Saturday, November 28, 2015


Last summer I began to use the needles from our large Spruce trees as mulch.  

Aesthetically I like the natural look (once the plants fill out one cannot see the the garden floor in any case) and functionally this reliable source says not to worry about acidity levels.  So I don't.

There is something rewarding about making use of the bounty from my yard, even the parts that others may think of as waste. Why pay with my taxes to have this taken away only to go out and buy a different type of mulch?

For the same reason I compost yard waste and burn the wood I prune in our outdoor chimney.  It just makes sense.

Are there any other 'urban homesteaders' out there?

Wednesday, November 04, 2015


  This year we are having a relatively mild transition to winter here in zone 3 and there are still some blooms in the garden although it may not appear so at first glance.

Last year I removed all the strictly yellow Rudbeckia and left only the bi-coloured varieties.

The last of the Mums.

This pansy was one of the first things I planted in spring. 

The Lamium-maculatum may not be screaming for attention but they bloom all season.

The Heliopsis helianthoides are also long lasting bloomers.

This is the real treat - a new Monkshood for me, appropriately called Autumn Monkshood which did not start blooming until most other plants were well past their best.  
I will be sure to add more next year!