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Friday Favorite: Rue

September 23rd, 2016

I bought this rue a few years ago and love it. Earlier this summer, I thought I had lost it in the drought. After much watering it started sprouting new leaves and then bloomed beautifully.
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Last week I cut a sprig of flowers and it looked beautiful in a vase, it also lasted for a really long time. I’ll definitely be adding more of these to my garden in the future.

What flower are you loving right now?

Rest Stops Along the Way

September 21st, 2016

Last winter I read about how planting things like tithonia and zinnias in the garden provided important rest stops for migrating monarchs and hummingbirds. This year I have a huge patch of both in the main vegetable garden behind the barn, planted just for this reason. I’ve been watching dutifully to see if the monarchs would stop by on their migration. Sure enough they have…
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Not only are the monarchs and other butterflies enjoying this patch of flowers, the bees are loving them as well.
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I’m more than happy to plant a large patch of plants to provide much needed sustenance for the monarch and other pollinators in the fall. It’s always a happy thing to see the results of your efforts, even on such a small scale. We can make a difference, even if it is just by planting a few late blooming plants in our gardens to provide much needed rest stops for migrating monarchs and hummingbirds.

Do you have any late blooming plants that the butterflies and bees are loving?

The Läckö Slott Castle Gardens, part 2

September 20th, 2016

The lower walled garden at Läckö Slott Castle was quite stunning. I’m a huge fan of artfully arranged potagers, I love hedges, walls, arches, and vegetables arranged in straight or curved rows. Using the texture and color of different vegetables to create an artful garden is something we should all try to do more in our edible garden spaces. Ornamental beds shouldn’t be the only places arranged with such things in mind.
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The Läckö Slott Castle Gardens, part 1

September 19th, 2016

As I was looking through my photos of at the Läckö Slott Castle, I quickly realized their gardens were too lovely to be cut down to one post. I’ll start with the upper garden, which is where we came into the garden. It’s perched up above the walled garden overlooking the lake and with stunning views of the castle towering above it. Part of this garden is an herb garden, part a vegetable garden, and part consists of cold frames for growing out plants. Photographs never do gardens like this justice, theres’s simply too much complexity and detail to get in. I hope you enjoy this garden in the few details I was able to capture.
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Check back tomorrow for the second part of this garden, the lower section that was filled with vegetables neatly arranged in stunning patterns.

The Läckö Slott Castle

September 16th, 2016

While we were in Sweden last week, we spent one night at the Läckö Slott Castle naturum (which is their nature center). They only have a few rooms, which makes for a very quiet and relaxing stay. There’s also a restaurant on site that serves delicious meals using produce from the garden, fish from the lake, and meat from local farms. We checked in around 5 pm and had dinner in the restaurant. The room was quiet and nice, complete with balcony view of the lake.
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We then had dinner in the restaurant downstairs, it was fantastic. Mr Chiots had fish from the lake, I had beef with a mushroom sauce. The side of deep fried new potatoes that came out in a small copper pan were to die for!
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After dinner we took a walk down by the lake and around the castle. We even hopped up on the castle wall to get a few photos of the lovely potager behind the wall.
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The next morning, we were up early and enjoyed a wondeful frukostbuffet (breakfast buffet) at the hotel, it was one of the best from our entire trip. It was so good, I didn’t get any photos of it. Swedish breakfast consist of various breads, cured meats, cheese, pickles, jams, coffee, tea, juice, yogurt, muesli, and a few other lovely things. Check back next week for photos of the lovely gardens behind the wall.

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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.

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