primarily insects they, like countless wild creatures, are adversely affected by pesticides and poor water quality.

Common Yellowthroat Warbler ©Gloucester MA ©Kim Smith 2015


Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge ©Kim Smith 2015The Mary Prentiss Inn was named Yankee Magazine’s Best Inn, Greater Boston Area, and deservedly so!

As many of our readers have come to know from photos I’ve posted here, the beautiful family-owned and operated Inn is one of my landscape design projects.

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -6 ©Kim Smith 2015Jennifer Fandetti, the Inn’s proprietor, and daughter-in-law of Cambridge artist Charlotte Forsythe and architect Gerald Fandetti, maintains The Mary Prentiss to the highest standards. The welcoming hospitality, combined with the gracious decor of the meticulously restored Greek Revival manor, along with their famously delicious breakfasts and afternoon tea, will make your stay truly memorable. During warmer months guests are invited to dine and relax in the exquisite secret garden.

Centrally located in the heart of Cambridge, and appointed with every modern amenity, when planning a trip to the Greater Boston/Cambridge area I highly recommend a stay at The Mary Prentiss Inn!Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -4 ©Kim Smith 2015

In autumn I mix a special custom collection of spring flowering bulbs for my clients based on their preferences and the architectural features unique to their business or residence. The colors of the tulips in this year’s collection for The Mary Prentiss Inn are simply scintillating and especially beautiful juxtaposed against the warm creamy yellow tones of the exterior paint, emerald green of the boxwoods, and forest green of the hollies. You have to be very cautious in managing the colors though because a symphony can easily become a cacophony!Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -5©Kim Smith 2015

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -3 ©Kim Smith 2015The orange parrot tulip in the photo above is a very old cultivar. Unlike the vast majority of tulips today, which are mostly scentless, this has a dreamy fragrance of citrus and honeysuckle.

Tulip Garden Mary Prentiss Inn Cambridge -7 ©Kim Smith 2015For more information visit The Mary Prentiss Inn Facebok Page here and website here.11182134_670991599673112_5821006340464767566_n

Why I Love My Prius!

100 boxwoods stuffed – just one of dozens of reasons why I love our Prius!

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Pink Orchids and Beautiful Late Day Light

Pink orchids and beautiful late day light in our music room.

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on