• april lawn garden
    In the Garden

    TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN IN APRIL

    In Delaware, Zone 7, spring has officially sprung. The average last frost date for our county is today, April 9, and looking at the forecast, we just may be safe from further freezing. Break out your shorts! (My cryophilic teenage son never put his away!) Of course, as anxious, antsy, and ambitious as spring weather makes people, it is still too early to plant annual flowers and summer vegetables around here. Growing up, living in plant zone 6, I remember everyone saying you had to wait until Mother’s Day to plant flowers. (And you certainly couldn’t wear white until Memorial Day!) Planting annual flowers isn’t actually a date on your…

  • pine needles mulch
    In the Garden

    What kind of mulch is right for you?

    Spring has arrived! That means flowers, sprouts, birds, and warmth! But also it means yard work! I recently read about changing your attitude from negative to positive by thinking instead of “have to,” think “get to.” So rather than “I have to mow the lawn and it’s hot and loud and messy” (of course if you hate it that much you might want to consider killing your lawn), say, “I get to mow the lawn and be outside in the sunshine, get vitamin D, and smell springtime.” Consider yourself lucky you have a yard where you can also play and relax, lucky it isn’t cold and snowing, and lucky you are…

  • sweetbay magnolia magnolia virginiana
    In the Garden

    Must-Have Plant of the Month: Sweetbay Magnolia

    Spring is just around the corner and we are soooooo looking forward to seeing everything start to bloom! We are dreaming of fragrant warm breezes and seeing all the colors of nature pop up and out. When we think of fragrant spring and summer breezes, the magnolia tree definitely comes to mind. There are dozens of types of magnolia trees, all quite beautiful. They are ancient and said to have been around before bees. Therefore the flowers evolved tough enough to be pollinated by beetles. One of our favorite magnolia trees is the late spring-blooming sweetbay magnolia. The sweetbay magnolia, magnolia virginiana, is a flowering tree native to the Atlantic…

  • kids forest
    In the Family

    Don’t Tell Kids This Is The Best Time of Their Lives!

    I’m no psychologist and I am far from a perfect mother. I strongly believe in gray areas so I’m not the biggest rule enforcer. My kids have eaten cereal for dinner. Sometimes when I’m grouchy or busy I send them upstairs or outside, or give them a screen. Only time will tell how many of my kids will end up in counseling. I try to be a good parent though and help them navigate their way in this world. Recently in two separate circumstances I heard about an adult telling a child that the child is now living the best years of his life. The first time the parent was…

  • rocky coast maine
    On the Road

    5 BEST REASONS TO VISIT MAINE

    I know it’s February and you may be thinking, “Seriously, Maine?” I realize that as I write this article, temperatures in Maine are in the single digits and the ground is covered in snow. No one is saying you should move there! It can take a while to plan a trip, so I’m suggesting that you should start planning one. There is a reason Maine has been called Vacationland for decades. I recommend going to Maine in the summer or fall, when it is breathtakingly gorgeous there. Tom and I have been to Maine three times, twice together. We each went to Maine with our parents in August 1982, 15…

  • Osmanthus heterophyllus Goshiki
    In the Garden

    Must-Have Plant of the Month: Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’

    I was looking around for a plant that stands out this time of year, and I came “this” close to picking another red shrub! I knew if I did, after last month’s post, everyone would think (know?) I’m obsessed. So I decided to branch out (haha) and choose another colorful evergreen, Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki.’ “Goshiki” actually means “five colors” in Japanese and refers to the many shades of color on the shrub’s variegated leaves. Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’ is also known as False Holly or Holly Olive. It is not a holly nor an olive shrub. The evergreen leaves resemble holly leaves but are opposite on the branch rather than alternating.…

  • Valentine's hearts snowy day
    In the Family

    Top 5 Things To Do With Your Family In February

    Go outside and play Bundle up and go build a snowman! Make snow angels, go sledding, or throw snowballs! If you’re lucky and there’s none of that dreaded white stuff around, go outside and challenge your family shooting some hoops, playing football, or just playing a game of catch (that’s my speed). It’s a great cure for the cabin fever that sets in this time of year! Make Valentines Even if you don’t have crayons, construction paper, and glitter in your house, you can still get creative. Make Valentines out of whatever you’ve got (my father was famous for writing humorous and inspirational words in a spiral on plain old…

  • chicken raising chickens
    On the Farm

    How To Get Started Raising Backyard Chickens

    In my post from November, I discussed why you should have backyard chickens (even if they’re in your front/side yard like ours) and all the benefits of having chickens. If that got you thinking you should raise some chickens, here are the details of how to get started raising backyard chickens! First step: Find out if you are allowed to keep hens in your town or neighborhood. If you are not, work with your town or homeowners’ association to have it changed!  There are many ways to compromise so that neighbors avoid what they don’t want but you get what you want: chickens and eggs! • For example, you can…

  • travel trailer camper camping tent campsite
    On the Road

    What is the best way to camp?

    You know I think camping in a camper is the best way to travel, but camping in general offers most of the same great benefits. We highly recommend traveling and camping to everyone who is able to get away. We are thrilled with our little travel trailer camper, but we can see there are pros and cons to every form of camping. What is the best way to camp? People have different needs, different goals, and different budgets. Which one is right is for you? TENT:  $15 – $2000 Let’s start with basics. For the diehard outdoorsy types, this is the only way to camp and going any further in…

  • yellow petunia
    In the Garden

    Let’s Think Spring!

    Only 9 weeks to go until spring!  Until then let’s think spring with some pictures of flowers! OSTEOSPERMUM ZINNIA ARGYRANTHEMUM HIBISCUS TORENIA HOSTA OSTEOSPERMUM DOUBLE CALIBRACHOA CALIBRACHOA COLEUS BIDENS ROSE HYDRANGEA DAHLIA BACOPA IPOMEA VERBENA PURSLANE PETUNIA SALVIA PETUNIA CELOSIA VINCA MARIGOLD DAHLIA LOBELIA IVY GERANIUM MARIGOLD AGERATUM GERANIUM (Can you tell I love to take pictures of the flowers we grow???) What is your favorite spring flower?  Let us know!