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Patience, Patience…

February 18th, 2019

This time of year it can be difficult to keep excitement in check for the coming gardening season. The seed orders start arriving, the days are longer, the sun shines brighter and warmer, and things are starting to look like spring. It’s easy to get overexcited and start seeds way too early, I’m guilty of this as much as any gardener! It’s really best to wait and transplant things at the correct time. When held too long, plants get bigger and have more transplant shock, thus it actually sets them back and there’s nothing to be gained by starting them early.

Here in Maine, we’re lucky to have MOFGA (the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association). They have a wonderfully handy chart for seed starting and transplanting times. (here’s a link to their website where you can copy and print out a copy)

I have this printed out and hanging right by my seed starting area. I’ve noted in different starting dates for things I like to start earlier or later and I’ve added things to the chart that they don’t list (like basil). This would be an easy reference to copy and amend for your specific planting dates and climate. For example, I find that starting celery earlier than their given time works better for me. I also start onions a bit earlier (in the next week or two) as I like them to be a bit bigger at transplant because otherwise, I have issues with the robins pulling them up. This coming week I will be starting my early onions, which are ‘Purplette’ from Johnny’s Seeds.

Have you ever started seeds too early?

Friday Favorite: Nutscene Twine

February 15th, 2019

I’ve used just about every type of garden twine out there and Nutscene is definitely my personal favorite. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth the extra amount for a variety of reasons. For one, I find it last throughout a long season and often through the winter as well, which makes it nice for tying up perennial vines. The dispensing tin makes it so much easier to use, no dropping it and having it unravel and wrap itself around a few plants or under a rose bush. I’m a fan of the green color since it is much less visible in the garden, something that of particular importance to me since I sell photos of my garden.

For the past few years I’ve used a few other types of twine, thankfully Mr Chiots got me a can of Nutscene for Christmas. I’m happy once again to have a stock of my favorite twine. This size will last me a few years. If you haven’t tried it before give it a try, if you have a gardener in your life, consider this when you need a gift for them. You can also purchase refills for the tin in case you don’t need a new one, it’s cheaper that way as well.

Do you have any great garden supplies to recommend?

Playing Chicken

February 14th, 2019

I mentioned a month or so ago that I started a quilt for our bed using a fat quarter collection of Rifle Paper Company fabric. Since I’m making a king size quilt (even though we have a queen bed), I realized early on I’d need to add additional fabric from my stash to make sure I had enough. When I finished 24 squares I knew I’d be cutting close, really close with the fabric. In fact, I was concerned I wasn’t going to have enough to finish all the squares, I was playing chicken with the fabric.


Last night, spent some time figuring out the last 7 squares needed, making sure I’d be able to squeak out enough to finish the quilt. I figured if I lacked only one or two squares I’d just add squares of the linen fabric that I’m using as borders.

It turns out I’m going to have just enough, with only a few small scraps left. I’m glad I decided to add in a few extra fabrics from the beginning, otherwise, I wouldn’t have had enough to finish it. I’m pretty excited about getting this quilt finished, it’s going to be lovely!

What’s happening in your creative world?

Still Winter

February 13th, 2019

In early February, it starts to feel like there is hope for spring to come once again. The sun rises higher in the sky and the days start to get noticeably longer. There are warmer days, the snow melts from the roof and drip, drip, drips on the ice/snow below. February is still very much a winter month though, it’s probably our snowiest month. Last night a winter storm rolled through leaving us in a blanket of white. As sit here at my computer working, I’m seeing the snow sticking to the window behind my cup of pens & turkey feathers.

I used to be pining for planting and spring by this time, as I get older (and busier), I’m learning to love the stillness of this season (not that it’s still by any means). I start seeds later and later each year, trying to savor as much rest as possible and get in lots of reading during the winter. So this morning I’m enjoying the snow blowing outside my window.

Do you live in a place with distinct seasons? Have you learned to appreciate each one for what it offers?

Recommendations for France?

February 12th, 2019

Later this spring, Mr Chiots and I may be headed to France for a week. He needs to go to Paris for work for a day or two, so we figured, why not make a short vacation out of it. I’m looking at lodging, meals, and sightseeing options for April. We don’t necessarily want to stay in Paris for the entire time, we’re hoping to visit Villandry and Monet’s garden as well. Other than that, the rest of the time is unplanned.

I figured I’d ask all of you for any recommendations on things to see and do in France, what’s overrated, what’s a must see, where should we eat & stay?

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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