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Forcing Spring

April 12th, 2018

I’ve always read about forcing rhubarb. I love the look of the rhubarb forcing pots they use in British gardens, I haven’t been able to find one here in the US. You need a special pot technically, but they sure are pretty. When I was out walking around the potager a few days ago, I noticed the rhubarb was starting to crown.

Since I don’t have a nice pot, I decided to use an old black container. It should work just as well. I’ll keep watching it and comparing it to the plants that aren’t covered. Will it grow faster? Be ready to harvest sooner? That’s the idea, but we shall see if it works…I’ll keep you posted.

Do you grow rhubarb? Do you love it or hate it?

Back Outside

April 11th, 2018

It never fails that I end up with a few plants that are still in pots when winter rolls around. Sometimes, I overwinter them in the garage, most often, they spend the long winter in the basement.

This time of year, I start moving them outside. Last week, the boxwood and yew plants went out. In a few weeks, the hydrangeas in pots, wisteria, and other potted trees will go out as well. It’s an easy to overwinter plants that didn’t get planted. Sometimes, I even buy fall plants on clearance and overwinter them to plant in spring.

Do you ever end up with plants in the fall that you didn’t get around to planting? How to do deal with them for the winter?

Loads of Cedah

April 10th, 2018

Now that I’ve been gardening here for 5 years, I’m finally getting the gardens to the place where I can start adding fences, raised beds, rock walls, hedges, and other permanent features. This summer, one of the goals is to start getting the main garden moving towards the final plan. That means a wide main walkway will hopefully be installed, along with lots of raised beds.
trade eggs for cedar and works well for both of us. This past weekend, I finally cashed in on some of the egg money and picked up two loads of cedar planks to make raised beds. The boards are mostly 2″ x 10″ x 8′, with some thicker ones that will be cut to form anchors in the corners.

The beds will be made 8′ x 8′ and 8′ x 4′. My plan is to have them here and there in an organized fashion throughout the main garden. Eventually, there will be lots of raised beds, but this year we only plan on adding 5 or so. Stay tuned to see the beds being built and the garden being laid out.

What big garden projects do you have planned for this summer?

Sprucing up the Cottage

April 9th, 2018

This past weekend was spent painting & sprucing up our new bedroom, which used to be the office, until we couldn’t get our new bed up the stairs. It was already painted a few years ago, but it needed a fresh coat of paint on the walls and new trim. We walled in the old chimney to keep the drafts from the basement out (along with the spiders). We also moved our favorite little fan down from the old bedroom upstairs.

As home improvement goes, it gets worse before it gets better. There’s a pile of supplies in a corner of the kitchen, the living room is the painting area for trim. The dining room table is overflowing with drywall compound, trowels, painting supplies, and a host of other tools.

It’s nice to freshen things up, especially when it’s spaces you see frequently. We have plans on slowly moving around the house painting things to freshen and clean it up. We’ll put up new light fixtures that cast more light, the house is a bit dark. Slowly but surely, it will start to look cleaner and fresher.

What home improvement projects have you been working on?

The Portland Flower Show

April 5th, 2018

A week and a half ago, a friend and I went down to the Portland Flower Show. I haven’t been to one of these types of shows since I was in high school. While they’ve improved a bit, it’s still a lot of marketing and sales, aimed at getting you to buy things.

One thing I did like about this garden show, was that there were actual gardens set up, with boulders, and plants, and trees, and themes. From what I see/hear, this is the new norm in garden shows, I just haven’t been to one to see it.

While I did see some interesting things at the show, it was a bit pricey for what was there. It was also super busy, which means I couldn’t get any wide shots of any of the garden because it was wall-to-wall people. I did snap a few great pictures of some timber frame sheds & pergolas for Mr Chiots. Perhaps some day I’ll have a lovely potting shed like the one above.

Do you attend your local garden show? What do you think about it? 

Seeds and Sundries
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Berkey Water Filter

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.