Tuesday, February 24, 2015

embracing small....our edible garden plans for 2015

I'm not gonna lie.  I've been struggling with mapping out the veggies this year as I've been working very hard to embrace small plot gardening.  You'd think I'd have a grip on this by now as I have mastered (kind of) living in a 1600 square foot house with 3 kids.  The truth of it all is that my dream of having a rocking huge yard to grow every kind of fruit and vegetable possible still lingers around in my head especially when I come across gardens like this.....


Dreams aside, and life in the now brings me to what vegetables I'm going to grow this year.  I find it very overwhelming to map out what veggies I want to grow so making a visual collage always helps me stay focused when seed and plant shopping.  Here is what's going in....

Tomatoes-heirloom and cherry {cherry tomatoes in pots}
Salad {pots}
Yellow Crookneck Squash {seeds from here...Seeds Of Change}
Eggplant  {pots}
Pole Beans {over my arbor}

I will be purchasing many of my seeds this year  from
All Good Things Organic Seeds.  

Via~Mano Farm

Now to save on space many of my vegetables will be going in pots as I have listed above.  Not in the list above are all of my herbs.  They always go in containers and those include.....


Other edibles I have growing in containers are Autumn Bliss raspberries and strawberries.

The two plots I constructed for this season are each 4 by 6 feet so I will have room for my climbers in the far north bed {cucumbers and peas}.  

The Victory Gardens of the past always inspire me when dealing with my small plot.  It's amazing what you can create with a vision! 

So that's the start of the endless planning and mapping for the upcoming season...but my brain wouldn't have it any other way!  

Happy Making, Baking, and Growing Friends!

Friday, February 13, 2015

simple one potted plants for the patio....

Our little sunken in patio area is going to get some major attention this spring.  It's a small space right off the family room but I have yet to touch it.  I've been inspired by simple one potted plants for this particular space.  

Here are a couple of inspiration photos that I've been referring to when thinking about our little space.....



Simple plants I'm considering for pots in the shadier areas of the patio....

Lily of the Valley

Oxalis Fireglow
a long lasting annual here in zone 5

Let's Dance Starlight Hydrangea 
(Hydrangea macrophylla Lynn) compact

I'm sure I'll throw some hostas in the mix as I have a hosta farm on the side yard.  Cheap and free is good for me!

Wishing you all a wonderful Valentine's Day tomorrow! 

may there be a little more love in the world

Monday, February 2, 2015

MAKING Mondays....quick embroidery (inspired) artwork

I just have a quick one for you today!  
As I continue to create the space for my girls I have found some little tricks to help with the budget.  I recently finished using removable wallpaper to paper their whole closet.  I needed some art in the closet so I jumped over to Pinterest to find some embroidery patterns to make a little piece for their closet wall.

Most of the patterns I found were modern and simple which I find works really well for framed art in their space.  Just sketched it on some brown craft paper and re-traced it in a white paint pen.  Frame it up and there you have it!  

I will be around to visit you all soon after we get in from the snow!

Happy Making today Friends!  

Sunday, February 1, 2015

get your plant on

We woke up to this...

The snow keeps coming as the beans are busying making a family of snow people in the front garden.  I've been shaking the weight of the heavy snow off of our trees as we have lost a few branches from the storm.  

So as we dig ourselves out and wait to see if the blizzard warnings they are talking about later in the day will go into effect, I'm getting some plants on the list for spring.

Lucky Charm Windflower
This Anemone is more compact then other Anemones for part shade.

Black Truffle Cardinal Flower
This perennial has dramatic dark chocolate foliage that will make a nice contrast for some of the sunny spots in my garden.

Forever Pink Phlox
I'm looking forward to getting some of these in my space as they are a variety known for no mildew as well as being compact.  Blooms from June to October.

Ruby Slippers Oak-Leaved Hydrangea
A compact selection for my small garden with amazing foliage.

via-George Weigel

I'm off to knock more snow off the limbs of my trees and shrubs!  Wishing you a lovely Sunday!

Happy Making, Baking, and Growing!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

oh January....

My computer is finally back from the shop and January is already coming to a close.  The fantastic program "Parenthood," one of my favorites, is also coming to a close.  A wonderfully written show about a family and the passing of time.  To say that watching it doesn't stir something in my soul would be a lie as this show captures the joys and sorrows that affect us all in life.

And speaking of life it has been a bit nuts around here.   Most days I'm running 5 kids this way and that so my creative time has been limited as I need to hit the pillow to get rest at the end of the day.
But in those moments where time just stops, just for that brief second, I'm able to see it.  Really see it...and I'm thankful for that.

Wishing you all some magical moments this weekend!

Linking up with.....The Enchanting Rose

Friday, January 9, 2015

change in the air...

Last weekend I took the beans to see the play Mary Poppins.... 

Winds from the east....Mist comin' in....Like somethin' was brewin', about to begin...Can't put me finger on what lies in store...

The change in the air is---------I'm going back to school for garden design!  

There is a Garden Design Certificate Program  at the Chicago Botanic Garden that I will be starting this spring.  I haven't taken classes since I finished my masters when I was in my twenties so to say that I'm nervous is an understatement.  But I'm also EXCITED!  One class at a time...new things to learn...a challenge with 3 beans....yes!  But I am determined to cross that finish line!  I'm not sure where the road will take me on this journey, but I'm ready to grow!    

Here is to the road of life friends!  Any changes brewing by you???? 
Happy Making, Baking, and Growing!!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

on the table....vegetable chili

When it is negative 25 degrees outside (with the wind chill) it's a good day for chili!  I learned how to make this chili from my older sister.  She came to my house when I was pregnant with bean number one and we made a giant pot.  This chili freezes fantastically so there is always some in the freezer.

Veggie Chili...
~2 cans of black beans
~2 cans of kidney beans
~1 bag of frozen corn
~2 red peppers
~2 green peppers
~3 green onions 
~1 small yellow onion
~2 jalapeños
~chili powder
~a pound and a half of ground turkey (or you can use beef)
~45 oz of caned diced tomatoes
~45 oz of canned tomato puree 

The first thing I do is pour all of the tomatoes in a big pot.  Next I slice up all the veggies (except the yellow onion) and heat the corn up in the microwave.  Make sure when you're chopping those jalapeños that you don't get any seeds in the mix!  Dump all the veggies in with your tomatoes and don't forget the beans.  Then slice up your yellow onion.  Add some olive oil to your pan and throw in your onions.  When the onions are looking a little colorful add your meat and season with chili powder.  Last pour your meat into the pot.  Cook your chili on low for 3-4 hours and there you have it!  

My sister, as some of you may know, is a photographer.  Her ability to capture the essence and beauty of the world around her is quite extraordinary.  

Can you tell I'm proud of her!?!  

And with the brutal cold outside today I reworked the mantle after taking all the Christmas decorations down.  I left the vintage candle sticks but added some jars of pinecones and some old books.

And then came a bit of lounging in the kitchen.  The beans love to cook with me so this a typical scene.

 End of the night fire with cookies and all is good. 

Stay warm friends and a happy week to you!