Category Archives: garden

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Spoiler alert: this post has nothing to do with twitter. Something magical occurred in my hanging plant this spring. Shut up, I know there are birds everywhere making baby birds every spring, but this shit went down on my front porch. It’s like a nature reserve in your front yard.

I was totally smitten with these darling eggs, which were eventually replaced by the below not-so-darling baby birds. I thought baby insert-any-animal-name-here were supposed to be cute. When do they get cute?

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Alright, they’re sort of cute when they’re hungry, but I still think they looked like feathery aliens at this point. Mama bird, you’re slackin’, we need some ABC (that’s already been chewed for anyone who doesn’t remember elementary school recess conversations as well as I do) worms over here, stat!

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Once they got a little bigger and acquired some real feathers they started to look less like aliens, though they got considerably noisier (not to mnetion smellier). At this point my short ass dogs became really pissed off that they couldn’t reach to eat them.

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Downsides to baby birds in your hanging plant, besides the late stage smelliness? Apparently mama bird is a total asshole, because I discovered the fuzz she used when building the nest is from my outdoor chair cushions. See Exhibit A below. Thanks for that, mama bird. You couldn’t have used some more sticks and shit instead?

It was also rather difficult to, you know, deliver life-sustaining water to said hanging planter while trying not to soak the nest. See Exhibit B below. Perhaps this was partially my fault seeing as I did forget to water the plant entirely for a solid 4 days. Oops.

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The babies flew the coop the other day, never to be seen again (tear-they grow up so fast!) and they were totally worth the eventual and inevitable demise of my plant. (We all know I was going to forget to water it anyway).

Any backyard nature-ness going on in anyone else’s yard?

Cheers,

Christine

psst! I took all these photos using full-on manual mode on my camera. Bam! Making some progress with my photography skills.

Harvest before the first frost & fall garden goings on

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If you’re a gardener, you may know the feeling. You check the weather and realize-eek! All my plants are going to die tonight! (At least this is what usually happens to me.) So it never fails- I’ll be found digging up herb plants and picking green tomatoes and peppers in sub forty degree weather, in the dark.

If you’re wondering what the purple peppers are, those (and the yellow, orange, red ones) are a spicy Chinese 5 Color Pepper. When growing, the plant looks like it’s covered with Christmas bulbs, it’s pretty comical. I bought these and my other heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

Not one to break tradition, that’s exactly what happened this year…I gathered up all the green tomatoes and peppers and brought in the herb plants (which were in pots this year) just in the nick of time.

Other fall garden goings on: I purchased and planted a 1/2 pound of Extra Select Garlic (from Burpee). This is the first time I’ve done garlic. Garlic is planted in the fall and harvested about July or so. You separate the cloves, plant them individually, and each clove makes it’s own bulb. The bigger the clove, the larger the bulb it will make. I was pleased when about 2 weeks after I sowed the garlic there are shoots!

I also planted a few bulbs and perennials out front in my embarrassingly barren front yard. The Russian Sage and Salvia I bought were 75% off at Lowe’s, so I’m just taking a chance they’ll make it though the winter. I mulched them with some leaves for protection. They aren’t much to look at now so I’ll spare you the before photo until there’s an after. Wes planted some beautiful orange and white mums out front also and I’m hoping they’re hardy enough to come back next year. This article about over wintering mums suggests to leave the foliage on fall planted mums and mulch them for protection. Easy enough-we’ve still got plenty of leaves!

Any tips for overwintering newly planted perennials that have worked for you?

Cheers,

Christine

Cocktail of the Month: Rosemary Rosé Spritzer

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Nothing says helllllllllllooooooooooo Friday like a refreshing adult beverage. What I like about this cocktail is just that-it feels so adult.  Nothing says, “I’ve come so far since college,” like herbs in your drink.

This spritzer is also a great summer cocktail. Perfect to enjoy while sunning yourself on the dock, for example. Puppies enjoy sunning themselves pretty much anywhere. In the yard, by the window in the kitchen, sittin’ on a dock on the bay…

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  sugar
  • 10  fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2  bottles sparkling rosé (we used Yellow Tail)

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, rosemary, and ½ cup water and bring just to a simmer. Stir to dissolve the sugar then remove from heat and let cool.

Put about a tablespoons of the simple syrup in a tall skinny glass, top off with the sparkling rosé, and garnish with a sprig of rosemary left over from making the syrup.
 
Any extra simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
 
Recipe adapted slightly from Real Simple.
 
Want more summery home-grown cocktailness? Check out these 10 garden grown cocktails from Camille Styles.
 
Cheers,
Christine

Violet Terrarium Tutorial

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I mentioned my awesome yard sale finds the other day when I told you about my freshened up bright red spraypainted basket. The inspiration for this guy was a 10 cent fishbowl/vase. Creating this terrarium was super quick once I had all my materials assembled. (And smashed. More on that a little later.)

You will need:

  • Semi-enclosed glass terrarium container-fishbowl type container works
  • gravel
  • potting soil
  • small violet
  • moss

 

Place about 2 inches of gravel in the bottom of your container, then add several inches of potting soil. Plant the violet and surround with moss. Tamp down the moss gently. Water the terrarium thoroughly, but not so much that there is more than a little bit of water in the gravel layer. Do not over water, and avoid pouring water on the violet’s leaves if possible. The terrarium will do well on a windowsill that gets morning sunlight. If placed in a spot where there is not enough light, I’ve found that violets tend to stop blooming pretty quickly.

Where to get the moss, you ask? I happened across mine in the yard. I was digging up some grass to plant blueberry bushes when I noticed that moss covered the ground at the base of the grass, so I carefully pulled it up, removed yard debris (like dried grass), and used it in the terrarium.

 

Confession: I didn’t feel like buying a big ass bag of gravel, but I had some larger landscaping type rocks around. So I smashed them with a hammer. Which was the worst idea ever, because it really sucked. Perhaps this is intuitive to most-buy the gravel, don’t make your own.

Stay tuned for my succulant terrarium tutorial, soon to come! Here’s a sneak peak.

Cheers,

Christine