Mid-July Garden Update

 Posted by Emily 

The beans are here!  Also making appearances are: zucchini, baby peppers and baby cucumbers.  We have had so much rain that the garden is really exploding, despite the heat wave we are experiencing this week.  It's almost too hot to go outside, and I have been tending to the garden in the morning and at dusk to beat the heat.  My cousin Meghan and her family came to visit this week and we had so much fun picking beans and zucchini and looking for the garter snake that lives in the garden who I have named Marty.  Today, I want to share with you some photos from the garden to show you how things are progressing.  

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Early July Garden Update

 Posted by Emily 

I can't believe how quickly the summer is moving along!  It's only July 1st and the garden is busting at the seams.  I have a lot of updates to share with you before I head to Cape Cod for a week.  I've been busy putting the garden in order today before I leave it on it's own for six days.  In between rain showers, I've been heading outside to make sure the tomatoes are in their cages properly and the cucumbers are training up the fence.  Even on a dreary day, it's nice to be in the garden.  

As you can see from the picture above, the cucumbers are really taking off.  As they grow, they put out long, thin tendrils that will curl around a fence or trellis.  As the tendrils form, it's a good time to help them find the fence and train them where you want them to go.  It's incredible to see the little tendrils grab onto the fence, like tiny alien hands.   

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Free Form Flower Arranging

 Posted by Emily  

For my friend Ambrosia's birthday, I decided to make her a flower arrangement.  I went to a yard sale on Saturday and found a neat vessel to use - an old looking painted vase.  It's great to give a flower arrangement in a nice vessel because then when the flowers are finished, the recipient still has a gift to use.  Next, I went to the local flower shop and picked out some flowers to use in the arrangement.  I made sure to get odd numbers of each type of flower and a variety of textures within the same color scheme.  You can see in the picture what I came up with.  I think Ambrosia really loved the gift!    

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Beautiful Peony Arrangement

 Posted by Emily 

I want to show off a little... but I can't take all of the credit for how beautiful this peony arrangement turned out.  Only nature can take credit here!  Peonies are beautiful flowers that are easy to arrange because they fill the vase so wonderfully and the stems are nice and strong.  When we bought our house, this peony plant was well established.  I have never seen this variety before with a double blossom.  The blooms start off tight and look like a traditional peony, but when they open all of the way there is a kind of pom-pom in the middle that is super neat.   

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June Garden Update

 Posted by Emily 

So much has happened this year in the garden! I planted seeds and seedlings, thinned those plants that needed thinning and fertilized with organic fertilizer.  I put up the tomato cages.  We have even picked some lettuce, spinach, arugula and swiss chard and enjoyed it with friends.  I want to share with you some photos to get you up to date on the status of the garden this year.   

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Tomato Plant Party Favor

Posted by Emily 

Here's a cute idea for a late spring or early summer party favor.  I had a LOT of extra tomato seedlings.  Of the maybe 40 plants that we started, we only put about 10 in the garden.  I hate to see these little babies go to waste, and thought it would be fun to dress them up a little and send them home with friends.  This is a gift that will provide entertainment and food all summer long as it grows and starts to bear fruit.  it's a good reminder to your friends with less than a green-thumb that it is time to put some plants in the ground!  


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My Mom's Tulip Beds

Posted by Emily

The tulip season in NY has passed and judging by the heat the past couple of days, I guess summer is here (if not officially).  Before I move on to sharing more with you about my vegetable garden and other fun summer projects, I want to show you a few pictures I took a couple of weeks ago of my mom's tulip beds.  Tulips grow from bulbs that must be planted in the Fall.  Staying underground all Winter, the flowers bloom when the ground warms in the Spring.  I think it's worth it to take some time in the Fall to consider your Spring garden - and when the tulips (or daffodils or crocuses) come up, it's a surprise you will thank yourself for.  My mom's tulip beds this year were so incredibly beautiful, they have to be documented.  I love the color combinations!  Different shades of pink in one bed and then a combination of primary-like colors in two others.  Absolutely gorgeous!  ​

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Forcing Forsythia

Posted by Emily

If you want to make Spring come a little earlier, here's a really fun project you can do with forsythia.  You can force your forsythia flowers to bloom early by bringing springs of the bush indoors when they have buds on them.  Simply cut pieces from the plant and put into hot water indoors.  Make sure to keep adding water as the cuttings will drink it up.  The only other thing you need is patience, as it will take about 3-5 days for the flowers to blossom.  This should be before the flowers start to bloom outdoors (if you make your cuttings early enough).  I bet this is something that your kid would love to watch as the buds open into flowers.  

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The Seedlings are Growing!

Posted by Emily

I thought you might be interested in an update on what's going on with the seedlings for this summer's garden...  They are doing great!  Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks as the seedlings have sprouted and begun to grow.  Watch the miracle!  I wish I could take credit for how cool this is.  

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Spring is Almost Here! Planting Seeds.

Posted by Emily

​Spring is almost here, and that means it's time to start planning the vegetable garden, buy seeds, and start your seedlings.  My mom and I spent some of last weekend planting the seeds for two varietals of tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet bell peppers, broccoli and basil.  This has been a tradition of ours for as long as I can remember.  It still seems like magic to me, and pardon me if I sound trite, that you can plant a tiny seed in some soil and an entire plant will grow.  And furthermore, that such a plant can produce fruit that we can eat.  I like to remember how much of a miracle it is.  For somebody like myself who is not particularly religious in a dogmatic sense, the workings of nature is my religion.  With Spring just around the corner, it's life-affirming (in the most true meaning of the phrase) to take in and notice the growth of the plants and the new beginnings.  

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The Growing Garden

Posted by Emily

Here are some pictures of the garden in summer 2012.  We are thinking of putting in a third raised bed for 2013.  We built the raised beds ourselves and filled them with bulk top soil that we bought locally.  There are many benefits of raised beds.  They make your plants more accessible (you don’t need to bend down as far) and are very pretty.  But most importantly, they provide areas of soil that never become compacted because the gardener never walks in the raised beds.  You can maneuver around the beds and tend to your garden without compressing the soil with your feet leaving less room for water and air to circulate. 

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Tomatoes

The tomatoes of 2012 were beautiful.  I thought I’d share a couple of pictures of them to preview some of what you’ll see this coming summer 2013!  We grew some heirloom varieties as well as red plum tomatoes - still green in the picture above. 

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Sharing Some Photos from 2012

Posted by Emily

I want to share some of the pretty things that came out of the 2012 garden.  What we grew included broccoli, okra (only one experimental plant this year - we’ll plant more in 2013 I think), leaf lettuce, kale, banana peppers and a TON of zucchini.  In 2013 you’ll get to see more of a step by step process as the garden takes shape and grows!  

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Flower Arranging

Posted by Emily

My mom has been part of the Garden Club of America for as long as I can remember.  Through this club, she participates in flower arranging competitions around the country.  I have always loved watching her arrange flowers.  It really is an art, one with various styles and countless techniques.  It is an artform that one can learn over time through experimentation.  Looking at the finished arrangements brings much joy, but the process of making them is really my favorite part.  I still have a lot to learn and plan on sharing the new techniques my mom teaches me with you.

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Summer 2012 Eggplants

This year we planted eggplant seedlings from the local farm stand (we didn’t start the seeds ourselves).  They did quite well, and I learned that they need a LOT of sun.  I had plants in two different beds, and those in the sunnier bed produced more eggplants.  I love cooking with eggplant, and it’s also a beautiful plant in your garden.  The blossoms are gorgeous.  We will show more of a step by step process in summer 2013.  You should try it along with us in your garden!

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