How Does My Garden Grow?

 

My beans before, two weeks ago
Beans after, blossoming and soon we’ll have green beans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s really coming along! After a month and a half of being in the soil, major changes are happening.My beans are flowering and reaching up. I intended to attach them to the garden fence but they’re not close enough. The row of green lettuce is ready to pick and neighboring baby spinach is as well. Herbs dot the garden here and there, sweet basil, oregano, cilantro, lemon thyme all contribute rich aromas in the aisle. My tomatoes are doing well and I actually have a few green ones growing here and there.

 

Left to right tomatoes, my carrots, beets, broccoli

 

Love the corn! It’s not as tall as I would like….but it’s coming.

I figured out a few years ago that eggplant likes to be dry. Whenever I watered it, it wouldn’t do as well. Now I’m watering it sparingly and it’s thriving. A blossom is growing too!

If you’ve followed my blog you know that I planted sunflowers for my son’s wedding. Here they are…reaching up and almost taller than I am! I do hope they’re ready in a month!

Purple Coneflowers, what beauties! Everyday I sit among these gems and have my lunch. I can’t imagine a better place in my yard to sit and enjoy the warm sun. My kitties talk to me through the screened window and I watch butterflies and bees dance around the blossoms.

 

 

Now you all know how my plants are doing. It’s very dry here in New Hampshire, even though we had a full day of rain the other day. It wasn’t enough. I’m getting pretty chummy with the garden hose but some days everything is okay and I can just weed.

 

How are your  gardens doing where you are? What is your favorite plant? All my plants are my favorite, they are my peace and I’m beyond grateful for them all.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

 

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Chandler Pond

Our little town hosts serene mountain views as well as farming fields and pastoral hillsides. It’s the type of town you can relax in and absorb all the scenic wonders. One such wonder is lovely Chandler Pond. It sits at the corner of Millbrook and Gale Chandler Road with a mountains in the distance framing it in. Chandler Pond is a man-made water hole and Tom says it was for transporting logs for a business. We are assuming this was many years ago but we don’t know an accurate date.

 

 

Now and then on a spring or summer evening Tom and I will seek peaceful refuge here. A stillness lives here and it settles us. We don’t talk much at Chandler Pond and we don’t need to. We stand and look in this quiet country setting and just be.  Sometimes Tom hooks a fish and others he doesn’t and I don’t think that matters to him other that he is here amid the beauty. It bursts at you right away, for it is reflective of the surrounding trees and mountain ranges.

 

 

There have been moose here and deer nearby. Ducks flock here. Beavers swim and build lodges of sticks and mud. Parading geese and their young trek on the bank. Unfortunately Tom and I had to walk as if in a maze, dodging the poop piles. Most of you must know that geese are great to look at but very messy where they live. It is what it is…a sign of nature.

 

On a July evening Tom and I visited this gem with intentions of seeking peace after a hectic day. Our wishes were met as we walked along the pond and looked for fish, as the night air cooled

There are two places you can park and get out and walk around the freshly mowed edge.The water flows into a spillway, which runs into a winding stream. That’s where Tom likes to cast his fishing pole and catch fish that are stocked there.

 

 

 

Here is the spillway with the Chandler Pond overflow feeding into it. From there it goes in a culvert and into a stream.

 

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This is where Tom fishes over the railing into the brook below

 

 

 

When we first started dating Tom took me on a boat ride here. It was in a cheap blow up boat with plastic oars, one that I won in a work raffle at the store. Shifting every so slightly caused the plastic to squeak and I couldn’t help wondering how sturdy it was. I remember that day and the stillness as my heart fluttered being with this man. Although I should live in the now, coming back to the pond taps into this past memory.

 

How blessed we are to live in this town and reap the ponds rewards. I suggest that you find your peaceful spot in your town. Visit when you need to fill your cup and cherish the silent moments.

 

Chandler Pond in the fall

 

 

Here’s my handsome husband in his element, the outdoors.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Lookin’ Up

Recently my sister-in-law Bev and I went shopping to beautiful North Conway, NH to get my dress for Dylan’s wedding. Walking through Settler’s Green mall, I noticed that many people were looking down. Yup, at their cell phones. One lady was enticed with her phone leaving the bathroom stall. I’m surprised she could see where she was going and not bump into me as I waited. 

 

 

 

Believe it or not, I don’t do this. Because I only own a Tracfone and only use it on road trips or vacations. It’s okay…I don’t miss it nor do I need it. I’d rather look up and see these. I’m grateful these amazing clouds caught my eye at lunch today!

 

Wow, look at the pure white against the robin egg blue sky!

 

How cool are these patterns? A translucent sweep of white against a canvas of blue.

 

See what you’re missing if you’re looking down at your cellphone? Beauty. Nature. Things that will pass and change and if you aren’t looking up, you’ll miss it.

 

Thanks to sweet Bev for coming up to visit her brother and I this last weekend. She got to see her brother after a year and a half. She graciously offered to go dress shopping with me. I loved the company and the ride through Crawford Notch was mesmerizing! We found the dress and I’m very thankful that Bev bought it for me. It’s my style…wrap around with a v-neck and I love the colors! Thanks again so much, Bev.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Your Happiness

Photo credit, lessonslearnedinlife.com

I’m finally learning this monumental lesson as a 49 year-old woman. Happiness doesn’t lie with your husband or children or on exciting Christmas morning. Happiness isn’t what you do for a living nor how you spend your free time.

True happiness begins within you. Yes, you! I’m working on this, on seeking contentment and peace(which I think are relatives of true happiness for the three go hand in hand) within myself. I am extremely grateful for learning this and I’m on my way to self happiness. It’s a tough and long road but will eventually lead to peace and self-love.

photo credit, Facebook.com/itsthehappypage

Maybe you can find short-lived happiness in a book, a favorite activity or movie. But true contentment and happiness MUST be inside of you first. You must find it, cultivate and let it grow so that all around you, so that everything will fall in place.

I do hope you’ve discovered this truth! I wish you all loads of happiness as you live your life. A question to ask yourself is, “am I happy with myself?” If not, it’s time to change this. I am.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Blue Bellflowers

My favorite gardening activity right now is making new beds and creating beautiful spaces around our home. The first summer we were here we planted Hostas in the front that bloom in August. The following year we added two Spirea bushes, gifts from my friend and co-worker Laura. Our niece Michele gifted us a cool shady tropical looking plant and I bought a few Astilbe plants for the shady side of the house. Last year I had so much fun adding a new garden with yellow Coreopsis and deep purple  Echinacea Coneflowers.

My new little garden is on under the window next to the door. This full picture of our renovated house shows how small the space is.

All winter I dreamed of designing a new small space about two feet wide to the left of our door, our only real entrance that we use frequently. First I thought of daisies but they need spaces to flow, like a field for the area behind my vegetable garden. Next I wished for a Hydrangea bush but that would be too big for this space. Finally I decided on a whim to search for random flowers that may speak to me.

 

The other day  I set out for Lowe’s and Home Depot. I wished for something that would look beautiful and fit that area just right. I found these Taikon Blue Bellflowers on the clearance rack at Lowe’s for $3.00, half price. I’m not sure why they were marked off other than a few blossoms gone by. My son’s friend works there and helped me tag it. It was a good feeling to find something and at a perfect thrifty price!

After digging a hole with Tom’s trusty shovel and planting it, I mulched and lined it with rocks we have around the property. I call it my “Love Garden” as it hosts my heart-shaped rocks and upon entering our door you can feel the love in this house. It’s sappy but I know it’s true.

Most of the flower photos I share will be outside ones. I have never been able to keep cut flowers nor plants inside because of our cats. They eat all the leaves and blossoms and dig trenches in the dirt. Not pretty for a beige living room carpet! There is one special place I keep my picked posies, on my little mantle on our chimney. I like to change them every week or two with local pickings. Today I have wild daisies and another wild purple flower as well as picked roses. They truly make my day happy, it’s the little things that I find joy in. Do you find peace and joy in gardening flowers?

I’m wondering if anyone else has made a new flower bed recently? If so, what did you plant and what companion plants do you have?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

A Garden Update

It has been very hot and dry here in New Hampshire. With just a one day of rainfall until yesterday, I was becoming good friends with our new garden hose (Thanks so much to Tom and Dylan for setting up the outside faucet and hose for me). I’ve been trying to save my frail cucumber plants. Have you ever had trouble getting yours growing? I have…even with a daily watering habit the cucumbers are floppy and the stems are white. This happens to my tender plants early in the season if the weather is hot.

 

Thankfully the day before yesterday we had a deluge of rain, perking up my green plants and moistening the garden soil. It’s amazing how a significant rainfall can make a difference with their well-being. With a blink of the eye, the growth is unbelievable!

Here is our little corn patch, four meager rows. Tom and Branden love corn and I enjoy it too. I made the decision to rotate its placement.  Last year the corn rested on the East side facing, where the sun comes up and this growing season it’s on the West side.

My green beans have sprouted nicely forming an L shape in the East corner. I hope they are close enough to the fence to intertwine the vine on it. It would be cool to pick beans off the fence.

As most of you may know, I planted a bed of sunflowers for my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding in August. Here is a recent photo of one and even now, with the rainstorm, it’s a few inches taller. Next Tom and I plan to fence it in to protect it from deer and woodchucks. I’m grateful that I can do this and really hope they will be ready to pick by the 18th.

How are your gardens doing? Have you spent much time nurturing and talking to your plants as I have? I think that’s my mother-in-law’s success with growing flowers is simple, talk to them everyday and love them. You can’t go wrong with love, don’t you agree?

I hope you all are having a pleasant week. I plan to catch up and read many of your blog posts.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

The First Step of a Garden

 

The first step of the 2018 garden

It’s Memorial Day weekend, in other words crunch time for gardeners in the north. For weeks we’ve looked at seeds, planned the annual map of where everything will be planted and waited for warmer weather and promising temperatures. Yesterday Tom tilled our lot, just the beginning of another gardening year.

 

Unfortunately swarms of pesky black flies hovered in our faces and bit our necks. The damp air signaled rain and the stirred up  soil thrust them into overdrive and there was no way to get away from them! Thankfully they are out just a few weeks and then mosquitoes will replace them.

 

I’m grateful that Tom tills our lot every year. He methodically walked up and down the space over and over to rid it of grass and already shot up weeds. The loud machine hummed and whirred as nature’s bird calls and creatures played in the background.

 

 

It’s satisfying for Tom and I to see the results of his work in a few minutes. Fresh soil awaits the seeds and plants and then the gardening season will commence for us! We both decided we would hold off on planting until next weekend, being early June. We’ve always planted then to avoid May frosts and give it a warm boost.

My future daughter-in-law Lexy asked me to plant sunflowers for her and my son’s wedding in August. Tom tilled the small bed yesterday and I planted seeds in three rows. We hope we won’t have to fence it away from the woodchucks but time will certainly tell.

 

 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for luck to grow her beautiful sunflowers for the wedding and that they will be ready to pick in mid-August. It means very much to me, to be able to help Lexy and Dylan for their wedding day. I pray that they will grow strong and beautiful, like my daughter-in-law.

 

 

 

Here is a shot of Lexy from our little beach get away in April. She and I went to Ogunquit Maine overnight for a little adventure. I thought it was sweet that she wanted to go with me. Although the beach was freezing and we only stayed minutes, we had a fabulous time at the resort hotel in the hot tub. After we  bought a bottle of wine and sat on our deck talking and then went to a fine dinner in an Italian restaurant. I’m thankful Dylan has chosen this special young woman and our family has accepted her with open arms. We all love her and are thrilled that she will be a part of our family!

 

 

To conclude this post, I ask you what are you growing this year? Are you gardening vegetables or flowers or both?What is your favorite? Mine is growing veggies, as they feed my family and that gives me satisfaction that I”m helping Tom feed our family.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Mary