Garden Update: Chipmunks, Fairy Tale Eggplant & The Seven Dwarfs

Early in July I finally found a charming weathered hand-painted concrete set of the Seven Dwarfs at an antique & collectible shop in Cornish for $45 that costs around $900 new when painted. Those who have been following my blog for a while know I adore vintage kitschy garden statues of animals and gnomes. Since it’s not unusual for people to call me “Snow White” when I tell them about my yard pets I wanted to complete the cast of characters. I also figured they would make terrific props for chipmunk photo sessions. Tailor, however, did not agree! Check out the little linked video for her reaction. A couple of days later, she disappeared!

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Early Garden Prep

We’ve been having a record-breaking cold and rainy spring so far but it’s still time to start with gardening prep, both ornamental and vegetable. It might seem strange to those not from Maine to think of people flocking to the plant nurseries in wet and blustery cold weather to buy annuals that will only live for a short season. It makes complete sense, however! Summer in Maine is a Very Special Occasion deserving of festive flowers and the planting beautiful life forms. It’s still too early to plant, but never too soon to buy as long as you can keep the plants warm.

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Nature’s Bounty

I have extraordinary news! Buster is back!!! After a week’s disappearance he emerged from his burrow, came running to me when I called him and is acting like it’s just another day! Also, one of Chippie’s offspring, Sunny, returned…without a tail! But she is acting like it’s no big deal and she has made her home in our woods. I felt a release after I published yesterday’s post, and now I feel so much gratitude for the gifts in front of me, like our first WATERMELON!

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Recipe: Homemade Heirloom Marinara Sauce

Here’s my first of many batches of homemade sauce using a variety of tomatoes from our garden. There’s something somewhat controversial and extra healthy about it, however: I don’t remove the tomato skins! Most if not all recipes will tell you to remove them, but they break down as they cook so they blend right in with the sauce. More importantly, your body will appreciate it because the skins contain a high concentration of carotenoids and flavonols, both of which are antioxidants.

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Our Organic Backyard Tomato Garden in Pictures

It’s been a challenging season for growing tomatoes in Maine due to the long, cold rainy spring we had. For a while looked like we might not have any tomatoes at all, and some of our plants were dying, but now we are enjoying a beautiful bounty! I thought it would be fun to show the progress from start to finish:

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Home Sweet Home

I took the pic above yesterday after Wayne cut the grass and I trimmed the shrubs. Today has been rainy with intermittent rumbles of thunder. I’m definitely a “homebody” and am enjoying this time to relax indoors after a very full and wonderful summer. Here’s how my day looked:

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Our First Cherry Tomato Harvest

We finally had our first cherry tomato harvest! They are as sweet as they are pretty!

My next Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour post will be after we visit St. Martin’s in the Field in Biddeford Pool next Sunday. This morning we went to the outdoor seaside services at St. Ann’s. It was a very blustery morning and in the low 60s. A very lovely lady, Sylvia, came to the rescue. She invited us to sit next to her and she shared her blanket under which we huddled. Sometimes a warm gesture can do more than any physical barrier against the cold.

Coming up next is a post about our visit to an enchanting English garden.

 

Our first ripe tomato from our bucket (it’s pronounced “bouquet”) garden!

I hope you got my reference to Keeping Up Appearances!

It feels really good to finally have some time to relax after a hectic yet exciting two weeks. I can’t figure out how to make the summer seem like it’s lasting longer than it does. There’s so much to experience and enjoy, but when I do that the more quickly it flies by. I know I’m not alone with this, right?! Savoring it all and sharing it here on my blog with you feels like a good practice. So, I have good news to share about out tomatoes after a harrowing beginning during a very cold and wet spring. Continue reading “Our first ripe tomato from our bucket (it’s pronounced “bouquet”) garden!”