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Friday Favorite: Local Fun

November 6th, 2015

One of the things I love about Maine is all the classes you can take that cover a wide variety of topics. If you remember, Mr Chiots and I took a spoon carving class to learn how to make wooden spoon. I’m taking an indigo dying class in a few weeks and two weekends ago I took a basket weaving class.
basket making class 3
basket making class 1
basket making class 2
I love learning new things, but I also love meeting new people, especially like minded folks in the community. It has certainly been fun making useful objects and learning new skills. I’m hoping to use my basket making skills to make another basket soon. Mr Chiots has already carved another wooden utensil for me and has plans to make a few more.

Have you learned any new skills recently?


November 4th, 2015

This time of the year I start getting weary. There’s a ton that needs done in the garden to make it ready for winter, so all spare moments are spent doing that. As I’m doing all these chores, my mind is looking forward to the winter rest period. Evenings spent reading on the couch, hats finally being crocheted, quilts being made, coloring books being filled with color…
cat sleeping
Living in a place with winter is a beautiful thing!

Are you looking forward to a period of rest in from the garden?


November 2nd, 2015

Hersonwood is a collector’s garden, the plants were brought from around the world for many years. The result is a garden that’s filled with a wide variety of interest. The sheer amount of plants was staggering, and our guide giving us the latin names for most of them was very impressive.
herons wood plants 1
herons wood plants 8
herons wood plants 2
herons wood plants 11
herons wood plants 3
herons wood plants 4
herons wood plants 10
herons wood plants 5
herons wood plants 6
herons wood plants 13
herons wood plants 7
herons wood plants 9
herons wood plants 12
I certainly wish I had recorded her tour of the garden, I will never be able to recall or find what the majority of the plants were. They were stunning nonetheless, there’s no need to know latin names or even plant names to garden or appreciate a garden. Sometimes we can feel a bit self conscious in the gardening world if we don’t know the latin names or the common names of all the plants in our gardens. Pick plants you like, compose them in a way that makes you happy, and enjoy your garden.

Friday Favorite: Hedges

October 30th, 2015

Continuing with our tour of Heronswood garden in the Pacific Northwest, I had to post about hedges. I must admit, that a beautiful hedge makes me go weak in the knees. I’ve always dreamed about having beautiful hedges in my garden, but have yet to make that dream come true. I planted a short boxwood hedge in my Ohio garden (16 plants) and it was starting to grow out when we moved. Thankfully, the previous owners didn’t want the plants, so I dug them up and brought them with me. There are still in the nursery area, waiting until I have their final garden area finished. Most likely, they will be moved next spring to a new garden area right below the house.
Heronswood formal garden 2
Heronswood formal garden 1
Heronswood formal garden 10
On Wednesday, I talked about the scalloped hornbeam hedge at Hersonwood, behind this garden is a lovely formal garden with box lined triangular shaped beds. These beds are filled with a riot of colorful perennials that grow up and out and spill over the box borders. Here are just a few of the lovely flower spilling out of the box borders.
flowers at herons wood 1
flowers at herons wood 2
flowers at herons wood 3
flowers at herons wood 4
flowers at herons wood 5
flowers at herons wood 6
The beauty of a box hedge is that it contains some of the chaos that can happen in a perennial garden. It provides structure that grounds all the other plants. I can only imagine how lovely this garden looks in the winter, when all the flowers have faded but the bones of the box remain, it must be stunning!
Heronswood formal garden 3
Heronswood formal garden 4
Heronswood formal garden 5
Heronswood formal garden 7
Heronswood formal garden 8
Heronswood formal garden 9
I will never have hedges to this scale in my garden, at least not unless I hire a gardener to help me maintain them. There are still things I can take away from a garden like this. Even on a small scale, a hedge can something beautiful in the garden. So often we look at grand gardens like this and feel like we can never achieve anything like it. The truth is we can, we just have to look work within our boundaries. Even a five foot box hedge will provide the same feel in your garden.

Do you have any hedges in your garden? What’s your favorite hedge plant?

Quote of the Day: Seasonal Change

October 19th, 2015

“The season changed, from one hour to the next. She had gone to sleep in the cool balm of an Indian summer evening, and wakened in the middle of the night to the sharp bite of autumn, her feet freezing under the single quilt.

Diana Gabaldon in The Fiery Cross

Last week I was working in the garden in flip flops and a tank top, yesterday morning we woke up to a hard freeze and temperatures in the low 20’s. On my way home Saturday it was sleeting, yesterday it snowed.
I had read this quote in the book the night before, quite fitting indeed. We debated putting an extra blanket on the bed, but didn’t. Luckily, we didn’t wake up cold, but you can be we put the blanket on last night! Now we get to work with winter preparations. Chains and plows need to go on vehicles, stock tank and chicken waterer heaters need to be checked and cleaned, coops need cleaned and piled with lots of fresh bedding, and the garden needs a protective layer of mulch.

How’s the weather in your garden? What chores are on your list to get ready for the upcoming season? 

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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.