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

A Simple Thanksgiving Table

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After all of my planning and good intention about decorations, and centerpieces, and name tags, it came down to four simple candles arranged by my little guy, great food and my wonderful family.  That’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was as blessed as mine was!

Love,  Michele

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

The Quickest Peek Ever at the Culinary Institute of America

We were driving through New York state a few weeks ago and decided to stop and check out the CIA.  In my mind we were going to quickly view the campus and maybe get something to eat in one of their famous restaurants. We stopped in the admissions office to find out that we had hit the jackpot. It was an information session day for prospective students. Before we knew it we had watched the video, listened to the admissions officer describe all of the features of the school and we were on a guided tour. Some of us were still technically wearing pajamas (not me or the prospective student, thank goodness) but we just went with it.  I did manage to take a few quick photos as we looked around.
IMG_2622This fountain is in the center of the campus and looks down over the Hudson river. I think that’s the shadow of a chef on the left? I didn’t really see it until I was looking at this photo at home.

IMG_2627Here I’m looking up at Roth Hall which seems to be the main building on the campus. Several of the restaurants are located here, along with the majority of the classrooms. Needless to say, I loved the planters that held mixtures of vegetables and flowers.IMG_2629There were strawberries..IMG_2620and tomatoes

IMG_2631and eggplants mixed in. 
IMG_2639This is their Italian restaurant where reservations are required two months in advance. I would have loved to have seen the interior but it wasn’t part of the tour and I’ve learned to keep a low profile when school shopping with high school students.

IMG_2643Here’s the herb garden behind Caterina de Medici. We didn’t have time to walk down there. If we had, I would have spent an hour taking pictures and my family knew it so they dragged me back to the car ;).

IMG_2642 I did catch a glimpse of a student/chef harvesting herbs for dinner.

IMG_2636 This fountain/garden area is near the student rec center. The campus is beautiful!

IMG_2635 They hid parking garages so creatively. This is tucked under the fountain and  conveniently close to all of the restaurants.

IMG_2633 Of course we saw a sample dorm room and I had to take a photo in case we need it for future reference. This is my only interior shot as the school asked us not to take photos of the students.  I was quite careful but next time we visit I’ll be in blogger mode and there will be photos of restaurants, hallways and bookstores for sure!

photoIn the meantime we’ll just enjoy the view.

It was a fun, impromptu stop that certainly shortened our trip from the Poconos to Salem.

Enjoy your weekend! Hope your in the garden!

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

My Favorite Gardening Books, and Yours?

IMG_2311Yesterday one of my co-workers asked me what gardening book I would recommend for beginners and I had to stop and really think about it.  I love so many gardening books that it’s hard to choose, and I tend to rely on the internet these days as my first go to when I have a question. I started looking through my books today and thinking about all of the joy that they’ve given me as I’ve studied and learned.  There’s nothing as wonderful as a good book!

IMG_2313I can quickly identify my favorite gardening book as ” The Moosewood Kitchen Garden Book” by David Hirsch.  Mine is a first edition and as I think back I’m sure that I purchased it in 1992, before I had children. It includes all of  the basics for anyone who wants to grow edible flowers, herbs, veggies and fruit and it’s readily available on Amazon in original and revised formats. I have happy memories of rocking my babies and planning gardens with this book in hand.

IMG_2314Another of my favorites is the classic herb guide, “Herb Gardening in Five Seasons” by Adelma Simmons. Adelma’s unique and wonderful take on herbs and herb gardening throughout the year comes to life in this book. I tend to pull it out at the beginning of each season to help me think about what’s coming next.

IMG_2316I have certainly enjoyed all garden  joys and herbal magic in the years since 1994!

IMG_2317When I was talking with Andrew yesterday the first resource that came to mind was Rodale. Anything published by the Rodale Press seems to work for me and the guide just above is perfect for answering  basic gardening questions. I also use their website, organicgardening.com on a daily basis.

IMG_2318While looking around for one of my current favorites, “The Garden Primer” by Barbara Damrosch, I realized that my nightstand is full of gardening books too. As you can see I love to read about adaptive gardening and container gardening and I always have a few Organic Gardening magazines in the queue and free books on my kindle.

IMG_2320Here’s my current favorite  “The Garden Primer” by Barbara Damrosch.   This is an original edition that I found at the used book store recently. It’s a great resource for the more experienced gardener who’s looking for details, but it’s also simple enough to work for someone who needs a basic understanding.  Like the Moosewood book, it’s easy to read and digest and has beautiful hand drawn illustrations. When I googled Barbara Damrosch I learned that she’s published several books, speaks extensively, writes for the Washington Post and owns an experimental farm in Maine.

So, there you go Andrew… my favorite garden books! Let’s put this out to the blogosphere: What book would you gardeners recommend for a new gardener?

Let us know in the comments section… just a quick note for my facebook friends, comment here rather than on facebook so everyone can see what you have to share!

Michele

I Should–

Michael and I spent a few precious hours in the garden late in the day today and I just felt like I “had” to take some photos and get this post done because I was writing in my head. Does this happen to you other bloggers? Sometimes I can’t move on to the next thing until I get that post drafted, or those photos taken. It’s an addiction, this blogging thing.  Part of what was on my mind was the fact that our garden has so many “shoulds” in it that I have to get busy with, or address or do something about, or not do because I should know better.

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These blueberry bushes are a good example. Michael and I bought them a few weeks ago because we had been in New Hampshire and encountered some beautiful bushes in a city park that were loaded with berries. This led to a new discussion about how much we’d like to plant some of our own, then we saw them for sale and had to have them. One really shouldn’t plant blueberry bushes in July. Spring and fall are the times for planting blueberry bushes so here we are keeping them well hydrated and waiting until fall to plant them. I should have known better. IMG_2179On the positive side I did cut back most, if not all, of my chrysanthemum (the hardy bush kind) today. They’ll fill in and be beautiful in the fall. If yours are getting ready to bloom you should cut them back now and watch how nice they look in your fall borders after they fill in and make new blossoms. You’ll be glad you did!

IMG_2178Here’s another, I “should” deal with this asparagus fern that’s taking over this little corner. That’s a rose-bush tucked in under it. Jeeshh

IMG_2174I should also figure out what to do with these beets. Beets have been less than well this year both here and at work. I think it was because of all the rain we had but I worry that it’s because I don’t really love them so I don’t spend the time to figure out what they need.

IMG_2169Here’s a small victory… I planted some fall beans where the sweet peas had been. A “should” that was dealt with, lets hope they grow right up that trellis!

IMG_2168Everyone “should” enjoy lemon balm scattered throughout the garden. It’s one of the simple pleasures out there.

IMG_2166 IMG_2163I trimmed  the bottom branches off of all of the romas today. Their a bit sparse but coming along…a should checked off that list!

IMG_2160This is an asian cucumber that I started recently for the fall… looking forward to seeing how it does… I should find a trellis for it soon.
IMG_2155 Another should addressed… I learned about how to tie up the leaves over the cauliflower head to give it shade. This is also called “blanching” it… interesting, we’ll see how it goes. IMG_2154 We have bush beans, with beans on the bushes, but their kind of scrawny and there’s yellow damage on the leaves. These plants are about two feet away from the chicken run and I suspect the ammonia may be drifting over and damaging the plants. I should figure out what to do to prevent this.

IMG_2152 The Brussel sprouts are sprouting… we should let these ripen past the first frost because the cold air sweetens them up.

IMG_2150 Hmmm… shallots, I should figure out exactly when to harvest these. What do you shallot growers think?IMG_2149

IMG_2147 I should jump for joy over my garden surprise this year. The tomatillo plant is loaded with blossoms… their adorable!

IMG_2140 I should put more eggshells around the bottom of these tomato plants and make some pesto from the basil as soon as possible. There’s going to be a nice crop of basil this year.

IMG_2136 I most definitely should deal with this butterfly garden. The last time I walked toward it one of my slithery friends disappeared right into it in front of me. I’ve been a little nervous about stepping in there ever since. I know I’ll be happy when it’s done. So will the butterflies!

Clearly this was a busy day and there’s more to come tomorrow. I should go to bed!  So should you if your staying up reading this on Saturday night!

Enjoy everything! xoxo

Michele

Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day- July 2013

I have exactly five seconds to photograph, write and publish this post because I’m heading in to Boston for day two of Boston College new parent orientation this morning.  So busy and so much fun! Here’s what I’ve got at 6:08 am in Salem, Massachusetts on the fifteenth of July.  Have a great day garden bloggers and Salem Garden readers!  I’ll be checking out all of your gardens later!

Love, Michele

IMG_2110 IMG_2109 IMG_2108 IMG_2107 IMG_2106 IMG_2104 IMG_2103 IMG_2102 IMG_2100 IMG_2098 IMG_2095ps/ Be sure to visit Maydreamsgardens to see the other bloom day posts! Off I go!

Strolling in Salem Gardens, A Garden Tour!

This weekend is the Salem Garden Club’s Garden Stroll and I had a wonderful time “strolling” and taking in gardens all around the Common yesterday. The gardens were beautiful and the members and volunteers so welcoming along the way. Every stop was inspiring and interesting and fun! There was even an adaptive garden! I took lots of photos so here’s a gallery for you to enjoy. Click on any one to enlarge them and view as a slideshow. If you live locally you can still enjoy the tour this afternoon. Tickets are available at the Salem Common. It looks like it’s going to be a great day to get out there!       Michele