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Friday Favorite: Homegrown Lettuce

May 10th, 2019

The longer I garden, the better I get at succession planting. It can be difficult to keep on the correct schedule and to figure out what schedule works for your garden, soil, and climate. For example, I have found that seeding every two weeks it too often for me. The lettuce seems to all come ready at once. When I seed every four weeks, I can have beautiful butterheads for salad all summer long. If there’s a bit of a lull between the lettuce forming heads, I simply harvest the outer leaves.





For me, growing lettuce is one of the greatest joys of edible gardening. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a row of perfectly formed butterheads, they look like giant roses. If I had to choose one thing to grow in my edible space, it would definitely be lettuce.

Do you grow lettuce? Do you have a favorite variety/type to grow?

The Spring Garden

May 9th, 2019

I’m sure you’re enjoying the photos from our trip to France, but I’m taking a break to show you what’s going on around the gardens here. The spring garden, as I’m calling it, under the old apple tree is starting to come together. Last year I transplanted lots of crocuses, snowdrops, and scillas from various areas about the garden into this area. The goal is to have this be the place where all the tiny spring bulbs live.


Since it’s right by the front door, it’s the perfect spot for a spring garden. The old apple tree doesn’t leaf out until the bulbs have bloomed and have absorbed enough sunlight to expand and increase their numbers.


Naturally, whenever I’m trying to take a photos I get cat bombed. Here, Littles thought her legs were much prettier than those snowdrops.


I plan on adding a few more bulbs to this area this coming fall. Perhaps a few different varieties of snowdrops and crocuses and maybe a few tiny daffodils. I may even look around for a few early primroses and other very early spring blooming plants to nestle into this garden.

What’s your favorite early blooming plant/bulb?

Farmers Market in Paris

May 8th, 2019

After spending a few days in the French countryside visiting gardens, we headed back to Paris for the rest of the week. Mr Chiots had a few meetings in the city, which was the reason we ended up in France. On Sunday morning, we decided to walk to the Eiffel tower and see the city as we walked. Our apartment was on the western side of the city, about a mile away. As we walked, we lucked out and ended up in a really great farmers market. If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know how much I love farmers markets, fresh vegetables, and good food.














The Potager at Villandry

May 7th, 2019

When we visited Villandry, we saved the ornamental potager for last. Even though we had seen it from the top of the tower (which is admittedly the best viewing angle for this particular garden), it was overwhelming! There are nine beds, each with an intricate design that is different from the others.

Even though I’ve seen this garden on TV and in books, nothing prepared me for the size, scale, and detail of it. It’s truly something to behold!














The Sun Garden & Water Garden at Villandry

May 6th, 2019

After apprecaiting all the lettuce seedlings and the greenhouse, we made our way across the top of the property to the water garden and the new sun garden. The water garden is a large pond/lake, complete with a pair of swans. Compared to the rest of the garden, it’s very simple. Only lawn, water and a few box balls in containers. The walkways are gravel, which crunch nicely underfoot (a favorite sound for me). Then we made our way up a small hill to the new sun garden, which is a lot like American botanical gardens. Since this area is dominated by shrubs and perennials, it was fairly dormant when we were there.
















The pollarded lime trees are a dominate feature in this garde and are quite stunning. No doubt they look lovely when they are leafed out, in winter their skeletons create such drama, especially in their shadows.

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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