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Soaking It Up

February 21st, 2017

I spent the last half of last week in Ohio, visiting family. On Saturday it was 74 degrees. Naturally, I spent the afternoon sitting in the sun on front porch reading a book (The Memory of Us, a historical fiction).

I took a short walk around the garden with my parents, my mom was feeling well enough for a bit to make a quick jaunt around the garden seeing the very first early crocus popping up out the soil.

It won’t be long until spring arrives in Ohio, we still have a while here in Maine. That small taste of it gave me the push I needed to get started on a few early chores. This week I plan on starting a flat of spring cassis and lettuces. Perhaps I’ll even start some celery and a few other herbs.

When does spring usually arrive in your garden?

Digging Out

February 14th, 2017

Sunday and Monday we had a big nor’easter hit us here in Maine. We spent a large portion of the day yesterday digging some things out, more digging will be done today. It’s hard to say how much snow we got, with the gusting winds and drifting it’s waist high in some places and only a foot in others. If I had to guess I’d say we got between 18-24″.





It’s like mother nature was procrastinating this year. We’ve gotten 3-4 feet of snow in the past week and there’s another 15 inches or so predicted for tomorrow. I am happy that there’s finally enough snow for snowshoeing, which is one of my favorite winter activities.

What’s the worst kind of weather you get in your garden?

YAY

February 7th, 2017

This time of year is when I notice that the days are getting longer. When I get up in the morning, the sun is starting to peek over the horizon, when Mr Chiots gets home from work there’s often a tiny bit of light left in the Western sky.

During the winter, I check my weather app daily to see how many hours of light we have. I watch it decline to below 9 hours and then steadily climb back up again. When we reach 10 hours a day I’m always happy as a clam, knowing that spring is truly on its way!

Do you have significant changes in number of daylight hours in your area?

A Fresh Look

February 2nd, 2017

I love it when a fresh layer of snow falls. this is when I find myself looking over the garden, thinking about structure. The boxwood hedge around the front and side of the house is fantastic, every time I see it I am reminded that I need far more hedges and winter structure in the garden.



Boxwood is definitely a favorite of mine, partly because it’s evergreen and looks fantastic in winter. I also love that it’s so low-maintenance and so easy to propagate yourself from cuttings! Every summer I take a few cuttings to make new plants and hopefully some day new hedges. Perhaps this summer as I scale back the vegetable garden a bit, I’ll be able to start hundreds of box cuttings for future hedges.

Hydrangeas are another favorite in winter. Even though they’re not evergreen, they still provide some much needed interest in the winter garden. I find myself seeing a glimpse of their summer glory when I see the dried blossoms covered with snow.

What’s your favorite plant that adds winter interest in the garden?

Winter Mix

January 25th, 2017

Even though freezing rain and ice storms are a pain, generally because we lose power, they’re quite lovely. Everything becomes jeweled with drops of ice. If the sun comes out the next morning it’s even more brilliant.
ice storm
This winter I didn’t get my rain chain taken down, so it was dripping with lovely icicles yesterday when the freezing rain was falling. Things like this are a good lesson to find beauty in the inconvenient.

What beauty are you noticing around you these days?

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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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