The Wildlife Pond. We did it!

No seriously, instead of just talking about it and sketching ideas, we actually built it. Obviously this idea and plan has been gestating for a long while, we went back and forth on the location, the shape, the depth- all of it. But we settled on the swale as the best location and, in a… Continue reading The Wildlife Pond. We did it!

Growing Vegetables in the Midwest.

I shall proffer, firstly, my definition of the Midwest for this post's purposes: Wisconsin, Minnesota, both Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, northern Illinois, and... bear with me... Montana, Wyoming, and northern Colorado. Now, if you'll indulge this tangent, I'd never consider (as a lifelong Midwesterner) anything west of the Missouri River to be the Midwest. But as… Continue reading Growing Vegetables in the Midwest.

Forward.

Oh man you guys. I've written a half dozen blog posts that couldn't bear to publish. Some are anxious, some annoyed, some blithely defiant. None of them felt right and all of them went in the bin. Turns out I don't know what to say or how to say what I'm thinking about all this… Continue reading Forward.

The Problem with the Patio.

When we first moved in to this house there was a rotting deck in the front of the house that we promptly demolished (see below). We didn't like how small the deck was and how confined it felt, not to mention the views from both the house and the deck (when seated) were lackluster at… Continue reading The Problem with the Patio.

Shelterbelt, Redux.

Back last Spring, I posted about our intention to put in a shelterbelt/windbreak/hedgerow along our property line to minimize drifting of snow across our driveway. We started by rooting many of the Dwarf Globe Arctic Willow (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’) cuttings that were necessary to rejuvenate them after the rabbit damage from our hellacious February. The… Continue reading Shelterbelt, Redux.

I Promise This is Intentional.

We were at one of our local garden seminars the other weekend and one of the presentations we went to was about planting small native gardens. Mary Jo Fleming from the Chippewa Valley Master Gardeners has drank the Rewilding and Homegrown National Parks Kool-Aid along with me and has the garden to back it up.… Continue reading I Promise This is Intentional.

Seed Starting: A New (to me) Approach

Oh seed starting! You are the first bit of gardening I get to do every year. I love its frugality, seeing the whole process from the very beginning, and being able to grow varieties I know I can't get in local nurseries. When we first moved here my set up was on folding tables with… Continue reading Seed Starting: A New (to me) Approach

Potager Plans

The most recent iteration of the Potager was more successful than the last, but only just barely. That's the good news. The bad news is that the veg portion of it didn't do a thing (other than the chives and green onions) because BUNNIES. And the floral aspect was found to be a bit wanting… Continue reading Potager Plans

Of Walls and Exasperation.

Retaining walls suck. I mean, yes, they serve a purpose and all, yadda, yadda,yadda. But they are ugly and fail with an unreasonable frequency and are HELLA expensive. Ugly things that fail shouldn't be expensive. Amirite? Our ugly and failing retaining wall has been pushed to the front burner since a rogue neighbor dog (dogs?)… Continue reading Of Walls and Exasperation.

Forward!

I'm loathe to sound like I'm bragging, but we didn't get a scant whiff of that snow they were predicting. Not even rain! My parents down near Milwaukee got a few inches, but we got off with just a blustery and damp day. In the garden things are really ramping up despite the occasional light… Continue reading Forward!

Waiting.

My goodness I wish I had something fun or exciting to post. Instead we are just waiting around for the snow to melt. Again. It should be gone by mid-week as temps are slated to move into the 60F range and rain is in the forecast. One can only hope. Instead I've reseeded a few… Continue reading Waiting.

Building a Shelterbelt.

Hedgerow. Windbreak. Snowbreak. Shelterbelt. Whatever you want to call it, this winter has made it readily apparent that we could do with a natural barrier that can help keep the snow from drifting into shockingly deep masses across our driveway. The winds tend to sweep in from the North and West in winter. North isn't… Continue reading Building a Shelterbelt.

Ruminating, Brainstorming, and Ponds?

One of my favorite things to do in the cold winter months is to curl up with some books and notebooks and pens and just chew on some garden ideas. Research some things, sketch out ideas, throw them away, start over, bat ideas back and forth with Rich, and keep working ideas over until something… Continue reading Ruminating, Brainstorming, and Ponds?

The Potager: Rethinking the Plants

I'm going to take a wee break from the seed talk and get back to the rethinking of the Potager. This time we'll talk plants- specifically what needs to change to maximize this fun little space. With this (above) being the state of plant affairs in the potager at the end of last year's growing… Continue reading The Potager: Rethinking the Plants

Revisiting the Half Moon Garden.

I think its only fair to give a garden at least 2, possibly 3, years to mature and fill in before too harsh of a glance is aimed at it. The Half Moon garden has had about that much time, and what has worked has, in fact, worked beautifully well. Case in point: Little Bluestem… Continue reading Revisiting the Half Moon Garden.

Twenty Nineteen.

Can you all believe it? 2019. I'm unsure of how I find myself shocked that its come so quickly, but here we are. First things first, I'd like to thank all of you for reading, for following me, and for your fantastic comments and insight. Y'all are so lovely! Second things second, I'm not a… Continue reading Twenty Nineteen.

A Royal Wedding Inspiration.

The last of the garden spaces to be completed is sitting out at the south end of the garden. A narrow East-West strip of grass with a significant North-South swale along its Western edge. It is bordered by hedges on its North and South sides. It has a rickety, homemade wattle fence along its West… Continue reading A Royal Wedding Inspiration.

Burlap & Winterburn.

Last winter was atypical in many ways, but the irregular weather didn't impact the garden too much. The one big difference was the scale of the winterburn on the Yews. In years past it has only ever been a light dusting of brown needles that were quickly brushed aside upon spring's arrival. This spring, however,… Continue reading Burlap & Winterburn.

The Coming Chill.

The weather is taking a significant and protracted turn for the cold and wet. And you'll notice the overnight low on Friday is a chilly 33F. Its fair to assume the first frost will greet us Saturday morning. With all that in mind, things have kicked into high gear in the interest of safeguarding plants… Continue reading The Coming Chill.

Dry Garden Revamp: Getting Stuck In (Part 1)

This is easily the ugliest photo I've ever posted. But would you just look at how much Anise Hyssop I pulled out of just one area!!! Today was incredibly slow at work and also had the benefit of being 68C and partly cloudy. I took the day off and stayed at home to get this… Continue reading Dry Garden Revamp: Getting Stuck In (Part 1)