I’ve always loved birds. The intrigue and the lure of their world has always called to me, even in my dreams. As a little girl, I can remember having the most amazing dreams about flying. I was just high enough that when I would soar over the crowds, no one could reach me with their upward stretching arms. Now as part of spring’s promises, it’s hard to miss their singing. Because their songs start early, perched in the bushes and tree outside my bedroom window. Even more, I like to think that the birds are announcing spring’s arrival, just as regal trumpets would announce the arrival of royalty.
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’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 have to say that over the years as a gardener, I’ve quickly discovered that you get what you pay for when it comes to gardening tools. Of course, there are cheap versions that last a season for those who dabble in gardening, but for those really dedicated to the art of gardening and yard work, the quality of your tools is vital to getting the job done with the least amount of effort and cost. I have found that some of the very best tools come from Europe. From the craftsmanship, quality and durability, they can’t be beat. As many of you know, I have been working super hard in the gardens this year at the new home. There was plenty of work to be done and luckily I had great tools to work with. Today, I wanted to share a few that you just might want to add to your aresnal.
This past week, I headed to Belton, Texas to present at the Mother Earth News Fair. This time my daughter came along with me. Last year, when I visited the Magnolia Market Silos I really wanted to bring her back with me, as she is a huge fan of Fixer Upper on HGTV. So, with a copy of my book, A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, and my daughter in tow, we drove north a little over thirty miles to give a copy of my book to the Gaines Family. Traveling to the Magnolia Market at the Silos is such great fun and the atmosphere can be compared to a decorator’s Disneyland. Today, I’m sharing our adventures and a few tips for you if you’re going to the Silo’s for the first time.
Oh winter, how do I miss my gardens and hanging outside with my flock as they meander around me. Today, instead of feeling glum, I decided to make a miniature chicken garden. Actually, I got a bit carried away and made a few. Once I got started I could not help myself. As I planted up these sweet little gardens, I was envisioning being in my gardens with my own flock. I swear I could here these tiny little chickens carrying on, clucking as to which garden they wanted to explore.
Earlier this year, my family and I traveled to Hawaii. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. This Hawaiian tropical garden was a hidden gem, that we discovered on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had no idea what to expect, nor did my family. My family indulged me a bit as we purchased our tickets. From the outside entrance, it seems as though we would only be exploring for a few moments. Three hours later, we had to pull ourselves from the beauty and awe. In the gardens alone, we took over 200 photos. From the landscape, grounds, orchids, unique tropical plantings and the crashing ocean, we were in awe. I am so thrilled to be able to share this experience with you.
I love Christmas time. It’s one of my favorite times of the year for crafting too. Every year I make wreaths. This year, I wanted one of the wreaths to showcase the beauty of a simple and peaceful Christmas. So I featured a little tin church, some decorative sprigs as well as the Star of Bethlehem. I combined some off the shelf letters and a simple grapevine wreath as a jumping off point. The rest just seemed to come together for this lettered wreath with a little bit of inspiration from the Christmas season displays in town.