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Dunn Gardens

October 1st, 2014

While in Seattle, my mom and I scheduled a tour of the Dunn Gardens. Unfortunately the timing was not right so see the rhododendron collection, so the gardens weren’t as spectacular as they are earlier in the year. Even though the gardens were waning in their bloom for the year, the containers were fantastic and made up for it. The Dunn Gardens were designed by the acclaimed Olmstead group, they are the only private garden in the Pacific Northwest open to the public for tours.
dunn garden containers (1)
What I love about the containers is that they weren’t typical. I think far too often we get stuck in a rut when it comes to container plants, we fill them withe petunias and other popular plants and don’t consider adding perennial and things that can be overwintered in a shed, garage, indoors or other sheltered place. Not only does thinking this way give you a wider variety of texture, color, and interest, it will save money as well!
dunn garden containers
dunn garden containers 1 (1)
dunn garden containers 1
dunn garden containers 2 (1)
dunn garden containers 2
dunn garden containers 3
This last container garden I’ve seen in a magazine before, I remember how much I loved the large container with the large leaves. I’d love to have a container corner like this on a patio someday.

What’s your favorite container plant? 

Delightful Dahlias

September 30th, 2014

I love dahlias, but have never grown them in my garden. Digging up tubers to overwinter seems a bit too much for me, but perhaps someday I’ll grow a few. When my mom and I were in Seattle, we went to Volunteer Park to visit the conservatory. While there we noticed that right across the street there was a dahlia exhibit maintained by the Seattle Dahlia Society.
Dahlias at Volunteer Park 9
There were dahlias of all colors, shapes, and sizes, each one nicely labeled. We really enjoyed looking at each and ever one.
Dahlias at Volunteer Park 1
Dahlias at Volunteer Park 2
Dahlias at Volunteer Park
Dahlias at Volunteer Park 3
Dahlias at Volunteer Park 4
Dahlias at Volunteer Park 6
Dahlias at Volunteer Park 5
Dahlias at Volunteer Park 7
Here in Maine we’re lucky enough to have the Endless Summer dahlia garden featuring tons of beauties, at least that’s what I hear. I didn’t get over to see them this summer, but it’s on my “must see” list for next year. A local friend was just telling me how wonderful it was. Perhaps I’ll visit next year and get a dahlia of my very own. If you’re looking for dahlias, consider ordering from Endless Summer and support a small business!

Do you grow dahlias? Do you have a favorite?

Taking a Day Off

September 29th, 2014

Mr Chiots and I were busy yesterday and I arrived home late, and tired. Too tired to write much, too tired to think about what to post. As usual, I’d never leave you without something.
Dexter (1)
This is Dexter taking the day off when he was grounded. He’s supposed to be back indoors by dusk, but the previous day he didn’t show up until around 11 pm. Since he missed his curfew he was grounded the next day and wasn’t allowed outside. Somehow I don’t think sleeping on the bed all day is much of a punishment.

Quote of the Day: The Land Institute

September 28th, 2014

“When people, land, and community are as one, all three members prosper; when they relate not as members but as competing interests, all three are exploited.”

The Land Institute from Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn, 2nd Revised Edition

farmers market 3
farmers market
Belfast Farmers Market 5
Belfast Farmers Market 6
farmers market 2
One of the easiest ways to build community is to support local businesses and farms. Find a local farmers market, a small food co-op, shop at local businesses, eat at local restaurants and you’ll be amazed at how this brings prosperity to your local community. When the local community prospers all the members prosper and that includes you. Take some time today and think about how you can increase support for the small, local businesses and farms in your area and help bolster your community. It’s vital for us to keep our communities strong because it helps us be more resilient and the responsibility is ours to strengthen them!

Savory Egg Muffins

September 27th, 2014

Finding ways to make breakfast both quick and healthy can be a challenge. Around here, eggs are on the menu pretty much every day. I love making baked egg cocottes, but that’s a little time consuming for a weekday morning. This is where savory egg muffins come in, they’re full of healthy eggs and vegetables, you can even throw in ham, bacon, sausage, beans or another form of protein if you want more. Lately mine have been just eggs and vegetables.
egg muffins
They’re so simple: whisk 8 eggs in a large bowl, add 3 cups of diced vegetables or protein of your choice, stir, pour into greased muffin tin and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. I like to lightly cook my vegetables first, but that’s not necessary. You can also mix in cheese, chopped herbs, and other goodies. Earlier this week ours were filled with: onions, peppers, zucchini, parsley and parmesan cheese. They’re good hot out of the oven or even room temperature later that day.

What’s your favorite quick breakfast?

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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.