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Finally Finished

August 19th, 2014

This weekend I finally found the time to finish up my travel patch quilt and it’s FANTASTIC!!!!! If you were reading last year you might remember me talking about it.
travel quilt
I didn’t want the back to be boring, so I chose colors of corduroy from one of my favorite patches. The fabric was cut in 5 inch strips and sewn together to form horizontal striped across the back.
travel quilt 2
I quilted it using the string that comes off of the feed bags in big winding lines. It seemed fitting to make them look like lines on a map or lines in the road.
travel quilt 3
Two weekends ago we visited a few Maine lighthouse and purchased a new patch to add to the quilt. It’s pretty exciting to see these patches finally being displayed, we’ve been collecting them for 16 years now. Each of these patches brings back memories of long drives, camping in beautiful places and seeing amazing places around the country. We can’t wait to hitch up our tiny teardrop and hit the road to collect a few more.

Any great recommendations of place to visit in this beautiful country?

Teeny Strawberries

August 18th, 2014

I’ve grown strawberries from seed a few times before, it’s the only way to acquire some varieties for your garden unless you’re lucky enough to know someone else growing them that will give you plant. Many years ago I started seed for golden strawberries and have had them in my garden ever since. Their tiny yellow berries have a tropical flavor and are quite good on salads.
yellow_strawberry_harvest
I also started ‘Tarpan’ strawberries from seed many years ago and brought one plant with me when I moved. It produces beautiful pink flowers all summer long, the berries are also good.
tarpan_strawberry_blooming 3
This year I purchased strawberry seeds once again for ‘Elan’, which is a day neutral strawberry and ‘Gasana’ another day neutral variety with pink flowers.
strawberry seeds 3
Strawberry seeds are tiny, very tiny and there are usually only 10-15 in each seed packet.
strawberry seeds 4
I sowed them in containers and waited. Soon enough the tiny seedlings emerged. It’s amazing to see these little plants, the first set of true leaves look just like strawberry leaves but they are so very small.
strawberry seeds 1
strawberry seeds 2
I can’t wait to see how these plants produce next year. I’m always game to have new varieties of fruits and vegetables in the garden, especially when I can nurture a plant from a tiny seed.

Have you started anything interesting from seed this summer?

Quote of the Day: Benjamin Disraeli

August 17th, 2014

“How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence.”  

~Benjamin Disraeli

potager in bloom 1
Belfast Garden Tour #1 9
mclaughlin garden illuminated 5
Gingers Garden 4
I hope you are finding peace in your garden this weekend.

Lost

August 16th, 2014

I’m lost without my camera, it has become almost a part of me. Those that know me pretty much see me with a camera in front of my face. It goes everywhere with me and I find myself taking photos daily.
self_portrait
Earlier this week I sent my camera and a few of my lenses off to Canon for a tuneup. One of my lenses wasn’t focusing quite right and my camera had taken over 100,000 photos and was ready for a little maintenance.
2014-08-12 08.04.11
I keep finding myself reaching for it, and it’s not there. Luckily I have a huge backlog of garden tour photos from this summer that I will be sharing with you over the coming week. If not, I have my iPad and will have to use it in a photo emergency. Photos are my diary and now I feel like I’ll be missing out on capturing the memories of what happens these coming weeks. I will be glad to have my camera back in tip top shape for my trip to Seattle in September.

Do you have anything that you feel lost if you don’t have with you?

Friday Favorite: Gardener’s Nail Brush

August 15th, 2014

My feet are always dirty, very dirty.  I’m a barefoot & flip flop kind of person in the summer, even when I work in the garden.  My feet are happiest when free, they do not like being stuffed into shoes, it’s suffocating for them.  As a result, my feet are scrubbed nightly because they can get very dirty during the day.
gardeners nail brush 1
gardeners nail brush 3
I keep a pumice stone in the shower and use it daily on my feet. That worked well, but some days not nearly well enough. Then I discovered the Gardener’s Nail Brush and my feet have never been cleaner in the summer. I have a few other brushes from Bürstenhaus Redecker and find them to be of great quality. I’ve been using the same wooden bottle brush for 3-4 years now and I use it exclusively to wash all my dishes.
gardeners nail brush 2
Whenever possible I like to purchase items made from natural materials. Not only do I find that natural materials are less likely to mold, they last much longer as well. If you like to garden in sandals or barefoot I highly recommend one of these brushes. They also work well for getting dirt out from under your nails, something I’m constantly battling as well.

Do you have any recommendations for great products for gardeners?

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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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