re-using flowers

My gardens have taken a back seat in my life lately, but just last week I said to myself, that’s it. It’s time to organize and clean-up the front flower beds.

It’s time to trim away the browning greenery, cut down the lilies gone by, pull out the ever encroaching weeds… in general – tidy up the flowers that are still growing and keep my front entrance looking bright and cheery. But what to do about the gaps left behind from annuals gone past…?

‘Aha’, I thought to myself.

I have some beautiful French Marigolds in the back garden – why not simply transplant a few up front?

So that’s what Finn and I did.

And while I don’t have any photos of the actual transplanting – it’s a delicate balance working with a three year old, a shovel and the roots of a plant  – I did manage to take a few photos of the front garden now…

front garden

marigolds filled in

This lovely stopped by while we were working…

monarch

And these buzzing beauties are still around…and loving all the marigolds…

busy bees

And while we did leave a few marigolds in the back garden, (we still have swiss chard, gourds and leeks to harvest), the color the transplants added to the front was just what they were needing! The back and front gardens benefit from these fall beauties.

And I didn’t have to buy a thing.

If your in need of a change in your flower beds, or want to start a new bed, think about utilizing plants/bulbs elsewhere in your yard.

Who doesn’t like free flowers?

Enjoy the weekend!

everyone should have fresh cut flowers

I was going to write about Finn’s first day of school (pre-school, that is), which was two days ago…or about the fact that I am now (and have been since early May) working, at night (to supplement our income) as a server (aka, waitress) at a super fun restaurant, with great people – but it’s still waitressing…in addition to keeping up with the house, the laundry, our business, the dishes…phew.

Days are long and the nights are late…mornings now begin only a few hours (or so it feels) after I’ve (finally) fallen asleep…oh the conundrum of working (or not working) as a mom.

Who knew?

But instead of sharing more about my busy life (I’m sure you can relate!), I decided to talk about the little luxuries growing throughout my garden and surrounding my home – my flowers. Flowers I started from seed months ago or planted as bulbs, years ago…

flowers in the garden

They are simply spectacular right now. And all that beauty cost me next to nothing to start – granted there is a time investment, but it’s oh so worth it!

sunroom

It makes me so happy when I look out my windows or pull into my driveway and see a variety of colorful petals and leaves looking back at me…especially when the hummingbirds are humming about…do you see them, there are two!

two hummingbirds

Morning glories, sunflowers, nasturtiums, lilies, beach roses, delphiniums, dahlias, poppies – all started for a few dollars…

nastursiums

zinnia

galdiolas 2

the time invested starting these little beauties is nothing compared to what I’ve gained – and will continue to gain…

a bunch of flowers

I’m already thinking about next years plantings…

sed starting packets

So when I spotted some discounted seed starting pots I had to pick them up – they were only .60 each, how could I not?

That’s 150 seedling beginnings for only $1.80!

Granted, I’ve used used egg cartons in the past, but my ‘egg guy’ has asked us to start returning them to help keep his costs down…so I do. With that in mind, I couldn’t pass this bargain up!

So while our household income has increased (slightly), so have our expenses (Finns education)…every purchase has a purpose (if not a dual one)… Whether it be for necessity or fun, everything is accounted for. But that doesn’t equate nothingness…

Living within your means or more appropriately, on a budget, doesn’t have to mean living without life’s little luxuries….grow your own flowers and enjoy freshly cut flowers all summer through!

It’s the simple things that make life, lovely…the first day of school, watching your child play on the playground with his new school mates and flowers in the garden…

finn at school

flowers in the garden

enjoy.

cosmo carrots + kids

Gardening is something I look forward to…despite this years crazy spring, super hot summer and now, mosquitos, things are growing and I continue to plant…and now am starting to reap the benefits…

I pulled the first few carrots of the season while Finn napped and as soon as he saw them (after he woke), he said, ‘Mamma, I want to pick carrots too!’

I didn’t want to subject him to the incessant mosquitos and thus, the required long sleeve shirt, long (thick) pants and gardening boots, so I picked while he slept…though when he told me he wanted to pick and wouldn’t mind ‘getting dressed’ (despite the 90+ degree day), out we went…

I was one proud mamma!

Look at these beauties.

veggies

Cosmo carrots (purple) and baby carrots, plus the first picking of basil and the never ceasing baby lettuce (under the carrots)…

Finn helped me plant all of these and I’m so happy he wants to help harvest too…I can only hope to instill a love for gardening or at minimum, an understanding of how food is grown and a respect for all that required to grow, organically…

pulling carrots

carrot freshly picked

double carrot finn + carrot

double carrot

fresh picked carrotshappy weekend!

how does your garden grow?

Mine has been up and down…the weather has been anything but stable…covering, uncovering, planting, re-planting, attempting to harden-off young plants, though not too soon as we’ve had such cold, wet weather – though tomorrow the forecast is calling for 80+ degrees! What?

Todays weather was extraordinary! So while Finn napped I quickly planted nasturtiums and zinnias outside and started to transplant leeks, but the nap did not last long enough…there is always tomorrow and tomorrow will be sunny again…thankfully!

Here’s a glimpse at what is growing…

baby lettuce

baby lettuce

more baby lettuce aka mesclun mix

more baby lettuce
   aka mesclun mix

         baby spinach

baby spinach

close-up baby spinach

close-up baby spinach

       young kale

young kale

 swiss chard beginnings

swiss chard beginnings

tomato plants

tomato plants

cucumbers in waiting

cucumbers in waiting

scary scarecrowEvery garden needs a scarecrow, right? Hat and flannel, from the dump, of course…

snail on brick

Unfortunately, too many of these have made their way into the garden…too many – where do they all come from?

first harvest

first harvest

The first harvest of spinach was such a treat! It was a small harvest, but oh so appreciated…there’s nothing like picking veggies, out of your own garden, and then using them, immediately!

So much work, though so worth it…don’t have enough space for a backyard garden? Try container gardening…especially for the more expensive vegetables and herbs like tomatoes and basil. One plant can yield so much, why not give it a try?

Though, I must admit, I’ve had no luck with my red onions. I started them, in the ground, from seed and they never germinated… I’ve never grown onions before and this year, it seems I won’t be either…any suggestions?

Just because something doesn’t go according to plan the first time, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again. Gardening is so much about trial and error and learning from others, why not start now? You can grow incredible vegetables and save money – all the while knowing what is in your food as well as where it came from…you can’t put a price on that.

enjoy and happy gardening!

spring on the coast of Maine

Spring is a busy time of the year around here…lots needs to be done in preparation for the upcoming (and exciting) summer season!

The lawn mower needs to be tuned-up, the garden needs attention, flower beds are cleaned and baby seedlings need to be transplanted – wood still needs to be hauled and the fire still burns…Here’s a peek into what we’ve been up to as well as a look around what surrounds us …

1.finn with pitchfork

2.Finn spreading seaweed

Finn helping to gently turning the soil, then spreading locally collected seaweed…

Spring cleaning time…washed pots for transplanting, drying in the sun…recycled from the transfer station, of course.

3.transplanting potsFinn is never one to sit and watch, so he filled the pots with potting soil…

4.finn filling pots

Mission accomplished…

5.pots filled

A few parsley plants being transplanted…

7.tansplants going in

6.parsley plant in hand

Next, morning glories…

8.morning glory seedlings

Tulips just beginning to open outside our front door…

9.tulip opening

10.tulips and greenery out front

Lichen ever growing on rocks in the back.

lichen

Lilac blooms in the fog.

lilac blooms

Spinach growing in the backyard garden.

spinach in the garden

And the centuries old Linden tree, standing tall in the original ‘front yard’… apple trees ’round the back. Early one foggy evening…

fog

Peonies pushing up…I love peonies.

peonies

Spring in Maine.

Foggy, misty, cool, warm, sunny, breezy, calm … fire still burns through the night.

Ahhhh, spring…

Enjoy the weekend and Happy Mother’s Day!

xoxo

garden envy

I miss the luxury of growing my own.

vegetable garden

I grow, but not during the winter, I don’t have the necessary space. I grow from spring to fall and miss it this time of year. I miss it so much. Especially as it’s been looking like this (below) lately…

snow covered gate

I miss having food growing and available, in my backyard. I miss being self-sufficient (at least in terms of veggies). I miss the luxury of walking outside (despite the mosquito issue around here), snipping away (usually quickly – the mosquitos), and then coming back inside with a basket full of fresh greens and then some…I do miss my backyard veggies..

freshly picked vegetables

Enough, melancholy – Februarys’ brighter light and longer days have reminded me – Spring is inevitable.

morning glories

even if it doesn’t seem so now…it will come.

rosa rugosa

Normally I would have started plantings already, but this year I’ve had to hold off – at least until we return from our long overdue trip! I am so excited to be going away (we haven’t taken a trip in over 5 years!!), though I do wish I could have started my plantings already – the season is short enough around here !! But starting trays and trays of seedlings made no sense. I didn’t want to ask anyone to look after them while we were away, that just felt like way too much to ask of anyone…so, the seeds will sit and wait a few more weeks…as will I…

seeds

 

enjoy!

sickness and snowstorms

What a week! Finn was slowly recovering from his bought with the flu and then it took over my body…and then onto Michaels…now back to little man, though, thankfully it’s just a cold now… Hence, no posts last week…

Then it was preparing for the storm – the record breaking, two-day storm. What a storm it was – over 3 feet of snow, both doors snowed closed and drifts up to the windows (and even over some windows!)…thankfully, we never lost power and the sun did eventually shine…

So, we are all still recovering and looking forward to spring – it will inevitably come, sooner or later as will our good health…

front door

snowy windowsshoveling despite having a coldfront of house