July 01, 2018

Cabin Fever

For the past week I have been in a cabin in the woods, hanging out with my beloved children at our church family camp. We borrowed a cabin for the week and left our easy suburban life behind. Without TV or WiFi or any electronic device we unplugged, unwound and were carefree. My children ran around barefoot, rode their bikes, went in the pool, made friends, sang songs, picniced and played. Pure joy.

To me cabin life is very much a North American thing compared to my experience in the U.K.

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June 19, 2018

My Favorite Garden Tools

If you do any gardening at all, there are certain tools that you need to have: A decent shovel, a sturdy trowel, gloves. But the more time you spend in the garden, the more specific your tastes become in the tool department. I’ve been working in our garden going on 6 years now and I have figured out what works best for me. Here are my favorite gardening implements…

Pruners are a necessity for deadheading flowers,

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May 23, 2018

The art of composting

My childhood memory of composting was the large compost heap at the bottom of the garden; I was never a fan of walking down there in the colder months having to empty the kitchen food waste bin. My Dad was, and still is a keen gardener and now I am a mother myself, I appreciate all the fresh fruit and vegetables I was fed with whilst growing up. Once my brother even tried to set fire to the compost heap as a joke,

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May 10, 2018

Maplewood Garden Club… The Plant Sale is Here!!

As I have mentioned in years past, the Maplewood Garden Club has an amazing annual sale and it’s happening this weekend! It kicked off today, Thursday, at noon and it was absolutely swarmed with people looking for deals. The quality of the plants is top notch and the prices are fantastic – I always get a ton of amazing stuff for a fraction of what you would pay at a nursery like The Farm.

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April 09, 2018

Beekeeping In Early Spring

If you follow me on Instagram you know that I am an amateur beekeeper. A few years ago a friend of mine invited me to get involved with the upkeep of his hives and I jumped at the chance. Who doesn’t want fresh, local honey at their fingertips? So last year I took on half the responsibility and have started to learn the ropes.

Because Maplewood is densely populated, relatively speaking,

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May 12, 2017

Maplewood Garden Club Plant Sale

Each spring the Maplewood Garden Club puts on a plant sale and the deals are amazing. The sale is held in the parking lot of the Maplewood community pool. Last year I stopped by “just to look” and walked away with a dozen great plants to add to my garden for $130. Mature hosta for $4? Yes please! Large, healthy vinca for $6? Don’t mind if I do! At this sale a person could completely outfit a spring vegetable garden in one fell swoop and save a bundle in comparison to shopping at the local nurseries.

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October 11, 2016

Get Outside: A Simple Brick Border

This weekend I finally tackled the crazy overgrown mess that was our Butterfly Garden. We put it in late last spring and never really paid it any attention throughout the summer. We were aiming for a fairly wild feeling habitat for pollinators of all sorts and frankly, the weather was so hot this summer that maintaining any sense of order within the bed was pushed to the bottom of the list.

I say the aim was for a wild habitat…

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September 26, 2016

Get Outside: Planting Fall Crops

The attempt I made to rid my abundant kale of pesky whiteflies pretty much failed. The bed was just too infested with the little critters to bounce back and while the steeped garlic concoction seemed to work at least a little bit, the leaves were so covered in sticky eggs that what remained was inedible.

I ended up pulling out the entire bed and giving the soil a good turn. After adding some compost to freshen it up,

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September 09, 2016

Get Outside: Fighting Whiteflies In The Garden

So it seems the weather just won’t cool off and as a result I simply can’t force myself to go out and do a stitch of work in my garden. It’s just too hot! Despite the heat, I am going to have to tackle a little maintenance this weekend for as I went out to snip some kale for dinner last night I was welcomed by a dreaded white cloud. My kale has been infested with whiteflies.

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August 31, 2016

Get Outside: A Week in the Woods

It’s here, the end of summer… where has the time gone? I am away with my family enjoying the last few days of calm before the madness of school sets in. We are spending time swimming, catching frogs and crayfish, playing hours of UNO and grilling hot dogs and corn. It’s a much needed recharge before the busy autumn sets in and I plan to return refreshed and ready for a busy few months. I hope you have managed to pack in some fun this summer!

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