The Hedgerow: The Benefits are the Birds.

It’s hard to believe it’s the end of January already!! While at my house, we have not had any snow for the whole month, but a lot of rain, freezing and mild! The weather has not allowed me to go out and do any skiing or snowshoeing, so I have been inside making plans to give some rooms in my house a new coat of paint. It’s funny, when I moved in nine years ago, I was young and had no clue how to decorate and put things together in a home, and now I am finally getting an idea of what I like and want!!

Well, the same goes for your landscape as well! And one of the things you should consider for your landscape,  if you can, is a hedgerow.

What is a hedgerow? 

  • A hedgerow are bushes/trees grown closely together to make a wall or border of sorts.I love the idea of having a natural fence, rather than the chain link fence I have in the back yard now. I have seen hedegrows from everything including forsythia to traditional boxwood.

My hedgerow in the front yard, to be honest, has been a source of contention between my husband and I since we moved in! He wants to rip it out, but I like that we have the hedgerow in the front because of the security it gives. The sidewalk is right on the other side of this hedgerow. I like my privacy!

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This is a picture I posted over the fall that showed I am planting tulips in front of my hedgerow.

Hedgerows are very elegant, but they are also very important for animal life. Especially in the winter. They protect the birds, who like to seek cover from predators and perch there during the coldest months of the year. And if you are like me, and have a bird feeder on your front porch, they especially like to sit in there and wait to get their food!

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My hedgerow looking bare from my front porch.

So, as your home landscape evolves, and you are looking to put up a fence but would like something more natural, please consider a hedgerow. My best advice to you when considering making one, if you are on a budget, is to wait until late summer/early fall, because that’s when all the spring nursery stock in on sale and you can save a bundle.

Do you have a hedgerow? Tell me about it!

 

2016: A Look Back in the Garden

It’s hard to believe this is the last day of 2016. What a year! Here’s hoping we have a more peaceful, content 2017.

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My bayberry candles are lit and I’m ready for a happy 2017!

I want to thank all of my readers for sticking with me through this year. I have been trying to change things up, but at the same time, I didn’t post as much as years before. This is something I am going to actively improve in the new year. Posting more, even if it’s something small, and it doesn’t have to be as uniform as I have been trying to make them in the past.

Now, back to the garden…

This was the first year my husband and I experimented with tomatoes! We had a great crop! We also had a few small pumpkins and gourds from the seeds of our Halloween pumpkins the year before! We have since expanded this bed and I plan to start shopping for more veggies to plant this year!

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This past year was the first time I really enjoyed Spring. I loved all the cherry and apple blossoms on the trees, and I planted more unique bulbs that truly made me happy.

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This hair allium was the showstopper of my back of the garage flower bed. I was so happy they came up!

I also took a big interest in window boxes. For those of you who can actually have window boxes, please try having one. I love how they make your house look so homey and quaint!

front window box

Another highlight– seed collecting. I had never taken the time to do this before. It was actually very enjoyable, and I found a new appreciation for the beauty and uniqueness of seed pods. They are all different– some you wouldn’t even think were seeds!

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This is a Giant Hibiscus seed pod. I think it’s beautiful, and gave these away as Christmas presents!

So? What on the schedule for 2017? I am tackling projects I have wanted to get started on for the past few years, but something else always took priority.

Here’s what’s on my list for 2017, and you can hold me to it! 

  • Pergola project –I am going to make sure my pergola project gets under way. I have been dreaming of one of these for about 3 years now, but we have always had to set it aside for something else. Sometimes you just have to make it happen!
  • Window boxes— I am going to add a few more window boxes to my little house. I really LOVE how they add so much character. My dream would be to have one at every window, but I have to get approval from the hubs, first!
  • The Veggie Garden— we are expanding! If you follow my instagram account, I posted a picture of how I extended the bed on the side of the garage to accommodate more veggies– my hubby wants it bigger, so we will be expanding the bed even more, which means more veggies in the garden!!
  • Garden Appreciation — I am going to start touring more and spotlighting more great gardens this year. So many people have so many great gardens, I think their designs should be shared!

I want to wish everyone a great 2017– enjoy every moment and be happy with everything you have. You wouldn’t believe how much more beautiful life will be!

 

 

 

 

Gifts for Gardeners – 2016 Edition

It’s hard to believe that Christmas will be here in less than 2 weeks! December always ends up being a stressful month for me, no matter how I try to make it OK. One year ago today, it was 70 degrees out– there were dandelions on the ground!!

Fast forward to today– it’s 33 degrees, and at my house, we are getting our first real blast of Lake Effect snow. What a difference a year makes!

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All perfect timing to do my annual Gifts for Gardeners list! And the funny thing? I never get any of them!!! LOL

Here are some things that I am going to make an effort to acquire– because they are both practical and nice to have!

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Photo Source: muckboots.com.eu

Muck Boots— I LOVE that they are now making a wellie-like winter boot! I love the Royal Horticulture Society version, but unfortunately, you can’t get it in the US. I am sure I could probably order it online straight from Europe.

Photo source: amazon.com

Plant:Exploring the Botanical World –I have heard nothing but good things about this book, and after taking a peek at the preview on Amazon, I can see why. The illustrations are stunning, and the book itself looks in depth and informative. I need to get my hands on this!

 Women's UA StudioLux® Beanie LIMITED TIME: FREE U.S. SHIPPING 2 Colors $34.99

Photo source: underarmour.com

Under Armour Studio Lux Beanie — I LOVE this hat! I own two and want every color! They are comfy and cover up my ears just right! So, when I am out filling up bird feeders or taking pictures of Winter Interest in my garden, this will be the first one I pick up!

 

Photo Source: target.com

Smith and Hawken Terracotta Pots — My garden plan next year includes using more terracotta planters in my garden. I have to start thinking about stocking up!

Joseph Bentley 21 in. Wooden Garden Trug

Photo Source: homedepot.com

Garden Trug — This is the one thing I have wanted to get for some time, but keep pushing it off for something else! This is so simple, practical and beautiful. If we are expanding our veggie garden, I want to be prepared! I might actually buy this for myself and put it under the tree– then I will finally have something under the tree for me LOL!

 

Photo Source: terrain.com

Garden Trowel and Fork Set— Playing off my namesake blog– you NEED a good set of tools to do work in your garden. This is the perfect, quality set! Besides, what would be a Gift for Gardeners list without the necessities!
The 2017 Whole Seed Catalog

Photo Source: rareseeds.com

The Whole Seed Catalog — I just saw this at Barnes and Noble the other day, and got excited, because now that we are expanding our vegetable garden, this will be the perfect periodical to pick out some great new seeds to grow!
I hope this list is helpful– I can guarantee any gardener in your life will be thrilled to get any of these!
Happy holiday shopping!

Real Tips for Christmas Trees

We are now officially in the holiday season!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love this time of year! I have been busy with family and and decorating for Christmas with my 5 year old who is so excited she can’t even contain herself!

It all started Wednesday night, when my daughter was hit with her first stomach bug. Of all times, the day before Thanksgiving. But, we weathered the storm, and thank goodness 5 year olds bounce back better than someone my age– we had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we even made it down to my parents house the next day for yet another dinner and to celebrate my mother’s birthday!

However, the days caught up with her, and she still wasn’t 100 percent. Saturday, she was left very tired and with an “unsettled” tummy. You could tell in her eyes that we needed to take a break. All she wanted to do was “put up the Christmas tree”.

Now, the week before, I did put up my artificial pencil tree in my living room and we decorated another small artificial tree for the empty room upstairs. But, she wanted to get the “Real” Christmas tree. The one with all the presents underneath!

That, we decided, would be a REAL tree. We put that one in our finished basement. My husband and I decided last year that we wanted to start a tradition by going down to the little tree stand a few minutes from our house and purchasing a real tree.

Now, this was new to me. The last time I had a real tree was ions ago when I was a little girl and my dad would go cut one from the woods on our property. They didn’t do that long. Soon after, they purchased an artificial tree and that was that!

I was nervous, however, that it was too early for a REAL tree. So, I sought advice and researched the subject. We even asked the friendly Christmas tree farm man at the tree stand. Here is some friendly advice for anyone looking into getting a real Christmas tree for the first time:

Is after Thanksgiving too early to purchase a tree?

No! But only if you pick the right kind of tree.

Here are a list of trees that can be considered as your Christmas tree:

  • Fir trees— Douglas, Balsam, etc. are the best. The most common type of tree you will find at roadside stands and farms. They will not drop their needles quickly if you water them.
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Our Christmas Tree is a Balsam Fir.

  • Cedar — I read that this is one of the best types of trees as well to have as a Christmas tree. They last forever.
  • Cypress — Another great tree that is said to last a long time!

How often do you water the tree?

Daily! Avoided needles dropping by watering your tree daily! You may have to scrap the cap of sap off the end if you notice the tree is not taking in water. The cut part of the tree is prone to the “pitch” capping over. Be watchful.

Don’t get a pine tree. Ever. 

Pine trees don’t keep their needles long at all. Unfortunately, they start falling off after a week!

Well, I hope this little guide helps. If you have any other information, please pass along! I am always looking to broaden my knowledge of horticulture in general!

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Twinkling tree and Christmas village courtesy of my daughter!

Great Garden Reads

Andddd we are back up and running! I had a little computer situation– yea, almost had to buy another one if it weren’t for my husband who knows how to play around with them and get them working again! Thank goodness all is well (for now), and I can get back to blogging!

In between the computer issues and being sicker than I have been in YEARS– I got walloped this time– I had to sit back and rest as much as I could. If you know me, I am a reader– books, magazines, anything. But I LOVE magazines. Do you ever find yourself gravitating towards the magazine aisle of any grocery store, drug store, or book store? Yep, that’s me, too! I subscribe to them as well as buy them in the stores.

My tastes have changed over the years. I went from Seventeen magazine as a teenager to every fitness magazine under the sun for a while, and then there was Rolling Stone magazine, several outdoor magazines, The New Yorker…  and now garden magazines!

Garden and Decor magazines can be great inspiration. Please do not be intimidated by the absolutely gorgeous homes and gardens these periodicals display. The intent of any magazine is to give you ideas for your own home and garden, not to make you feel bad because you don’t have a 100+ acre spread with guest house and sprawling gardens. I personally love the photography and articles in a lot of these periodicals.

BUT, I will admit I am picky. I like high quality, worth-my-money reads. Because we all know magazines can be expensive. Some of the ones I like are almost 10 bucks a pop!

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Here is a pile of magazines and a book that I am loving right now!

Here are a few magazines (and a book) that I think are fantastic reads:

Gardenista– this book was published in October, and a very easy, yet informative read on making your backyard a getaway. They not only show you examples of great garden ideas, but also point out great garden tools/gear, give you a directory to good landscapers/designers, and much more. This should be something on your Christmas list!

American Magazines:

  • Garden Design — (Not pictured!! My copy was hiding on me!!) Fantastic publication. This was the first magazine I actually subscribed to immediately when I really started getting into gardening. Photography is amazing, and they give you an in depth look on designing your garden to the way that fits your home and life.
  • Fine Gardening- This magazine is, in my opinion, the best gardening periodical in America. It is so informative– picks out plants that are best for your region of the country, and they go in depth with a lot of different aspects of gardening that you do not normal see.
  • Elle Decor — This is not exactly a garden magazine, but for interior design. However, I like this magazine’s idea of using different flowers and plants in your living space. And it will do a feature every now and then on a great garden. Besides, I love design and I am constantly changing my little house around!

British Magazines:

By far, British gardening magazines are my favorite. Europeans take their gardening seriously, and it shows in the pages of some great periodicals. Gardening is a way of life for them, rather than just a novel hobby. The articles you read about can be everything from making your own butter to scything (yes, scything!). Here are a few titles to check out some time:

  • Gardens Illustrated — if you want a magazine worth your money, you will not be disappointed with this one. Great photography, great plant and flower pics, great features. Must read.
  • Country Living-– The British edition of this magazine is wonderful. It is full of some of the best feature writing on classic country living. The gardening features are informative and I could read this over and over!
  • Elle Decoration — British version of Elle Decor and another great read on inspiring design and gardening. I love that I can get two of my favorite subjects in one read!
  • House and Garden — Love this magazine for its great spreads on fantastic gardens, along with interior design. Another magazine that I get two subjects in one!

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What are some of your favorite reads?

A Natural Pause November 6 2016

The past few weeks have been very productive around here! Painting, yard work and buttoning up the little things before the snow starts flying next week! This weekend was a treat, because I took a break from doing any major house work and got outside while the weather was nice! A quick trip down to my parents house, along with the usual hike around the woods always makes me happy! Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already seen this photo, but I couldn’t help myself– I had to post it as a “Natural Pause” because I was pretty happy with how it turned out! Enjoy!

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