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Friday Favorite: Spring

May 27th, 2016

Things are growing and blooming here at Chiot’s Run. Spring is in full swing. The potager is starting to burst forth with greenery, lettuce, spinach, violets, and so much more. The lilacs are blooming along with many other beautiful things. Here’s a glimpse of what’s going on just around the house.
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The birds are singing and flitting about, the bees are buzzing and pollinating flowers, I’m busy planting and watering as well. It’s a beautiful time in the garden and I’m trying to enjoy every second I can.

What do you love most about spring?

Creeping Thyme

May 26th, 2016

I have a few large rocks that create a patio of sorts by the front door. The area between the rocks was pretty much grown up in weeds, since the rocks aren’t level, it was extremely difficult to manage the growth of the weeds growing there. Last year I dug out a portion and planted creeping thyme, wooly thyme, and scotch moss. It thrived and expanded to take over a fairly decent portion of one of the cracks.
dwarf creeping thyme 2
dwarf creeping thyme 1
Now that I know it will thrive in that location, I will propagate a few more and fill in the rest of the cracks between the rocks. I like the creeping thyme a lot because it’s so short, growth densely enough to smother most weeds, and it blooms beautifully attracting tiny pollinators. I’m looking forward to have the weeds gone and something beautiful and useful in its place.

What plant are you particularly loving this week? 

Broody Dex

May 25th, 2016

On Sunday I went into the kitchen and there was Dexter camped out on over a dozen eggs. No doubt he had gone broody, hoping to hatch himself out a batch of snacks.
broody cat 1
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He jumped on the raise your own bandwagon before he realized how much work it takes to raise a clutch of chicks. This is not the first time Dexter has decided that a carton full of eggs would be the perfect place for a nap, I can’t make this stuff up.

Any animals doing crazy things at your place?

Creating Habitats

May 24th, 2016

There are many ways we can create small habitats in our garden, this is especially important if we have a problem with a particular pest. If we are overrun by aphids, creating habitats for ladybugs and other predatory insects that eat aphids is important. If we have tons of slugs, putting in a pond to create a habitat for toads is the ideal way to deal with that problem (a pair of ducks is also a great way).
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cardboard to smother weeds
One of the things I do in the garden to create small habitats is laying down boards and sheets of cardboard. I use cardboard as a smothering mulch, anywhere I want to kill weeds or grass. One of the main reasons I use cardboard is because it creates a habitat for snakes and salamanders. Every time I lift up a piece I find tiny snakes, earthworm eggs, salamanders, slugs, and a wide variety of other insects.
Little Snake
I much prefer using cardboard to using chemicals and other weed killing methods. It takes more patience, as most of the time you’ll need to have the cardboard in place for a season or two to fully kill the weeds, especially tenacious perennial weeds. I’m happy to wait patiently and let nature utilize this small habitat to improve the diversity in my garden.

What small habitats have you created in your garden?

I Can SEE

May 23rd, 2016

The window screens on this house are all fairly old and many of them have had a rough life. There is paint on them, their original paint has worn off, overall they’re looking pretty rough. This means that they inhibit the view to the garden, which is not OK!
painted window screens 1
Enter matte charcoal gray spray paint. I few quick sprays and voila, the screens are once again dark and seeing outside is once again an option (and a pleasure).
painted window screens 2
It’s amazing how something that seems so insignificant can make such a big impact. I’m in the process of painting most of the screens in the house and I’m really looking forward to the new and improved view to the garden outside! Quick DIY projects are the best, especially those that help me see my hard work in the garden in a better light.

Did you do any DIY projects around the house or garden this week?

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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.

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