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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? 

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).
two_toads_in_small_pond
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?

Uncommon Cut Flowers

May 19th, 2016

Yesterday evening I planted my cutting garden, well most of it. I still have a few things to seed. It’s filled with the usual suspects, you’ll be seeing them throughout the summer as they bloom. Meanwhile, I’m always on the lookout for uncommon cut flowers and other plants that I can use during the weeks with no blooms. This week I have lovely rhubarb flower bud stalks gracing my table.
rhubarb flower buds in a vase 1
rhubarb flower buds in a vase 2
They’re rather graphic, very large, very bold, and quite interesting. I absolutely love how they look and enjoy their beauty during this season. Since they need cut from the plant anyways, I may as well enjoy them on the table for a few weeks during this time when there’s not much else blooming outside.

Do you have any recommendations for uncommon flowers or foliage for the table?

First Rhubarb of the Season

May 16th, 2016

Yesterday, I harvest the first rhubarb of the season. I have some frozen strawberries from last year’s harvest that I have saved for this day. A delicious strawberry rhubarb sauce was made, which will be stirred into semifreddo to make a strawberry rhubarb ice cream.
rhubarb (1)
It’s such a wonderful flavor combination, no wonder it’s so popular. Of course I made more than I needed for ice cream, so I’ll have it to stir into yogurt as well. I’m happy as can be that the harvest season has arrived, it’s such a wonderful feeling to be eating seasonal fruits and vegetables once again, especially those harvested from my garden!

What are you harvesting from your garden?

Friday Favorite: Seeding Vegetables

May 13th, 2016

It’s quite an amazing thing to sprinkle seeds on the soil, cover them up, water, and watch then sprout and grow into edible things. I seeded radishes last week that are already up. It’s the season for direct seeding all sorts of things: peas, beets, onions, lettuce, endive, etc.
seeding 1
I haven’t plants my main crop peas yet, but ‘Golden Sweet’ which are a sugar snap variety have been seeded. These are one of my favorite types of edible pod peas.
seeding 2
Beets are another one of my favorite vegetables. I love them boiled, steamed, pickled, roasted, fried, pretty much any way you can cook them. They will be seeded a couple more times throughout the summer so I have an endless supply for the table.

What are you seeding in your edible garden this weekend?

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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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