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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?

Friday Favorite: My New Lamp

November 20th, 2015

Last week my trusty desk lamp died, poof, dark. It wasn’t that big of a loss since it was a cheap lamp I got on clearance many years ago. It’s actually been broken for years, but I kept using it because I dislike spending money on things that I don’t technically need. I knew exactly what I’d replace it with, I’ve been eyeing this mercury hobnail lamp from Pottery Barn for years.
new desk lamp
Lucky for me there was a wicked good sale and free shipping, so I ended up getting it for a song. Perfection in my little corner of the world. It makes me smile while I work, especially these days since the sun goes down at 4 pm and I need light to keep working. Now on to perhaps build myself a new desk…

Have you gotten anything lately that you’ve been wanting for a while?

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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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