11 November 2016
06 November 2016
Daylight Savings Time signals a shutting down, a closing in, an end to brightness and growth. It means we still wake up with the darkness, but now we come home to it as well. For some, this change in light negatively affects their very psyche. For others, like me, it is a season of sweetness; full of coziness and darkness pierced by subtle bits of light.
|Pansies are the last blooms pushing on until frost.|
Closing Time for the GardenThe woods, the garden and the lawn are all shutting down for winter and I am doing my best to preserve what I can for the next growing season. All of the large potted plants from the front porch have been moved indoors and today I made one of two "nursery pots".
|Plants I want to SAVE for next year!|
|Note the ROOTS!|
|Cuttings in a Nursery Pot|
The Final RushOutdoors, I am also furiously finishing up planting for the best possible gardens next year. Young woodland plants went in a few weeks ago, allium bulbs went in a new garden bed as well and plenty of mature plants found on clearance are finding homes. The goal is to get them in, get them watered well and allow the plants to develop solid roots before the ground begins to freeze. Now that the plants are in, they are getting a blanket of mulch, leaves, sometimes cardboard and whatever other organic materials I can find to both protect and nourish them over the winter and into the spring.
Those pictures were actually after having the overgrown grasses trimmed back and the ivy cleared somewhat from the rock wall.
I don't have a "before" before photo of the grasses bed, but it looked a little like the rest of the property when we bought it -- kind of like THIS:
The CreaturesThe lambs and the chickens are growing older and getting their coats on for winter. Almost every day now, the lambs are staked out to eat as much green as they can. Before long, dry hay and grain will be it for them :/
02 November 2016
Fall is forging ahead straight into the long days of deep winter and for me that means more music, books and movies! I love the snow, but mostly from indoors. Cuddling with blankets and good entertainment on hand is the BEST way to spend winter in my book. Here are a few recommendations for you that might be just the thing to get you through a long, icy season.
Lark Rise to CandlefordI know I am late to the party, but it was SUCH an enjoyable ride! If you have NOT seen Lark Rise to Candelford, and you are a fan of Poldark, Downton Abbey, anything on PBS -- you MUST watch it all in one go. Just look at the photos and you will be sold :)
|It is making you wish for snow now, isn't it??|
Speaking of Poldark, there is also a BOOK Series, and a fantastic TV series. You can watch both Lark Rise and Poldark via Amazon Prime (it was free when I watched both this summer…I presume it still is, but they might not be carrying Poldark Season 2 until later since it is currently airing.)
|Ross broods a lot -- it is great.|
BOOKSIf a solar flare occurs, your digital TV and music will be worthless, but we will always have BOOKS. Hooray for the enduring literary medium! First shoutout goes to a PLACE, not a book and it is the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in downtown Harrisburg, PA. I always forget about this place, but I went because I was early for my Good Day PA segment last month and it was MAGIC.
GOOD coffee (not Starbucks good -- GOOD good) in a REAL cup and the BOOKS. Friends, if you are in or near Harrisburg, Midtown deserves at least one visit if not regular patronage. They are a little piece of wonderful in a sometimes crappy world. More info HERE.
While shopping the labyrinth of Midtown, I stumbled upon Montrose - Life in a Garden. For those of you always looking for a garden story, this book is for you. It most definitely is for me, but it is for those fellow garden readers who are crazy for hellebores and crave the stories behind gardens.
My stack for this winter also includes a little foodie reading, a little chicken tending and a good chunk of house love. I also tend to read ridiculous, slightly trashy Christmas novels in the winter, but you don't need any recommendations on those. They are usually in the 50 cent bin at your local library bookstall :) Onto the good stuff:
This book is like Little House on the Prairie meets Fast Food Nation. It is food-centric, but walks the reader through true life stories in the Northern Heartland. I was immediately drawn to the book for the beautiful cover, but the words have resonated long after. If you are into food, sustainability or farm to fork living, this is a must read for you.
She Sheds with Affirm Press - This little book is a fun read, solely focused on little girly getaways in the backyard shed. My little shed in our previous house is featured in this book along with tons of others -- my favorite is the 'Caribbean Shed' and the simple 'Writer's Hut'.
My friend and colleague Lisa Steele is releasing yet another fantastic book on chickens! If you haven't heard of Lisa yet, it must be because you are not into backyard chicken raising. She is the queen and princess of all things chicken and this book is another must have for the library of any gardener/chicken tender. (pun intended) Lisa combines the worlds of chicken husbandry and gardening into the sweet harmony God always intended. Think rosemary to freshen up the smell of nesting boxes, oregano to boost chick health and spring chickens tilling up your garden for free!
Page after page, the story unwinds of the house that consumed the authors as they lived out their dream board by board, nail after nail. Once you are fully in love with what they have done with the home, you get to visit the gardens. Full of amaranth and iris, this garden charmed and delighted through the page. I can only imagine how wonderful it is in person. I always love a good love story with a house and this one is especially beautiful. You don't want to miss it.
PLANTSA short PSA that NOW is the time to plant trees in most parts of the country. The weather is cool, the rains are abundant, but the ground has not frozen yet. Get dormant trees in the ground shortly to give them a good start next spring. For very inexpensive saplings, my favorite source is the Arbor Day Foundation. With a $10 membership, you get 10 free trees and then most fruit trees are around $15 with your membership.
so grab up all the daffodils you can when they are cheap! Your spring self will thank you!