My GARDEN Resolutions for 2014…

Hellebores (Photo credit: pfly)

Last January I wrote a list of resolutions based on Pioneer Woman’s post about New Years Resolutions. She and I made our lists starting with the first letters of the word “resolution”… For this year’s list I thought it would be fun to use the word “GARDEN.

Here’s what I came up with:

Go to the New England Flower Show in March.

Arrange a New England Garden Blogger’s Day here in Salem for sometime in the spring.

Ride out to visit the New England Wild Flower Society‘s garden  “Garden In the Woods” in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Dedicate one hour, three times a day to my home garden.

Expand my reach here at The Salem Garden. I’m thinking about connecting with some garden product lines and changing my look a little bit.

Notice the little things as much as possible, and take photos of them.

Yes, this is a very garden related list, but won’t it be an amazing year if I can accomplish some of these ideas?

–I’m aching to get to the Flower Show this year and the NEWFS garden has been on my list forever. I just have to make time and do it!

–I’ve been thinking a lot about how nice it would be to connect with other garden bloggers in person and I can’t really find any type of gathering here in New England. What do you think? Leave a comment or e-mail me at if you have thoughts about getting together. It could be simple, low cost and fun!

–Now that my kids are a little bigger and we’ve settled in to the working mom situation I want to get back to my home garden with great focus. I may not make it out there three times a day but if I try to I think I’m more likely to succeed. My biggest obstacle is that once I’m out in the garden I don’t want to go back inside.

–I’ve been thinking about adding some things and changing the format here at The Salem Garden. We’ll see if that comes together in 2014.

–I see so many interesting views and details in my travels that I want to slow down and document with my camera. If will be great if I can, although there’s usually several people asking me to stop taking photos and keep up the pace, please.

Here’s last year’s list:

Rest more, I’m on the run (if not actually running) a LOT!

Eat healthier snacks (yesterday my 18 year old son said “stop making cookies mom!”)

Sleep soundly

Own every decision

Live in the present

Use my camera everywhere

Take my kids to the beach once a week (even in winter)

Increase my blogging skills

Owe no one

Next fall, plant some hellebores, I keep wanting to do that!

This was a pretty subjective list but I must say I did pretty well. Not so sure about resting and sleeping, eating healthier is always increasing, I have to remember to take my camera, blogging is coming along and with such a large family the budget is always a bit of a challenge. I still have some loose ends (like those darned hellebores) but overall we’re on a good track.

What does your list look like? Share in the comments, or feel free to comment about mine. 😉

Happy New Year!

Love, Michele

Process or Product?— I’m a Process Gardener

I’m sorry, I’ve been away, lost in the realm of back to school routines and commitments that make me run (sometimes literally) from 6 am to 9pm most days. I  need to get back to my  blog so I’m going to jump right in and just talk about what I’m thinking about today.  I’ve been tossing around the idea that I am a “process” gardener.  In other words I love the process of planning the garden, planting and growing things. The end product is not that important to me. I enjoy the fruit of my labor but producing a zillion tomatoes is not my goal. The enjoyment for me comes from the act of gardening. I think that this is very different from gardeners who have their eye on the prize at the end and consider the work it takes to get there to be hard labor. It isn’t ever hard for me. I can weed, water and prune all day and love every second of it. If I loose to the conditions, so be it, I’m okay with that. I have to stock my freezer with dinners in the spring because I know I won’t want to come inside and cook. I just love being out there.

What I’m not too okay with is the idea that it’s almost over. Fall in New England is really beautiful but I get hit with a little case of the blues at this time of the year. I just can’t believe that summer is ending. Where did it go? Do I really have to wait through three long seasons for it to return? That seems like forever right now.

Okay, enough wining… there’s still a ton of work to do. We have broccoli, lettuce, Brussel sprouts and herbs growing . I’m planning some winter gardening activities to keep things busy. I have lots of window space here in my new office that my rosemary plant,  geraniums and other herbs will love. Maybe I’ll finally get a cold frame going and stay in the game for a longer season. At the very least I could add some new houseplants and spend some more time reading garden blogs from the southern hemisphere.

It may be fall but spring will be here before we know it, right?

What kind of gardener are you?

Be well and enjoy everything.



It All Began With Children…

…reads the sign describing the creation of this beautiful new carousel on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston. I love the Greenway.  It’s green space full of fountains and sculpture that recently took the place of a very ugly highway that cut right through the city.
DSC03288This carousel is a wonderful addition to the park.

DSC03302Where else can you ride on a lobster
DSC03296or on Peter Rabbit

DSC03295or sit next to a harbor seal?

DSC03278 We loved it!

DSC03280 Dad still rides the carousel wherever we go. He’s been riding for many, many years!

DSC03276 The artistic work is amazing..

DSC03275 and fun

DSC03297 and whimsical.

DSC03300 We have whales here…

DSC03303 falcons

DSC03305and sea turtles…

I had a funny flash forward as I watched my family enjoy this and imagined that some day we would be watching our grandchildren ride…I think I need help,  lol.

You’ll find the carousel just around the corner from the New England Aquarium… Salem Residents, don’t forget that the aquarium is free to us this month.  If the aquarium is too crowded (as it was for us last Sunday) the carousel is a great substitute, or you can easily make it to both.

Enjoy everything!


A Cauliflower Question

WARNING… this is not a pretty post!

If you can’t handle some serious ugliness run while you can!

Don’t look any further!

Just move on to the next blog (but please come back here tomorrow)…

I’m sorry, but I can’t help it.

I have to share the good, the bad and the ugly.

Here we go….

IMG_2992not so great cauliflower…

IMG_3003 cauliflower in total ruin


IMG_2985And my one relatively happy plant, which I just harvested. It smells great, looks great… this will be dinner.

What happened to the rest of them?

IMG_2157A few weeks ago they seemed to be coming along nicely.

What do you cauliflower growers think?

Recommendations, comments, ideas, thoughts, anything…

Help me become a better cauliflower grower!

Thanks for hanging in here with me and Happy Labor Day!

Love, Michele

Yesterday’s Salem Maritime Festival

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t post a few quick shots of the Maritime Festival! I always intend to get lots of photos of “everything” and beautifully chronicle the event but my focus is on my kids and everything that they enjoy. I remember the days when they were all little and I pushed, pulled and carried all five of them around the festival for the day. As I watch all of the young parents I feel weightless with just an eight and ten year old to look after. They do grow up so quickly! Okay, enough of that!  Here we are, having a great time! Click on any photo to see them enlarged as a slideshow.  Michele

One Last “Nemo In Salem” Post

Michael took a little ride yesterday, dropping people off and picking them up while I took care of things at home. I didn’t leave my house for three full days over the weekend. There were two blizzard days with the driving ban, my little guy was sick yesterday, and it was just so nice to be hunkered down (in the words of our governor) here at home that I never went further than the chicken coop. I’m making up for that today of course. Anyway, here are some scenes from Michael’s trip.

Two of our former homes are in these photos. Anyone remember, or want to guess which ones?















Hint, we didn’t live in the Lobster Shanty (in the photo just above) but it was on The Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show last year.

Leave a comment if you know (or think you do).