Spring Smells

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Do you have a favorite smell of Spring?

Mine is the scent of Lilacs.

I just love the look of these flowers. In my yard I have three different kinds of Lilac bushes. White , dark purple, and the kind that are above in the photo.

I wished I could remember all the Latin names for them. I do know what I like and how they look though.

I had a bunch of off shoots that I dug up  a few Weeks ago. I’m hoping in about 5 years I will have two areas in my yard that will be in full bloom this time of year. The house will be chuck full of cut Lilacs.

In this part of New England you can drive along any old dirt or paved road and see rows upon rows of Lilac bushes. If you see an old farm house, you can be sure  there is  Lilac bush near by. When I was younger my mother & I use to go around and cut Lilacs from old abandoned properties. One place we use to go to, the Lilac bushes were really full and tall.  Unfortunately that farm house got torn down to make room for a gas Station.

As I write this, I realize that anyone living south of us has already had the treat, of seeing these bloom this year. For us it is a welcome treat from a long , long, cold Winter.

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Hope your enjoying your Spring and smelling the flowers.

Enjoy!

Tracy

Slow down and smell the flowers

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It’s that time of year when families are  in full throttle . Running with the kids to games, school concerts, plays, recitals. The weeks blend into each other until Summer vacation hits.

It’s also one of the most beautiful times of the year. The trees & bushes are in full bloom. They are  decked out in glorious  colors. Each a little bit prettier then the other. It can be a wonderful inspiration to anyone that opens  their eyes and just enjoy the beauty. Even if it’s only for a moment.

Live in that little moment because, like a magnificent Magnolia flower, the moment will not be there for long.

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I was talking to a client the other day who was about 20 minutes away from our home town. She said she was driving along and  thought how beautiful all the green and flowering buds looked. She spent the whole time driving home admiring each town as she passed through it. When she pulled into her drive way she realized how beautiful her road was.  She couldn’t get over how she had missed the beauty on her own road, until she took a minute to really look.

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So if your life is spinning at a fast pace try to step off the merry- go-round for just a second and admire all the new life that is popping up.

Up here in the Northeast our growing season is not long. We learn to appreciate what we have before the next season begins. Slow down and smell the flowers.

The Joy of Farming your Land

Good Evening Everyone. I hope you are enjoying your spring. I’m enjoying the rain that is watering all the plants and trees that I planted this weekend and Monday.
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We divided my Raspberry bushes and got 33 canes out of it. The goal is to put up posts at each end of the Raspberry rows. Then we will run wire for the Raspberries to grow on.  We also moved the fruit trees. I hope they survive through the Summer.  Someday I’d like our property to be a pick-your -own farm. (Might not happen because we live in a Development.)
This property in it’s former life was a gravel pit.

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Here in the North East, the rule is not to plant until Memorial Day. We do have some things we can plant now that are frost hardy. We have gotten snow in May before, so it’s best to be cautious.
Peas are one of those harder crops. An old saying is planting Peas on Patriots day brings picking of Peas on 4th of July.
We envy the longer growing season of the southern states but we don’t think we could ever leave this property. (We are blessed with all kinds of wild life from the Marsh behind our house.) In the fall we hope to build a couple Hot Houses to extend the growing season. We  know of some farms in Maine that are getting crops in December.
We finally got to use compost that was broken down. It came from mulch that we had put in the compost pile 5 years ago. We know how to make good compost but we are not very good at doing the things  to  make it good.

Making Compost
A mixture of greens and brown yard waste. Green being grass clippings, deadhead plants, veggie scraps.
Brown is your raked leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds.
Start mixture with a bag of already composted soil, and water.
Mix the compost pile often (something we forget to do.) A pitch fork works well. You can also use composted Manure to start you compost.
Make sure that your pile is in a sunny area. Try and wet it once a week or more often in dryer times.
This Spring we are going to try and add worms. We are hoping that it will break it down faster.
I would love to hear  your composting ideas and how you reuse yard waste to enrich your gardens.

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It’s great when you can raise your food with compost that you made from previously raised food waste.

HAPPY FARMING!

Tracy

Window boxes for less

Here is a post from last summer.

You can check out my old blog @ Visionsofsuagrplums.net

Inexpensive Window Boxes

I finally got my window boxes. We’ve lived here for 5 years and I have always wanted window boxes on the front of the house. I love looking at houses with beautiful over flowing window boxes. My husband was worried about damage that the water might cause to the house. I came up with an idea that puts the boxes far enough away from the house that their should not be any damage.
I got all the material from the Mill Store. The unfinished boxes with plastic liners were only $14 a piece. Most window boxes I looked at were $75 and up. The brackets were $5.00 a piece. This was a very inexpensive project that added a lot of character to the house.I originally wanted to buy antique brackets but I couldn’t find enough that matched. I needed 8 brackets. I have four windows.

First thing I did to prepare the boxes was:

  1. Drilled about 30 holes in the bottom of each box
  2. Sand the boxes before painting
  3. Primed the boxes
  4. Used exterior paint ( I used 2 coats of left over paint from the house trim)
  5. Re drill the holes (paint can clog the them)
  6. I cut huge holes in the plastic liners so they would drain easily
  7. Placed one layer of newspaper on the bottom of the liner.
  8. Fill with potting soil and compost.
  9. Fill with plants. ( Choose filler flowers( I used pink Becopia) Usually small buds, trailing flowers & vines( Vinca or Potato Leaf as an example) and then a main flower ( I used ruffled Petunia)

I placed the brackets on the house with the long side faced up. The window boxes sit right up to the end of the bracket. ( I wanted a 2 to 3 inch gap between the house and the window box. )Once the flowers fill in you really don’t notice the gap. The window boxes were drilled to the bracket from underneath.


Notice the Whimsical bug. This was from the Kith & Kin Studios a few years back. My sister-n-law designed the wings and I designed and painted the body. We had them in all kinds of playful colors. Someday I’ll post the Fat Fairies we made. They are adorable.
You can really change the look of your house with this project. Next month I’m going to replace the summer flowers with Mums and Decorative Cabbage, and this winter I will have Holly berry, mixture of greens and red berries.

Have fun with them.

Happy Spring!

I WANT TO WISH EVERYONE A HAPPY SPRING!!!!!!!!!!!

To celebrate I raked out my gardens that didn’t have any white stuff on them, started my seeds inside, and bought pretty pink Tulips.

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Pretty flowers always  brightens the day.

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Can’t wait to see them grow.

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Soaking up the sun. These will have to come in. I need to get lights so they will grow properly. In our region the safest time to put plants out is after Memorial Day. We have had snow in the past on Mother’s day. Enjoying the sun and warmth for now. Yeh!

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Small signs of Spring. Looking  forward to seeing my Daffodils!

Happy Gardening!

Tracy