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A Trip to Stan Hywet in Akron, OH

June 8th, 2009

Last Tuesday my mom and I went to Stan Hywet to see their peonies in bloom. If you were reading my blog last fall you’ll remember that I got my mom a membership to Stan Hywet for a gift. So far this spring we’ve gone twice, this past week was really nice. They have tons of peonies of all shapes colors and sizes. Unfortunately we had a big thunderstorm the night before so they were a little wet & droopy, but they still looked Fabulous! It happened to be super cold that day (in the 50’s), and kind of dark & dreary, but it was still beautiful!
So for those of you who love peonies and lovely gardens, here’s some eye candy for you. It was very difficult narrowing down the photos, I took so many while there. But here are the best 32 photos for you to enjoy. (the little icon in the top left-hand corner will allow you to see the photos in full screen if you’d like to see them bigger)

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What do you think of Stan Hywet?

Expanding the Garden

June 5th, 2009

On Wednesday we ran over to my mom’s house because she’s letting us expand her garden. Since we have limited full-sun areas in our gardens, she offered to let us plant our popcorn at her house.
My mom and I covered the new garden area with a tarp back in March so that the grass would be smothered. When we uncovered it, it was ready to till up.
We pulled out the old tiller and finally got it started. I had a good laugh, it was a lot like Good Neighbors.
When it was finished my mom’s garden is now 1/3 larger than it was. I’ll be heading over some time next week to plant my popcorn, beans and squash for a proper 3 sisters garden.

Anyone else growing popcorn?

Visiting the Working Gardens in Massillon, OH

May 16th, 2009

Yesterday I visited Scott and Andee at the Working Gardens in Massillon, OH. Working Gardens is a small greenhouse that specialized in native, woodland and shade loving plants. They also offer herbs and veggies, and this year they’re running a CSA. (If you live in the Massillon area, check their website for dates & hours of the plant sale).
I managed to score a few plants that I’ve been looking for. Scott also gave me a few interesting things to try; among them an heirloom Italian Cayenne pepper. He got the seeds from a friends grandfather. I’m really excited to see how it tastes, I’m a big fan of Cayenne pepper.
Scott gave me the tour of all of the gardens including the veggie beds that are part of his CSA program.
Diva the dog helped with the tour.
The veggie beds are filled with lettuce and garlic along with peas and potatoes. There are also a lot of peppers and tomatoes under row covers since we’re supposed to get a cold night tonight (forecasted in the 30’s BRRR that’s cold).
They have a lovely shaded property of 3 acres with a wonderful spring which feeds this great stream bed. They also use the spring to irrigate the crops, how great is that!
Speaking of tree peonies, I spotted this one in his garden as we were leaving, what a beauty!
It’s always nice to meet people that have similar interests. Brian and I had a great time visiting and getting to know Andee and Scott. I met Scott on Freedom Gardens, if you aren’t a member you should check it out, it’s a great place to meet like-minded folks.

What are some ways you’ve met other gardeners?

Garden Dreams: Tree Peonies

May 15th, 2009

I would love to get a tree peony. I’ve always thought they’re so pretty and so interesting, but oh so very expensive. My mom’s neighbor has one that blooming right now, and I went to a farm yesterday and the owner had this beauty in his flowerbed. I think this is a ‘Palace of the Purple Clouds’.
The bees loved it! He actually has sister bees to our bees, he happened to be picking up his bees at the same time we were getting ours.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get a tree peony, I think I’d have a hard time spending so much on one plant. But who knows, perhaps I’ll get one someday.

Anyone have a tree peony or want one?

A Trip to Longwood Gardens

February 18th, 2009

Two years ago Mr Chiots and I took a trip to Longwood Gardens. It’s such a wonderful place. Longwood Gardens is great for anyone who loves flowers, trees, gardening and architecture. Located on 1,050 acres with 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens, you’ll find beauty at every turn. There are fountains, wooded gardens, Japanese gardens, vegetable gardens, rose gardens and pretty much anything you can think of. In the spring they have a tulip show that is spectacular, hundreds of thousands of bulbs are planted in the fall for the spring show (we got to see many of them). I would highly recommend it as a lovely day for anyone who lives within driving distance (or for those of you who live far away, whenever you make it to the area). Here’s a photo gallery from our trip (early May 2007).

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Anyone have any gardens they’d recommend visiting?

Reading & Watching

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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.