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Friday Favorite: The Little Hosta

June 30th, 2017

I have this lovely little hosta that I got from my mom, she got a start from a friend. I have no idea what variety it is, but it’s one of my favorites. The bluish color and the shape of the leaves is quite lovely. It blooms on very sturdy stems and is a particular favorite with bees and hummingbirds. The plant overall is fairly compact for a hosta, it would be perfect along a path or in the front of a shady border.

I should make a trip over to the Viles Arboretum hosta garden, perhaps I can find it among their collection and figure out what this one is names. You can see photos from my trip there a few years ago in this post.

Belfast Garden Club Tour Garden #2

June 29th, 2017

My local garden club (which I should join but have a hard time getting to their Tuesday afternoon meetings), puts on garden tours every Friday during the summer. I really love this schedule. Since I got to town to hit the farmers market, the grocery store, and run other errands, I’m always in town on Fridays. In the summer I add garden tour to my list of places to go. Garden number two was in town, which was nice. Whenever I visit a garden like this I think to myself “wow, this is really small” and it’s not really. It’s almost a double lot garden. But since my current property is so vast and the mowed/garden areas are so huge, I’m always think they’re small.

One of the first things I noticed when stepping into this garden was the turf underneath my feet. Good turf is a beautiful thing, both in look and in texture underfoot. We hear a lot about lawns and the horrors of them, but a nice small square of good turf is truly a wonderful addition to the garden. I’ve been wanting to add a small piece of good quality grass somewhere in my garden.

The perennial borders were filled with lovely perennial: roses, euphorbia, campanula, ligularia, clematis, peonies, and hostas, along with shrubs and small trees. The kousa dogwood in the middle of the back lawn was superb!

The hostas, ferns, and goats beard under the mature trees was peaceful and calming.

One of my favorite things was the clematis vine on the side of the barn blooming its heart out, there really isn’t a better climber for a garden in my mind. Check back for upcoming gardens on the tour (and maybe some from last year because I don’t know if I shared many of those with you).

Do you have local garden tours in your area? 

Developing Favorite Perennial Combinations

June 28th, 2017

One thing I’m always watching throughout the seasons is which plants are blooming, their texture, color, height, and preferred conditions. As I watch, I try to develop combinations that will work well together in my garden. Over the last two weeks I’ve been noticing this beautiful peony. As it was blooming beautifully, the ladies mantle also looked beautiful. The brightness of ladies mantle with purple and pink is one of my favorite color combinations in the garden. I’ll definitely be moving some ladies mantle in front of the peony.

It also needs something with a little more height behind it, at the moment, I’m thinking a tall grass might be nice. There’s a big blue hosta in the nursery are that could be moved, I think it will be nice planted next to the peony. If I didn’t have ladies mantle for the front, I may consider adding a variegated comfrey behind the peony. I also have a nice golden hakone grass that would be lovely in front of this peony as well. There’s not enough space behind it, but if there were I’d consider adding a ninebark ‘Diabolo’, the dark foliage would be lovely with the pink blossoms.

Another one of my favorite combinations is chives and lambs ears. In my Ohio garden they were stunning together and looked great for quite a while. It’s a combinations I’ll be adding to the gardens here  for sure.

If you don’t think you have the inspiration to make your own perennial combinations, consider getting the book ‘Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start’. This book contains all kinds of combinations for a wide variety of soil/light types. You’re bound to find one that you will love, notice how many I’ve bookmarked. This book is fantastic because it shows you exactly which plant is which and where it’s planted. It has combinations for dry shade, wet shade, rich soil, and just about any type of space you might have in the garden.

My garden is finally reaching that point where I’m starting to be able to plant the borders with their final plantings. That means I can start combining things I think will look great. The good thing about gardening is that most plants can be moved fairly easily. I find myself constantly moving things here and there to find just the right spot.

What’s one of your favorite perennial combinations?

Tiny Bouquets

June 27th, 2017

Lately I’ve been making tiny bouquets. They’re sprinkled throughout the house where I see frequently: the kitchen windowsill, the bathroom windowsill, my desk, the front entry.

It’s a great way to use up flowers with shorter stems and much easier to deal with wilted flowers than trying to pick them out of a larger arrangements. At the moment, these tiny bouquets are making me happy.

What flowers are blooming in your garden this week? Which ones are you bringing indoors?

A Yearly Favorite

June 26th, 2017

Mr Chiots is a happy camper, it’s strawberry season. We grow ‘Sparkle’, along with a few everbearing plants. This variety is our favorite, we’ve grown others in the past, but this on reigns supreme for flavor.

We’ve been making crepes, strawberry shortcake, and just eating them out of hand. It’s a short, sweet season, one that we look forward to every year. Of all the soft fruits, strawberries are probably my favorite. I would definitely choose it over all the others if I had to make a choice.

What’s your favorite seasonal fruit?


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.