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I’m Back

February 19th, 2020

It’s been a while, thanks to those of you that have been e-mailing to see if things are all right. Last year was a bit of a crazy year for us, mostly we were super busy because we built a commercial building (office/warehouse space) for Mr Chiots’ company. This took up lots of our spare time and made things a bit crazy. We are just buttoning up this project and things look like they’ll be getting back to more of a normal pace (whatever that means). Last week we were lucky enough to head out to California to thaw out (sort of, it was chilly while we were there). We flew into LAX and then headed south to San Diego for a few days, stopping at the San Diego Botanical Garden on the way.

It was so nice to see so many tropical thing, so much color, and so much green. The blooming aloes were stunning, a breath of fresh air since we had left snow and sub zero temperature behind in Maine.

The gardening season is kicking off here, when we arrived home I started onion seeds for the coming year. This year will be a building year, I’m growing less in the main garden and focusing on building hedges and walkways. Stay tuned for more details and the garden plan I designed a few years ago finally gets implemented.

What’s up in your neck of the woods? Cold weather? Planting season?

Dahlia Break Out

September 23rd, 2019

I purchased a small tuber for ‘Break Out’ Dahlia at the farmers market last year. It grew well and multiplied into a huge tuber, which I dug in the fall and overwintered in the basement. This year, it’s a HUGE plant producing mass amounts of large blush and yellow blooms.


I’ve been cutting masses of them and enjoying them in the house. There’s always one in the bathroom and usually a big vase full on the dining room table. This year the dahlias have been a bit late, but now that they’re blooming they’re making up for lost time.

Do you grow dahlias? Do you have a favorite variety?

A Fall/Winter Planter

September 17th, 2019

Flowering kale has always been a favorite fall plant. They look magnificent when most other things are fading, breathing fresh life into an otherwise waning season. They can be difficult to source, at least I haven’t found them easy to find when needed. A few years ago I bought seeds and started my own. This year I got lucky and found a few on sale at a local greenhouse.

I decided to cut down a birch sapling that was encroaching on a trail and use that as well. As the season progressing into winter, I’ll add some red twig dogwood stems and probably some pine boughs as well.

Do you make seasonal containers? What are some of your favorite plants to use?

Every Year…

September 12th, 2019

Every year I think my hardy hibiscus didn’t make it through the winter. Then, in late June I start to notice that it’s putting up some growth. In late August it starts to bloom and continues through frost. It’s a short sweet season, made sweeter because it blooms in that late season when many perennials are winding down for winter.

The tropical look can almost make you believe summer is still around, especially when the afternoon sun still retains some warmth. This beauty is the perfect plant to end the season!

Do you have a favorite end of season flower?

Finally…..

September 10th, 2019

This year everything has been moving at a slower pace than normal, the cold weather has been the most likely culprit. Usually by now, the tithonias are huge and covered in blooms. This year they’re just starting to show their color.

It’s not a huge deal, at least they are blooming, which means they’re providing much needed late season food for monarchs and hummingbirds as they migrate. This year I planted 20 tithonias in a large hedge across one side of the main vegetable garden in the back. Since they aren’t as large as normal, at least there are more than normal.

How’s the season been in your garden? Early, late, wet, dry?

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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!

About

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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