Good Growin'

Your mind is a GARDEN.

Your thoughts are the seeds.

You can grow FLOWERS

or you can grow WEEDS.

~ anonymous

Dear sisters, HAPPY SUMMER! It’s official. Today is the first day of summer and I couldn’t be happier… Why? Well, why not? Yes, it’s going to get hot, and humid and sticky and sweaty and buggy, and some days it might just be plain miserable. So miserable you can’t even think straight unless your within inches of your air conditioner at all times. I’ve been known to take my meals there if needed. ( I’m 51, and hotter than ever ) But, you know what? That’s not all that happens in summer time! For starters, once school let’s out ( three days left for our freshmen in high school)  we get to spend more time with our chill ins’ just chillin’. Some people get to go on vacation to sights unseen or perhaps travel some new territory for adventure or to experience another culture. Other’s go to family reunions, or to a cottage, cabin or GLAMP- site to relax and unwind. To me the best part about going away in the summer is coming home. Not because I don’t like going away to the BEACH or other places ( you know better than that) but because I MISS MY GARDEN when I’m away and I’m always anxious to see how much things have grown in my absence.

Summer is here and it’s GOOD GROWIN’ from here on out! I can’t wait to show you what’s bloomin’ at Dandelion House ( weeds and all) and along the shorelines. Come on! Grab your big floppy garden hat and let’s get going!

David Austin English Rose

No matter the size of your plot or pot we farmgirls just love babying along our gardens and farmyards don’t we? We also love to nurture creative seeds that have been sitting dormant for too long. We plant our dream seeds in springtime and we count on summer to give them their time in the sun to flourish That’s what summer is really for FLOURISHING. I’m gonna confess something before I shower you in flower photos. I am NOT a master gardener, nor do I know the Latin names for most of my plants. I am NOT a soil expert. Truth be told, I don’t want to go to ” deep” into the science of plants. I just want to paint with them and make pretty bouquets. Does that make me a ” fake farmgirl “? Nah, I didn’t think so.

Deck Garden at Dandelion House ! Catmint, Knock Out Landscape rose, Day Lily, Hydrangea, ‘Endless Summer ‘, Oriental Lilly

I’m a self- taught garden girl all the way! I don’t know A LOT of things about gardening, but I do know that it’s pure inspiration and a passion to dig in the dirt that started the first seeds of all great gardens and that’s the area I like to hang out in the most when it comes to gardening. I AM an expert at day dreaming, and I love flipping through some of my favorite magazines and books for inspiration; and how can I leave out pinterest? As much as I love pinterest though, I still like to curl up in bed late at night with a cool breeze coming through the windows, the lights down low and READ. Naturally, my MaryJanesFarm is top of the heap on my stack of magazines I keep on my night stand. That’s how I get my farmgirl juices primed with all the can-do spirit I’ll need to tackle my gardening projects! My next favorite gardening magazine is The English Garden. It’s an indulgence I allow myself because( 39.00 a year to subscribe)

I am a bit of an anglophile. Have I told you this before? Well, anyway, It’s true, I have a HUGE crush on England. Not the big city of London and I’m not holding my breath at the royal families every move, nor to I take my tea in the proper English tradition, but a trip to the English Countryside is on the tippy top ( right next to MaryJane’sFarm) of my bucket list! Did you know author Susan Branch and her husband Joe travelled to England last year by way of the Queen Mary 11? She blogged their entire adventure from the planning stages right up until they set foot back on shore in Martha’s’ Vinyard. I was glued to her daily updates and so were hundreds of her readers she endearingly calls ” girlfriends”. I never turned all the way green with envy, but I came close a couple of times!

While I was in high school I had a guitar teacher who was from ‘ over the pond”. Needless to say I was all thumbs at my lessons because I was ” in love ” with his accent and couldn’t concentrate on anything else! His name was John, he had brown hair and was very soft spoken, oh, and he played guitar too, I think. 🙂 SWOON! Someone splash me with cold water please! Anyway… Back to England, New England, uh where were we? Oh yes, Plymouth, MA. America’s Hometown named after ” the ” Plymouth in England.

Author, Beatrix Potter‘s Hill Top House and Garden 

I dream of walking these paths and soaking up the inspiration and possibly sneaking a peak at some of Peter Rabbit’s and Jemimah Puddle Duck’s relatives!

I love the well thought-out messiness of an English cottage garden. Plants so thick you can barely see the ground,( no mulch necessary) elbowing one another out of the way like siblings fighting for the limelight, plant heads flopping over walkways, and the great waves of foliage and color that provide the structure that every good garden needs.

Butterfly Bush, Coreopsis, Autumn Sedum Joy, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Red Knock Our Roses.

Same as above with English Lavender in bottom right corner.

Endless Summer Blue Hydrangea

Greenhouse Garden in rear and raised bed cut flower gardens. Dahlia’s, Sunflowers, Zinnias, and MORE!

In reality, no good garden is ever done! I’m constantly re-thinking different plants and moving things around for better performance. This year it dawned on my that like most gardeners I’ve been spending all of my energy in the backyard and for good reason, that’s where my little annual flower farm grows and my largest flower beds are, but I’ve been neglecting an area under the trees in our front yard for the entire 12 years we’ve lived here, so I decided this was the year to add a tree garden under our stand of tall pin oaks in the front yard.

 Shade loving, Pachysandra, creeping myrtle and English ivy.

I started a few flats of English Ivy a few years ago then I got side-tracked.

It’s doing great in the area I planted it in so I’ve added three more flats so it’ll start creeping up the other tree trunks too!

English Ivy

Good Growin’ isn’t really that hard. Well, the diggin’ and sweatin’ part of it is, but not the dreamin’ and selecting plants part.

I follow a few common sense steps when I garden:

I give my plants what they need: Read the label markers your come with when and follow the requirements. When in doubt ask your nursery experts or your gardening friends. Most nursery’s will offer plants that thrive in your area.

If you keep chickens, let’m help out with providing compost for your gardens.

The Cottage Hen’s wondering why I only brought the camera and no treats!

Your girls and your plants will love you for it!

I simply shovel off the top layer of my chicken run a couple in spring and again in the Fall and give a little top dressing to my plants!

I’m off to meet a farmgirl sister in Plymouth today so I’d better go get gussied up! I hope this summer brings you all you hope for and may your dream seeds flourish in the sun! And remember, a little healthy weeding is good for your mind and your garden!

Until our next shoreline visit~

Happy Gardening,

Much love,

Sister Deb xoxo

  1. Adrienne says:

    Since I’m a city gal and farmgirl at heart, I will celebrate spring in a lavender sachet making class. We have fields of the lovely flowers and instead of making the trek to appreciate the work of the growers, we will save their wonderful scent in a sachet to tuck inside the pillowcase for better sleep. Ah!

    Sounds divine Adrienne! I think my three favorite scents in the garden are Lavender, Peonies and Roses… and not in that order because I love them all the same!  Thanks for the note! xo Deb

  2. Joan says:

    Oh yes Happy Summer – I just came in for a sit down after having been DOING outside – HOT now – into the fans and craft room where it is cool. I too love the English of gardening – I was raised by an English bred GrandMother – I can still smell our gardens – ahhhh You have got a wonderful garden going and it is so exciting to see it. I was blessed with a trip to England and did/stayed in the countryside, my friend that was with thought I was crazy going to all the gardens but each was different, loved Ann Hathaway’s and B Potter’s and on and on. Hope you get to make a trip there someday soon. Thanks for sharing your wonderful words. God Bless


    Oh, you lucky girl Joan! I  will get there one day! Blessings to you too and stay cool! xoxo Deb

  3. daisy says:

    What a lovely garden. I can see why you love summer. Enjoy!

    Hi Daisy! Thanks for reading 🙂

    xo Deb

  4. Hi Deb, Your gardens are beautiful, and I too want to go and sit in one of those english gardens, and have tea and crumpets. :)…maybe one day. I have to admit that when it starts getting hot and I have to finally break down and turn on the air, I then find myself lazy and not wanting to pull weeds any longer. (I need to work on that) In fact maybe I should get off this computer now and get out there and pull a few weeds. lol. (I’ll think about it) Keep smiling your beautiful smile as that is the prettiest flower of all we can grow. Be Blessed. Neta

    Hi Neta! So glad you stopped by:) I hear ya when the heat comes… I get lazy too… That will be my next post.. Lazy, Hazy Dayzy’s of Summer LOL!

    Hugs and as always, thanks so much for reading 🙂 xoxo Deb


  5. Hi Deb!
    Your garden is looking beautiful! And the chickens pic is adorable. I’m with you…I love the English style cutting garden. Love how your English Ivy looks…you’ve inspired me to get some this year!

    Happy Summer to you and your family!

    Nicole (Suburban Farmgirl)

    Hey there sister! Good for you… the English Ivy grows sort of slow, but once it gets going it spreads very well… It adds  a lush feeling to those otherwise tall, bare, tree trunks..

    Happy Summer to you and yours! xo Deb

  6. Kathy Brown says:

    I love your garden (and everyone elses). I noticed that walking through a neighborhood really gives me time and vantage point to see the gardens that everyone has worked on. I have had chickens before and named them after all my aunts. My mother asked that I not tell me aunts that but I don’t think they would have minded. I am like you in that I love the garden but don’t desire to know everything there is to know. I more enjoy the visual and smells of the garden and there lies my enjoyment. Kathy


    Hi Kathy,

    How nice to hear from you and thank you for sharing your appreciation for beautiful yards and gardens. I agree, a slow walk around the neighborhood to see what everyone else is up to in their gardens is great fun and often leads to more garden work at home! Thanks so much for reading! xo Deb

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