16:: Good Things Gathered

Good morning friends, and welcome to my Friday “Good Things Gathered.” This week I wanted to share with you a few books I’ve been reading that I got at the library– Little House in the Suburbs, Victory Gardens for Bees and TWO books both called The Bee Friendly Garden. Obviously, I’m a little bee-brained right now! And thinking about how I want to tend my garden and little suburban homestead going into the future.

But first— there’s been some changes and hurdles around here in recent months/weeks/days. I’ve spent the last few months dealing with health issues that kept me indoors for the majority of the late spring and most of summer. I missed out on a lot of gardening time! But I’m much better now and very much on the mend, and making up for lost time with lots of scheming (just ask my husband!!). I also decided to keep my youngest at home, at least this semester, and we are homeschooling until things aren’t so rocky with the pandemic and the delta variant.

Dealing with this pandemic has made me realize that I wont be able to always travel to New England as I’d envisioned. I feel like our present, and our future, will be much more home centered. And so I want to make the most of it. While I do love flowers, especially my roses, I’d like to make my garden much more functional for growing food. I’m focusing this autumn on perennial plants and trees— and recently planted a few blackberry and blueberry bushes. I also ordered a few apple trees from Trees of Antiquity, a fruit orchard in CA that specializes in heirloom varieties of fruit trees and shrubs. At the end of January they will be sending me a Jonathan Apple Tree, A Fearns Pippin Apple Tree and a Cox Orange Pippin Apple Tree, and I’m so thrilled about the prospect of our own little apple orchard! We already have peach trees and crabapple trees in the yard– so you might as well call our home “Orchard House”, right? 😉

Our side yard full of ornamental growing plants– but soon we’ll be adding apple trees to the area nearby!
Newly planted blackberry bushes– I still need to add the supports for them to climb.

Some of my earliest memories are of the large backyard garden of my great-grandparents. It seemed huge to me then, when I was just a toddler, and in the spring granny would buy baby chicks for me to cuddle and love. As fate would have it, I now live on the very same street my great-grandparents lived on. And so with their spirit of growing and creating, I’d like to make my own little homestead in our little downtown, just as they did.

And as my books might suggest– I’m also very curious about bees and making my yard a bee and beneficial bug and animal habitat. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I could do honey bees. I love bees— but I don’t really want to TOUCH them! But I do want my yard to be a safe place for them, and butterflies, and all the other ‘good’ bugs! Along with the fruit trees and bushes, I’m also trying to be more intentional about planting flowers and plants that they’ll enjoy. One plant that I’ve recently added to the garden is a Chaste Tree (shown below) that should be a great statement piece in the garden, and also a favorite of little winged creatures.

I’ve also planted Caryopteris and asters, which the bees and butterflies are going crazy for as well. The garden is always changing— and, I hope, always improving. I’m excited for what the future holds on my little patch of ground, which is a little less than a quarter of an acre. For being in the middle of town, its a large and versatile piece of land. I’m looking forward to seeing it bloom and evolve!

I hope you are well and that you have a lovely weekend— autumn is almost here!!

And most of all–
Take Joy!
H

6 thoughts on “16:: Good Things Gathered

  1. I am so glad you are feeling better. In time to enjoy the fall and holiday season! During the covid lockdown I created a small dedicated herb garden and this year I expanded it. The bees and butterflies love it. Your plans for your little homestead sound wonderful.

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  2. What a splendid idea to add an a apple orchard to your garden plans!! Your Peach trees have been a wonderful addition and while all fruit trees are susceptible to goofy late freezes, over time the most of the time things go well. That has been my experience with my Satsuma Orange tree down here.

    Like you, I considered the possibility of Honey Bees, but setting it all up is kind of expensive and the bees down here are challenged by several diseases. So, we plant lots of flowers and seem to get a few Honey bees but lots of Bumblebees. Works for me!! I have also noticed a parallel between the flowers that Bumblebees love and hummingbirds. They go for the same ones! Two benefits for one flower variety.

    That stack of books looks full of possibilities to dream about for the next growing season! Have fun and I am interested in what new projects are on the list.

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  3. I am always working through the same process. We also live in the suburbs with a similar-sized lot and there is so much that can be done in such a small space! When we moved in to our house six years ago we planted an apple tree, a pear tree and a peach tree –this year I’ve harvested 70 lbs of fruit and counting!

    I love reading your Friday post every Saturday morning along with my first cup of coffee while my husband makes his weekly waffles. I look forward to seeing your garden grow!

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  4. So glad you are on the mend. I just requested these books from my library. Did you know you can have your garden certified both a wild life habitat and pollinator friendly (complete with cute garden signs)? Those are my goals now!

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