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gillumhouse

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When we bought this house, there were flowers all around the house, in the yards, everywhere - most of which I could not identify. The irises were beautiful, but the blooms so heavy they fell across the sidewalk & Himself could not walk there. So people all around town & some friends got beautiful yellow and purple irises. I got sage, thyme, chives, oregano, mint, rosemary, garlic chives, and parsley. I plant basil in the pots at the front steps. Plants to use in cooking for guests.

When we took down the blue spruce in the side yard, the birds that had inhabited it had planted asparagus - which I had moved to the back of the house by the grape arbor - I get lovely asparagus every spring that I have even been known to share with guests.

When I had the stump & roots of the spruce dug up, I also had the hedges bordering the 2-sides of the side yard removed - full of poison ivy & weeds & had to be kept trimmed (Himself was no longer able to do that). I replaced the hedges with blackberry bushes, blueberry bushes (they have up to now told me to pound salt so I just planted 2 more that were more mature - i will see what they do), and red raspberry bushes. I also used the grape arbor to support kiwi berries. I just bought another pollinator for it (I thought the grass cutting kid had mowed the one from last year - surprise, he did not I discovered yesterday when I went to plant the new one). He DID get about 4 red raspberry bushes though. Last year I planted strawberries in the raised bed that I had used for peas and tomatoes while Himself was here.

This should be the year for kiwis and strawberries. I do not hold out much hope for the blueberries but I have had red raspberries and blackberries in the freezer all winter and was serving fresh ones into October last year. It sure helps with the cost of fruit! (The peach tree died and the fig tree still has a few years before it will either produce or die.

Do you grow things to use in cooking for guests to help cut costs?
 

TheBeachHouse

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I’m very impressed that you grow your own fruit! We have a very small lot that is also very windy, salty and sandy. I have chives that just love it here! A volunteer raspberry bush courtesy of the bird feeder. I do Basil in pots during the summer. But the tomatoes will not grow.
We have very thick irises and the hostas are gigantic. Our peonies are spectacular in the spring. I really wanted rhododendrons, which do grow well around town, but the winter wind is too harsh. I planted two. They never thrived.
What does grow well is beach roses. They love the sand and surf. Hubby hates them because they creep into the lawn and are prickly and hard to manage. But their blooms are so fragrant and they are quintessential New England coast, so we’ve kept a small hedge of them.
 

gillumhouse

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I HAD 3 rhodos when we moved here - 2 of the purplish pink and a white. I also had peonies (which I loved) and daffodils. His Lordship built a few too many brush pile burns - the white on could not take the heat. The huge rhodo next to it was strangled (or aged) with some vine and was so bad looking that I had it taken out with the hedges. He mowed the peonies & daffodils so many times THEY gave up. I still have 1 purplish/pink rhodo and bought a baby red on that was half price a few years ago (thriving) next to the white & the red azalea in the back yard. We planted the daffodils #2 grandson gave me at the Memorial service next to the raised bed in the back yard _ they come up every year for me to see from the the kitchen sink window.

I have a corner lot and it is not large. The berries form the "fence" on the perimeter of the side yard. I takes the kid mowing the entire place about half an hour - even weaving around the few flower bushes and the clump of parsley that so far has grown back every year for over a decade.

Your place sounds lovely with the flowers. Roses smell so lovely. I miss my peonies - it was my Granny's favorite flower, She had then in many colors in her yard.
 

Northern Dreamer

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We have a very short growing season and limited space that gets the sun for veggies, but so far we have grown:
Multiple varieties of Basil, (Sweet, Purple, Thai, Aristotle) Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Chives, Mint, Dill, Oregano, Strawberries, Kale, Romas, Grape Tomatoes, a lone blueberry bush, wild black raspberries, wild edible yard violets - all used in cooking or as a garnish. We also love to forage in Spring for Ramps (wild garlic) which are great for omelettes! Some folks like hunting for Morel mushrooms in our area too!
Other flowers include: Cone flowers (used for tinctures & syrups), roses (rose water can be made for a cooling facial toner in the summer) , tulips, crocus, iris, shasta daisies, peonies, hydrangea, azalea, lily of the valley, coral bells, plus lots of colorful potted plants in the big patio pots too!
 
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JimBoone

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We have always had abundant flowers in the garden out front, cone flowers, rhododendrons, irises, hostas, daisies, peonies and many others although the last years have kept the gardener inside and I lack the gift for maybe just a bit lazy.

Food gardens have varied over the years, at times wonderful, and other times dismal. A couple of old apple trees that produce on occasion, one we planted that never did anything. Blueberries usually net a bowl or two, grapes usually just feed the birds. Last summer was a dismal year, some squash and tomatoes, but some years have seen it do well with beans and potatoes and other items added. Misses the gardeners touch there too.
 

VegMapper

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We have native butterfly/pollinator gardens planted around the house. We also have a variety of lawns, including the typical grass lawn (trying to reduce this), violet (Viola sp.) lawn, moss lawn (pleurocarps) -- important for fireflies, and a clover lawn. We use the gardens and lawns to show guests and people in the community how to grow a garden for wildlife, protect the watershed, and for climate resilience. Along with the gardens we have ant colonies for the violets (the ants help move the seeds), cover for wildlife, singing perches for birds, water and moist sand for butterflies and moths, and native fruits for migratory birds. Guests and people in the community can also purchase native plants for their own gardens.

These gardens do not use any fertilizer other than leaf mulch made on the premises, no herbicides, and no pesticides. Additionally, since the native species are adapted to the environment, they do not require any extra water other than from the natural precipitation. The ants keep the aphids in check, the firefly larvae eat the slugs, and the praying mantises and birds get most of the other problematic insects.

As far as the breakfasts, we do use the mints for garnish in one of the yogurt dishes and black raspberry (when the local bear does not get them first) in pancakes and some of the pastries.
 

CoffeeTreks

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We have native butterfly/pollinator gardens planted around the house. We also have a variety of lawns, including the typical grass lawn (trying to reduce this), violet (Viola sp.) lawn, moss lawn (pleurocarps) -- important for fireflies, and a clover lawn. We use the gardens and lawns to show guests and people in the community how to grow a garden for wildlife, protect the watershed, and for climate resilience. Along with the gardens we have ant colonies for the violets (the ants help move the seeds), cover for wildlife, singing perches for birds, water and moist sand for butterflies and moths, and native fruits for migratory birds. Guests and people in the community can also purchase native plants for their own gardens.

These gardens do not use any fertilizer other than leaf mulch made on the premises, no herbicides, and no pesticides. Additionally, since the native species are adapted to the environment, they do not require any extra water other than from the natural precipitation. The ants keep the aphids in check, the firefly larvae eat the slugs, and the praying mantises and birds get most of the other problematic insects.

As far as the breakfasts, we do use the mints for garnish in one of the yogurt dishes and black raspberry (when the local bear does not get them first) in pancakes and some of the pastries.
That sounds really lovely...and so interesting that you have integrated native gardens in your offering. I'd love to check out your website to learn more about your place if you message me. We are located in the tropics and our relationship with the flora and fauna is more adversary. Like, I was so intrigued by leaf cutter ants (no honey, don't spray, they are so interesting), until one of the colonies on our property took down about 5 of our coffee plants OVERNIGHT. One day leaves, the next day, just little pieces of leaves along the trail where the ants cut them down and left them. We now spray for them. The worst was this species of army ant that spread out like a carpet covering the ground and eat everything in their path. They would come out foreaging every two weeks, and sweep through our yard with a motto, leave no insect behind. They would eat all the larva of other insects, lizards, baby birds in nests, anything. Super painful bites too. You would look out at the section of yard, and it would seem alive with the thousands of ants moving along. We sprayed them too. But you know, you really don't want to, but there really isn't any other option that we are willing to live with. I so appreciate a gentle and integrated approach like what you embrace, where possible.
 

MillerDunham

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When we bought this house, there were flowers all around the house, in the yards, everywhere - most of which I could not identify. The irises were beautiful, but the blooms so heavy they fell across the sidewalk & Himself could not walk there. So people all around town & some friends got beautiful yellow and purple irises. I got sage, thyme, chives, oregano, mint, rosemary, garlic chives, and parsley. I plant basil in the pots at the front steps. Plants to use in cooking for guests.

When we took down the blue spruce in the side yard, the birds that had inhabited it had planted asparagus - which I had moved to the back of the house by the grape arbor - I get lovely asparagus every spring that I have even been known to share with guests.

When I had the stump & roots of the spruce dug up, I also had the hedges bordering the 2-sides of the side yard removed - full of poison ivy & weeds & had to be kept trimmed (Himself was no longer able to do that). I replaced the hedges with blackberry bushes, blueberry bushes (they have up to now told me to pound salt so I just planted 2 more that were more mature - i will see what they do), and red raspberry bushes. I also used the grape arbor to support kiwi berries. I just bought another pollinator for it (I thought the grass cutting kid had mowed the one from last year - surprise, he did not I discovered yesterday when I went to plant the new one). He DID get about 4 red raspberry bushes though. Last year I planted strawberries in the raised bed that I had used for peas and tomatoes while Himself was here.

This should be the year for kiwis and strawberries. I do not hold out much hope for the blueberries but I have had red raspberries and blackberries in the freezer all winter and was serving fresh ones into October last year. It sure helps with the cost of fruit! (The peach tree died and the fig tree still has a few years before it will either produce or die.

Do you grow things to use in cooking for guests to help cut costs?
Beyond impressed (and a bit envious) with all you are growing! I have planted, and actually grown & picked, basil, zucchini, chives, lettuce, peppers, rosemary and tomatoes - most of which do appear in his breakfast dishes. My husband would like me to quadruple the amount of basil and tomatoes as he uses both often. Plus, nothing like homemade pesto throughout the year. I have not done well with tomatoes if anyone has suggestions for those that seem to do well in this area - Delaware.
 
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