My Garden

July 22, 2015 - Obituary

Yellow Squash, Professional Vegetable, dies at age three months. Yellow Squash, who was grown from seed, and who became the first vegetable in the garden to flower though his career was cut horribly short, passed away on July 22 in the studio garden as a result of a lack of pollination and flooding rains. When...
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July 16, 2015 - Flower Identification Test

Pop quiz! Identify this flower! And this one! To be honest, I have no idea what they are. I want to dehydrate some of the petals to put in soaps, but I have no idea what to call the soap because I don’t know what the flowers are! Help! If you’re the first person to...
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June 19, 2015 - When the Rain Came Tumblin’ Down

It’s been raining here every day. EVERY DAY. Even if I do have to wipe off my camera lens between every photo because it’s so humid, the lens fogs up in seconds. Though it does lend a magical mysterious ambiance to the garden. But it’s no mystery what the rain is doing! My tomatoes are...
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May 19, 2015 - Coming Along

Apparently, I can grow peppers, after all! I learned what was my pepper problem from all the comments when I posted about my non-sprouting pepper seeds recently. I wasn’t keeping my pepper pots warm enough. Pepper seeds have to be warm to sprout, much warmer than the conditions needed for tomato seeds. I don’t have...
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April 30, 2015 - Seeds in the Dirt

I’m very excited about gardening this year. This is the first year that I’ve felt as if I had the gardens organized here in a way that works for me, and the first year I’m planting more than flowers and a few peppers, tomatoes, and herbs. The box garden that I had built by the...
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April 10, 2015 - Garden Plans

I got a lot of preparation work done on revamping the gardens around the house and studio last fall. I minimized the front garden beds–they were just too much for me. Too big. There’s no way I can stay on top of that. I just let the goats eat them and gave up. The smaller...
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August 20, 2014 - Big Garden Project

Out with the old, in with the new! The big flower gardens all around the front porch and to the side of the studio looked really nice when I got here. Roses and butterfly bushes and daffodils, irises, and so on. Lovely! The previous owners were members of a garden club and did garden tours....
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June 6, 2014 - I Didn’t Want That Bush Anyway

The goats have been super busy cleaning out my gardens of everything living except for the mint. Of course. The mint could use some pruning, but they aren’t helpful like that. Hopefully, I will finish the fencing I want to get done before the summer is over so that in the future I’m not letting...
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May 22, 2014 - The Devil Wears Wildflowers

This is a part of the yard I want to fence in, but since I haven’t been able to do it yet, I’m trying to keep it under control. It got high on me, and I’m working to get it all back down. There’s a creek here, so once it’s fenced in, the goats will...
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May 8, 2014 - She Who Mows

This was my yard when I came back from Texas. Late in the winter, I bought a (gently) used Craftsman self-propelled battery-operated mower as well as a battery-operated Black & Decker trimmer. I haven’t mowed since I was 12, and I have never weedeated. For the past two summers, since I moved here, I have...
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May 24, 2013 - Natural Gardening

The people who owned this place before me were very enthusiastic gardeners. There are extensive flower gardens all the way around the house and around the studio, with beautiful flowers and shrubs. Lilacs, hydrangeas, all kinds of tulips, irises, daffodils, and things beyond my ken. That master gardener class last year did me a lot...
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May 10, 2013 - Growing Glades

Monocotyledonous green plants of the family Gramineae, commonly known as grass, are grown in the United States and other countries for pastures and lawns. There are numerous types of grasses, developed for different purposes and adaptations, but it is grasses of the lawn variety that overtake hearts and minds, creating work and worry, in springtime....
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April 2, 2013 - Fencing Lesson

Yesterday, under sprinkling clouds, I undertook a new adventure. A lot of fencing has gone on here at Sassafras Farm in the past year. When I arrived here, most of the fields were fenced, but most also needed repairs and in some cases, new fencing entirely. Some completely new fields were also created and fenced....
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January 9, 2013 - The Garden Plot

I didn’t have a garden last year, unless you count this little stone bed by the driveway. I grew a few peppers and cherry tomatoes in here, along with some herbs, while I contemplated my garden conundrum. (Rosemary still going, second winter in a row.) (That’s Ross’s truck parked in my driveway. He wants to...
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May 10, 2012 - Mid-Spring Garden Tour

I tour around in my gardens regularly because if I don’t, I miss something. For all that was lacking in some other areas here when I arrived–neglected pastures, inadequate shelters and fencing, non-existent vegetable gardens, few fruit trees–the flower gardens lack nothing. Since I have the least focus for flower gardening, I’m grateful for them....
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April 23, 2012 - Planting Trees

In the past week or so, Ross and I have planted 16 trees. I’ve never planted a tree before and neither has Ross, so we were pretty much the Keystone Cop tree planters. I ordered most of my trees from Stark Brothers. The trees came in big narrow boxes. I guess I was expecting something...
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April 4, 2012 - Garden Notes

I took copious notes as I went around the house and studio with the previous owners this past weekend. I wanted to know what everything was! And I knew I’d never remember, so I wrote it all down. Here are a few highlights. I have a lilac! And it’s blooming! This is a hydrangea. I...
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March 7, 2012 - Pre-Spring Assessment

Now that it’s March, and spring, while yet a dream, peeks out from the horizon, I’ve been inspecting the beds around the house and studio, trying to talk myself into cleaning them out to prepare for the growing season. On the side of the studio between the driveway and the studio, there is something of...
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September 22, 2011 - Groundwork

The goat yard has been dug out! The build-up from the year’s accumulation of hay and poop and sheep and a giant calf that stood over six inches at the fence line here is now gone. This eliminates the drainage problem created by all the build-up. However, the job is not done. The next step...
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June 7, 2011 - Calling Johnny Pie-seed

This is my pie garden. This is my pie garden full of dirt. This is my pie garden with no ground cherry and garden huckleberry seeds planted. Just a little corner of mint that didn’t want to move out. I do have a fence around it (just like I have for my herb garden) and...
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June 2, 2011 - The Wild Mullein and I

I never thought of lamb’s ear as a cultivated plant as I see it growing wild around here all over the place, but it’s popular in beds and borders for its silvery-green textured leaves that are shaped like, you guessed it, a lamb’s ear. I didn’t know it flowered, and I’m not sure why that...
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April 21, 2011 - Newest Arrivals

The green, the green, the green! The green is bursting out all over this week, and I’m so excited to see it. Having spent so much time in my adult life in Texas, the spring always seems to come so late here. I’m way past ready to see it, and nigh upon desperation. We don’t...
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January 18, 2011 - Kindling in the Snow

You let the fire die and there’s no kindling left because you didn’t pick up enough. What did you do that for? Good thing kindling grows native here! Even in the snow. Most kindling grows underground in winter weather, but wild patches ready for harvest stick out above the frosty coverlet. Come on, I’ll show...
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January 3, 2011 - Seed Catalogs

January is seed catalog time. Time to breathe deep of dreams and plans for gardens bursting with flowers and vegetables, orchards full of fruits and nuts, and bloom-laden vines tumbling over fences even while icicles are still hanging outside our windows. Especially because icicles are still hanging outside our windows. I’ve only gotten one seed...
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December 6, 2010 - Growing Snow

Snow, genus Flakius formus, is an icy, perennial crop made up of microscopic frozen cloud droplets known as snowflakes, which come in a variety of sizes and in complex shapes. Every snowflake is different. Beginning in November or December in most areas of the United States and generally continuing through March, the snowy white “blossoms”...
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November 22, 2010 - Hens and Chicks

According to Wikipedia (which knows everything…. no?), hens and chicks are small succulents native to Europe and North Africa. Hunh. I thought they came from West Virginia because when I was a little girl, my parents got some hens and chicks in West Virginia and brought them back to our yard in Maryland. They were...
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November 6, 2010 - Dearly Departed

I do believe, after all this time, after all we’ve been through together– –that the headless scarecrow is really dead. In the beginning, he looked like this: He was creepy even when he was fresh. (See how we made him here.) I thought he was gone once before and then– If you haven’t read that...
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November 3, 2010 - Picking Up Sticks

Big sticks. Little sticks. Silly sticks. Cow-herding sticks. This is the time to pick up sticks. People with wood stoves are 200 percent happier than people who don’t have wood stoves because they take walks in the woods every day to pick up sticks. (I made that statistic up, but don’t you think it’s true?)...
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