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Quote of the Day: Monty Don

August 11th, 2018

“The original plan for that part of the garden was to be a circular lawn surrounded by a yew hedge. I duly planted yews and mowed the grass but it was never convincing. Some things never fit, however much you want them to or however good idea they seem on paper. Making a garden is as much about finding it and letting it reveal itself to you as constructing or taming it.”

Monty Don in ‘Nigel’

Mr Chiots got me a copy of ‘Nigel’ for my birthday. We’ve been watching Monty Don on Gardener’s World for many years and have grown to enjoy seeing Nigel on there. We were pretty happy when Amazon added Gardener’s World to BritBox and we’ve been subscribing and watching ever since, not more YouTube! If you’re looking for a show to watch and enjoy gardening, give this a go. It’s worth every penny in my book. At the moment, the Kindle version of this book is only $2.99, so grab a copy while you can.

What great books are you reading at the moment?

Getting into Full Swing

March 28th, 2018

Seed starting is starting to get into full swing. This past weekend, all the peppers were started. I started almost an entire flat, 31 cells in all, featuring 12 varieties.

I like to grow a wide variety of peppers. This year I’m adding peppers to make canned green chiles and to dry for making mole. I’m always excited about trying new varieties, this year is no exception!

What kinds of peppers are you planning on growing this year?

Winter Wonderland

January 23rd, 2018

Last week we woke up to a winter wonderland, which was quite nice after a lot of rain had melted all the snow. A few inches of snow had fallen overnight and the sun was shining, it was truly spectacular. I ended up going for a snowshoe in the morning instead of working in the office. Here’s what I saw:

What’s the weather like in your garden?

Friday Favorite: Labeled Plants

January 12th, 2018

When I first started gardening, I wasn’t very good at labeling things as I planted them in the garden. Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve tried numerous products for labeling things in the edible garden. After much trial and error, I finally settled on a few products that work well and help keep me organized.

I discovered a few different types of wooden plant markers that work very well. Another great benefit is that they are made at a shop only abut 20 minutes from my house. When I ordered wholesale boxes of these labels and markers for my shop, I drove up and picked them up. They use birch wood from the northeast, another bonus. I love it when I can support a small business with my purchases, especially one that is so local! I use the small labels in my seedling trays and the medium and large labels in the garden.

Another thing that always frustrated me when it came to labeling plants was the fading. There’s nothing worse than checking a plant tag only to realize it was unreadable. After trying pencils, grease pencils, sharpies, and a few other products, I finally found these Garden Markers (also made for the local company I get my tags from).

These will last for a year in the garden, sometimes more. I find they last longest on the large plant tags. When I harvest my garlic, I can still easily read the varieties on the tags. I’m so happy to have found these. Which is why I decided to sell them over at Seeds & Sundries. These have become one of my most favorite garden tools in the past 5 years since I discovered them!

What garden tools have you discovered and fallen in love with recently?

New to Me Nasturtiums

July 31st, 2017

In Ohio I tried growing nasturtiums many times, they never did well at all. Everyone always said they were so “easy” and did well in poor soil, yet I could never get them to do anything at all in my garden. I finally gave up trying to grow them and moved on to other annuals. When we moved to Maine and I was growing in a different area, growing them never crossed my mind until this spring. A pack of ‘Night & Day’ nasturtiums were ordered from Johnny’s, started in soil blocks, and planted throughout the garden.

I was not prepared for the exuberance of these plants. Here by the front door they’re taking over their pots, growing up the side of the house, and being fantastic. I planted one between each tomato plant in the main garden, they are growing up way too big. Last week I cut them back hoping they would regrow but be a little less crazy. I’m undecided on whether I like these plants and will grow them again next year. This pale yellow is nice, especially by the front door. I’m not a big fan of bright, brash colors in the garden, which nasturtiums tend to be. I guess I’ll watch these the rest of the summer and see what I think in another month or so.

What annual that everyone says is “easy” have you struggled to grow?

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.