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Friday Favorite: The Front Hillside Garden

May 25th, 2012

Mr Chiots and I have lived here for ten years. I wasn’t much of a gardener when we purchased this little place so long ago. Even though I didn’t foresee myself becoming the avid gardener that I am now, I still added chicken manure and mulch to the flowerbeds each year. This is what our little house looked like when we bought it back in 2002:

This is the only photo I have, it’s from the survey they did when we purchased the house. I wasn’t much of a photographer back then, that hobby has evolved along with my love gardening. This is what it looks like now:

The first garden we started changing here at Chiot’s Run was our front hillside. Originally it had a few rocks in it and that was it, along with a very annoying ground cover. We gathered rocks and slowly built rock walls to terrace the front hillside. I planted Mediterranean Pink Heather, creeping thyme and a variety of other plants along with a few flowering trees.

This front hillside is finally coming into it’s own, though the trees are still small. This year the peonies I planted three years ago are blooming and starting to fill in. Later in the season these will be replaced with daisies, mint, floribunda roses and hopefully globe thistles blooming.

I want to encourage you to take lots of photos before you start any project. It’s good to take them every year as well. Here I am 10 years later wishing I had more photos of our house from the first five years we lived here.

Do you take lots of photos of projects along the way? Is there anything about your home or garden you wish you had more photos of?

Chiot’s Run Garden Tour
The Middle Garden
The Side Garden
The Front Hillside Garden
Mr Chiot’s Mailbox Garden
Garden Tour: The Front Garden

Visiting Naples Botanical Garden

March 13th, 2012

While we were in Florida a few weeks ago, we took one morning to visit Naples Botanical Garden. It was so nice to see so much lush foliage and such beautiful color, especially since the garden back home was still covered in a blanket of snow. I’m always amazed by the brightness of the foliage and flowers of tropical plants, we don’t often get such saturated color in our northern gardens. I’m sure they would look out of the place though, somehow these colors need heat to look at home!

It was hard to narrow down the images since there were so many interesting things (more over at Flickr). Plus I figured all you who live in the North would really love to see the lush garden since it will be a while until our gardens spring to life once again. Click on the first thumbnail below to start the slideshow, then use the arrow keys to move through the images.

Are you a fan of bright tropical plants or do you prefer the more subdued plants of the northern gardens?

Domesticated Flowers from our Travels

March 1st, 2012

Since Mr Chiots and I are fans of taking the back roads, we get to enjoy a lot of wonderful home gardens along our routes. If we spot a really good one we’ll stop, but most often we enjoy them as we coast on by. Every now and then there are beautiful gardens in little towns where we stop for a cup of coffee or something and we get to enjoy them close up. Here are a few lovely domesticated gardens from our travels. Here’s a slide show of the flowers I spotted along the way. To view in full screen click on the icon in the top left hand corner, click the same icon to exit full screen mode.

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I find a lot of inspirations from the gardens I spot when I’m out on the road. It’s really nice to see that there are so many people that love to garden and take the time to make their little corner of the world beautiful. You can bet if I ever happen to drive by your garden I’ll probably be admiring it.

What kinds of gardens do you notice most as you drive around?

Front Foundation Gardens

July 12th, 2009

I don’t often post all-around garden photos that show large areas of our gardens. Right now is when I love the way our front foundation gardens look. They’re full of color and bursting at the seams with vegetables, flowers and herbs. I thought I’d share some overall photos of them.
These garden beds are pretty most of the warm months, they’re full of things that bloom throughout the season, bulbs for spring, flowers for summer and fall and kale for winter interest. July, however is my favorite season in the front foundation garden.
These gardens change every year. I plant new things and move old ones, or get rid of plants that I don’t like. This year I gave my mom a bright pink tall phlox and next year I think I’ll be getting rid of the daylillies.
They’re still a work in progress, this year I’m adding the rock edging along the front, and I also added a lot of edible plants (can you spot them?). I have bluberries, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potatoes, dill, thyme, chives, basil and hyssop growing in these beds.
I’d really like to keep all bloom colors in the purple and white category with perhaps the occasional pink or green thrown in. I’m slowing working my way towards that goal.

What’s your favorite time for your ornamental gardens?

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?

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.