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The New Pollinator Bed

June 12th, 2020

Three years ago I started developing a garden on a slope by the driveway that was difficult to mow. The soil is very sandy and dry, with no organic matter to speak of. It was also infested with quack grass. I laid down cardboard and covered it with mulch, then I let it sit over winter.


This garden bed is filled with things just for the pollinators, I’ve working hard to plan for blooms throughout the season.

Currently, there are sages, spiderwort, persicaria, spurge, cushion plants, scabiosa, iris, veronica, and geranium,

I recently added a few shrubs as well, ‘Miss Kim’ lilac, a ‘Coppertina’ ninebark, and a ‘Quick Fire’ panicle hydrangea that came with us from Ohio and has been living in the potager. I also added a Kousa Dogwood that I scored at the home improvement store last fall for $7. It overwintered in the basement and was planted in this bed in the spring.

A friend made me this lovely sculpture from old tools, it was a birthday gift last summer. I’ve been looking for just the right spot for it in the garden. After finding two large black rocks that were nicely square, it is gracing the pollinator bed.

There’ still more to add to this bed, I have plants in the nursery area that need moved. I also have plans to add a few more clematis to grow up the shrubs and fill in with even more blooms. Stay tuned for photos of this new garden as the year progresses. If you have any great pollinator plants to recommend let me know in the comments.

What’s your favorite pollinator plant?

Dahlia Break Out

September 23rd, 2019

I purchased a small tuber for ‘Break Out’ Dahlia at the farmers market last year. It grew well and multiplied into a huge tuber, which I dug in the fall and overwintered in the basement. This year, it’s a HUGE plant producing mass amounts of large blush and yellow blooms.


I’ve been cutting masses of them and enjoying them in the house. There’s always one in the bathroom and usually a big vase full on the dining room table. This year the dahlias have been a bit late, but now that they’re blooming they’re making up for lost time.

Do you grow dahlias? Do you have a favorite variety?

A Fall/Winter Planter

September 17th, 2019

Flowering kale has always been a favorite fall plant. They look magnificent when most other things are fading, breathing fresh life into an otherwise waning season. They can be difficult to source, at least I haven’t found them easy to find when needed. A few years ago I bought seeds and started my own. This year I got lucky and found a few on sale at a local greenhouse.

I decided to cut down a birch sapling that was encroaching on a trail and use that as well. As the season progressing into winter, I’ll add some red twig dogwood stems and probably some pine boughs as well.

Do you make seasonal containers? What are some of your favorite plants to use?

Every Year…

September 12th, 2019

Every year I think my hardy hibiscus didn’t make it through the winter. Then, in late June I start to notice that it’s putting up some growth. In late August it starts to bloom and continues through frost. It’s a short sweet season, made sweeter because it blooms in that late season when many perennials are winding down for winter.

The tropical look can almost make you believe summer is still around, especially when the afternoon sun still retains some warmth. This beauty is the perfect plant to end the season!

Do you have a favorite end of season flower?

Finally…..

September 10th, 2019

This year everything has been moving at a slower pace than normal, the cold weather has been the most likely culprit. Usually by now, the tithonias are huge and covered in blooms. This year they’re just starting to show their color.

It’s not a huge deal, at least they are blooming, which means they’re providing much needed late season food for monarchs and hummingbirds as they migrate. This year I planted 20 tithonias in a large hedge across one side of the main vegetable garden in the back. Since they aren’t as large as normal, at least there are more than normal.

How’s the season been in your garden? Early, late, wet, dry?

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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!

About

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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