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Native Wisteria

July 8th, 2019

For a few years now (hard to remember how many exactly, maybe 4-5) I’ve been growing this native wisteria in a container. It’s trained as a standard, though I have a few of the shoots pinned to the soil to propagate it. This beautiful vine lives in the unheated basement during the cold winter months, not because it can’t take the cold, but because the beautiful terracotta pot cannot.



This is a native wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) and much hardier than the Asian varieties (also much less aggressive). As a result, it blooms reliably in cold climates, no freezing of buds which happens quite often with the other varieties. My mom’s neighbor had a wisteria growing on her back porch, it only flowered about once every 5 years because the blooms would be frosted off in early spring.

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

New Itoh Peony

May 22nd, 2019

Two weeks ago I happened to be at my local Sam’s Club picking up a few items. I spotted an Itoh peony for $35, which is a great price. I’m not typically one to purchase plants from these kinds of stores, but the peonies looked healthy and well cared for (often the plants look less than happy). Lucky for me, I had a $25 gift card to use up, so I got my Itoh peony for only $10.

I selected the perfect spot for it and planted it right away. Yesterday I noticed it had a few buds on it already. This is a great plant for my peony collection. I have a lot of herbaceous peonies (probably 20 total) and a few tree peonies (2 total). Peonies are one of my favorite plants. I’m actually considering turning the potager behind the house into a peony garden.

Do you love peonies? Do you have any of the other types or just herbaceous?

The Year of the Cutting Garden

August 23rd, 2018

Every year I add a few more flowers for cutting. This year I feel like I’m finally getting a good number of things. I can have bouquets of one variety of flower or mixed bouquets in different colors. Here are a few of the arrangements I’ve cut from the garden this year:




I’m a big fan of bright green, purple, black, and light pink when it comes to flowers to cut for bouquets. Although this year I have loads of sunflowers and flowers in other colors.

What colors do you tend to love when it comes to flowers?

Color Combinations

August 9th, 2018

Throughout the gardening season, I’m carefully watching plants in the garden for: color, form, structure, height, texture, and bloom time/window. As I work, I try to not which plants would make great combos in the garden in the coming years. This summer, I noticing that the ‘First Glory’ Veronica would pair perfectly with sweet while alyssum with maybe a bit of bronze fennel in there for added color and texture.


Next year, as I edit the perennial borders in front of the main vegetable garden, I’ll be creating this combination. I may also add lamb’s ears and some garlic chives to the mix to extend bloom time and add more textures and layers.

A few years ago, I discovered that I really like tithonia and verbena bonariensis together and have been growing them in combination ever since. This is not only a favorite of mine, but also of the pollinators, especially the monarchs. One of my all time favorite combinations is chives and lamb’s ears. I had them in my foundation borders in Ohio and LOVED this combo. I’m currently working on propagating chives and lamb’s ears to add a few of these vignettes throughout the borders here.

Last year, when we were visiting Kingwood Center in Mansfield, OH, I noticed this combination of bronze fennel growing up around allium seed heads. There’s something so wonderful about this mix, definitely a combination I hope to be trying in the gardens here in the future.

Plant combinations is one of the things I always notice when I tour other gardens, I’m always looking for options that appeal to me to implement here in the gardens of Chiot’s Run. There’s something wonderful and finding just the right mix that appeals to your specific tastes.

What are some of your favorite plant combinations?

Procrastination

July 25th, 2018

I always seem to procrastinate tying up tomatoes and sweet peas. I’m not sure why, I think I just get busy with other garden chores and completely forget until they’re a bit out of control. To be fair, these sweet peas were all volunteers, so they grew up where there was no trellis to support them.  A few sweet peas were seeded this spring, but none of them are blooming yet.

I put up a half piece of stock panel behind them, then proceeded to try to untangle them and tie them up a bit.

I was semi-successful, they’ll at least be easier to harvest and should straighten out a bit as they grow more.

Next year, I may try seeding my sweet peas in the fall, at the base of a trellis where I want them to grow of course! Anything I can find that will save me time/effort during the busy spring planting/seeding season will be welcome. Since my volunteer sweet peas have been blooming for over a month and are much more lush than my seeded ones, I think wintersowing is definitely the way to go.

Have you discovered anything that can be sowed in the fall for the following season?

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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