Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

An Heirloom Plant

May 31st, 2017

I had a lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) in my Ohio garden, it came from my mom’s house, she got it from her mom’s house. The original plant was in the gardens at the house my mom’s parent bought when she was two years old. When we moved to Maine I didn’t bring any from my garden, I know I could get a start from my mom once again.

I brought a small start last summer, after visiting my parents in June. I planted it under the apple tree knowing it would love this shady spot with great soil. Oddly enough, there was some lily of the valley in this garden when we arrived. It struggles in the spot where it’s planted, I’m not 100% sure why, perhaps the soil isn’t quite as fertile.

It’s blooming beautifully this summer. This plant can be a bit of a thug in the garden, so it should be planted in a place where you don’t mind that it takes over and forms a ground cover. I’m happy to have it do this in this area. I need a ground cover here that will keep the weeds from coming up.

It makes me smile knowing that this plant is a true heirloom that came from my grandmother’s garden. Who knows how long it lived in that garden before they moved into the house.

Do you have any heirloom plants in your garden?

Quote of the Day: Gordon Hayward

April 20th, 2017

“Stone gives our garden solidity and weight. It helps to frame views and bring out the colors of the foliage in our plantings; and it provides places to rest and foils for lawn. Used in paths, it shapes how we move through space. Stone artifacts lend a feeloing of time and history and often determine the mood and tone of an area.”

Gordon Hayward in Stone in the Garden

My Ohio garden had lots of stone features, every planting hole produced hundreds of stones ready to be used in walls and walkways. So I build walls and walkways with them.




Now that I’m settling on a design for this garden, stone walls are going to be added here and there throughout the garden. My first wall is on the upper side of the potager. Now that the big maple tree is gone, it’s time to level out this area and build walls around it.

The only difference is the size of many of the stones. I have access to stacks and stacks of large stones, these stacks were made by the original homesteaders here in the late 1800’s. I’m slowly moving these large stones and building walls that define gardens spaces and level out the very hilly nature of this garden.

Do you have any stone walls, walkways, or other features in your garden?

Harvesting Popcorn

September 28th, 2016

One of the things I’ve been working on this week is harvesting the popcorn. While you’re supposed to let it dry on the stalks, there’s rain in the forecast and I don’t want it to mold. Plus we’ve had a pesky raccoon that’s been getting in and eating a few bits off of each ear, ruining about a third of our crop so far.
harvesting-popcorn-1
harvesting-popcorn-2
I grew four different varieties of popcorn this year, hoping for a four color mix. The black popcorn outperformed them all and did beautifully. Amazingly, it was also the least favorite for the raccoons. You can bet I’ll be growing this variety again in the future! Popcorn is one of our favorite snacks, we love making it the old fashioned way in a big pot on the stove with lots of ghee.

Are you a lover of popcorn?

The End

September 26th, 2016

Well, we have our first frost advisory for tonight (Sunday night, which was last night). Luckily, I’ve been out all week harvesting all the remaining peppers, tomatoes, and beans. I’m amazed by the amount of green peppers I had on my plants, they totaled about a bushel. I had about the same amount of tomatoes.
first-frost-2
The peppers already made their way into the freezer, the green tomatoes are laying in wait till they ripen. I may make some green tomato chutney if I have the time.
first-frost-3
The hot peppers (cayenne and Korean bird peppers) are going to be dried for crumbling into curries and stews to add a little heat this coming winter. There’s actually something nice about having a frost, it’s a definite end to the season. Sometimes I need that to get me to finally rip out the tender plants and prepare for the coming winter.

When is your typical first frost?

Friday Favorite: Rue

September 23rd, 2016

I bought this rue a few years ago and love it. Earlier this summer, I thought I had lost it in the drought. After much watering it started sprouting new leaves and then bloomed beautifully.
meadow-rue
Last week I cut a sprig of flowers and it looked beautiful in a vase, it also lasted for a really long time. I’ll definitely be adding more of these to my garden in the future.

What flower are you loving right now?

Reading & Watching
Resources

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

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.

Admin