First in Nation

Worms last week, politics this week. Hmm. Don’t worry though, this isn’t a political rant just an observation. ๐Ÿ™‚

I know that most of you don’t live in a state where politics is a business so I thought you might find this interesting.

This is a list compiled by NBC10 Boston as of March 26, 2019 detailing ย 734 visits to New Hampshire by 2020 political candidates. Think about it – this list is five months old.

Candidate: ย  Visits: Upcoming:
John Delaney US Representative, MD 126 0
Kirsten Gillibrand US Senator, NY 56 0
William Weld Former MA Governor 55 1
Marianne Williamson Author, entrepreneur 44 8
Andrew Yang Entrepreneur 44 4
Corey Booker US Senator, NJ 39 1
Tulsi Gabbard US Representative, HI 35 1
Amy Klobuchar US Senator, MN 31 5
Elizabeth Warren US Senator, MA 36 0
Julian Castro Former Sec of Housing 34 0
Pete Buttigieg Mayor, South Bend, IN 27 2
Beto Oโ€™Rourke Former TX Congressman 28 0
Bernie Sanders US Senator, VT 27 1
Tim Ryan US Representative, OH 25 0
Michael Bennet US Senator, CO 24 0
Joe Biden Former VP 17 2
Kamala Harris US Senator, CA 14 2
Bill de Blasio Mayor of NYC 15 0
Steve Bullock Governor, MT 10 0
Tom Steyer Billionaire philanthropist 9 0
John Kasich Governor, OH 5 0
Donald Trump President 3 0
Wayne Messam Mayor Miramar, FL 2 0
Larry Hogan Governor, MD 1 0
707 27

I couldn’t find an updated list, but I did find an August calendar showing candidate visits.

Calendar credit: NHPR

Now consider that NH is approximately 83% forested and only 93 miles across from East to West and 180 miles North to South.

Want to move to NH – beautiful mountains, gorgeous seacoast, and politics year round?

If so, pack your sense of humor, don’t consider a landline with a published number, always utilize the peephole in your front door before opening, check the caller id before answering even a cell phone, accept you’ll never have a conversation that doesn’t include politics, and learn to smile and nod your head without taking a side.

With a three day holiday weekend coming up, we’ll be blanketed with candidates. They must wave to each other as they pass on our two interstates, 93 and 89.

Stay safe and have fun this coming Labor Day Weekend. I’ll do what I always do – work in my gardens and stay off the interstates and away from the candidates and the tourists. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Do you find yourself discussing worms very often? Me neither.

Map: Linda Tucker-Seniak, OSU

I’m making an exception because those of us in certain parts of the country are fighting an invasive worm that intends to make gardening of all types a real challenge.

Like real maple syrup? I do, but if the researchers can’t figure out a way to stop these critters in New England, the soil now supporting the maple trees and everything else in our part of the country will be unable to provide enough nutrients to sustain them.

If worms disgust you, feel free to stop right here but do remember the topic when you see it in the news down the road. These invasive Asian Jumping Worms definitely fall into the disgusting category. Friends have had them, but I’ve been lucky.

My luck ran out last week when I found them in two beds. In the first bed, I dug up the top 3-4″ of the soil and hauled it away while hand picking them out and making sure they were dead. Yes, disgusting and a lot of work in the very humid weather we are currently having.

If you are wondering why any sane person would go to that much work, let me say just one word – raspberries. They were in my raspberry bed.

They thrive on the top couple of inches of soil, and that is also where they leave their cocoons. Once removed, I had to replace the soil, and to keep from regifting them I purchased new bagged soil and made sure to check before shoveling. The other bed holds Hosta plants so I’m going to experiment with a couple of other options to see if I can impact their presence without replacing all the soil.

Next week, there is a free webinar sponsored by Oregon State Cooperative Extension, and I’ll include a link here. They are recording it, so if you sign up you can go back and check it out at your convenience.

Photo credit: A Way to Garden

I’m also including some articles if you would likeย  need to learn more. Bottom line – see worms, check them out.

How will you recognize them? They jump around and move like a snake and have a light colored band around them that holds their eggs which they gift to you multiple times during a gardening season.

They grow to 8″ long, and since they are bisexual, it only takes one worm to start an infestation. The adult worm itself will be terminated by cold weather, however, the eggs overwinter and will hang around to welcome you as you start the next gardening season.

By the way, there are no ‘native’ worms, these guys are just more aggressive and destructive than the ones we are accustomed to. The idea that earth worms are good for aerating soil, forget it, because these guys are eating the soil and leaving droppings that have been stripped of every nutrient a plant needs to grow and survive. Now, that is really disgusting.

A few other links for information:

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Thursday Doors

Garage doors. There’s normally nothing too fancy about them. The story is usually what’s behind them.

Does your pulse quicken at the sight of four plus garage bays and a space above? Mine does. Cars plus room for diy projects, potting bench, crafts, woodwork, paint, outdoor sink- oh, the options are endless.

This particular four-car garage is part of the Weeks estate in Lancaster, New Hampshire, that was built in the early 1900’s by John Wingate Weeks, Congressman, Senator, United States Secretary of War, and leading conservationist.

When built, this garage housed the Weeks’ Cadillacs and provided lodging above for the chauffeur.

In 1941, the estate covering ย 446 acres was given to the state of NH to be used as a state park. Today, it provides visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the White Mountains of NH, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the upper Connecticut River Valley.

It’s a sight to behold so my friend, Sue, told me when she texted me this photo. It’s good to have friends especially on Thursday. ๐Ÿ™‚

Like doors? Go visit my other friends over at Norm Frampton’s
Thursday Doors – August 15, 2019.

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Beautiful day in the neighborhood

I had a nice week off with hubby doing fun anniversary things. We kept busy with family and friends, and we ate dessert every day because that’s a necessity when you’re celebrating.

One day I ate a breakfast of banana bread french toast that even looked like dessert. ๐Ÿ™‚

Besides having some fun last week, my husband built me two raised beds for blueberries. I had ordered Bluecrop and Jersey varieties from Stark Brothers and moved two plants that were here when we moved in. I also got a bonus when I moved those two because I found two small plants. I amended the soil I used hoping to keep it more alkalineย acidic which will hopefully result in good fruit crops in years to come. (Thank you Eliza for catching that typo. :-))

I also had to extend the garden area by about 3′ in order to accommodate the beds and a walkway. In order to gain that area, it required shoveling the soil out of one of my tanks, putting down cardboard over the grass, and adding a truck bed of wood chips.

A MG friend and I also potted up 35 more daylilies for a whopping total of 141. They are in every color of the rainbow. I sure hope we have lots of folks next year who are looking for exceptionally beautiful varieties.

I finished a wall hanging of sunflowers. It was a panel so there wasn’t any creativity involved, but there were several days of straight stitching to outline the flowers.

Now, I need to start a new sewing project and pick up Baldacci’s ‘Redemption’with Amos Decker. I finished Ben Coes’ ‘The Russian’, but regretfully wasn’t impressed as I normally am with one of his books.

This week I have to decide if the blackberries are going where the blueberries were, am I going to repurpose the empty tank, whether I’m going to consider taking on a new MG project at our local county nursing home, and, you know, just the regular stuff.

While I’m working my way through the week, I’ll be enjoying my coffee as it sits on a beautiful mug rug that I was gifted by a very talented friend. We all have skills, but this special lady has hands that create some of the most beautiful needle work ever.

The weather here this morning is splendiferous with a temperature of 66ยฐ so I’m headed outside after a quick breakfast.

Hope your life is going well – all your loved ones are healthy, your garden is prospering, DIY projects are close to being done, your sewing machine is oiled, the book you’re reading is a page turner, and a good friend has time for lunch this week. ๐Ÿ™‚

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We’re taking a page from Laurie at Notes from the Hinterland’s celebrating book, and instead of one celebration, we’re celebrating every day this week with small celebrations. So, I’ll be out and about and busy this week, friends.

I’ll see you next week, but remember life is short so stop and smell the roses and celebrate every time you have the opportunity.ย ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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Lessons learned

If you’re not a gardener, this post will most likely bore you to tears so you have my blessing to skip it and move on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Garden bloggers post about nice things, pretty things.

But, there is the other side of gardening that includes the lessons learned.

Last year, the vegetables in my raised beds were pitiful so I made a few changes. First, I pulled all the plants out the first of August and disposed of them at the recycling center.

Then, I replaced about 2/3 of the soil in the tanks with compost and enriched soil and covered them with landscape fabric to rest until this year.

I’ve changed how I water them, and have used a weak fertilizer every couple of weeks and tried an epsom salt spray. My tomatoes are doing good, and for the first time in years I don’t have blight. Well, I don’t have blight yet anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

A few days ago, I noticed a clump of black eyed susans had some type of issue on their leaves. There were large black splotches, and it spread within the clump and then to other clumps.

This bed is in the same area as my veggies so I pulled them out, all of them, and took a large construction bag half full of them to the recycling center. I spent a lot of time trying to identify the issue, and I couldn’t find an exact match, but it might be cercospora fungal disease.

We had two MG projects going this summer that involved perennial plantings, but were approached from different perspectives.

I was coordinating one and decided we needed to add garden soil for flowers to level the area where plants had been removed. Once the plants had been added, we also applied wood chips from the local recycling center. So far, the plants have survived the heat, humidity, periodic heavy rains, and have the normal amount of small weeds in a mulched bed. They are doing well.

The second project was managed by a good friend who was convinced they needed to add a 50/50 blend of mulch and compost that is sold by one local company. She felt it would improve the soil, act as a better mulch product and look natural, which are all good things. This mulch and compost mix turned out to not hold moisture as well in full sun, but it certainly encouraged weeds. The plants are not doing as well in this project, and they are having some major maintenance issues.

Speaking of weeds, weeding is not my favorite part of gardening, but, I like some measure of neatness to my beds, and if I pull a small weed it doesn’t disturb the soil much. However, if I have to dig out a weed, then I have a larger area to allow weeds to take hold. It’s like that old saying – pay me now or pay me later.

I also got a surprise when I went to check the gauge on my propane tank. Bees.

How lucky can one woman get to find wasps and hornets in one place.

Gardening this year has been challenging because of lack of winter snow cover which dried many plants out, an exceptionally wet spring, and now extraordinary heat and humidity. Our temperature is suppose to hit 90ยฐ today, and the humidity is already 90% at 6:45 a.m.

Are you finding new challenges in your garden this year? Have some lessons to share with us?

This has really been a learning season this year, but through it all, the daylilies continue to brighten my day. Happy last Monday of July. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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Hot, hot, hot – it was hot this weekend. There were no outside activities except for watering and picking raspberries. There was a lot of keeping the shades drawn and finding inside projects to keep busy.

Thursday night I did go on a weed walk ย at Wagon Hill Farm in Durham.

Wagon Hill includes a community garden which has 90 plots and a waiting list. Beautiful setting, amazing gardens, great views, and lots of conversation about weeds.

Since they are so prevalent after a wet spring, I guess it was only fitting. My favorite weed – Queen Anne’s Lace.

Weeds, bugs – they both hinder good gardening practices, which leads me to the fact that the Japanese Beetles have arrived.

I’ve seen more but, however many there are, they inflict damage. This summer they seem to be focused on my blackberry bushes. If you don’t have them in your area, consider yourself lucky.

Heat, weeds, bugs, animals – none of them seem to impact the tried and true perennials and my annuals in containers. They are just strutting their stuff.

But, last Friday was a banner day because I trapped the ground hog! Yes!

On Thursday, I walked the fence line, found an area where the soil was disturbed, put a nice big slice of cantaloupe in the Havahart trap, and on Friday morning there he was looking up at me.

I loaded him up in the back of my pickup and drove him down the road to a wooded area several miles from home and let him loose. Have a good life, but please don’t come back to visit.

After that, we cleaned up and headed to McKenzie’s farm to buy strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, greens, fresh baked ciabatta, and apple cider donuts. I figured if we were going to spend the weekend inside, we should at least eat well.

Happy Monday, and I hope you have a great week. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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