All posts tagged: garden

a week of spring: lilac

Saturday I came home feeling under the weather yesterday, so I wasn’t able to post.  I’m sorry for missing a day of my “week of spring!” This last picture of the week is of a little lilac bush that is less than one foot high, but full of new growth. My vegetable plants are important because I spend so much time growing them from seed and I enjoy the harvest so much. My perennial flowers are enjoyable because they brighten up my home and it feels like finding secret treasure when they bloom. But I do have an emotional attachment to some of my plants, this lilac included.  It made a long journey to Boston from Windsor, New York.  When my parents decided to sell the home I grew up in, I took a few bits of memorabilia: -a forsythia bush I gave my father one year for his birthday -an indigo I gave him for father’s day that I had purchased from The New England Wildflower Association -a lupine, because my mother and I …

a week of spring: primrose

Sunday I just spent the last five days in Stoddard and Lebanon, New Hampshire, where the weather can turn from calm to angry in a matter of minutes.  If you can drive there this time of year, you can drive anywhere. In the past few weeks, I’ve experienced getting stuck on a hill after a heavy snow (and driving white-knuckled down steep Pitcher Mountain), driving 40 miles an hour on 89 because of blinding fog, facing both hail and sleet head-on, and inching my way home through a rain storm that my wipers could barely keep up with.  There is still snow on the ground there and little vegetation to speak of.  I pulled into my driveway last night and couldn’t believe what I saw.  Even at night, I could see my forsythia bush blazing and the grass looked lush and green.  Spring, my friends, literally began while I was away. Today, I wandered around my yard to see what plants were coming back to life.  Joyfully, I see nearly everything peeking up with the …

Grow Great Grub

If I ever meet Gayla Trail, I might just have to hug her to show my gratitude.  I found myself in a hospital waiting room with my father pacing…anxiously…and ready to crawl the walls.  We found little ways of getting each another through those 5 hours, one of which was thumbing through this wonderful book together to pass the time and think happy thoughts. If you thought you were a plant geek prior to reading this, brace yourself.  You’ll be dreaming of warm summer days, tomato sandwiches, and ways to fit in a few extra pots for herbs you may never have even heard of yet (Shiso? Count me in!). Seriously, Gayla Trail has a very approachable way of introducing her readers to container and small-space gardening.  Mark my words, she really knows her stuff.  From inventive ways of starting your seeds to growing your favorite flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit (ranging from pest control to companion planting), you’ll be so ready to go when your last possible chance of frost passes.  Aside from legitimately solid information and …

heartstrings to seedlings

I’m sure you can tell by the weeks that have passed without a post that something has been going on.  I don’t have the courage to write about everything just yet, but let me just say it has been the most intense and scary few weeks I’ve had in all of my 32 years thus far. Life has a way of organizing and prioritizing your time and energy for you. A few weeks ago, after I read this article, Chris and I sat down to list out some changes we wanted to make.  It is true, you have to make time to make changes. From which credit card to pay off first and how often we’d actually sit down and eat at the dinner table together to where we’d go on vacation this year and how we could afford to start an organic veggie farm in 10 years, we hashed out a real plan of change.  Two days later, I got some news that threw every possible plan out the window.  When something big happens …

10 weeks from planting day!

SEED TIME! I’ve been waiting for March 5th like a child waits for Christmas.  My father and I placed our large shared order from Johnny’s back in January and I’ve been staring at the packets longingly ever since they arrived. I have since planned my garden out in detail and purchased soil.  I even scrubbed my seed trays out and cleaned out my little indoor greenhouse.  All this prep and finally, this weekend I got to get down and dirty with my first batch! I’ve also noticed some other bloggers gearing up for the big event and even getting started.  A recent blog I came across: Vegan Activist already has nearly all of her seeds sprouted!  You Grow Girl (one of my favorite gardening blogs) is also ready for spring and recently directed readers to her archives, where you can find great info about starting seeds (click here).  Since I’m in New England, I’ve chosen May 14th as my official planting day, so I’m working backwards against that date.  I wrote reminder cards out to …

love and delphinium

Yesterday the touch of the frolicsome breeze seemed harsh, my beloved, and the sun’s beams seemed weak, a mist hid the face of the earth, and the waves of the ocean roared like a tempest. I looked all about me, but saw naught but my own suffering self standing by my side, while the phantoms of darkness rose and fell around me like ravenous vultures. But today Nature is bathed in light, and the roaring waves are calm and the fogs are dispersed.  -from the passage “Resurrection” in The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran This week has not been a good one.  In fact, the last few weeks have been full of fog and rough waves.  Work, sleep, health, guilt, work, stress, late, cold, obligation, forgetting, fears, thoughts, hurry, work.  Sometimes life seems to be moving so fast and racing thoughts fly by so quickly that we are lucky to be able to reach out to grab hold of one to focus on. Get an oil change, clean the house, make dinner, get the project done, …

the inevitable end of harvest

Putting the garden to bed for the winter is a sad and daunting task.  Even though we have a small yard, we have managed to stuff it full of vegetables and flowers in both beds and pots.  We even planted a baby apple tree, though I have no idea how that will go over once it starts to actually grow. This past Sunday, we got up and did the “inventory” to see what is left to do.  We must have had a frost, as the tomatoes and peppers were officially gone.  To my surprise, there are a few plants hanging on for dear life and–shockingly–flourishing.  The amaranthus is going strong. We will still have carrots for a little while it seems. The mums are of course in their prime. The dahlias were still in full bloom and the red roses were (and still are) incredibly bright against the dull November gray background. Besides a steaming cup of coffee, crunchy leaves, and the time spent with Chris outside, what made me happiest was seeing the herbs green and growing.  The rosemary topiary went …

to start…

 I grew up in Upstate New York on 14 acres in the middle of nowhere.  Nature was a huge part of my life.  Other kids had real neighbors and we had deer, turkeys, rabbits, birds, squirrels, and all sorts of wildlife as fellow members of our neighborhood.  My parents were gardening junkies and every year our garden grew dramatically, incorporating crazy kinds of squash, potatoes, string beans, lettuce (not just one kind, but every kind known to man), herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and everything you could think of that grows in Zone 5.  My father can attribute his love of gardening to my grandfather. I attribute my love of gardening to my parents. I, too, have the gardening junkie gene.    It was evident that I’d always have a soft spot for animals as a child when I became obsessed with a book called The Big Snow by Berta and Elmer Hader (first published in 1949), which tells the story of animals surviving winter.  I worried and cried about how deer would find food and wondered where …