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Shelburne Farms

August 29th, 2016

The first week of August I was in Vermont with a friend. We rented a little cabin on Lake Champlain and spent four days relaxing and visiting a few interesting places in the area.
cottage on South Hero
cottage on south hero 1
The first day we went to Shelburne Farms, which is a fantastic place to spend a day or weekend. The first day we toured the barn, ate dinner from the food truck in the barnyard (featuring food grown on the farm), toured the formal gardens by the house, and did a cheese tasting of their award winning cheeses.
Shelburne Farms barn 5
Shelburne Farms barn 4
Shelburne Farms barn 3
Shelburne Farms barn 6
Shelburne Farms barn 1
Shelburne Farms barn 2
Shelburne Farms 2
Shelburne Farms 3
Shelburne Farms house
Shelburne Farms
Shelburne Farms barn 3
Shelburne Farms barn 1
Shelburne Farms barn 2
It was lovely, we enjoyed it so much we purchased tickets for tea and a house tour for the following day and went back. The edible gardens were lovely, I’ll be posting a few series of photos in the coming days to show you the various gardens at the farm.

What are some of your favorite vacation garden visits?

Quote of the Day: Henry Beston

August 28th, 2016

“Nature must never be anything else but an alliance. Alas, I know well enough that nature has her hostile moods, and I am equally aware that we must often face and fight as we can her waywardness, her divine profusion, and her divine irrationality. Even then, I will have it, the alliance holds. When we begin to consider nature as something to be robbed greedily like an unguarded treasure, or used as an enemy, we put ourselves in thought outside of nature of which we are inescapably a part. Be it storm and flood, hail and fire, or the yielding furrow and the fruitful plain, an alliance it is, and that alliance is the cornerstone of our humanity.”

Henry Beston in Northern Farm

Ice Storm 1
digging in the soil
Main edible garden 2

Friday Favorite: This Combination

August 26th, 2016

As the season progresses I find myself enjoying very specific combinations of plants, both for color, shape, and feel. Maybe this is because I’m in the process of creating a garden, I am constantly looking for the right combination for the right location. Right now I’m in love with this combination of colors, the lime green of the ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea as they dry paired with the deep purple/pink of the ‘Thomas Edison’ dahlia. Maybe I’m loving them especially because they are right by the front door, which means I see them all day long as go in and out.
dahlia and hydrangea 1
dahlia and hydrangea 2
dahlia and hydrangea 3
The dahlias are a little less than stellar, for some reason the earwigs have been chowing down on them like there’s nothing else to eat in the garden. Even in their raggedy state, they’re quite lovely, I’ve never been one to expect perfection in any plant.

What’s your favorite combination in the garden right now?

Tidying up the Garden

August 25th, 2016

While I used to drag my feet when the time came to cut back perennial herbs, I no longer do. Now I’m happy to tidy up the garden and add lots of organic matter to my compost piles. If you’ve ever let a self seeding plant go to seed, you’ll know how important it is to cut things back before they set seed. Cutting back perennial herbs is a lot like decluttering in the house. It cleans things up, keeps them tidy, and makes the garden look larger.
pruning perennial herbs 1
It can be really difficult to cut them back when there are still a few blooms on the plants, but now’s the time to do it. If you wait much longer the plant won’t have enough time to bloom again before the days get short and cold.
pruning perennial herbs 3
pruning perennial herbs 2
There will be an empty space for a week or two, but the plants quickly regrow filling out the space with lush foliage. Many herbs will even bloom again before frost providing much needed food for pollinators. Not all perennials need cutting back, many blooming plants like peonies just need deadheading. Herbs in particular benefit from a hard pruning towards the end of bloom.

Do you cut back your herbs for rebloom?

E.I. DuPont Potager at Hagley

August 24th, 2016

After going through photos to find one of the compost pile in the potager at the Hagely Museum for my post yesterday, I realized I had never shared photos of my visits to this garden from last year. I was able to visit the garden in mid-June with my mom and in mid-Sept with Mr Chiots. On my second visit, I didn’t take my camera, so all of these images are from my earlier visit.
ei dupont potager 6
I’m always happy to see gardens being restored at these old homes. The potagers and edible garden spaces are of particular interest to me. This is one is quite lovely, they have done a fantastic job making it both beautiful and useful.
ei dupont potager 1
ei dupont potager 2
ei dupont potager 3
ei dupont potager 5
ei dupont potager 4
ei dupont potager 13
ei dupont potager 7
ei dupont potager 14
ei dupont potager 15
ei dupont potager 9
ei dupont potager 10
ei dupont potager 11
ei dupont potager 12
ei dupont potager 16
ei dupont potager 17
ei dupont potager 18
I especially loved the formal walkways in this garden, I’ve been thinking of adding something similar in my main vegetable garden once I get the size finalized. The espaliers, trellises, pruned fruit trees, and other high features provide so much interest in the garden. I’d love to see this space in the winter to really be able to appreciate the interest they bring during the dormant season. This is one area I need to work on in my garden space, especially the edible space. Just because a garden is a working garden providing food doesn’t mean it can’t be a beautiful space both during the productive season and during winter.

What’s your favorite feature in this garden?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.