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Friday Favorite: Peony Poppies

July 10th, 2015

I am completely enamored by the peony poppies in my potager. I tried growing these beauties in Ohio and they just didn’t care for the soil there. Here, they thrive and that makes me happy. They are one of my favorite flowers, so delicate and lovely. I also appreciate that the pollinators love them, there’s something wonderful about seeing the bees enjoy them as much as I do.
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One of the best things about these beauties is that they sow themselves so I don’t have to worry about seeding them every year. Now that’s another big reason to love them. Though I’d sow the seed myself if I had to, in fact I’ll probably save seed to sow in other parts of the garden.

What flowers are you enjoying in your garden right now?

Lovely Alyssum

July 2nd, 2015

Ever since I was a wee little lass, I’ve loved alyssum. It’s always had a spot in my garden and it always will. There’s something about this little flower that I adore, it’s perfect in just about every way. Generally I buy my plants at a the local greenhouse since I’ve never had much luck starting it from seed. That never stops my from trying, each year I buy a pack of seed and give it another try.
This is ‘Gulf Winds’ alyssum from Renee’s Garden and I’m a huge fan of the color mix. Usually I buy plain white, but this mix is perfection. Last night I transplanted them around the garden, filling in holes where I harvested lettuce or where other plants died. I’ll definitely be trying this variety once again next year.

Have you had an annual that you’ve loved for your entire life? Do you still grow it in the garden? 

The Parade has Begun

March 8th, 2012

When I was out washing out the cat litter boxes on Tuesday afternoon I decided the weather was nice enough to check the front yard for crocus blooms. If you remember I planted hundreds of crocus and mini daffodil blooms in the lawn last fall. Low and behold I spotted a few bit of purple in the sea of green. Only about 15 are blooming right now, I can’t wait until the rest of the 500 bulbs bloom. I plated 5 different kinds of crocuses in a variety of colors.

On the back hillside, which was planted with over 800 tulip and other flowering bulbs the snowdrops are coming out in full force, pushing their way up through the mulch of chopped leaves and reaching for the sun.

These small splashes of color in the garden mark the beginning stages of a parade of color that will last until late May. I’m so looking forward to watching everything unfold as the coming months progress. Gardening truly is one of those hobbies that brings much joy.

Anything blooming in your garden yet? What’s usually the first bloom you see?

The First Reward

February 7th, 2012

Remember all those bulbs I planted this past fall? While we were out tapping all the maple trees on Sunday afternoon and I spotted the first reward from all my hard work. One tiny snowdrop was blooming on the back hillside.

I’ve been meaning to plant snowdrop in the garden for years and always forgot to purchase the bulbs in the fall. I’d always think about them when they were blooming the spring and then completely forget about purchasing bulbs when I needed to. Late last winter, when the snowdrops were blooming, I flipped forward in my calendar and wrote “ORDER SNOWDROPS” in September.

Lucky for me, I did buy bulbs for ‘GALANTHUS ELWESII’ last fall and now I’ll be able to enjoy snowdrop blooms in my own garden this spring. This isn’t the earliest flowering plant I have in the garden, there’s a Mediterranean Pink Heather on the front hillside that starts blooming in early January.

What’s your earliest flower that appears in your garden each year?

Make it Green Please

January 19th, 2012

My mom’s always had amaryllises blooming around Christmas ever since I can remember. It was no different this year, she has quite a collection of bulbs that she’s had for a very long time. She even has a few that she’s grown from seed from blooms she hand pollinated a few years ago.

Her amaryllises have always tend towards the red and salmon shades, nice, but not my cup of tea. I prefer something green or maybe white, so I purchased three different kinds of amaryllis bulbs this past fall when I ordered all those tulips, daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs.

I ordered ‘Baby Doll’, ‘Green Dragon’, and ‘Evergreen’ amaryllis bulbs, three of each. I gave one of each to my mom and planted the remaining six bulbs in pots. The ‘Evergreen’ started blooming earlier this week and it’s quite lovely; this is not my mother’s amaryllis. It’s perfectly green, just like I was hoping.  My mom, who dislikes green flowers with a passion, didn’t like the green one, but the white ones she said were “OK”.  I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but it does fall from the tree!

Can you believe this is the first amaryllis I’ve ever had? It seems like they’re one of those intro to gardening plants that everyone has grown before.

Do you grow amaryllises? What’s your favorite color?

If you’re looking for great prices on amaryllis bulbs of all colors, shapes and sizes try visiting Van Engelen. They sell in lots of three bulbs, but generally getting three bulbs is cheaper than buying one from other places. Give the other bulbs away as gifts, or find a gardener to go in on the purchase with you. They do have a sister company that sells in single bulb lots, John Scheepers.

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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.