This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Windowbox Sweet Peas

June 30th, 2012

This spring I ordered a packet of Windowbox Heirloom Cupid Sweet Peas from Renee’s Garden. I’ve never had much luck getting sweet peas to bloom here in the garden, so I decided windowbox sweet peas in a container would be my best option.

I planted the little seeds way back in March and waited, and waited, and waited. Just about the time I was wondering if they’d ever bloom, I spotted little buds.

They’re quite lovely, well worth the wait. I’m happy to finally have some sweet peas blooming in the garden. Next year I’ll have to grow some of my grandma’s heirloom sweet peas in a container with a trellis. I might also try some of the other colors of sweet peas that Renee’s carries!

Do you grow sweet peas in the garden? What’s your favorite color?

Friday Favorite: Purging

June 29th, 2012

No not that kind of purging – I mean getting rid of STUFF. There’s nothing more liberating than finding things to get rid of around the house. Every two years I have a garage sale with a friend that live in town. Over the course of two years we collect things that we no longer want or need.

I have found that saving them all of two years and then having a garage is a great deterrent and helps me not buy things I don’t need. There’s just something about seeing all your junk that you spent money on sitting on tables being sold for pennies.

We also have a good time. Rarely do I have a day where I just sit around and do nothing and get to chat with my friend. Having a garage sale allows us to meet neighbors, chat, and relax a little bit! Tomorrow is garage sale day for Chiot’s Run. This year it’s especially nice because everything I purged from the house doesn’t have to be packed up and taken to Maine.

Have you ever had a garage sale? Do you like to go to garage sales?

So We Bought This House….In Liberty, Maine

June 28th, 2012

If you’ve been reading here for a while you know Mr Chiots and I have been searching for a home in Maine. We put an offer on a house with 20 acres back in February but things didn’t work out. At the beginning of May, a blog reader (now a friend) who works at a land trust sent me the link to a nice property that was going to be coming on the market. Mr Chiots and I drove up to see if it might be the future Chiot’s Run. We spent the entire day there, looking at the house, the gardens, walking the miles and miles of trails that wind through the 147 acres of woods and wetlands. (correction, after closing we found out it’s 152 acres – BONUS)

There’s a house, a garage/workshop, a sauna, a couple nice edible gardening areas, the headwaters to a river, a huge wetland area and lots and lots of trees.

We had lunch and dinner with the current owners and got in our car that evening with a gentleman’s agreement to purchase the property. It’s been a long road trying to get all the paperwork finished up, but finally, this past Tuesday, as in the day before yesterday, we signed the papers, handed over a HUGE check and it’s ours. We’re not moving until late September, we have work scheduled in Ohio and they are building a house and won’t be able to move out until then. It ended up working out perfectly for all parties involved. More details about the gardens & property in the coming weeks.

How big is your garden in acres?

I Have Chickens

June 27th, 2012

After wanting chickens for years, I finally have some. Yesterday, I bought some chickens; a whole flock of them, ten hens and a lovely rooster.

They’re a cross between Rhode Island Red and Rhode Island White. According to their current owners, they’re great layers.

Oh Yeah,
they also came with a lovely coop,
a house, a sauna,
and 150 acres

More about that tomorrow…

Another Reason for Alliums

June 26th, 2012

As if you need another reason to grow a wide variety of alliums in the garden beside the deliciousness that they bring to your plate. I plant extra leeks and onions so I can leave some in place to produce blooms. Leeks are the best for this because they’re overwintered. I never harvest all of my leeks because otherwise I’d miss these beautiful flowers and so would the bees.

Onions are biennial so they will bloom the second year. These are leeks that I planted last summer, harvested in fall/winter/spring and left a few for the honeybees.

They’re not quite as showy, as big, or as colorful as globe alliums that you buy as flowering bulbs, but they do offer food for our tables and beauty for our gardens. I certainly appreciate plants that do double duty like this!

Do you ever leave any of your leeks or onions to bloom for beauty and for the bees?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.