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Quote of the Day: Janet Kilburn Phillips

July 27th, 2014

“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.”
-Janet Kilburn Phillips

planting boxwood
I was talking with someone recently who was mortified of planting perennials because “Once you put them somewhere they can’t be moved”. I am not that kind of gardener, I move perennials all the time. In fact I often purchase perennials and plant them in a holding area of the garden while I decide where to put them or move other perennials to make space for them. In my garden I move any plant, small trees, shrubs, annual and perennials. As long as you get a big enough root ball and water well for a month or so just about any plant can be moved. In fact, many perennials do much better when they’re dug up and divided every few years. ¬†Gardening is the ultimate form of art because there really are no mistakes, it’s all part of the process.

Do you have any gardening fears?

Quote of the Day

April 20th, 2014

For Jefferson, plants were intimately associated with people-friends, neighbors, political allies-and the exchange of seeds, bulbs, and fruit scions represented a token of enduring friendship. This union for gardening and sociability is evident throughout the letters in the garden book. Jefferson would chide his daughters and granddaughters for their inattention to the flower beds around the house, while they in turn would report on the latest horticultural dramas taking place at Monticello. Jefferson also engaged in friendly competitions with his neighbors to determine who could harvest the first English pea in the spring. The winner then hosted a community dinner, sharing the winning dish (or teaspoon) of peas.

from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

As gardeners we often offer cuttings of our favorite plants and receive the same in return. My garden in Ohio was filled with plants collected from friends and family members far and wide. I had peonies that were cuttings from one that was growing in the flowerbeds at my grandmother’s house when they moved there when my mom was a wee little girl.
I’m also lucky to have a start of the old fashioned comfrey that also graced that garden along with a few starts from her lily of the valley.
Spring Sedum
I had a host of sedum plants collected here there and everywhere as well. A few of these plants made it to Maine with me, some of them I need to get starts from my mom once again. I’m now starting from scratch, hopefully I’ll find a few friendly gardeners here that are willing to share starts with me!

What plant do you think people would associate with you as a gardener?

Adding Up

March 7th, 2013

It’s amazing how quickly seed and plant orders can add up. Now that I’m starting over again, I’m at that point where I need to purchase plants once again. Back in Ohio, my gardens were pretty much full as far as perennials. Luckily, I brought a lot of plants with me, so I’ll save some money. I’m also starting all my herbs and a few perennials from seed, which will save me a bundle as well.
buying plants
I could wait to purchase some of the plants I want, but my goal is to set up a nursery area this summer that I can use solely for propagating plants for the garden. Since I’ll be propagating future plants, I want to get these plants in ASAP. I’ll work on developing my vision for this place as I tend my nursery of plants.

Do you set a budget for your garden spending each year?

Happy Mother’s Day

May 9th, 2012

Yesterday, I went over to my mom’s. We picked up my nieces and went to the Buchwalter Greenhouse so they could buy a Mother’s Day gift for their mom (my sister). They also needed to get a few new plants for the Fairy Garden that we made last fall. They really enjoyed walking around the entire greenhouse oohing and ahhing over all the beautiful flowers. They debated and argued over what they wanted to get for their mom.

They finally settled on this lovely hanging basket bursting with lovely flowers. My mom buys it and the kids pay it off with chores at her house. I also purchased the same basket for my mom and it looks great hanging on her front porch.

On the way home we stopped by Hartzler’s Dairy to pick up some ice cream. The kids then spent the afternoon playing outside with a cart my dad built that my sister and I used to play on when we were kids. I think flowers and plants make the perfect gift, you can plant them in the garden, enjoy them on the porch and when the season is over they can become houseplants or go into the compost pile.

Do you enjoy receiving flowers for gifts for Mother’s Day or other holidays?

Spotted in Orrville

August 9th, 2008

While in Orrville last week watching my nieces at the swimming class, I spotted this HUGE Sum & Substance Hosta. I noticed this hosta last summer and always wanted to take a photo but never had my camera. Now that I have this blog, I am always armed & ready.

This gardener is serious about this hosta. Why do you ask? It is an almost perfect specimen of a Sum & Substance Hosta (about 5 feet in diameter & perfectly greenish yellow). Why is it so perfect? They are providing it with ample shade via a patio umbrella to keep it looking it’s best.

Since hosta’s love shady areas and tend to get a bit crispy if they get too much sun, this one is perfectly protected with this umbrella. Notice the size of the hosta in relation to that umbrella!

Oh yeah, here are my nieces at swimming lessons (look closely and you’ll see little Orin walking around in the background with grandma)

Little Orin (our nephew) was happy running around the pool hanging out with grandma while the girls were swimming.

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.