Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day- December 2013

It’s Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, December 2013!

Ten days until Christmas!

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I wish I could say that I have more, but this poinsettia is my only bloom.

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It’s a beautiful color. I love a pink poinsettia.


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It lives on the tippy top of our big organizing cabinet in the foyer, far from our cats’ reach.

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Here’s the garden this morning. We had about five inches of snow overnight, which turned to rain and slush and is now in the process of re-freezing. Yay! Not really.

IMG_4476If only ice could be considered a bloom.

Click here to read all of the warmer climate posts on May Dreams Gardens and some creative northern climate posts as well.  It’s amazing what a difference a few degrees if warmth makes, along with a positive outlook.

Enjoying everything (even the ice)…

Michele

The First Annual Salem Garden Holiday Wish List

It’s the holiday season and that means it’s time to find a gift for your favorite gardener.  There are so many choices and ideas everywhere you look, from your local garden center to millions of places on the internet. Here’s a few of my favorites this year:

First up, how about a pair of great gardening clogs? I’m really love the adorable chicken design. These are $36.95  here at Gardener’s Supply company.

 

Snap & Grow Greenhouse - 6' x 8' (2 boxes) - Hobby Greenhouse Kits

If I were in the market for a greenhouse, I’d choose this one.

The sides are polycarbonate, it appears to vent well and it’s a nice size. I found it here at Greenhousemegastore.com for $749.00.

 

Herb Garden Markers / Plant Stakes - A Set of 3 ceramic garden markers

Look at these great garden markers! I found them on etsy for 3/$22 at this cute shop called FromArtisanHands. I think they would add a nice punch of color and they look nice and sturdy and fade proof.

At the very top of my “gardening books to read” list is Margaret Roach’s  “the backyard parables, lessons on gardening, and life.”  I loved Margaret’s last book “And I Shall Find Some Peace Here” in which she talked about her journey from corporate life as a garden editor for Martha Stewart to a full time gardener and writer. This new book looks to be a continuation of her story. It’s available on Amazon.com for $17.57, hardcover and $11.04 on your kindle.
If your a very practical gifter or receiver this bucket caddy is perfect. For just $9.19 your favorite gardener will be able to store all of his or her tools and weeds in one place and move around the garden.  This is also an Amazon find. Take a look here if you’d like to check it out!
Here’s another practical gift—a tumbling compost bin!  People ask me about compost bins all the time and this one is absolutely my favorite. We purchased it for our adaptive gardens at work last spring and I love it! It makes compost in two to three months, has two chambers so one  “cooks” while the other is in use, and it’s quite compact. I’ve never noticed any odor, which is often a concern of new compost makers and its quite animal proof since it’s up off of the ground. You’ll find it at Home Depot for $99 or it can be ordered online here.
This bench/kneeler is a great find for the gardener who needs a little extra help to be comfortable physically. It can be used as a bench as pictured above or flipped over as a  kneeler with handles to assist when pushing up to stand.  It’s $28.95 here at Amazon.
And finally, I had to include this lovely rocker for two. I can just imagine sitting in this chair with Michael enjoying our view (when we’re 99 and 102, maybe). It’s  so pretty and I think it would be a beautiful accent piece without distracting from the rest of the garden. I found it on Overstock.com for $217.00 along with 117 other beautiful bench designs. If your looking for a bench, you will find something at Overstock!
So there’s my wish list. What’s on yours?
Feel free to share this post far and wide… just put hint, hint in the subject line if you send it by e-mail ;).
Enjoy everything!
Michele

Keene Pumpkin Festival 2013

Gosh this looks fun! Great pumpkin carving ideas for the talented and patient carvers out there too! Great post New Hampshire Garden Solutions!  Michele

New Hampshire Garden Solutions

In 1991 Keene, New Hampshire had a harvest festival that attracted a few local people who brought about 600 jack o lanterns. By 2003 the harvest festival had become a pumpkin festival and the number of lit jack o lanterns had risen to 28,952. The Guinness World Record people became interested that year and gave Keene the record for the most lit jack o lanterns assembled in one place. Boston took the record from Keene in 2006 with 30,128 jack o lanterns. This year on October 19th Keene took back the world record with 30,581 lit jack o lanterns and I was there taking photos. I thought I’d show you a few of the better ones. These were all taken in the dark without a tripod, so I’ll warn you that they aren’t the sharpest photos you’ve seen. Even so, I’d guess that most of you have never seen anything…

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A Little Bit of Haunted Happenings

We’re right in the middle of our wonderful, amazing, scary, fun, not so scary Halloween celebration here in Salem, Massachusetts. Yesterday Michael and I left the garden (yes we do that sometimes) and ventured downtown with our youngest daughter and one of her besties to take it all in.  Haunted Happenings just gets better and better every year!  Here’s a few photos from our visit.  Be sure to check out the photography here on the Social Palates facebook page as well.  I absolutely love John Andrew’s work.  He captures Salem in a way that no one else can!

Happy Halloween from the Salem Garden!

Click on any image to enlarge and view as a slideshow

My Military Life: Thoughts of My Father on Memorial Day

Today in honor of Memorial Day I’m sharing a post that my brother wrote about our father a few years ago. Marks a great writer and he really captured Dad’s essence. He overcome great hardship and went on to parent us in the best way that he possibly could. I can often feel his presence and he’s never far from my thoughts. Happy Memorial Day. Michele

Third Space


I remember waking up to the sound of work shoes being spit-shined in the hallway of our small home in the Pocono Mountains. I can still hear the slap of the worn rag and the quick rhythm it made, as the dull polish transformed into a glassy shine. Still dark outside, my father was in motion early, enjoying the same breakfast (Cornflakes with milk) at the Formica counter in our kitchen every morning.My father learned the art of shining shoes as a means to survive. He was a homeless street kid in Philadelphia, whose mother died in childbirth and whose father responded by crawling inside a bottle. From what I know, he had moved through a series of foster homes and Catholic orphanages, none of which were any better than the life he found fending for himself on the street. He used to lift Tasty Cakes out of delivery trucks…

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Potting Benches, Daffodils and Crocus…

The other day  my husband saw that I had posted this photo here.
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A few hours later I looked out there and saw this…
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LOL, he’s a really good guy. That’s all I can say.

In other news~

My favorite daffodils are about to bloom down on Palfrey Court. I’ve been following this patch for the last twenty four years. I know from experience that even if it snows tomorrow they will be just fine.IMG_0268

And we officially have crocus here at The Salem Garden!  Photo by my little guy!
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Happy Monday!

Enjoy Everything!

Michele

An October Saturday Night in Salem

Last night we took the kids for a walk downtown with the idea that we would visit a Haunted House that Michael had tickets for. We got there and looked around the entrance. This is everyone hanging in the door making the decision about whether or not to go in. I was very clear, I don’t do haunted houses, sorry, but I did strongly encourage the rest to give it a try if they wanted to… The final verdict was “not today, maybe another night”… Just call us “the brave family”!We walked by the Salem Witch Museum, where my oldest son was at work. The museum erects these canopies for the month of October so that guests don’t have to wait outside in bad weather. The line stretched out the door and way down the street! Needless to say I had a very tired teenager coming in at 10:45 after work.There are lots and lots of places like this right now… we, of course, say hi and keep going  🙂  but the crowds waiting to vist are huge!Here’s one of many guided tours that we saw. There are lots of these right now with different themes, everything from “ghosts of Salem” to a food tour that stops at different restaurants. They look like fun!Salem Common is the place to head for carnival food and games…
There’s a cute hay maze on the common for toddlers and small children (and they don’t have to be “too small” to enjoy it)!Donations collected at the maze benefit the schools.
This young lady was encouraging people to visit one of the haunted houses. She said that we just had to say “monsters be gone” and they would back off if we were too scared.. still no takers from my crowd! Michael looks ready to go!There’s lots of interesting shops to visit..and a witchcraft and wizardry school..
Or for a lighter experience you can relax on the ferris wheel…My little kids loved this ride..So did Dad, but he was concerned about the safety of it. We’ll stick with the ferris wheel and merry go round next time.You can win a great witch decoration at the water gun game..

And there are ghosts in windows everywhere…

Just a very small glimpse of an October night in downtown Salem. Next Saturday the costumes will be out! We just saw a few last night, nothing too exciting, but their coming!!