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Quote of the Day: Gordon Hayward

April 20th, 2017

“Stone gives our garden solidity and weight. It helps to frame views and bring out the colors of the foliage in our plantings; and it provides places to rest and foils for lawn. Used in paths, it shapes how we move through space. Stone artifacts lend a feeloing of time and history and often determine the mood and tone of an area.”

Gordon Hayward in Stone in the Garden

My Ohio garden had lots of stone features, every planting hole produced hundreds of stones ready to be used in walls and walkways. So I build walls and walkways with them.

Now that I’m settling on a design for this garden, stone walls are going to be added here and there throughout the garden. My first wall is on the upper side of the potager. Now that the big maple tree is gone, it’s time to level out this area and build walls around it.

The only difference is the size of many of the stones. I have access to stacks and stacks of large stones, these stacks were made by the original homesteaders here in the late 1800’s. I’m slowly moving these large stones and building walls that define gardens spaces and level out the very hilly nature of this garden.

Do you have any stone walls, walkways, or other features in your garden?

New Vines

April 19th, 2017

One thing I need to work on in this garden is vertical height. I need more climbing vines, more tall shrubs, more small trees, and a few specimen trees. Starting with climbing vines seemed like the easiest way to work on this. Lucky me two weeks ago when I went to a local store and they had clematis for $6.99 each.

I bought one of each variety and potted them up when I got home.

They’re currently growing very nicely on the back porch (didn’t think about getting photos until it was dark). One of them has shoots that are 6 inches tall already. I’m looking forward to adding these lovelies to a few areas to add a bit of beauty and height.

What’s your favorite climber?

Out of the Cellar

April 18th, 2017

The dahlia tubers came out of the cellar last week and were potted up in containers and put on the back porch to start sprouting. The porch is enclosed and stays much warmer than outside, this will give them a toasty spot to start sprouting and get a head start on the season. My tubers survived wonderfully in the root cellar. I dug them in late fall and tucked them into large totes filled with wood shavings. I’m happy with the results, it was my first time ever growing dahlias and the first time overwintering the tubers in the basement.

The only problem with these tubers is that they are so much larger than the new tubers I bought, I had to get out some very large containers to pot them up. Next year I’ll experiment with planting them directly in the garden to see if they bloom at the same time as the potted ones. I’m always happy to give plants a boost if it’s beneficial, but if it’s not I can use that time for something else.

Do you grow dahlias? Do they benefit from being potted up early?

Cat Mushrooms

April 13th, 2017

We have five cats running around the garden and they show up here and there laying about the lawn, gardens, and driveway. We call them cat mushrooms since they pop up instantly.

I do love having cats in the garden, not only are they great for rodent control but also for company. There’s nothing better than having a cat following you around the garden.

The First Blooms

April 12th, 2017

Both Monday and Tuesday were beautiful days this week, both in the 70’s and sunny. It’s amazing how quickly things grow when the sun comes out and the air warms. On Monday I walked around the garden looking for bulbs coming up, there was nothing. Yesterday afternoon I noticed the crocuses blooming.

I don’t have a ton of crocuses in the garden here, there were a few in the garden when we moved in. In my Ohio garden, I planted around 1000 crocus bulbs, in the lawn and in the perennial borders. I’m thinking of adding a few underneath our old apple trees. I’ve spent the last three years smoothing all the invasive weeds, now that I have them under control a carpet of crocuses might be in order! But then again, maybe I’ll plant lots of snowdrops, or tiny narcissus, or bluebells….choices, choices.

What’s your favorite tiny spring flower?

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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.