Thursday Doors

It may be cool, damp, and rainy in New England, but memories of Bruges, Belgium, are still warm and inviting when I go digging through my files for doors.  My pulse still quickens at these beautiful buildings, interesting windows, nice assortment of doors, and even a couple of window boxes.

Would I enjoy another opportunity to walk along these beautiful streets that line the canals? You bet I would. Did you know that Bruges is referred to as the “Venice of the North” or that it is one of Europe’s most well-preserved medieval towns?

Traveling is on my mind right now because we spent the majority of yesterday traveling to and from Logan Airport in Boston for an appointment with Homeland Security. Regular readers may remember that we applied for Global Entry status early last summer so we could avoid long international security lines for our Ireland trip in September.

However, we had no idea that there was only one office in New England or that it would involve a nine-month wait for our interview, photos and fingerprints.

So, yesterday involved a three hour round trip with C&J Bus for a fifteen minute appointment. Why the bus? Well, we are fortunate to live in a small New England town that has both a Boston bound bus terminal and a train station. I can tell you from experience, when you are going to Logan Airport, it is a lot easier and cheaper in the long run (gas, tolls, and parking) to hop on the bus. Gus, and let them drop you off and pick you up right at the terminal door.

Do they do a good business? That question can be answered by simply telling you that they offer valet parking because the lots are usually full.

Where are we going next? That’s the topic of conversation so all suggestions greatly appreciated. 🙂

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, April 6, 2017.

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April

It arrived with a bang, which in New England meant it snowed for around 24 hours. It was heavy, it was wet, but the temps got a little warmer, the sun came out and some of it is melting. We still have a couple of piles that are over 4′ tall, but I’ll take all the melting I can get before the next storm comes tomorrow.

Last Friday, I went to the UNH Greenhouse and enjoyed seeing the beautiful green plants, smelling the Hyacinths, seeing the water features, and came home with several plants. Buying plants this time of year probably wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but I sure had fun.

There I was holding my cardboard box and picking up plants. But, before they made it to the box, I checked them all to see if by any chance there was more than one plant in the pot. Do you do that? I always do that. In most cases I can find one pot that somehow two seeds got dropped into, and when I get home, I can divide and have two plants.

I wanted a Cinnamon Curls Heuchera, but they weren’t for sale. So, I saw a hanging basket that had two of them in it plus two other plants for only $4 more and all of the money went to the Future Farmers. Bought that one with a smile. Now I’ll have four plants, 2 annuals and 2 perennials, for the low price of $14.

Sweet Caroline and Tri Color Sweet Potato Vine plants both have two plants in each pot.

While I wait to get outside and start on my long lists of chores, I’ve been working on a couple of small projects. I finished my first wool penny rug thanks to the help of my friend, Sue, and completed a pansy wall quilt. Next, I will be appliquéing fifteen aprons to be worn at the Master Gardener plant sale next month.

Today is errand day. Among other things, I have to try to convince a customer service rep to take back a Canon printer that croaked after only three weeks, but I don’t have the box. What do you think my odds are?

Tomorrow while it’s snowing, I’m going to repot my plants. Take that Mother Nature – I’m gardening inside. 🙂

What does your first week in April  look like? Are you busy at work, gardening, sewing, reading a good book, or traveling? Come on tell us all about it. 🙂

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Thursday Doors

Photo Credit: UNH Macfarlane Greenhouse

For more of New England’s famous, Dave Granlund’s wicked sense of humor, check out his Facebook Page

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, March 30, 2017.

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Wordless Wednesday

Choosing to focus indoors because we have 6″ of snow forecasted for this weekend.
April Fool’s joke? I wish.

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Maple Weekend

March 25th and 26th is Maple Weekend in New Hampshire. 🍁

There will be over 100 sugar houses open across the state. Our favorite sugar shack stop is definitely in Alexandria. Of course, we’re partial because we know and love the hard-working couple who live there. We enjoy their syrup on our pancakes while never forgetting the hard work that went into producing it.

Besides the building and equipment investment, there is the chopping of the wood, miles of lines, collection sites, hundreds of spiles, transportation, and then the boiling of 40 gallons of sap for one gallons of syrup. It’s hard work to produce the real thing, and those of us who enjoy it certainly applaud these craftsmen.

So, get out and about this weekend, and knock on your favorite sugar shack door. It’s definitely the sweetest weekend of the year. 🍁

If you’re looking for a maple recipe this weekend, check out the maple muffins over at Vermont Farm Made. The muffins are delicious, but the topping is maple heavenly.

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Welcome Spring🌺

Wink, wink, nod, nod. We’re still buried in snow. The temperatures are all over the range, but it is 27°F as I write this.

I’m grateful though because it didn’t snow on Saturday, and I was able to attend the New Hampshire Master Gardener Welcome Spring Symposium.

The first speaker was Benjamin Pauly who is the Master Gardener for the Woodstock Inn and Resort in Vermont. He kept our interests by talking about Gardening with intensity – Habits of the Highly Effective Kitchen Garden. His 2.5 acre garden provides the Resort Chefs with certified organic flowers, herbs, veggies and fruit. Most interesting fact shared – he waters plants when he puts them in the ground and possibly the second day, but after that he doesn’t water them. He leaves it up to Mother Nature.

Rock gardening was up next, and Joseph Tychonievich shared his love of rock gardening and its wonderful small alpine plants. Joseph is a guest on public radio’s, The Splendid Table, and the author of three books about rock gardening, plant breeding, and a complete guide for gardeners.

He shared photos of rock gardens all over the world and the materials and methods needed to create, maintain, and enjoy a rock garden of your own.

After a delicious lunch and time for the silent auction, things got ramped up when Jim Sutton, the Display Designer at Longwood Gardens, took us on a slide tour of the gardens. It is currently Orchid Extravaganza at the Gardens. He also shared some of his favorite container and basket combinations that pack a real punch. I think he had a lot of gardeners ready to head for Pennsylvania. I know I’d love to visit and especially see the Green Wall which is 14′ high and 300′ long making it the largest in North America. Have you been to Longwood Gardens?

The day closed with Brie Arthur and Foodscaping 101. Brie lives in a subdivision in North Carolina with the usual Home Owners’ Association rules and regs. While more people seem to be interested in planting a garden and harvesting produce to enjoy at their table, everyone doesn’t live on a farm. Brie consults with homeowners to help them incorporate edible plants into their current landscape. There are no raised beds in the front yard, but there may be some tomato and asparagus plants mixed in with the rose bushes. If you have a landscape with plants that require sun, then you can intersperse sun-loving vegetables with them in an attractive way. If you want help to incorporate delicious veggies in with your shrubs and perennials, check out Brie’s new book.

If you live in New England or are planning to visit, you might also want to check out this wonderful brochure: New Hampshire’s Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Trails. Tour trivia? My grandparents farm is now part of the #13 farm on the trail. 🙂

Happy spring everyone. 🙂

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Photo Credits:
Benjamin Pauly: Woodstock Inn and Resort
Joseph Tychonievich: Barnes and Noble
Jim Sutton: Longview Gardens
Brie Arthur:  Amazon
NH Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Trails: Visitnh.gov

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Calm after the storm

I really don’t like uninvited guests. They drop in at the most inconvenient time, stay for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Roll out mid evening and just leave one incredible mess to clean up. Stella. Who invited her to spend Tuesday in New England? 🙂

Monday, there was bare ground, and yesterday we had one heck of an old-fashioned snowstorm. The snow started lightly falling around 8 a.m., with the whiteout rolling in around noon and going well into the evening. Almost everything was closed so there was no traffic, and today the roads are clear down to the pavement.

 

I did a little pushing of snow around the edges and cleaning the cars a couple of times. The removal during the height of the storm was done twice by younger members of the family. Today the seniors did the cleanup. Total as far as I could measure was right at 16″.

Several thousands lost power in town as well as across the state. But, Steve took the punishment, and we ended up only losing power for a couple of minutes. It was just long enough to have to reset the clocks. Picture a happy dance here. 🙂

I’m glad it’s over and hope that it is the last knock from Mother Nature with regard to snow. I can hope because I have lots of outdoor chores and projects including straightening that arbor.

Now, we are left to wonder about all the plants and trees that budded out during those warm spells and have now been through some brutal winter weather again. I don’t know where the fruit will come from this year, but I’m thinking it may not be local.

Saturday, two days before the official start of spring, is my Master Gardener Spring Symposium. Only one hitch – snow is currently in the forecast.

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