Monday, October 21

Growing Geraniums Indoors

The night temperatures are starting to drop in Maine, so I brought my geraniums indoors. I haven't had very good luck over wintering geraniums in the past, but this video has some basic tips for success. I'm hoping I'll be more successful this time around.

Thursday, October 3

Late Summer Flowers at St. Anthony's Franciscan Monastery

A few weeks ago, we stopped by St. Anthony's Franciscan Monastery in Kennebunkport, Maine for a visit. The late summer gardens were still colorful and loaded with blooms. Hydrangeas were heavy with the classic pinkish-white blossoms. Below are some lovely scenes from their September gardens....



Thursday, September 26

Flowers Around Town: Beautiful Kennebunkport, Maine

For those of you who have never been to Kennebunkport, Maine, I recently took some photos to give you a virtual tour showcasing the lovely flower displays found all around the port. Kennbunkport is one of my favorite places to visit, so I try to get there several times a year. On my most recent visit a few weeks ago, I was delighted to find so many beautiful flower displays.
 I'm not sure the variety of the red potted flowers above, but what a beautiful accent for this arbor. What a view!
A lovely border...
 The bridge across the river is adorned with boxes of annuals.
All along the sidewalks of Kennebunkport you will find these boat planters filled with different annuals.
 Here's another example...
 ...and another.
 Most shops have some kind of window box or tiny garden.
I love this school of fish!
 How clever are these geese sculptures?
How about this unique display of succulents outside one shop?
Another shot of the bridge of flowers.
On this side of the bridge, you will see the marina and businesses along the river.
If you ever have a chance to visit Kennebunkport in person, do! In the meantime, I'll continue to bring you posts when I visit. Stay tuned for a September tour of the Franciscan Monastery gardens to be posted soon...

Wednesday, September 25

A Country Fair

Fall is the time for country fairs! Last week we took in the Rochester Fair in Rochester, N.H. I took many photos so Sprouts readers could see the prize winning produce.
 Is this pumpkin big enough for you?
Inside the exhibition hall...
 Blue ribbon pumpkins...
A variety of produce...
These butternut squash won a red ribbon...
 We saw so many interesting entries besides produce. Check out this little desert garden.
And this fellow certainly deserves a blue ribbon for his crow control!
Before the fair season ends, take a trip to a country fair near you to see what your neighbors have to show for their efforts. And consider entering your own produce next year! It's a time honored tradition. Maybe you'll bring home a ribbon yourself!

To see more of what the Rochester Fair has to offer click here.

Tuesday, September 24

New Hampshire Farm Museum Gardens

Interested in the history of farming in New England? If so, the New Hampshire Farm Museum is the place to visit. After a recent trip to the nearby Rochester Fair (which I'll be telling you about in another post) I took my family to the NH Farm Museum in Milton, NH. I knew Sprouts readers would be interested in the gardens, so here are some scenes for you.
 These are the flower beds behind the main house. This house is a series of smaller houses built over time. For many decades it was used as a tavern, which you see in the background.

Does anyone know what these are? Let me know in the comments.
 Late afternoon light looks pretty on September blossoms.
 The museum has a grinder set up for visitors to grind corn for the hens. We enjoyed feeding this flock of friendly chickens.
 For those of you looking for scarecrow inspiration, I took many photos of the scarecrows in the garden.
 I wonder if these were made in one of the many educational programs offered.
This fellow is doing a good job guarding the bean tipi!
 This one seems to be telling hungry critters, "Don't mess with my garden!"
 A scarecrow and an ancient tree.
 In addition to the gardens, we also enjoyed a tour of the farm house, barn and grounds. As the sun set, we were reluctant to leave. We bought some maple sugar candy before we hit the road. Just about as New England as it gets! We'll definitely visit this lovely farm again.
For more information, visit the museum website here.

Friday, September 6

Reply to Michele: September Harvest


Yes, I would love to hear more about your Ayurveda treatments. It sounds fascinating!

The garden has been growing and growing since I last posted. Mostly various vines with very little to show for it. The pumpkins and various squash varieties all produced massive vines which took up most of the space in the garden but I only ate one zucchini all summer. One. For all the cucumbers I planted I mostly grew vines with a handful of fruit. Disappointing. However, I did have many gourds.
I didn't plant gourds so this was a surprise. I think they are volunteers from last Halloween's decorations which ended up in the compost. Anyway, I have gourds. Hooray!
The grape vine is producing.

I have both red and green peppers. These are a Spanish variety of pepper. Some are very spicy but others are mild. So eating these is always a surprise. I also planted a Caribbean hot pepper that didn't do much of anything.

The tomatoes have been a disappointment so far. I have a lot of green tomatoes, but thus far we've harvested and eaten perhaps a total of 7 ripe tomatoes. The tomatoes you see below are huge but it's hard to tell from the photo. The weather is turning chilly so I'm not sure if these will ripen up. I may be eating a lot of fried green tomatoes in the weeks to come.
 I have a pot of basil.
These little cherry tomatoes were the success of 2013. The kids eat them right off the vine and the plants have kept up with the demand. I'm hoping this heirloom variety will seed in for next year.
This pretty morning glory is one of many on my arbor, though all the rest are up on the top where I can't get a photo! These were also volunteers this year. I'm quite pleased with these. Very pretty.
And here is another variety of green paper. These are a little spicy.
So, sadly I will have no pumpkins for Halloween and will head to someone else's pumpkin patch for decorations. When everything is done producing, I'll clear out the garden to prepare for the winter. I planted some kale in one of the raised beds so we'll see if anything comes of that as a cold crop.
Overall this summer, the biggest success was salad greens, cherry tomatoes, collard greens and beets. We also had a nice crop of black raspberries from our wild patch. In the flower boxes, nasturtiums, impatiens, petunias and lavender did very well. The Malabar spinach stopped growing in July. The tomatoes, peas, and peppers were so-so.
I don't think I'll be planting squash in the future. It's just not doing well here. I have not been able to produce zucchini for the past several years, which has me puzzled. In the past, I had so many I can't give it all away! So, next year the space will go to something else with which I'll hopefully fine more success.
How are things going in your garden? Have you decided to winter garden or not?

Sunday, September 1

Note to Caroline:Off the topic of Gardening-Late Summer

Well, it seems like Fall is on its way here. My squash and tomato leaves are turning yellow and look like they have had it for the season in a way I have never seen this early before. For Labor Day tomorrow, I am planning a visit to the Community Garden to harvest the rest of the Lemon Cucumbers and Cherry Tomatoes. I think I am going to get my bed ready for a late sowing of Lettuce and Carrots. As usual, I have not made up my mind about Winter Gardening.

Like everyone else I am trying to juggle a lot of plates at the same time, so to speak. My Ayurveda Studies start back up in a few more days and I am looking forward to graduating in June. Ayurveda is the third largest Health System in the world, with Western medicine being number one and Chinese Medicine number two. I will be an Ayurveda Health Counselor and will be helping people with a wide range of health issues through diet and lifestyle adjustment. Right now I am trying to integrate the treatment part of Ayurveda into my existing list of Facial and Energy Work. I can tell you more about the treatments in another post if you are interested?

A Shirodhara Ayurveda Treatment

It is also a busy time for my River Organics Products because Spas and Salons start ordering their Pumpkin Skin and Body Care to use and sell to their customers. I use fresh Pumpkin Pulp in most of the products like the Pumpkin Mask. I often think about adding Pumpkin as a gardening crop although it would have to be a very early variety to be ready on time for my orders that start late August.

Handmade Pumpkin Skin and Body Care

Lastly I am still running my Bridal Dress business Lemon Chiffon Bridal Boutique, but online. I did my first photo shoot a few weeks ago with my Photographer friend Alexis and Model friend Irene. Irene also designs and makes some of the dresses. Like you she is a single mom, but has three children. I think I told you that all the dresses I sell are made by independent designers or vintage. I have also started making Bridal Hair Accessories and Veils like the popular Birdcage Veils and Fascinators. The flowers I use are all handmade by me too.

One of my Birdcage Bandeau Veils with Silk Flower Fascinator

The designer of this dress is Peppermint Pretty

This is a vintage inspired Fascinator or Mini Hat

How is your late summer going? I know school starts back with the kids soon. Have you seen any signs of Fall?

What to do when it is just too Darn hot to Garden?

It has been a very hot summer everywhere. From what I have been told it is normal to get 100 plus days from the months here from  May to Oct...