May 15, 2017

In today’s Simple Abundance entry, Sarah describes a situation in her life during which she created a container garden that she wanted to be as perfect as the one she was attempting to model from one of those glossy, lifestyle magazines. Try as she might, it just never seemed to be as good. Finally, she said enough is enough, it is beautiful the way it is (paraphrased). I can so relate to Sarah, especially at this time of the year, when…

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soul color

May 9, 2017

Back to reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. Book 5 contains this lovely paragraph: “The things you think about determine the quality of your mind. Your soul takes on the color of your thoughts. Color it with a run of thoughts like these: i. Anywhere you can lead your life, you can lead a good one. ii. Things gravitate toward what they were intended for.” For some reason this makes me think of the expression “bloom where you are planted.” Think…

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up & running

May 2, 2017

Just waiting for the weather to be nice enough to get the seedlings into the ground. It’s still just a bit cool at night for the tomatoes and bell peppers.   While we are building another raised bed this year, I’m short on available planting beds, so I am trying something new. I am using food-grade 5-gallon buckets to grow carrots and sweet potatoes in this year. I’ve seen some good YouTube videos on growing this way. A nice quick,…

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spring color

April 18, 2017

Is there anything better than spring flowers? We have a sweet pink dogwood tree in front of our house. I wish the blooms would last all summer! The first annuals this year – begonias from the local home improvement store. Sometimes it’s hard to know what will look good with a particular style or color of house, if one cares about that sort of thing. Ours can be kind of tough. The siding is made of reddish orange cedar planks.…

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April 10, 2017

Last spring I bought 3 Kimberly Queen ferns for a total cost of roughly $50 (ouch!). They filled in a bare spot in front of our porch and looked perfect there. Not wanting to have to repurchase more ferns this year, I cut them back and moved them inside when the weather started getting too cold. So they have been sitting on a window ledge in the laundry room, which gets quite a bit of bright, indirect sunlight. Over the…

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changes in latitude

March 27, 2017

Spending some time out of town, caring for my Mom after surgery, I am getting out for walks as often as I can. There is a park nearby and I am seeing some pretty sights. My hometown is 1 degree south and 1.5 degree west of where I live now. That seems so small a difference, yet the plant life seems much more accelerated. The temperature is usually never more than 4 degrees or so warmer and sometimes runs the…

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ripe & decaying

March 20, 2017

I am reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor, 2nd century) and this stood out (Book 3, In Carnuntum): “We should remember that even Nature’s inadvertence has its own charm, its own attractiveness.” Unsure of exactly what “inadvertence” meant, I looked it up. From the act or effect of inattention; an oversight. Some examples provided by Mr. Aurelius (can I refer to him that way? seems weird…he was a Roman Emperor, for crying out loud): the way loaves of bread split open on the top when they are…

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March 13, 2017

The sight of those red sprouts poking through the dirt is one of the best for me in all of gardening. Peonies are my favorite flowers and I live to see their blooms come May. I’ve been lucky enough to have some planted at most places I’ve lived since I became a gardener. I love them so much that I once almost turned down a free trip to Florida because the timing of it might have meant missing the peonies in…

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a piece of land

February 27, 2017

Planning this year’s garden, I came across a great article from Mother Earth News on asparagus and strawberries as companion plants, here. It’s an oldie, written by John Vivian in 1995, but it still holds up. It’s a fairly lengthy piece, very comprehensive. He opens with a bit of his personal history. I love this: “It is mighty fine to sink your roots and psyche into a piece of land, even if it’s no more than an acre or two…

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be yourself

January 23, 2017

I am reading a book that was a Christmas gift, called “The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember” by Fred Rogers. Yes, the Mister Rogers that many of us grew up with. This book was published in 2003, which is also the year that he passed away. There is a whole section titled The Courage to be Yourself. One of the paragraphs goes like this: “The values we care about the deepest, and the movements within society…

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