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Homegrown Lemons

May 22nd, 2018

I purchased this meyer lemon tree a year or two ago to add to my collection of potted citrus. It bloomed last year and set 9 lemons. Considering I have a lemon tree that’s over 10 years old and has only set 1 lemon, I was AMAZED.

I’ve been harvesting the lemons and using them in drinks. It’s such a wonderful feeling to plug a lemon straight from the tree and squeeze it into some fizzy water.

Even though I’m still harvesting ripe lemons, the plant is getting ready to bloom once again. Now if only my other citrus trees would be this productive.

What fun things are you growing and harvesting?

Potted Hydrangeas

May 21st, 2018

Last summer, I dug up two ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas from one of my perennial borders. They didn’t bloom very well, I think perhaps the winters are a bit too cold for them. The local deer also find them very tasty and nibble them down in the winter.

After transplanting them to large terra-cotta pots, they lagged for a bit but then started to perk back up. I rolled them into the basement for the winter, then wheeled them back out a month or 6 weeks ago. They had already started to set blooms in the basement.

The foliage got a little sunburnt after I moved it out, I should have moved them outside a few weeks earlier. With our late spring, I didn’t want to risk them being damaged by frost (or the containers either). When they put up new shoots, that will help them fill in and cover up any of the crispy leaves. This summer they should fill in nicely.

This past weekend, I moved them to their spots flanking the front door. They seem to be thriving in their containers and with their warmer, cozier winter digs. I’m hoping for a huge flush of beautiful blooms this summer and lovely fall color.

Do you overwinter any plants in the basement? Do you grow things in containers to protect them from cold or nibbling animals?

Friday Favorite: Houseplants

May 18th, 2018

I love houseplants and have lots of them in every room. Perhaps I got this love from my mom, our home was always filled with different kinds of houseplants in all shapes and sizes. ¬†Houseplants are pretty easy care, though every now and again then can use a bit of love. This pothos sat on the stage at our wedding, 20 years ago. It’s been growing in the same container ever since. Earlier this week, I decided it needed a new pot and needed to be divided.

The majority of the foliage was removed, then it was turned out of the pot. This plant was potted up and growing in this container when I purchased it. In the bottom of the container, I found lots of styrofoam peanuts. Also, about midway down in the container, I found this plastic disk. Clearly, it was repotted from a hanging basket and whoever planted it didn’t know this should be removed. I’m pretty surprised that this plant has thrived for so long. It’s definitely a testament to the hardiness of this plant.

The root ball was cut in half and trimmed, then I repotted it into a new container with fresh potting soil. I don’t add time release fertilizer to my houseplants, I figure they’re just fine with a bit of liquid kelp in their water every now and again. I find that the chemical fertilizers seem to leave a salty/mineraly residue on containers and water reservoirs.

This plant should have a new lease on life. I’m hoping it survives for another 20 years at least.

Do you enjoy having houseplants around? Do you repot them on occasion? What’s your favorite way to fertilize houseplants?

Local Sources

May 17th, 2018

One of the great things about living in Maine, is that there are a wealth of small business around. A few months after we moved up here, we met Duane, the owner of Dewey’s Lumber & Cedar Mill. Since then, we’ve become friends. I get cedar shavings off of him for the chicken coop, as well as lumber for raised beds. When he asked if I could some take photos for his new website, I was more than happy to. Two weeks ago, I went out and caught Duane and his guys in action.

Duane and his wife Kim, get eggs from our chickens. I head out to the mill a every few months to get things I need and to drop off eggs. It’s great being able to support a friend and local business. We feel very fortunate to live in an area where small, local businesses are prevalent.

Do you have any great local businesses you like to support?


May 16th, 2018

Typically, I spend all winter reading about gardening and looking through my collection of various gardening books. This past winter, I was busy with a lot of things and spent most of my time reading novels. As the weather warmed, I found myself missing my garden reading.

I’m a huge Monty Don fan, which means that I purchased his new book ‘Down to Earth‘ and have been reading through it. It’s fantastic, as are all his books (‘Gardening at Longmeadow‘ and ‘The Ivington Diaries‘ are my two favorite gardening books). On my stack this week, I also have ‘Earth on Her Hands‘, an older, out of print book that highlights the gardens of many different women. It’s one of my favorites it look through each winter, as the gardens aren’t show gardens, but real gardens made by real women. ‘Gardens of Spirit and Place‘ is another favorite, though the gardens featured in this book are more designed and much more elaborate.

The New Homesteader‘ which features the beauty of Walnuts Farm in England is a feast for the eyes, especially if you love traditional English potagers. There are many more books that I’ve looked through and put back on the shelf. I’ll share some of those in the comings weeks. I find books about gardens are one of my favorite ways to find inspiration for my garden.

Do you have a favorite gardening book that you refer to frequently for inspiration?


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.