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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.