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Friday Favorite: Edible Gardening

February 26th, 2016

I was thinking about my edible gardening history last night, then I looked up my first edible garden. Sure, I always had pots of herbs on our apartment balconies, but my first ever real edible garden was started in 2008. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been that long, it seems like much longer.
raised beds 1
raised beds
I built four 4 foot x 10 foot raised beds behind our garage in Ohio. Two were filled with vegetable and two were filled with strawberries. I purchased most of the little seedlings from a local greenhouse.
raised beds 2
Here I am, 9 years later with a HUGE area devoted to edibles and growing ornamental gardens as well. When I look back at what I accomplished in my Ohio garden in a few years, I’m amazed. I don’t have quite as much energy now that I’m a little older, but I have a better sense of what I like and what mistakes to avoid. Gardening is a growth process, we continually narrow down what we truly love, we broaden our gardening our skills, and we begin to enjoy some of the finer aspects of it.

How long have you been growing edibles? 

Friday Favorite: Maple Tapping

February 19th, 2016

AH, I think every year at this time I talk about how much I LOVE sugaring the maple trees. Yesterday I went out to tap one tree, I do this each year to monitor sap flow. When the sap starts flowing from that tap, I tap the remaining trees. The sap started flowing right away, so I tapped 8 more trees. I’ll probably add a few more taps today.
maple sap 3
I really love sugaring because it gets me out in the garden during a time when I wouldn’t be out there. It makes me go outside and I get a ton of exercise, it really helps get me in shape for the upcoming gardening season. I also love that it’s such a simple process, really, you just gather sap and boil it down, it’s really that simple. When you drizzle homemade maple syrup on your pancakes in the morning there’s nothing quite like it, it somehow tastes sweeter.

Do you live in an area where they tap trees?

Friday Favorite: Sitting

February 12th, 2016

This time of year I’m keenly aware that the gardening season is just right around the corner. That means I spend as much as possible sitting, in the evening, in the morning, in the afternoon.
Chair
Most often in my favorite chair, reading a book, sewing, crocheting, or just enjoying a bit of rest. Enjoying what winter means for the gardener, a chance to sit down, for more than a moment.

Are you savoring rest this season?

Friday Favorite: Snow

February 5th, 2016

After being in the mid-fifties on Thursday, we woke up to snow covering the ground and a forecast of 3-6″ to fall during the day.
Snowing 3
While I do love spring and appreciate it, I enjoy winter as well. Snow is vital to our gardens, it provide nitrogen and moisture for spring plantings. It protects our perennials with an insulating blanket. We will still get more snow in the weeks to come, winter isn’t even close to being over. I’m certainly going to relish these last few weeks of winter and hopefully will be able to get in a lot of snowshowing!

Do you get snow in your garden? When do you typically get your last snow?

Friday Favorite: Mass Plantings

December 18th, 2015

Mass plantings make a huge impact in any size garden, but especially in a large garden where too many plants can look messy. When Mr Chiots and I visited Longwood Gardens in September I was reminded of how amazing mass plantings were and how much I keep wanting to add ornamental cabbage to my garden.
mass planting of ornamental cabbage (1)
mass planting of ornamental cabbage
mass planting of ornamental cabbage 4
mass planting of ornamental cabbage 2
mass planting of ornamental cabbage 1
mass planting of ornamental cabbage 3
I must add ornamental cabbage seeds to my seed order this spring and make a reminder to seed them when appropriate. Hopefully I can pull something like this off next fall, I have just the spot for it behind that new boxwood hedge I planted.

Do you do any mass plantings in your garden? Do you add plants for winter interest?

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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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