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Homegrown Flowers

July 30th, 2020

I mostly focus on growing vegetable with a lot of perennials mixed in. While I sometimes cut perennials and bring them indoors, I haven’t done that as much as I’d like in previous years. It seems the chores of gardening just take up lots of time. This year, I’ve been trying to take the time to cut flowers from the garden at least once a week.

This year, I’m especially loving the roses, most of which were planted over the past couple years. They’re all David Austin roses, with the exception of one heritage rose.

I’ve also been cutting clematis flowers to add to them, which I’m really liking. They last for a really long time and even when they drop the petals the little whirly interior stays and looks great. Many of mine have lasted for two or three weeks (I keep adding new roses to the bouquet)

As time goes on, I may incorporate more cutting flowers into the ornamental borders. I don’t usually grow flowers just for cutting, but this year I’m cutting most of the roses to bring indoors as I find I get to see them more often when I have them on the table than when they are in the garden.

Do you grow flowers specifically for cutting or just cut from your perennial borders.

Maine Garden Entry Focal Point

July 10th, 2018

Last fall, I curved a stock panel between several pieces of rebar and made an arch to add a focal point to the entry of the main garden. I planted a few perennial climbers on it, mostly clematis, but a grape vine I found on clearance at the end of the season. I knew the climbers wouldn’t grow up and cover the arch this year, so I added gold pod peas and scarlet runner beans for late season color. It also makes a nice place to hang my favorite garden tool so it’s at hand when I need it.

The arch is looking fantastic at the entry of the garden. I also moved an old half barrel planted to flank the arch and planted my horseradish in it. I’ve added various elements around the arch to enhance the area and make it a true focal point to signify that this is the entry to the garden. It’s still young, but it’s really starting to look nice. In a few years this area will be a stunning entryway, especially when the box hedges grow up on either side and the perennial beds fill in behind them.

What kind of focal points do you have in your garden?

Parade of Flowers

June 15th, 2018

I’m finally to the point where I have a lot of things blooming most of the time. Here are some photos of things that are blooming in my garden, I took all these photos yesterday morning. As you can tell, I gravitate towards purple and pink flowers with a touch of white and chartreuse thrown in. There’s the odd yellow Alexander flower, that was here when we moved in. I have yet to find a final home for it, someday I’ll figure out where it will look best.

The herbacious peonies are just starting to come out, I’m so excited to see them all. My plants are finally mostly mature, which means I have about 10 peonies that will be providing me with much loveliness in the garden and on the table.

The Mad Dash

May 7th, 2018

Here in Maine, we have black fly season. It’s annoying. Black flies buzz in your ears and bite, hard. Typically, the season goes from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. We wear head nets during the season if there’s no breeze, but we try to spend LONG days in the garden before they arrive to get as much done as possible before the little buggers hatch out.

I often take a lot of days off work this time of year, or I work in the evenings when it’s dark. These past two weeks have been no different. Any day it’s nice, I’m outside working, unless there’s something pressing I need to get finished. Naturally, I always have furry helpers when I’m working outside.

This weekend, I accomplished a ton in the garden. All brassicas, lettuce, celery and beets were transplanted. Peas were seeding, shrubs were pruned, perennials were transplanted, perennials borders were weeded and a layer of mulch was applied.

I also started working on a rock wall around part of the old apple tree up front. It’s really starting to look GREAT! On Saturday evening, after a long day of working in the garden, a black fly buzzed my ear. Even though I’ll still be out working in the garden, I won’t be out quite so much.

What insects are annoying you this week in the garden?

Friday Favorite: Garden Photos

January 5th, 2018

This time of year, I love looking at photos from my garden. Not only do I enjoy seeing photos from this past summer, but from previous ones as well. I like to sit down and look at how the garden is evolving, what’s changing, how plants are growing and filling in.

I like to look through photos of each garden area and clarify my goals for that space. Looking at edges, deciding if plants need moved, if pathways need adjusting, if retaining walls need built. Now that I’ve lived here for 5 years now, I’m planning windbreaks and other things that will not only look great in the summer, but help with drifting during the winter. Photos of the garden are a valuable tool in not only planning, but it seeing how much we have accomplished. Often I find myself looking at the garden in the summer and feeling like I haven’t achieved nearly as much as I want. But when looking at photos I can see exactly how far it’s come.

Are you in the habit of photographing your garden? Do you look at the photos more in winter than summer?

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.