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Here Come the Harvests

July 15th, 2019

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve been seeing the various things I’m harvesting from the edible garden. This spring was very slow to get going, in fact we’re still having nighttime temperatures in the 50’s. The result has been that things have been growing much more slowly than usual, the season is most likely going to be compressed in the middle. Typically, I’ve been harvesting broccoli, peas, lettuce, beets, radishes, and other cool temperatur vegetables right now. While I have been able to harvest lettuce last month, most of the cool season vegetable are just coming on as the warm season vegetables are starting to come on as well.




This past week I have harvested: bulb fennel, lettuce, onions, broccoli, peas (both shelling & sugar snap), zucchini, peppers, strawberries, and garlic. It’s certainly lovely to be able to enjoy home grown vegetable for every meal. Today we had zucchini, onions, and peppers for breakfast with eggs. For lunch I made broccoli salad with homegrown broccoli, onions, peas, and garlic. For dinner we will enjoy a lettuce salad.

What are you harvesting this week?

Friday Favorite: Peony Poppies

July 12th, 2019

Once you grow poppies once in the garden they seem to spring up here and there around the garden. I haven’t seeded a poppy in 6 years and yet I have a mass of blooms each July. I’m especially fond of the peony types, they’re extravagant blooms are quite stunning.




This patch came up in the vegetable garden, they’ll be allowed to grow and bloom, then I’ll pull them and replace them with fall vegetables.

Do you have any beloved self seeders in your garden?

The Easter Cactus

July 11th, 2019

A few years ago my nieghbor gave me an Easter cactus for Easter. This year, Easter came and went with no blooms and no bud in sight. I figured since I repotted it last year, it would take a year off. However, it decided it would rather be a Fourth of July cactus and started blooming profusely about a week before the 4th and is still blooming beautifully.



Perhaps next year it will return to the original schedule and bloom on Easter. I’d like to get a Christmas cactus as well, houseplants are such a joy during the long, cold winters here in Maine.

Do you have a Christas cactus? What’s your favorite houseplant?

Native Wisteria

July 8th, 2019

For a few years now (hard to remember how many exactly, maybe 4-5) I’ve been growing this native wisteria in a container. It’s trained as a standard, though I have a few of the shoots pinned to the soil to propagate it. This beautiful vine lives in the unheated basement during the cold winter months, not because it can’t take the cold, but because the beautiful terracotta pot cannot.



This is a native wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) and much hardier than the Asian varieties (also much less aggressive). As a result, it blooms reliably in cold climates, no freezing of buds which happens quite often with the other varieties. My mom’s neighbor had a wisteria growing on her back porch, it only flowered about once every 5 years because the blooms would be frosted off in early spring.

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

Parade of Early Summer Clematis

July 2nd, 2019

Recently, I’ve been trying to add more climbers to the garden, particularly clematises. They’re valuable for filling in trellises and under leggy bushes, they will scramble up roses and fill in small spots in borders. By the front door, I have a clematis (not blooming yet so not pictured) climbing up the bottom vine portion of the lonicera. The early clematises here in Maine start to bloom in late July, which isn’t really early by most garden standards, but our short season makes it so. Here are the early blooming clematises in my garden:

The beautiful purpler bell shaped clematis is ‘Betty Corning’, I purchased it from Hummingbird Farm last year at the Portland Flower Show. The burgundy one below is of an unkown variety to me, I purchased the root at a local discout store and it was simply labeled ‘Red Flowering Clematis’.



This large white beauty is called ‘Kotkas’ and I also purchased it from Hummingbird Farm last year at the Portland Flower Show. I’m actually thinking of moving the burgundy flowering clematis above to the trellis that is supporting the large white flowering clematis below. I think they’d look lovely intertwined on one trellis and fill it out nicely. I may even look for a slightly taller later flowering variety to cover the top of the trellis and bloom later in the summer. That’s one of the bauties of clematis, they can be layered into each other and other plants to extend the bloom season and add more interest.


I’d love to add more of these lovely vines to my collection and plan on taking a trip up to Hummingbird Farm (which is only about an hour and a half north). I’d love to get some anemone flowering vines and some more of the bell shaped ones.

Do you grow any clematis? What varieties do you have?

Seeds and Sundries
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Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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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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