Friday, February 27, 2015

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 188

Howdy friends! 

Welcome back to the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop!

We took a little re-fresh break this month but we're back and so looking forward to your entries!

Spring on the farm is always such an exciting time! New chicks, lambing season, goats and garden planning, not to mention a field trip or two to get your farmgirl on. 

If you're a New England farmgirl and you're looking for a spring-inspired field-trip mark your calendar for the Heirloom Festival in historic Wethersfield, CT. on May 24th, 2015. 

Heirloom seeds and seedlings will be available as well as top speakers and vendors! I'm planning on going. I want to bring home some rare heirloom flower seeds and seedlings for my garden this year. Any chance some of my Dandelion House friends will be there?

What are your favorite farmgirl spring haunts?

 My co-hostess Debbie, of Farmgirl Unleashed  has been boning up on succession planting for Big Sky Acres this year.  She and her hubby Mike are taking on a large section of their farm for growing more flowers and veggies. Be sure to stop by and say howdy!

Now, whatcha been up to these last couple of weeks? 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Day 6 ~ Springspiration! Logo Design for Dandelion House Flowers

White background

Dear friends, 

This is THE year I will be taking my flowers to market! We have a wonderful local farmers market here in Plymouth, MA which I am very excited to become a part of this coming summer!
I've spent the last few years " practicing" growing flowers for market in my backyard and while I'm anxious to get my hands in the dirt again and watch seedlings take root I've been spending some time thinking about my " brand". I knew I wanted something that felt nostalgic and romantic cause that's how I feel when I'm in my garden, but I also wanted it to have a FARM FRESH feeling too. I love how it turned out and can't wait to order up my labels for bouquets and business cards as well as a large banner and car door magnet so I can flaunt my flowers this summer! 

Cream background

  I am obsessed with antique/vintage seed packet art and botanical drawings so I used that as a spring-board for my own design. I have a board on pinterest devoted to this beautiful art form. 

I don't have Adobe Illustrator ( yet ) so I farmed this project out to a talented friend who does graphic art for a living. I simply sent her a link to my seed packet art board for inspiration and she created my new logo for the farmers market in just a few short days. As much as I love creating things, having her do this for me saved me a lot of time and allowed me to make the deadline for the add space I reserved in our local Edible South Shore and South Coast magazine. Nearly every state has one. It's the go to publication for all things local farms, food AND FLOWERS too! 

If you've been sitting on the fence about taking your " farm goods " to market nothing will get you motivated more than " branding" your business and buying add space! I'm all in now!

I would love to know, how many of you sell your homemade goods at YOUR farmers market or garden shows!Tell me all about it!

Oh, and what do ya think of my logo?


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Springspiration! GARDEN LADY, Celia Thaxter

Celia Thaxter in her island garden

One of my favorite ways to relax while the snow falls is to escape into other writers gardens and try to imagine what it was like 100 years ago to be a privileged garden lady of day's gone by. What is it about flowers that turns gardeners into writers? For Celia Thaxter it was love. Love for her flowers and an appreciation for the tender promise of new life that lay inside each tiny unopened seed. 
I like to imagine what it would have been like to swap gardening stories over the garden gate with her. You see, she and I have ( or would have had ) something in common besides our passion for flowers. She was an Island Gardener on a small pot of land over looking the sea on Appledore Island off the coasts of ( New Hampshire and Maine)  in the mid to late 1800's. One of my very favorite time periods in history. I suppose I have the impressionist painters to thank for that because they certainly painted gardens and ladies in their gardens in a most beautiful and romantic way.

Beach roses in our cottage yard by the sea
I know I read her book An Island Garden about 20 years ago when I was looking for inspiration about seaside gardening for our little plot of land by the sea. Two children and a long homeschooling career in between then and now and here I am again, revisiting my old friend, Celia in her garden hoping to glean some new ideas for our own seaside garden.

I've just ordered a reprinted copy for myself as I know there is more snow on the way and I'll be needing an escape! 

You can book a tour here!
And, watch this short movie trailer about her beloved Island Garden. 
The DVD would be a perfect gift to someone who isn't able to make the trip. Appledore Island is accessible by boat only. Once you arrive you'll need your land-legs to carry you across some rugged terrain before you arrive at Celia's Island Garden. 

Do you have local gardens or flower shows you've yet to visit?
 Now's the time to plug those dates into your Spring calendars! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day 2 Springspiration! Glamping Anyone?

 One of my favorite things to do when the weather warms up is head out for a day of flea market shopping! I never miss The Vintage Bazaar in Salisbury, MA. The June and September events are out of this world. I fell in love with this little glamper named the Sea Pearl there. She was already sold when I came upon her! ( enter sad face )
 You can read about my adventures there, here!

 She was all decked out for a " beach " get away! 
The only thing missing was a gaggle of girls sitting around the table!

   Glamping Style! You do know who started the glamping wave don't you?  Why, it was Mary Jane Butter's of course!

                                For more Springspiration for glamping adventures you can order her book here!
It covers every aspect of glamorous~camping including how to make a pretty portapotty!

29 Day's until Spring... and counting!

What kinds of Spring adventures are you dreaming about?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

30 Day's of Spring-spiration!

Dear friends,
We've had so much snow in the northeast this year I don't know whether I'm coming or going and I've completely lost track of what day it is. I have to swim through white tunnels of snow to get to the chicken coop, the mailbox, my car, and more ' white stuff'  is predicted for this weekend. In an effort to get a jump- start on spring fever I'll be sharing a daily dose of Spring-spiration with you!
Today's image really gets my heart pumping for warmer weather, and the first blossoms of springtime. Forsythia is one of the first flowering shrubs to bloom in our area. I think it looks lovely when its branches are left to drape and fall naturally vs being trimmed.
It's also easy to force when brought inside and placed in a vase or pitcher.
Do you have a favorite early-Spring shrub or flower?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Re-Claimed Raised Beds for FRESH Flowers and Produce

One of 8 raised beds (filled with dahlias) made from re-claimed stone tiles
 Raised bed gardening and the creative ways people utilize these unique micro-garden spaces continues to grow! As more people get bitten by the gardening bug raised beds provide a much needed solution, especially in small spaces. One or two 4x4 or 4x8  raised beds will provide a small family with seasonal fresh herbs and veggies all summer long. 

It's not too early to start thinking about your growing spaces for this spring and summer! All that snow will be melted before you know it! If you've got a barn, garage, garden shed or car port you can get started on the construction now!

Below is a photo of our raised beds " under construction" three years ago. We happened to have quite a stash of 12x12 discontinued tiles stored in our basement ( from when my hubby sold imported stone) that came in quite handy for creating the 'walls' of the beds.

Here are my guy's attaching the L brackets to the two sides of 2 x 4 x 12 lengths of board and the two 4' end pieces.

Once the frames were built they attached the grade stakes to each corner and drove them into the ground. No need for digging up turf or soil. Simply lay down cardboard or newspaper over the ground and water it slightly or cover it with leaves. We did all three before we added the garden soil. Laying down paper vs garden fabric creates an invitation to worms which you want plenty of in your garden soil! 

CORRECTION: We used 2x2 grade stakes instead of 1x2 for more stability.
 If you are a frugal gardener like me, building your raised beds from re-claimed materials is a great way to lighten your footprint on good old mother earth and keep some extra dough in your wallet for those high quality GMO FREE seeds you'll be purchasing. I love the idea of using metal roofing material for the sides too!

The list of what you can grow in one 4x8 raised bed is limitless, really. You can grow annuals, vegetables, herbs, perennials, even roses and shrubs!
You control the amount of sunlight by where you site your raised bed and you also have control over the soil. We placed all 8 our ours in the largest, sunniest place in our backyard for maximum growing potential for my cut flowers, herbs, and veggies. I purchased a mix of 50 % loam and 50% organic matter. It took nine yards of loam to fill them all the first year. When the soil level drops, you can easily order in some more fill and top them off!

Here they are sprouting with new life in Mid June! 

If you're just starting out with flowers,choose easy annuals such as zinnias, sunflowers and cosmos. All can be sewn directly in your raised bed after the danger of frost ( in your garden zone ) has passed. 

If you're limited to one or two raised beds don't forget about vertical gardening! Cucumbers,
pole beans, snap peas will provide you with fresh veggies at little garden-space expense!

Just be careful who you let in to your tomato patch!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop # 187


Happy Farmgirl Friday!  Welcome back!  It's been a long cold week, here in the Northeast with more snow predicted for the weekend. Perfect weather for finalizing my dahlia and seed order for this years garden. PLUS I'm getting my marketing materials together and floral supplies ordered for my first season at the Farmers Market! 
I'm off to get the " girls" settled in before the next storm! 

Debbie of Farmgirl Unleashed  ( my co- hostess and farmgirl in crime ) and I are looking forward to catching up with you all!  Have a great week and we'll see you on the hop!  

You don't have to live on a farm to join this hop!
 Farmgirl is a Condition of the Heart~ MaryJaneButters

Brag a little ( or a lot ) about your farmgirl talents! Include links of your farm, crafts, animals, quilts, home decor projects, thrifty make overs, gardens, chicken coops, recipes, studios and workshops. 
You get the idea! Link back here in your post and remember to share this hop with all of your blogging friends! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bugars, Blogging and Netflix

Ah, ah, AH choooooo!  Excuse me! Let me take minute to wipe my nose... There, all better.
I'm just checking in to say howdy  and tell you cold season has arrived at Dandelion House. 
We've done nothing but blow our noses, shovel snow and watch Netflix for what seems like days on end. Poor Max is bored. I'm not sure when the last time I washed my hair was and our daughter told me today we are out of toilet paper... Good thing we have plenty of Kleenex on hand! 

How's your winter going? 

 Here's hoping my blogging buddies are all healthy, happy! 
Hugs, ( from a distance of course) 

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