Burning bush stem
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The Hotly Debated Burning Bush

I had no idea of the problems caused by plants like bittersweet, autumn olive, barberry, Norway maple, burning bush, etc. I learned in my Master Gardner class that these are all on the New Hampshire invasive species list. That means they are illegal to collect, transport, sell, distribute or transplant (source: NH Dept. of Agriculture). Yes, it’s true, the burning bush is on the list. This particular one is an issue for lots of people who have one and love it for the beautiful fall colors. I confess, I didn’t understand why these plants were an issue. My parents had one whenContinue reading

DIY stepping stones
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DIY Garden Stepping Stones

When I designed our vegetable garden I opted for stones instead of grass that would need to be mowed and weed whacked. My kids, and their little feet, would have much preferred grass. It’s a bit too late now because we’re not moving all of these stones!  We decided on a compromise – stepping stones. I found a DIY article courtesy of the Thrifty Fun blog for making homemade stepping stones. I went to Lowes and was able to find everything we needed to make the stones, including pint sized rubber gloves! It’s important for youContinue reading

Water Fairy Signs
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Three Sure Signs a Fairy Visited

One morning this summer I was outside with the kids and Grace (7 yrs) stopped in her tracks to look at a spider web that was delicately holding dew drops. “A fairy was here!” she shouted. We ran over to check it out and and her sister Abigail (4 yrs) was in awe. They were convinced it was the marking of a water fairy. “How do you know it was a fairy?” I asked her. “I just know,” she told me. I asked her what are the other signs a fairy may leave behind in theContinue reading

Prepping fruit for fruit leather
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Delicious Homemade Fruit (and Veggie) Leather

Last summer my friend Laura introduced me a healthier version of the sticky, prepackaged fruit roll-ups of my childhood. We’ve made them several times since, and I even sneak in veggies and the kids still love them!  I’m actually not sure who likes the homemade fruit leather more — the kids or me and my husband. A batch of fruit leather which should last a week is usually gone in four days in our house.  It all starts with a dehydrator. Excalibur makes a fantastic dehydrator (see it here) which was tested and recommended by my friend and cookbook author, Laura Piazza. SheContinue reading

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Supporting Pea Plants

I took a chance this spring and planted shelling peas, beets, lettuce and spinach just after Easter. I couldn’t help myself — we had a week of warm weather and I had the spring planting bug. And then it snowed. Miraculously the seeds survived and now, ten weeks later, we’re enjoying fresh spinach and lettuce in our salads, and we snacked our first pea pods last week. A friend recently asked about how to keep pea plants from flopping over, so I thought I’d share some tricks I’ve learned. Peas prefer to climb so the plant doesn’t getContinue reading

Arbor Sketch
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Adding Grapes and an Arbor

We finally built an arbor as an entry to the garden. I drew the plans and my husband Seth helped with building. It took almost a full day to build and was just under $200 for all of the materials. This was way more affordable (and more fun) than buying a pre-made arbor! I had the girls help me decide on the sizing and design. We went with a 4′ depth so it would be large enough to feel a bit like a room or a secret hiding place. They asked me to install someContinue reading

A garden party for my little girl
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A Magical Garden Birthday for Kids

I’m always torn between having my daughter’s birthday party at the house or finding a venue to avoid the clean-up.  Since we love our garden area so much, I thought it would be fun to celebrate Abigail’s fourth birthday in the garden and share the experience.  I enlisted Abigail and her big sister Grace to help pick-out the decorations. We decided on a brightly colored theme with chevron, stripes and polka dots. Thank goodness for Amazon where we found almost everything we needed for decor. We sent Abigail away with Nana on party day so we could set-up and make it aContinue reading

2015-10-10 12.30.30
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Mint Tea for Two

My daughters and I love to snack on fresh mint from the garden. We love it so much, we have it growing in areas we walk by often – on the way to the play set, in a pot near the fairy garden, and potted near the garden entrance. At the end of the summer my four-year-old daughter Abigail was especially sad the mint would soon be gone. Then, we had a great idea – let’s make mint tea! We picked all of the mint leaves we could find and brought them in the houseContinue reading

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2 ways to add magic to the garden

I’d like to think my kids want to be in the garden because it’s beautiful, relaxing and full of healthy snacks. Reality check — they’re kids. They would rather play on their swings or on the opposite side of the yard where I can’t see them — and then yell “Mommy!” every five minutes. I decided to attempt to make the garden magical so they would actually want to be there with me. Step 1: I found a used playhouse at a yard sale for $40. They helped me clean and stain it and choose where to place itContinue reading

All the Latest Stories, Garden Planning, Gardening with Kids

Make room, there’s a garden coming!

When we moved into our new house it was an opportunity to re-imagine a garden that fit our lives. Of course, the first goal was to grow yummy fruit and vegetables, but I also wanted an outdoor space where people could hang out — and what better place than in a garden! After much discussion — and debate — we found a space in the backyard that would get sun from sunrise to early evening and then filtered light through some tall oak trees (which dropped tons of leaves in the garden this fall!). The area would accommodate a garden thatContinue reading