Entries tagged with “Gardens”.


GARDENWAGONHere’s another one of my finds that is best suited for the 1% and is only but a dream for someone like me – the Canvas Garden Wagon from JANUS et Cie.

I can’t make any reasonable excuse for why I need something like this – as I have a perfectly functioning wheelbarrow and my garden consists of a dozen or so plastic containers on the back porch. But I love this wagon and I want one.

About the Canvas Garden Wagon from JANUS et Cie: “Why shouldn’t useful tools be beautiful as well? The Garden Wagon is functionality at its best – an ultra-light cart that carries ten times its weight and is completely proofed against rust, water and rot. The fade-resistant acrylic canvas also resists damage from the sun, water and abrasion. Nylon wheels are mounted on dustproof bearings and suspended by fiberglass shafts and pneumatic tires. The Garden Wagon brown canvas top is available with or without the JANUS et Cie Topiary logo.”

The Canvas Garden Wagon is only one of the great things found at JANUS et Cie, they certainly know how to curate the best design furnishings found anywhere.

About JANUS et Cie: “For more than 34 years, JANUS et Cie has offered the best in interior and exterior residential, hospitality, contract and site and furnishings…each piece a superior example of design and craftsmanship. Our products add a distinctive look to the world’s finest private and public settings: residences, estates, gardens, country clubs, fine ships, restaurants, hotels, offices, conference rooms, corporate lobbies and campuses, public and government buildings, cafeterias and meeting spaces, parks, libraries, shopping centers, food courts, theme parks, hospitals, museums, and universities.”

Now I will go back to dreaming about the life I was mean to have.

See the Canvas Garden Wagon and all the great items curated by JANUS et Cie here.

Container.7.12.1I know you have been wondering how my container garden is doing this year.  Well, I am pleased to say it is doing very well.  I have some good growth and no noticeable groundhog damage to speak of yet.

The warm sunny days have led to some great growth in my tomato plants.  The few plants I started early are either in bloom or have already started forming fruit (right).  I have a bunch of other younger tomato plants that are also doing well.

The big surprise so far is the success I have had with a green pepper plant (below).  A surprise because I have not had too much success with these peppers in the past.  You can also see a few green beans sprouting behind the pepper, I have had good success with the beans this year by spreading them out to other containers as opposed to keeping them all together.

I also how a bunch of summer squash blossoms (themselves a treat for some) which I hope will lead to some nice midsummer yields.

But my great success continues to be the basil – I have harvested some for various dishes already and have many more plants waiting to mature which will ensure I have a nice flow of basil well into the fall.

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Thanks to everyone who has been asking for an update on my paper whites experiment.  I moved the mason jars with the cranberries and paper white bulbs to the kitchen window and they have grown quite a bit.

I was hoping for blossoms by Christmas day, which may just happen as I the blossom sprouts are starting.  But I think I started too late and may see the blossoms for New Year‘s Day.  Anyway, I woke this morning to a stunning wintry backdrop for these holiday plants. 

The plants are hard to see in this picture, but you can get a sense for the growth, and more importantly, you can see what is shaping up to be a white Christmas here in Carroll County New Hampshire.

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Part two – my accidental success

Sun1I’ve talked about my failed vegetable garden and subsequent attempt at salvaging a container garden, but over the summer I also dabbled in flowers and plants in the house’s other gardens.

The house I have become the caretaker of is an old farmhouse with sprawling grounds.  I knew right away that I was not going to be able to take on the grounds keeping myself in my first season.  Not that I don’t want to do it, it is just that it would be ALL I did were I to take it on.

Thankfully I have a neighbor who has been taking care of the acres of lawn for my dad for years and he agreed to continue with that.  But the front gardens of the house were up to me.  With my parents out of the house for a couple of years and with their diminished capacity for gardening for a few years before that – I had my work cut out for me in bringing he gardens back.

I determined early on that I would clean out the gardens in the spring and wait to see what perennials showed up while adding a few annuals here and there to ensure some color.  Basically, I wanted to have a true country garden – with a mix a cultivated plants and wildflowers which grow in abundance here.  So I did a big clean up of the gardens – which was quite a task – removing years worth of dead brush and other organic matter.  It was great watching new things grow in all season and I enjoyed picking out some flowers at a local nursery to add to the mix.

My only real challenge was determining what were weeds and what were ultimately nice summer flowers.  I decided to forgo any real weeding and see what happened.  Well, I am glad I did, as some things that I would have pulled without any question turned out to be the nicest flowers.  In particularly were a few long stalks that didn’t seem to have any purpose.  I had to talk myself out of pulling them a few times.  Patience paid off and they turned out to be lovely late-season sunflowers which capped off a summer of pretty flowers (no thanks to me). 

Here is a small sampling of the various stages of the front gardens this summer.

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Part one – my mini-harvest

harv2I have been hinting all summer about how poor a gardener I am and that my plans to have a great big vegetable garden this summer has been a bust.  Part of my “experiment” of taking over my parents’ rural New Hampshire home for the summer was to have a big garden.

Much of last winter and early spring in the build up to my big move north, I spent a lot time (and money) buying seeds, pots, soil and other garden supplies.  I was going to spend my first several weeks in the house growing plants from seed and then transplanting them outside once the fear of frost was gone – which by the way is early June in this part of the state.

The first part of the plan worked out perfectly.  I spent days starting seeds and nursing them in trays I had laid out all over the house.  I tended to the seedlings with great care while I worked on cleaning up the house and making it my new home.

By the time Memorial Day came, I had a forest of seedlings, which had now been put out on the protected back screen porch.  I was so excited the day I saw posted in town that the frost warnings have been lifted and it was now safe to plant outside.

I had spent several days tilling a large tract of fertile land.  This was extremely difficult for a boy who had sat behind a desk for his whole career prior to this little sabbatical.  However, I enjoyed the thrill of working with my hands outside and was bursting with anticipation of a summer full of nature’s bounty.

I got an early start on the day I planned to transfer my plants outside.  I carefully carried the dozens of trays of plants to the freshly tilled garden and started the careful transfer into the ground.  I spent the whole day doing this, stopping only to eat a quick lunch and use the restroom.

By dusk, I had transplanted hundreds of seedlings into several neat rows and it looked great.  I planted zucchini, squash, tomatoes, peppers, onions, eggplant – I was trying a little bit of everything. I watered the garden, took a step back and looked over my work.  I was tired, but proud of myself.  Seeing all those plants that I grew from seed, all lined up like little soldiers, made me very pleased and satisfied that all the time I spent on the garden to this point was well worth it.   I slept really well that night and couldn’t wait to get out in the morning to see how well my little babies survived the night.

harv3As I approached the garden the next morning it became clear that something horrible had happened over night.  I couldn’t see any of the little green plants I had left the night before.  All that was there were little stumps that had clearly been chomped off by someone or some thing.  Literally, the seedlings, some which had been 5 inches tall or higher, were chopped down to an inch – complete with tell-tale teeth marks.  My first thought was the groundhog I had seen in the yard all spring (right).  I loved watching this little guy lounging in the yard and was always happy to see him.  Now I wanted to boil him for dinner.

Well, as upset as I was, I set to saving as many of the plants as I could.  I immediately decided to move to a container garden, something I had in the past.  I set up a series of containers on the open part of the back porch with some of the less chomped plants, a few plants that I had not transferred yet, and a handful of new seeds.

I figured I could protect the container garden a little better and it worked out pretty well.  Although my yield is not nearly what I had planned, I am very pleased that I have had some good growth.  Thankfully there are plenty of farm stands and farmers’ markets in the country where I can get the bounty I was unable to grow on my own.

Anyway, this is a long introduction to the purpose of my post today – my mini-harvest.  I am headed off for a week’s vacation (to Wellfleet on Cape Cod) and I wanted to bring some of my own herbs to use in cooking.

harv1One of my best crops is basil (right) – which is great as I love basil and making my own pesto.  I clipped a nice batch of my basil and I am excited out using it in a few vacation dishes.  I also have a nice crop of scallions, so I snipped a bunch of those to bring as well.

Both my basil and scallions have great flavor, much more than anything I have ever purchased at the grocery store. 

I have to tell you, all the work I did on my garden will be well worth it when some of that basil ends up sprinkled on some fresh goat cheese and ripe tomatoes while watching the sun set over Wellfleet Harbor.