What’s Happening in the Garden, May 29, 2021.

Hi everyone! We are in the middle of a beautiful spring here in Salem and I thought I’d share a few photos of our garden. I hope to blog more consistently this year. Please leave a comment and say hi if you’re here. I’d love to know who’s stopping by, and your energy will inspire me to post more often.

Lots of zinnia, nasturtium and basil seedlings are ready to plant. It’s very cool, windy and rainy today, so I’m waiting another day or two.
I’ve also started coleus, marigolds, hollyhocks, alyssum, dianthus, cosmos, Brussels sprouts, eggplant and some tomatoes…hoping to plant on Monday!
My greatest success so far this spring is the return of my perennial hibiscus. These take their time to show green in the spring and we have given up too early in the past and tossed them. This year I ordered everyone away, held my breath and here it is! I’m honestly not sure what color the blossoms were, but I do remember that they were large and beautiful last year!
Salvia and yarrow, with much more to come in this corner..
Kale, radishes, lettuce and onions..
This is a Russian Kale that I planted on Mother’s Day. I found the seedlings for sale at a coffee shop downtown..
New garden fence is in progress.. that rhododendron used to live in our front yard.
Lemon balm is everywhere. If anyone who lives nearby wants some, just let me know. This is one of my very favorite herbs. I put it in everything!
Bee balm is about to bloom. I’m trying to decide if the white flower is a weed or not.. if anyone knows, please comment so I can take care of it!
Siberian iris are starting to bloom ! ❤️
And the ducks are still entertaining us! We have ducklings and goslings, but I don’t see them today. They’re often out early in the morning with their mamas.

Wishing all of you peace, love and a moment of reflection and gratitude this Memorial Day, as we remember those who have sacrificed so much.

Love, Michele

What’s Happening in the Garden- May 31, 2015

Hello from finally rainy Salem, Massachusetts!

I haven’t posted in quite a while. There’s been so much going on here; sick children, graduating children, coming home from college children, going to college children, dancing and soccer and proms. Big life events can be great subjects for blogging but they don’t jive so well with gardening and garden blogging, especially the sickness. I’ve been pretty consumed with the needs of my family, as I should be.

So, the garden isn’t quite where it usually is at this point in May, but that’s okay.  I can always catch up on the bean planting or substitute things or buy bigger plants that are further along. It will all work out in the end, or not, and that’s okay too.

IMG_8924These are the rainclouds that I was trying to out plant and out photograph before they burst this afternoon. I just made it and now we’re under a flash flood warning. It’s been so dry that the flood warning is welcome.

IMG_8913I post a pic of this view every year. It’s raining hard and is expected to continue through Tuesday, so I’m not sure that the iris flowers will survive. I’m glad I took this photo when I did.

IMG_8917Things are getting underway out in the herb garden. That’s parsley in the foreground. The oregano came back strongly, along with some dianthus, thyme and chives. I just put that brownish lovage in the back and added the new rosemary plants. Rosemary doesn’t winter over here unless we have an extremely mild winter, which is rare.IMG_8920 Looking from the other direction the cilantro was started from seed. IMG_8923 The blueberry bushes are loaded with berries! I need to plant more blueberry bushes. IMG_8925The Solomon’s seal is about to bloom…IMG_8926…along with my favorite yellow iris,IMG_8930 and the German iris.IMG_8931 Here’s a first for us; horseradish in bloom! It emits an odor of horseradish all around it. I don’t really love horseradish, but I’m kind of enjoying this. I hope the flowers don’t take away from root formation.IMG_8933 I planted a little bit of broccoli… so cute!IMG_8936 And the lettuce is happy. This is thriving because Michael does a good job of watering it for me with the leftover chicken water.

Here’s an interesting fact about this lettuce; the mesclun mix on the right was fertilized with vermicompost a few weeks ago and the row on the left wasn’t. Vermicompost is the way to go! I have a nice little worm bin here under my desk and all I do is feed them fruit and veggie scraps and keep an eye on the moisture content of the box. I harvest the compost once in a while and the “tea” or liquid that the worms produce every few weeks. It’s easy once you get the hang of it. I should blog about my worms more. IMG_8937I started these onions from seed in the early spring and transplanted them a few weeks ago. I need to make sure they don’t dry out and keep fertilizing them. Maybe I’ll try some vermicompost.
IMG_8941 Looking back, there’s lots of open space. IMG_8943I still have basil, tomato and foxglove seedlings,IMG_8914along with peppers.IMG_8942I dug this big pot of dill out of the front yard yesterday because we reconfigured the landscaping out there. Dill doesn’t really transplant that well, it’s better grown from seed. These are small enough that they might settle in if their handled carefully.

If any of you local friends want some dill just let me know! It will be here for a few days until the rain stops.

How’s your garden growing? I miss you and your comments and your blogs! Leave me an update so I can stop by and check in!

Love, Michele

 

Christmas Herbs

It’s been so warm here in Salem that we have lots of fresh herbs for Christmas this year.

I consider them to be my own personal Christmas gift~IMG_7737There’s little bits of dill popping up out front… not quite enough to cook with but there may be just enough for a bowl of carrots in a day or two.
IMG_7735 I brushed my hand over lemon balm and was transported right back to July….

…in my mind, but it was very pleasant.IMG_7733a few more days like this and we could have blooming lavender again.IMG_7732 There’s fresh growth on the sage…IMG_7729 …along with the oregano.IMG_7727My rosemary plant that never quite made it inside this fall is full of beautiful fragrant foliage..IMG_7722…same with the thyme.
IMG_7719And I’m putting fresh parsley in everything..potatoes, chicken soup, you name it!

Merry Christmas to me!

Love, love, love,

Michele

What’s Happening in the Garden, and With Me –September 14, 2014

 

 

I’ll start with the garden.

That’s a good lead in to the “and with me” part. To be honest I don’t know what’s happening with me. Maybe some of you can help with that. The garden is okay in a kind of mediocre way. I’m accepting of my limitations and abilities but I have to admit that I expected more from the garden this year. Maybe it was the relatively dry weather, or my organizational skills, or all of the fun vacations.

When your a gardener you have to spend time in the garden!
DSC04737 That said we still have kale. Is it me or is this photo a bit out of focus? Sometimes I can’t tell.DSC04740 The tomatoes were actually pretty good. A little wilt but not too much and it came very late in the season. I think I want to grow more romas again next year, or maybe a variety called opalka that my friend Betsey shared with me yesterday. Their larger than roma and make a sweet, meaty sauce… I brought some home from a visit with Betsey yesterday and popped just one of them into a little pot of fresh sauce that I made for dinner from some of my tomatoes that needed to be eaten. I think there was a very big difference!DSC04742 I planted quite a bit of cauliflower but it looks like the bunnies, or maybe even deer enjoyed the flowers for us.DSC04744The marketmore cucs are done and I have to say that this variety was a success. We enjoyed lots of pickles and salads and cucumbery things… DSC04738Here’s some later planted swiss chard that just isn’t taking off…DSC04743A few candycane zinnias came up near the chicken coop door. Their cute and happy but not too prolific. DSC04745 I have one, yes one, watermelon still growing. I’m fertilizing it weekly as my neighbor suggested and hoping it makes it through the next few weeks. It’s about the size of a large honeydew melon right now.DSC04747 We had a few cantaloupes almost grow into edible fruit. This one is imploded and slightly rotted. It will be food for another project that I have going so it’s not a total loss.DSC04748 One pumpkin, yes one. This is the year of one, two or three of anything that I worked on over time.DSC04749 Of course the horseradish is happy. I don’t like horseradish but several of our friends and family members do so it will be fun to harvest it in a few weeks.DSC04750 The new little herb garden got off to a decent start. Next year we’ll hit the ground running in this area of the garden.DSC04751 I’ve got pots of potatoes growing. They haven’t flowered and have lots of foliage so I’m kind of unsure about where we’re going here. Generally they flower and then die back and you can dig out the potatoes. So I’m waiting to see what happens. I dug around a little bit the other day and I really think there are some good sized tubers in there.DSC04753 Parsley and basils need to be frozen in ice cube trays for the winter. DSC04754 The onions kind of worked out! Remember when I was inspired by Betsey and Ed and planted them back in the spring? No need to buy onions around here this winter!DSC04755Oh, and then there’s this little project. Guess what’s in the box? Here’s a hint:  It thrives on the cantaloupe.

Okay… about me.

I’m tired and busy and tired and worn out. I want to do right by my family so I took a major blogging break. I don’t think I’ve ever gone so long in between posts. It really has me wondering about what motivates me and what’s that best use of my time. Should I keep blogging? I like to blog because I love connecting with  people all over the world. I like to think that I might encourage or entertain someone somewhere. I definitely feel accountable about what I say here so it keeps me on a good path in the gardening sense and beyond.

Have any of you fellow bloggers gone through this? It’s kind of writer’s block, but almost more like a writer’s resistance. I know what I want to say. I have a long list of posts to write but I wonder about the value of it. Does it matter? Should I just garden for myself and call it a day? No one who I know personally has said a word about my absence. Maybe I shouldn’t expect that, but maybe I should use my energy for other things.

That was a pretty stream of conscious paragraph or two. Thank you, I feel better,

Pioneer Woman used to say “tap, tap… is anyone out there?” She doesn’t need to do that anymore but I guess I could…

Tap, tap… hello?

Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. I’d entertain any constructive feedback you have to share.

Enjoy everything!

Love, Michele

Motorcycle Parades, Herb Freezing Time and Spiders

Life here in Salem, Massachusetts is so much fun and so crazy right now.

Yesterday we enjoyed one of my favorite Halloween activities, the annual Motorcycle Ride for Muscular Dystrophy.

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Really, where else can you see this? I read a conversation on Facebook last night about moving the event to a different month because it disrupts traffic and creates confusion for other visitors. I guess it would be successful at any time of the year but I think that it adds a lot of fun to our Halloween season.

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These are nice people dressed as superheroes

IMG_3458and pumpkins.

Hundreds of them ride into the downtown together, then they enjoy the city and give the economy a little extra lift, all for a great cause!

IMG_3314Before we left for the bike parade I chopped back some parsley yesterday.

IMG_3325I left some to keep it growing as long as I can.

Truly fresh parsley is the best!

IMG_3330I separated the chicken food from the good green stuff…

IMG_3333washed it off well..
IMG_3336chopped off the leaves…
IMG_3342and then chopped them finely.

IMG_3358I put it into an ice cube tray..IMG_3362then I added some water and froze it until today.

IMG_3773Now I have parsley ice cubes, all ready for winter cooking!
IMG_3775I stuck them in a freezer bag and stored them away.IMG_3366Another easy way to freeze parsley is to just pop it into a bag like Michael’s mom does. I was feeling pretty ambitious yesterday when I made the ice cubes. I enjoy that moment in January when I come home from a busy day and just pop the little cube into the dish I’m making. It’s really your preference.

And lastly, I’ll leave you with this photo that I took downtown yesterday:

IMG_3767How great are these guys?

We love our Halloween here in Salem!

Enjoy Everything!

Michele

My Lavender Is Loaded…

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With bumble bees of course, and they are amazing! I’ve been kind of obsessed with these creatures this week. On Monday we discovered that our lavender plant at work was buzzing with them so the people that I work with and I have been enjoying them a lot. We’ve been watching them hard at work and talking about different types of insects and how important they are to our garden.  We even took photos with our ipad and published our own blog post about them. When I got home I found myself doing the same thing here so I spent half an hour yesterday trying to get the perfect macro bee shot. Photographing bees is a lot like taking pictures of chickens, their always in motion so it’s tough to get it right.  I think I’ll try using a tripod today and fiddle with the camera settings a bit more.  

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Unfortunately it’s becoming increasingly clear that bees are dying by the millions because of pesticide use.  This article from the Boston Globe Magazine a few Sundays ago details one study and speaks to how difficult it is for the research to be taken seriously.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2013/06/22/the-harvard-scientist-linking-pesticides-honeybee-colony-collapse-disorder/nXvIA5I6IcxFRxEOc8tpFI/story.html

Check out the links to other articles just below too, then slow down and take a few minutes to watch the bees at work today.

Enjoy everything!

Michele