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The Last Snow?

April 27th, 2016

When we lived in Ohio, there was always at least one snow in April. So when we have snow in April here in Maine, it’s really not anything out of the ordinary.
snow in april 2
snow on daffodil
Snow on spring bulbs
I appreciate it for the little boost of nitrogen it gives to the growing plants. I appreciate it for its beauty. I appreciate it for the day of rest that comes along with its stillness.

When do you typically get the last snow in your area?

It’s Coming Together

April 25th, 2016

If you remember, I posted about moving my boxwood hedge to its final resting place. It’s creating a garden room of sorts, setting apart a section of the garden for something special. Whenever I create a new garden area, I always plant it with annuals the first year, sometimes cover crops and sometimes vegetables. The following year I plant perennials. The main reason I do this is the get ahead of the weeds. I find in doing this I have much less weeding during the second summer, which means I don’t have to worry about disturbing perennials or having invasive weed roots get into my perennials.
boxwood hedge 3
Yesterday, I dug up my ‘Walker’s Low’ catmint that I brought from Ohio. I brought one plant, which I divided two years ago. I divided them again yesterday and ended up with about 20 plants. It’s not quite enough, this summer I’ll take starts and get the rest of them. See my post on starting catmint from cuttings here.
walkers_low_catmint 1 (1)
The plan is to have the entire garden area filled with catmint (a low growing variety) and giant globe alliums. In the fall, I’ll cut back the catmint and plant decorative kale for winter interest. It’s a fairly large garden area, I’m guessing it’s about 300 square feet. I think the mass planting focusing on one color will create a stunning display. More photos to come throughout the summer as things fill in and grow.

Do you have any garden changes in the works this summer?

New Cornelian Cherry

April 21st, 2016

Last week I got a new tree for my front flowerbed. I’ve been reworking this bed, if you remember I added a hedge of box that brought with me from Ohio.
boxwood hedge 2
boxwood hedge 3
Behind the box hedge is a rock wall with a raised foundation bed. It was filled with various perennials, annuals, and lots of invasive weeds. Last fall I dug up the entire bed, removing all the plants and as much of the weed roots as possible. Most of the plants were completely infested with invasive weeds and couldn’t be saved. The good thing is that none of them are expensive plants and they can all be replaced if I want to.
cornelian cherry
The truth is that the bed needs structure, it needs shrubs, not perennials. It’s needs something that will have presence in the winter. I planted three ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas in the area under the front window and was looking for a small flowering tree to put on the corner of the house. Originally I was thinking I’d add a crapabble, but then I spotted a Cornelian Cherry at Fieldstone Gardens last week and knew that’s what would be perfect in that spot. Not only is it beautiful and flowers very early in the spring, it will provide berries for birds later in the year. I’m always trying to add plants that maximize habitat and food for wildlife, especially birds and pollinators.
Front Flowerbed
I wanted a tree that was crooked because it needs to grow out away from the house. I found a perfectly imperfect specimen. Another lovely things about the Cornelian Cherry or the ‘Cornus Mas’ is that the bark is quite interesting as well. This will be a nice addition in the winter.
cornelian cherry bark
corns mas
If you’d like to read a little more about this lovely shrub, head on over to the Missouri Botanical Garden website to read more. This easy to grow, flowering beauty, should be a wonderful addition to my garden.

Have you added any new trees to your garden this year?

A Good Start

April 19th, 2016

This past weekend it was beautiful here in the Maine. The temperatures were in the 60’s & 70’s and the sun was shining. I spent the weekend getting loads of things done in the garden. I planted onion, lettuce, and broccoli raab seedlings. I also seeded tomatos and planted dahlia tubers in pots, along with loads of other chores I’m completely forgetting.
POtager 1 (1)
POtager 2 (1)
POtager 3 (1)
It’s good to once again be feeling the sun on my back and my hands in the soil. I’m hoping to accomplish a lot in the gardens this year. They are slowly expanding and hopefully the final sizes will be achieved this summer and layouts can be finalized.

What did you do in the garden this weekend?

Color!

April 18th, 2016

It’s really nice to see color once again outside my window. The tiny spring bulbs are popping up here and there, around the apple tree, in the lawn, in the flowerbeds. Siberian Squill were one of the first bulbs I ever planted when I started gardening. I was sitting on the front step resting after  long day of gardening yesterday and noticed how wonderful these little beauties are doing under the apple tree. I’m definitely planning on planting a lot more of these little lovelies under this tree, I’d love to have a carpet of purple under there in the spring. Scilla naturalizes, so a few bulbs will eventually become a grand army of little purple blooms. I’ve always had luck with them reproducing by both seed and bulblettes.
spring blooms
scilla
scilla_blooming
These are little lovelies that I didn’t plant, hopefully the people who purchased our previous home are enjoying the 2500 flowering bulbs I planted while I gardened there.

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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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