We tend to grow lots of beans in the garden and this year we tried a new variety, Chocolate Runner Beans. I absolutely adore growing these beans. They trellis well and are abundant. You can eat the beans fresh from the vine or dry them for use later. Today, I wanted to share with you how easy it is to dry beans. The process is actually pretty simple. To use the dried beans, soak them overnight in water and then try adding them to your favorite recipes. Some of ours include soups.
We’ve been in the new house for two years. As many of you know gardening is a labor of love. We brought the chicken coop over from the old house and have been slowly creating a raised bed garden adjacent to the cottage garden. One of the best way that I have found to maximize growing space is to think vertically. Taking advantage of veggies that like to climb up trellises can greatly affect your produce yields. I also love that the veggies and fruits growing on the upper portions of the trellises are far from the reaches of hungry chickens. These obelisks were my faves this growing season and I just had to share more.
Spring has taken it’s sweet time to come to Cape Cod. Still with temperatures in the 40s at night- mid May, it seems as though everything is stalled. Beautiful annuals that usually spill from the window boxes on the front of my home were also delayed. The window boxes lay dormant and lifeless. Still filled with dead, brown and decaying evergreen branches, it was time to do some thing about it. This was not the first time, but little did I expect to discover a bird’s nest.
This past week, I took a trip to the Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas. I was super excited to have the opportunity to return to Chip and Joanna Gaine’s Magnolia Market at the Silos again this year. The Silos are definitely an experience. I had my daughter in tow and that made it even more special to experience it together. Of course, it is February and the temperatures were in the 70s. It was definitely a much needed change of scenery from the 20-30 degree temps on Cape Cod. Being over 1600 miles away from home and touring the gardens, made me grateful and excited for spring. I was not surprised being in growing zone 8, that they are ahead of us. This garden is where I spent the most time–sitting, resting, people watching and plant watching too. I loved to see that Joanna and I tend to do many of the same things in the garden. Today I’m thrilled to take you along on a Magnolia Market Garden Tour.
This week I was down with the flu. I guess I kind of knew that it would only be a matter of time. It seems so inevitable working among ill patients. I’ve spent the greater part of the past 2 weeks in bed. At first, lying there wishing that this would all just go away and then simply too weak to care for the chickens, the dog and even the family. Still now as I type this I still feel weak. Yet, time is marching on, the first few signs of spring are arriving and I’ve got some exciting happenings.
This week, I’m sharing my latest craft for DIY Network. I absolutely love shopping for all things vintage. A few weeks ago, I was at a holiday sale run by the talented ladies from Burlap and Buoys. One of my favorite vendors, had a metal bin full of old worn ice skates. I took a peek inside a white pair of ice skates. They were a size eight. A wee too small for my feet, but perfect for a wintery transformation. These ice skates would be the perfect way to add winter New England charm to the garden shed door. I’m so thrilled at how this ice skate wreath came together.
I love living by the sea and keeping gardens, but living in New England I find my warm days drifting away. One of my favorite things to do on crisp fall days is to collect beautiful inspirational things from the gardens and make wreaths, like this acorn one. This past spring, we planted almost thirty hydrangeas on the property. The hydrangea blooms have now faded to muted greens, browns, pinks and maroons. They are lovely in their own way. I snipped a few from the bushes that were just about dried and brought them inside to create a wonderful coastal hydrangea wreath for the fall season.
As the weather takes a turn and ushers in cooler temperatures, fall watering needs in the garden change, especially for those of us living in places where we experience four distinct seasons. Fall is a traditionally a time for adding new plantings, sprucing up window boxes, patching or re-seeding the lawn, and maintaining established plantings. It is also time to adjust the manner in which we water to make sure we are properly nourishing plants prior to winter.
Fall has arrived at Tilly’s Nest. We never really had a moment to warm up after spring. Cape Cod had a cool and wet summer. We were all waiting for beach weather and it really didn’t show up. This happened a few years ago too. I guess things are cyclical. This past week cooler temperatures have ushered in. It seems to be the circle of life. We said goodbye to a dear Uncle who was battling an illness for a long time and now the leaves are keeping us occupied on the weekends. It’s a labor of love. I seem to have a love-hate relationship with the beauty of fall and the daunting amount of leaves that seem to return as soon as they are raked up from the gardens.
One of my favorite thing about the garden is being able to enjoy the blooms to create a flower bouquet. I grow an assortment of plants during the spring, summer and fall and about once a week early in the morning, I go out into the garden and forage. Sometimes, I am sort of in-between blooms and other times the bouquets seem to be bursting with all flowers. I like to take advantage of both the blooms and foliage in the garden. None of them are off-limits and somehow, even when things aren’t necessarily blooming, they still find their way into my impromptu bouquets.