Friday, April 29, 2016

Creating a Secret Garden


I know, big shocker, right? 

I'm always working on something, it seems.

Even more of a shocker? 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Flowers for a Cottage Garden

The past two nights our temps were supposed to dip down to 31 degrees, which scared me just the teensiest bit. 

Because I've been a naughty girl. 

I've been planting. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Very Special Visitors

I awoke to the most glorious sunshine today, which was most welcome after all the rain we had yesterday!

It was enough to make me throw a jacket right over my bathrobe and head on out for a morning walkabout with my coffee. 

Isn't that just the most wonderful way to start a day?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Necessary Evils

There are things I don't really mind having to spend money on. They either give me great pleasure or they feed my body and/or soul. 

Like cheese. And chocolate. And wine. And gardening. And books. 

All good, nourishing things. Happy things. 

And then there are the necessary evils. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Easy Peasy Way to Grow Potatoes

It was a busy, busy weekend around here and I have tons to show you....but I have to get outside before the rain comes to give my grass the first cut of the season. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happiness

There are so many things right now that just make me want to do a happy dance - isn't that just the best feeling? 

Simple things that make me grab the camera and try to capture the moment forever. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Creating a Patio Herb Garden

Remember I told you yesterday that I had a very productive and wonderful weekend? 

And that I'm very, very sore ever since?

Yup. Getting old. How did that happen?

Well, part of what made me so happy....and so incredibly sore....was creating my new herb garden up on my deck. 

I did think about putting the herb garden down on the stone patio, but I really wanted the herbs right outside the kitchen door. It just makes the most sense - after all, that's where the magic happens, right? 

And now I look out my kitchen window and I feel all fancy, like I have a potager in Provence. 

Ok, it's hardly a true potager, but let me have my dream....

Anyway, here's how it all went down. 


On Saturday the weather was just perfect to be working outside. I was puttering around the house and gardens doing this & that...and Sweetie came to my house and spent time on the deck putting together my two new herb boxes. 

I was so excited!!  I know, don't judge....I'm pretty lame, no doubt. 

To make the boxes more practical, I bought 12 casters so Sweetie could put 6 on each box. This way they can be moved for cleaning, deck painting, etc. 

As soon as they were all assembled I used my superhuman strength to carry two huge bags of peat moss up a flight of stairs to dump in as the first level of soil. 


Peat moss is great as a bottom layer in a large planter like this. It's lightweight, helps keep the nutrients in the soil, is relatively inexpensive for the amount that you get, and of course it's organic. 

To find out more about peat moss's wonderful uses in the garden, check out this article

The next layer in the planter boxes was the beautiful compost my sweetie brought over in 5 gallon buckets. 

Another heavy load to carry up the stairs!

For the top layer, I had to run to our local Ace Hardware and pick up some organic potting soil. I bought everything they had left in stock. 

I'm pretty sure that all the staff members at Ace are convinced by now that I'm crazy. 

It may or may not be true. I'm not saying. 


Anyway, once I had all the layers in the boxes I used my Garden Weasel to mix it all up. 

I truly love that garden toy. Remember I told you all about it in this post? 

When the soil was ready to go, I headed over to the veggie garden to dig up all the perennial herbs and re-plant them in the new boxes. I'm still not sure what's going to come back after those cold nights we had, but I'll find out soon. 

I also added some herbs I picked up when I was off the mountain . 


Box number one has Lavender, Purple Sage, French Tarragon, Lemon Thyme, and Italian Oregano. And I seeded some Dill in the back. 


Box number two has Rosemary, Greek Oregano, Garden Sage, Sweet Marjoram, German Thyme, and Dill seeded in the back. 

I still need to add Basil and Parsley after the danger of frost....and who knows what else. Possibly some Savory or Chervil. 


The Mojito Mint is in a separate planter so it doesn't take over the world. Same with the Chives - I dug them all out of the veggie garden and potted them up. 

The herb garden is right outside the kitchen door, on the other side of my L-shaped deck from the dining and firepit seating areas. 


There is some additional seating on this side of the deck, along with the barbecue and the hose. 


At the corner of the L, by the tall staircase leading to the stone path and parking area, is my deck swing. 

Not to be confused with the swing by the garden cottage, which is new this year. I am so blessed, no doubt. 

The deck swing has been in 3 homes with me so far and I love it. 

This swing faces the dining table and firepit area, as well as the bird feeders. It's a fantastic place for morning coffee. 

Looking back towards the kitchen door, smaller staircase, and garage you can see the herb boxes on the right. 

I just love my new herb garden and can't wait until the herbs really start filling in those boxes!

I have plans to add a vertical element to the herb garden as well....stay tuned for more on that. 

The large red container in the corner will be planted with colorful annuals, with something tall in the center. I have two more large red containers, and all three get planted the same for continuity. 


While I was at it, I did another very, very smart thing, that I should have done ages ago - I added wheeled saucers under all the planters on the deck. 

It will make things so much easier when trying to clean up the deck because these red planters seriously weigh a ton!

But do you want to know what the real star of the show was this weekend?


This little guy. Oh my, he saved my back! I sat on this little stool and did all the planting in the herb boxes, scooting from one box to the other like I was in a race car!

My sweetie gave me this little stool a few years back as one of my Christmas gifts. I didn't quite know why he would be giving me a mechanic's wheeled stool....until he explained it was for me to use when working on my deck planters. 

Did I ever tell you how smart my sweetie is? 

Pure genius, I tell you. 

But don't tell him I said that. I wouldn't want it to go to his head. 

Shhhhhhh......


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Entertaining on the Deck - Finally!

Wasn't it just the most glorious weekend? 

I'm sure you can understand why I wasn't attached to my laptop this weekend. 

As a matter of fact, I spent the entire weekend outside in the fresh mountain air - and nothing could have made me happier!

Some very wonderful things happened in my little world this weekend, in addition to the incredible weather. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Mountain Top Home

I often refer to my mountain top home and I know some folks may think my home hangs off the edge of a cliff. 

Nope, that wouldn't work for me at all with my fear of heights! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spring has Sprung and I Need a Clone!

Doesn't it always seem there are not enough hours in the day? Either that, or I seriously need to figure out how to clone myself. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How to Get the Garden Ready for Planting

I'm so excited because I was finally able to spend some time outside this weekend! Not only did the weather cooperate.....for a little while....but my back was much improved yesterday as well!

I can't tell you how good it felt to be outside working in the fresh air, instead of inside nursing a sore back.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Layers of Spring in the Bedroom

Exactly one year ago yesterday I stood outside in an ice storm, sick as a dog with a terrible flu....and directed the movers where to go with each piece of furniture as they took it out of the truck. 

It was moving day....and despite feeling like something that was scraped off the bottom of my shoe, I was as happy as a clam!

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Garden in April

We had heavy rains and high winds all day yesterday, which obviously wreaked havoc on our internet, as I was without a computer all. day. long. 

I missed you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Adding Style to Outdoor Spaces

Winter might be outside my door right now but inside my head it's spring all the way!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Seed Starting in the Snow.....Part II

We certainly did get a whopper of a spring snowstorm this weekend - wowzers, oh golly!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Winter Is Back With a Vengeance!

Well, it happened! It's winter again here in the mountains of Upstate NY. 

We got about 5 inches of snow last night and the wind is fierce today. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Winter Weather in April

So, here we are in April and the weather forecast says February. 

What is going on with this bizarre year we've had? 

Friday, April 1, 2016

How to Camouflage an A/C Unit or Generator

I shared with you yesterday the absolutely amazing gift my sweet man bought for my home.  What a wonderful, generous gift I was given!

But let's face it....we all know that I am going to have to camouflage the unit in some way and not have it sitting there screaming at the side of my garden. 
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