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

Uncommon Hedge Plants

August 23rd, 2019

I’m a lover of a good hedge, in fact I have several hedges planned for the gardens here and have been researching hedging options and noticing any hedges I see both here and elsewhere. Most likely, the large hedge around the main garden is going to be beech. They grow very well locally and the deer don’t bother them. Though I’m going to be trialing hawthorn as well to see if it works, a thornless variety as I have no desire to prune 270 feet of thorny hedge. When we were at Longwood a few weeks ago, we noticed this dwarf fals cypress hedge and loved it.

The unstructured loose feel of this hedge is quite nice. It’s not something I will use in place of the beech hedge as I want clean lines, but it’s an option for other parts of the garden, especially if it proves to be deer proof. It would make for a good windbreak in the winter since it’s an evergreen.

Do you have any favorite hedge plants?

Bee Hotels

August 22nd, 2019

There’s been a lot of talk of insect/bee hotels lately. I’ve been seeing them in most of the botanical gardens that I’ve visted over the past few years. This one was featured at one of the arboretums in Paris.

It’s very cute and looks lovely in the garden. While I’ve always thought about building one, I’ve never gotten around to it. Lately, studies have shown that they’re not as beneficial as once thought. It’s much more effective to produce more natural habitats for them. We have a few large brush piles in the woods where lots of these types of bees and other insects can live. We leave dead trees standing if they’re not a hazzard to us or the house. There are lots of things you can do to help native bees without providing apartment complexes for them. Now I don’t feel so bad about never making one.

Have you spotted any native bee hotels in local gardens?


September 11th, 2018

Back in 2009 I visited Longwood Gardens and spotted this echium growing in a container.

I’ve been wanting to grow one ever since, though sourcing the seeds has been tough. There’s a blue variety that I really like Echium pininana ‘Blue Steeple’, which I found seeds for but haven’t purchased yet (maybe now?).

Have you ever seen these in person? What’s a crazy plant you’ve seen that you’ve always wanted to grow?

Friday Favorite: Quiet Evenings

January 22nd, 2016

I love a quiet evening at home, sitting in the living room, reading by the light of a lamp.
reading maine farm 2
Perhaps a cup of tea, or a gin & tonic, maybe a cup of hot chocolate…
There’s really no better way to spend a winter evening for an introvert bookworm like myself.

What’s your idea of a favorite evening?

Shoes or No Shoes?

September 15th, 2010

Here at Chiot’s Run we’re a no shoes in the house kind of place. We have a shoe rack by the back door and remove our shoes in the laundry room, which is the entrance we use 99% of the time.

I have found that by removing shoes and having a few good absorbent rugs by the back door my floors stay so much cleaner. I don’t have regular rugs by the back door, I have those washable bath rugs. They get washed every other week and they do a wonderful job of keeping dirt and grime off the nice floors in the rest of the house. Of course sometimes my feet are just as dirty as my shoes, so I’m not sure this is quite as effective in the summer.

Are you a no shoes kind of house or do you wear your shoes indoors?

Reading & Watching

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!


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.