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Ideas, Ideas

August 13th, 2019

When I was in Philadelphia a few weeks ago I visited Terrain. I find this space to be very inspirational, the non polished surfaces, the way they organize things, the plants, paint; all of it.











What sorts of spaces do you find inspiring?

Local Garden Tours

August 12th, 2019

I’m lucky that we have a lot of local garden tours during the summer months. My local garden club features a different garden each Friday, which is a nice way to do it. After hitting the bank, the grocery store, and the farmers market, I visit the garden of the day. We also have several land trusts that have garden tours, I always try to make the Georges River Land Trust Tour. This year there were 5 gardens on the tour, each lovely. Here’s one that I saw 5 years ago or so, and was happy to visit again.








The espaliered fruit trees, the little handmade greenhouse, large trees, flowers, vines, and vegetables, it all works beautifully well. It’s well done, but not overdone. After seeing lots of gardens, you can definitely tell the difference in a garden when it is created by someone that loves to garden versus someone who likes gardens and hires someone else to do the work. Gardens created over years have a wonderfully settled feel, they feel real, transparent, you can see the personality of the gardener coming through.

Do you visit local gardens on open days? Have you gleaned any good ideas for your garden?

Cedrus Libani

May 23rd, 2019

I’ve always admired Cedar of Lebanon trees. There’s just something about the size, the form, and the coloring of these trees. All of the ones I’ve seen in person are small, around 15-20 feet tall, I’ve only seen the mature specimens in photos and on film. When I visited Paris in early April, I spent one day walking around Jardin des Plantes. This garden wasn’t even on my list of places to visit, until I read ‘American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic’ on the plane ride over to France. One day, while Mr Chiots was in a meeting, I took the subway up and spent a few hours walking around this lovely garden. That’s where I spotted this amazing Cedrus Libani.






Cedar of Lebanon is marginally hardy in our zone, technically it should be, but that isn’t always the case. Some cultivars are hardier than others, I’ve recently found a cultivar that’s supposed to be the hardiest of all. I’m going to be purchasing seeds for this variety to give them a go. While I’d never spend $150 on a tree that may or may not survive, I am more than happy to spend $10 on seeds to give them a go. Here’s a great article from Arnold Arboretum about hardier strains of Cedrus Libani.

Do you have any trees you’ve always admired and wanted to add to your garden?

Back in the Saddle

May 20th, 2019

Last week Mr Chiots and I were in Ohio visiting family (and Mr Chiots had a work meeting). I had grand plans of writing blog posts and scheduling them to post while I was gone, but there was too much to finish up in the garden before we left. I’m also trying to spend a little less time working and a little more time doing the things that I love. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I no longer write daily blog posts, taking vacation times away is also something I’ve been doing. When we were in Ohio, we took a day trip to Kelleys Island, a place I’ve visited several times in my life.

We made sure to stop at the glacier grooves, a place I distinctly remember visiting as a kid. Then we had a picnic lunch and drove the golf cart around the island looking at gardens and houses. We hiked out to Sheele Preserve and were awed by its beauty (despite the terrically muddy trail to get there).












It was a wonderful day, perfect weather for a day outside on the islands. This was our first day trip of this kind, in the future we are thinking of planning vacations to other destinations (if you have any recommendations let me know).

Vintage French Gardening Posters

April 8th, 2019

When we toured the Chateau of Villandry, the hallway upstairs was lined with these vintage vegetable posters. I’ve seen copies of these before, but never this many in one place. They were amazing! Unfortunately, the lighting in the hallway wasn’t great and they were hung a little high so I couldn’t take photos straight on. I figured you’d rather see them in less than perfect photos than not see them at all. Here’s my first quick post with photos from our trip to France.










I’m learning a new photo management and editing software, so I may only post a few photos while I figure out how to work with it.

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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