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Inspiration

May 16th, 2018

Typically, I spend all winter reading about gardening and looking through my collection of various gardening books. This past winter, I was busy with a lot of things and spent most of my time reading novels. As the weather warmed, I found myself missing my garden reading.

I’m a huge Monty Don fan, which means that I purchased his new book ‘Down to Earth‘ and have been reading through it. It’s fantastic, as are all his books (‘Gardening at Longmeadow‘ and ‘The Ivington Diaries‘ are my two favorite gardening books). On my stack this week, I also have ‘Earth on Her Hands‘, an older, out of print book that highlights the gardens of many different women. It’s one of my favorites it look through each winter, as the gardens aren’t show gardens, but real gardens made by real women. ‘Gardens of Spirit and Place‘ is another favorite, though the gardens featured in this book are more designed and much more elaborate.

The New Homesteader‘ which features the beauty of Walnuts Farm in England is a feast for the eyes, especially if you love traditional English potagers. There are many more books that I’ve looked through and put back on the shelf. I’ll share some of those in the comings weeks. I find books about gardens are one of my favorite ways to find inspiration for my garden.

Do you have a favorite gardening book that you refer to frequently for inspiration?

Friday Favorite: New Recipes

April 20th, 2018

I’m a lover of food and a lover of cooking. There’s not much I enjoy more than a new cookbook and making recipes from it. This past winter, I got Nigel Slater’s A Kitchen Diary and read through it. Every recipe sounded delicious as I was reading through (his books are not just cookbooks with recipes, but more books about food & cooking with recipes sprinkled in).


Last week, I made pumpkin dal from it and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Since I still have pumpkins coming out my ears from last summer’s harvest, I’m always looking for good recipes that can use up some pumpkin. The 24 carat brownie recipe from this book is also fantastic. The recipes are pretty simple, which is something I really appreciate. They highlight good quality ingredients with minimal fussiness in cooking or preparation. I’m looking forward to more and more recipes from this book.

Are you a fan of cooking or just more a fan of eating?

Developing Favorite Perennial Combinations

June 28th, 2017

One thing I’m always watching throughout the seasons is which plants are blooming, their texture, color, height, and preferred conditions. As I watch, I try to develop combinations that will work well together in my garden. Over the last two weeks I’ve been noticing this beautiful peony. As it was blooming beautifully, the ladies mantle also looked beautiful. The brightness of ladies mantle with purple and pink is one of my favorite color combinations in the garden. I’ll definitely be moving some ladies mantle in front of the peony.



It also needs something with a little more height behind it, at the moment, I’m thinking a tall grass might be nice. There’s a big blue hosta in the nursery are that could be moved, I think it will be nice planted next to the peony. If I didn’t have ladies mantle for the front, I may consider adding a variegated comfrey behind the peony. I also have a nice golden hakone grass that would be lovely in front of this peony as well. There’s not enough space behind it, but if there were I’d consider adding a ninebark ‘Diabolo’, the dark foliage would be lovely with the pink blossoms.


Another one of my favorite combinations is chives and lambs ears. In my Ohio garden they were stunning together and looked great for quite a while. It’s a combinations I’ll be adding to the gardens here  for sure.

If you don’t think you have the inspiration to make your own perennial combinations, consider getting the book ‘Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start’. This book contains all kinds of combinations for a wide variety of soil/light types. You’re bound to find one that you will love, notice how many I’ve bookmarked. This book is fantastic because it shows you exactly which plant is which and where it’s planted. It has combinations for dry shade, wet shade, rich soil, and just about any type of space you might have in the garden.


My garden is finally reaching that point where I’m starting to be able to plant the borders with their final plantings. That means I can start combining things I think will look great. The good thing about gardening is that most plants can be moved fairly easily. I find myself constantly moving things here and there to find just the right spot.

What’s one of your favorite perennial combinations?

A Few Good Books

March 1st, 2017

This winter I’ve been reading a ton of books, partly it’s because I’ve been flying back and forth to Ohio quite a bit. I’m also making a concerted effort to read a lot of the books on my must read list.

Most recently, I read ‘The Sounds of Gravel‘, a memoir by a woman who escaped a polygamist group in Mexico when she was a teenager. It was heartbreaking, and so captivating I read it in two sittings. I’ll definitely be loaning it out to friends, in fact I already have a few people on the borrowing list. I’ve moved on to ‘Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archeological Memoir‘ by Agatha Christie, which I decided to read after finishing ‘The Woman on the Orient Express‘, a historical fiction based on Agatha Christie’s life after her divorce from her first husband.

Have you read any good books recently?

The Classics

February 4th, 2015

I enjoy reading The Classics, though recently I’ve been reading quick read paperbacks. That didn’t last too long until I felt the need to revisit a few books written long ago. I’m working on rereading some that I haven’t read in a long time and a few that I have somehow missed reading in my lifetime. It is at times hard to remember what one read in high school and college.
grapes from wrath
hemingway book
I just finished Pride and Prejudice and Emma by Jane Austen. I’m currently reading Jane Eyre, next on the list will probably be My Antonia, which I haven’t read. Perhaps I’ll crack open my Hemingway book next as I love his collection of short stories. Something by John Steinbeck is also on my list, he’s my all-time favorite author and I have been collecting copies of his books for a while. It’s been a while since I’ve read Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row, which are both fantastic.
my library shelf
I’ve looked up lists of classics to see which ones I should add to my list, but figured it was best to ask you.

So….what are your favorite classics?

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About

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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