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Uncommon Hedge Plants

August 23rd, 2019

I’m a lover of a good hedge, in fact I have several hedges planned for the gardens here and have been researching hedging options and noticing any hedges I see both here and elsewhere. Most likely, the large hedge around the main garden is going to be beech. They grow very well locally and the deer don’t bother them. Though I’m going to be trialing hawthorn as well to see if it works, a thornless variety as I have no desire to prune 270 feet of thorny hedge. When we were at Longwood a few weeks ago, we noticed this dwarf fals cypress hedge and loved it.


The unstructured loose feel of this hedge is quite nice. It’s not something I will use in place of the beech hedge as I want clean lines, but it’s an option for other parts of the garden, especially if it proves to be deer proof. It would make for a good windbreak in the winter since it’s an evergreen.

Do you have any favorite hedge plants?

Bee Hotels

August 22nd, 2019

There’s been a lot of talk of insect/bee hotels lately. I’ve been seeing them in most of the botanical gardens that I’ve visted over the past few years. This one was featured at one of the arboretums in Paris.

It’s very cute and looks lovely in the garden. While I’ve always thought about building one, I’ve never gotten around to it. Lately, studies have shown that they’re not as beneficial as once thought. It’s much more effective to produce more natural habitats for them. We have a few large brush piles in the woods where lots of these types of bees and other insects can live. We leave dead trees standing if they’re not a hazzard to us or the house. There are lots of things you can do to help native bees without providing apartment complexes for them. Now I don’t feel so bad about never making one.

Have you spotted any native bee hotels in local gardens?

Harvesting Poppy Seeds

August 20th, 2019

I grow a lot of breadseed poppies here, they seem to spring up every summer. They bloom beautifully, so I only pull the ones that are in locations where I simply can’t allow them to grow. The rest of them get to grow wherever they germinate, which seems to be everywhere. This year I’ve had more than I’ve ever had in the garden.


Now that’s they’ll all finished blooming, the seed pods are starting to dry off. Since there are so many, I don’t want all those seeds falling on the soil and germinating next year. I’m harvesting as many seed heads as I can and saving them to use this winter.


It looks like I’ll get about 6 cups of poppy seeds for baking (I’ll save a few Tablespoons for planting). I’ve never really been a poppyseed kind of a person, for baking and such. Now that I have a lot, I plan on making a few things.

Do you have any great poppyseed recipes to recommend?

Ideas, Ideas

August 13th, 2019

When I was in Philadelphia a few weeks ago I visited Terrain. I find this space to be very inspirational, the non polished surfaces, the way they organize things, the plants, paint; all of it.











What sorts of spaces do you find inspiring?

Local Garden Tours

August 12th, 2019

I’m lucky that we have a lot of local garden tours during the summer months. My local garden club features a different garden each Friday, which is a nice way to do it. After hitting the bank, the grocery store, and the farmers market, I visit the garden of the day. We also have several land trusts that have garden tours, I always try to make the Georges River Land Trust Tour. This year there were 5 gardens on the tour, each lovely. Here’s one that I saw 5 years ago or so, and was happy to visit again.








The espaliered fruit trees, the little handmade greenhouse, large trees, flowers, vines, and vegetables, it all works beautifully well. It’s well done, but not overdone. After seeing lots of gardens, you can definitely tell the difference in a garden when it is created by someone that loves to garden versus someone who likes gardens and hires someone else to do the work. Gardens created over years have a wonderfully settled feel, they feel real, transparent, you can see the personality of the gardener coming through.

Do you visit local gardens on open days? Have you gleaned any good ideas for your garden?

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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