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New Varieties

June 23rd, 2016

I’m a sucker for trying new varieties of all kinds of things, especially vegetables. I have six different kinds of strawberries in the garden and I just acquired a new one.
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These ‘Old North Sea’ strawberries were said to have been found on an ancient ancient, viking village site in Denmark.
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I thought this variety would be a nice addition to my collection of interesting strawberries. It should be interesting to see how it performs and reproduces in the garden. I’m looking forward to tasting one of the berries next summer.

Do you collect different varieties of the same plant?


June 21st, 2016

I purchased a few citrus trees when I visited Monticello in 2010, it is finally blooming! I’ve been waiting and waiting for this little tree to bloom and set fruit. It’s outside and I have seen bees and ants on it, hopefully some of the blossoms will be pollinated and I’ll be harvesting limes this coming winter.
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It’s quite stunning really, it’s simply covered in white flowers, even if it doesn’t product fruit it’s a lovely houseplant. My citrus trees have been so much happier since I started overwintering them in the unheated basement. I love the challenge of growing fruit indoors, hopefully some of my other edible houseplants will produce fruit soon.

What is your favorite houseplant?

Cady’s Fall Nursery Details

June 20th, 2016

I’m always noticing little details in gardens that I visit, things I can incorporate into my garden, especially when they’re inexpensive and easy. Here are a few details I noticed when I visited Cady’s Falls Nursery (see this post and this post for photos of the nursery).
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The plant markers were made from strips of copper, genius! They look great, ages beautifully, and will last a lifetime. I also love how they blend into the garden instead of standing out.
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This simple garden bench made from cinder blocks and a large plant of wood made a beautiful bench, it would be super easy to make, very inexpensive, and it looks fantastic!
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Who doesn’t love gravel walkways and rocks? Gravel is my favorite paving surface in the garden, I love the sound and feel underfoot. I especially loved this detail where they added a few rocks to create a bit of a step on a slope.
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Simple boards buried in the ground to create a clean and classy edging. I have access to cedar and could incorporate this in my garden for a few dozen eggs (I barter eggs for cedar from a friend with a mill).
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These rebar half circles used throughout the gardens to hold back plants and create interest were one of my favorite things. I’m definitely buying rebar to make a few of these soon. They would come in very handy for keeping plants from smothering each other and falling out into the pathways of the garden. I think they will be stunning in the winter as well.
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In Ohio I had loads of rocks and all my flowerbeds were edged with rocks to help retain the soil/mulch in the border. I really need to think about doing the same here as I have lots of sloping flowerbeds and the compost has a habit of traveling from the bed into the lawn. I was reminded of how convenient it was. This is also a nice way to mark specific plants that die back in winter.

What garden accents and details are you favorite? Have you picked up any great ideas from local garden tours or nurseries?

Cady’s Falls Nursery – Part 2

June 17th, 2016

And….now we’re back to the lovely nursery I introduced you to yesterday. There were so many wonderful things, like these teeny-tiny irises that were only a few inches tall.
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There were hundreds of primulas in all colors, shapes, and sizes in the water garden and the woodland garden. Each one was incredibly beautiful!
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There were climbing vines, trees, perennials, all interesting and unique varieties and beautifully put together in an amazing display of texture, color, and height.
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There was even a Himalayan blue poppy, something I’ve been thinking about buying seeds for to start for my garden. It’s the first one I’ve seen in person after hearing about them for years.

What’s your favorite unusual plant to add interest in the garden?

Cady’s Falls Nursery (part 1)

June 16th, 2016

This past weekend, Mr Chiots and I popped over to Vermont to visit Cady’s Falls Nursery. I’ve been wanting to visit for quite a while now, but they are only open a few weekends each summer and I always seem to find out about it after the fact. This little gem is everything a nursery should be, with lovely gardens that highlight the plants they sell. You can walk through the garden, decide which plants you love in a garden setting, then purchase them in the nursery area. Here are some photos of the garden, there were so many I’ll post more tomorrow and maybe more next week.
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This nursery specializes in rare plants, there quite a few stunning specimens in their gardens. I especially loved seeing plants in person that I’ve only read about in books. We came home with our car packed full of all sorts of lovely plants, more about those next week. Check back tomorrow for more photos of this lovely garden.

Have you discovered any little nursery gems in your area?

Reading & Watching

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.