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.
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.
As many of you know, late last summer I moved to a new home. The thought of starting the gardens over was overwhelming, But luckily for me, one of the things that I loved most about the new place was the potential that I saw in the landscape. I wasn’t going to have to start from scratch again, but I certainly knew that I would need to make it my own. It just needed a bit of garden restyling. You can imagine my surprise at our final walkthrough when I discovered that the previous owners stopped watering as soon as we signed the purchase and sale agreement. When we moved in everything, and I mean everything, had dried up. Plants were dead and the earth was a giant dust bowl. I prayed that everything was just dormant and would return come spring.
A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to visit the 2017 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. I was thrilled at the opportunity to return again and was very impressed with how much the festival has grown in the past couple of years. The thing that I love most about this festival is how inspiring it is to the backyard gardener. The festival is filled with gardening ideas that are as fun to look at as they are practical. From backyard chickens, bees, growing food and their stunning topiaries, I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite scenes from this year’s 24th festival.
One of the easiest ways to garden and add a touch of seasonal whimsy to your chicken coop, garden shed, or home is by adding a window box or two. If planted properly, window boxes do not require a lot of care and can easily be changed or added to as you desire. Today I wanted to share a few tips, tricks and secrets to help extend the life of the window box, how to chose the right soil, how to properly feed your plants and suggest some lovely fail-proof plantings.
I absolutely love to see lawns filled with clover. Did you know that not only does it help to support the lawn but their blooms are well loved by bees? It is not uncommon for me to see the plants’ blooms buzzing with my bees. It is also beneficial to the flock, easy to grow and requires no care. It’s one of the easiest way to start gardening for your chickens.
I love gardening with chickens. It has been something that I have enjoyed immensely over the years. One of the most beneficial ways to maximize your space in the garden is to think vertically by adding climbing vines. This gardening trick allows you to make the most of the garden space that you have available. The perfect often overlooked place to consider growing vines is on your chicken coop. Vines provide your chickens shade, a bit of protection for aerial predators and a tasty snack that can be foraged through the run. Today I’m sharing my top 8 perennial and annual vines that are chicken safe, hardy, and delicious for both you and your flock.
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.