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Hanging Baskets

June 20th, 2009

I love hanging baskets! Particularly ones overflowing with petunias. I love it when little towns have baskets of petunias from every light pole.
hanging petunia baskets downtown
These people must like petunias as much as I do, if I had railings they’d probably look like this as well.
petunias on porch
We have a long porch, it goes across the entire front of our house, which is 44 feet long. We have space for 4 hanging baskets, in between the porch posts. Each year I buy grow or buy some petunias and plant them in my baskets and wait a few months for them to spill over and become lush. It seems like about the time they get really pretty, frost is just around the corner.
hanging baskets on porch
This year I had planned on growing tumbling tom tomatoes in my hanging baskets, I’ve seen photos of them overflowing the basket will lovely tiny red tomatoes. My tumbling toms look nothing like the photos I’ve seen, they’re kind of leggy and not pretty at all, perhaps they’re not really tumbling toms since I got them from a seed swap.
Farmer's Market
Luckily when I was at the farmer’s market last week there was an older Amish gentleman selling these lovely hanging baskets. I asked him how much and he said, “$15 each, or if you buy 3 or more I’ll give them to you for $10, how many do you want?”. I said I’d like 4, he said “Well, I’ll give them all to you for $35 then”.
hanging basket of superbells 2
What a deal for these lovely baskets! I brought them home and transplanted them to my baskets and they’re instantly lush and beautiful on my front porch. Aren’t they lovely?
Purple Petunias in hanging basket
I ended up with 2 that are the same, they’re big petunias, purple and purple and white ones. I got one basket of purple and white superbells and a basket of petunias and trailing blue bacopa.

What about you, what’s your favorite hanging basket flower?

Do you love hanging baskets?

Rainy Days in the Garden

June 19th, 2009

We finally got some much needed rain on Tuesday night, all day Wednesday and Thursday morning. I was excited on Wednesday afternoon when I looked at the rain gauge and we had over a half an inch of rain!
rain gauge
We’ve been really low on rainfall this spring, so it was refreshing to have to take a couple days off and let everything in the garden get watered in well. There were some pretty nasty storms with tornadoes spotted in areas around us, but it seems like all the severe stuff skirted just south of us, so we only got the good kind of soaking rain.
wheelbarrow in rain
By the end of the rain storms we ended up with over an inch of much needed rain. The plants are all well-watered and my rain barrels are full and I’m happy!
Tomato plants in rain
I actually love rainy days, I usually end up cooking and cleaning. Wednesday I made a delicious loaf of sourdough bread and a big batch of braised red cabbage.

What about you, do you love rainy days? (take the poll)

Gardening Books: Gaia’s Garden, A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

June 18th, 2009

I’m always reading several books, I have a stack of 10-15 on the table at all times and I read them while I’m eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or just taking a break.Gaia_s_Garden_a_guide_to_home_scale_permacultuer I love reading gardening books for inspiration, I’m particularly drawn to books with interesting photos and ideas.

I read Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permacultureafter watching A Farm for the Future because I was fascinated by the idea of forest gardens they talked about in this documentary.

It’s not the typical garden book filled with photos of lush gardens (although the 2nd edition may have more), it has more of a textbook feel with only a few sketches to articulate certain points. It is easy to understand and very well written and keeps you engaged throughout the entire book. I’m finding that permaculture is quite fascinating, and I think I’ve learned more about gardening and nature from this book than I learned in all my years of science in school (perhaps that’s because I’m paying attention now?).
gaia's garden image-web
If you’re interesting in the nitty-gritty of organic gardening I would highly recommend this book. It’s not the typical fluff organic gardening book that talks about composting and heirloom vegetables. It will definitely challenge some of the ideas you have about organic gardening and perhaps inspire you to make your gardens a little more closely aligned with the natural order of things. I’m hoping to implement some of the ideas into the gardens here at Chiot’s Run.

To read more about permaculture go here.

Have you ever heard of Permaculture? Are you implementing some of it’s techniques in your gardens?

P.S. I’d like to thank all of you who click through my Amazon links in the sidebar or in the posts. I get a tiny percentage of whatever you order (not just the linked item), I haven’t earned much, but soon I may have enough to buy a new plant. Thanks!

Planting Strawberry Popcorn

June 17th, 2009

Mr Chiots and I are big fans of popcorn, we often eat it in the evenings. Since we’re trying to eat more locally we were thrilled to find some local popcorn last year. While I was out and about one day I spotted seeds for Bonatical Interests Strawberry Popcorn and I just had to have them. How can you not want to grow corn that’s described as: the diminutive strawberry shaped, ruby red ears on these stalks are an eye-catching addition to the back of the flower border. So we’re going to try growing our own popcorn this year.
Strawberry Popcorn Seed Packet
I soaked the seeds overnight (I’ve heard it softens them and helps them germinate) and I planted them in peat pots. I wanted them to be germinated when I planted them because then I wouldn’t have to worry about animals digging up the seeds. I used peat pots because corn does not like to have it’s roots disturbed.
corn seeds soaking
planting corn seeds
I had great germination in a few days and they were ready to plant on Monday.
corn sprouts
So I headed over to my mom’s house to plant it in the plot that we tilled up several weeks ago. Yesterday we added some compost and other amendments and worked them into the soil.
planting corn
Then I set about planting the corn seedlings. I’m thinking about making this a traditional 3 sisters planting, since this is an heirloom Indian corn. There’s already a ‘Rouge Vif d’Etampes’ in there that my mom started and I have a few butternut and pumpkins to plant in there as well. I’ll have to pre-germinate some beans when the corn gets to be about 6-8 inches tall and then I’ll plant the pole beans at the base of the cornstalks.
planting corn seedlings 1planting corn seedlings 2
planting corn seedlings 3planting corn seedlings 4
I’m really excited about this popcorn. I’m hoping to have a good crop so I can give some away as Christmas gifts and so that we have enough popcorn to last us till next year.

Are there foods that you love that you’re trying to grow yourself?

– it was super delicious, we love it!

Gardening Quote: Aristotle

June 16th, 2009

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous”

Fresh flowering in the Winder
I love being able to bring some of those marvelous things inside to enjoy.

Do you bring fresh flowers indoors to enjoy?

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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!


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.