Friday, April 18, 2014

A Fourth Season!

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I am so excited to be back here at Tend in it's fourth season and am so appreciative to all of the wonderful women who have contributed to this space over the years. I recently took some time to scroll back to read past posts dating all the way back to 2011. What a wealth of knowledge and inspiration this little site here holds! And thanks to all of our readers who visit and comment and make writing here all the more fun.

When I was peeking back to the very beginning of Tend I found my very first post. And then this little movie too. It's fun to see how much my garden and space has changed in just a few years.

Spring is truly taking it's time here at Second and Edgemont. We had a long, cold, snowy winter and it is still a bit chilly for mid April. The garden is slowly waking up and I am itching to get my hands dirty. But I remain patient. There is something so humbling about how little control we as gardeners really do have. We can tend to but not force our gardens to grow.

Things are happening out there though without much of my help at all. Lettuce and pea shoots have emerged, the hens are laying every day and the strawberries are just peeking through the soil.

I am still dreaming about a rooftop bee hive and hope to learn more from Melissa, who keeps bees and will be joining us here every Tuesday.

Welcome back to Tend!  I look forward to documenting my garden here each Friday with you.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April finally spring is here...


I am thrilled to join Tend and share with you my urban farming experience.

My husband, Dan, and I live in a row house in Philadelphia and have a pretty big backyard for the city.
We've been keeping chickens for about 3 years.
After this long and cold winter I was ready for the spring. This winter I was growing another kind of plant, my newborn Chloe Rose. She is 3 and a half months old. I am happy to finally get some time outside in the backyard. Dan cleaned up a little and we are looking at damages from the cold we had. We lost a rosemary bush!  This year is exciting I am adding some fruit trees to my collection, I have been dreaming of an orchard but in the city...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

freckled hen farm spring beginnings

oh, it feels so good to be back at tend for another season! i just love this space. the knowledge & experience our contributors bring to this project inspires me every single week! i hope you'll visit our contributors page to learn a bit more about our new gardeners in this space. they're amazing women.

as for freckled hen farm, we're moving right on along. we're thankful for shorter winters here in the south. at the first sign of spring, you'll find us planting our sugar snaps & salad greens. once the hot summers hit, we're ready to move up north. as for now, we're content to just soak up the warm spring days.

we did have a hard freeze a couple of nights ago. we covered our flowers with bed sheets (except for the hydrangeas... oops! will those make a comeback, friends?). we also used covering for our broccoli, cabbage & kale. 

we have yet to make our first harvest, but it will happen soon. i am antsy for a nourishing kale salad.

 this farm is such a gift & we're grateful for every single day to dig our hands into the soil. i cannot wait to share what we learn as we settle into this land.

- natalie

Monday, April 14, 2014

TEND 2014 Season

Welcome to the 2014 season of TEND!  I'm thrilled to be contributing weekly this year!

Let me start off with a quick tour of my garden.  My husband and I own a 1940's bungalow that sits on a 1/4 acre lot just outside of Seattle, Washington.  We have a bit of everything happening in our garden; old growth trees and perennials, herbs, vegetables, fruits, sun lovers, shade gardens, container gardens, and lots and lots of new additions we've been incorporating throughout the 10 years we've lived here.  

Things seem pretty bare right now in the early Spring and are just starting to peak through the soil and fill in.  As the weeks and months continue, I'm excited to share the growth that will take place around my home.

Thank you for joining us here at TEND!  We love having you here.  Happy Spring!

Friday, October 18, 2013

seasonal interest in the garden

i think for a lot of people in the northeast, autumn in the garden can feel a bit blah. the harvest comes to an end, plants have begun to peter out and well.... things tend to look a bit dead.

but i believe with some creative selection, the fall garden can be quite beautiful even without having to buy mums and ornamental cabbages

over the years my goal has been to create a garden with seasonal interest and to appreciate the beauty in the many cycles of a plant. selecting plants with beautiful bark, seed heads, leaf texture and pattern can all enhance the fall garden even into the winter months. DSC_0348 DSC_0325
this crape myrtle not only produces beautiful white flowers in late summer but also pretty little star shaped seed heads and a gorgeous bark that sheds into a stunning, mottled reddish-grey hue.

choosing plants that produce interesting seed heads can create a beautiful billowy landscape. ornamental grasses and joe pye weed are what i am loving in my garden right now. DSC_0335 DSC_0352
i especially love these Northern Sea Oats with their bronzed flower heads that shimmer and rustle in the wind. they look beautiful in a fall flower arrangement too. DSC_0342
purple hyacinth bean is one of my favorite annual climbers. they produce a lovely purple bean type flower which then turns into this beautiful bright purple seed pod. these are growing up our chicken run. there will be plenty of seeds to be saved for next season.

our dwarf weeping crab apple tree out front looks beautiful with it's branches dripping with fruit. i think i appreciate it's beauty in the fall even more than it's dainty little pink flowers in the spring. it's a nice pop of color at this time of year DSC_0333
although i cut back a lot of the black eyed susans and cone flowers once they have died back, i do like to leave some for the birds. we love watching the gold finches and chickadees feast on their seed heads. these seeds are also easy to save for next year. a little homemadepacket of these makes a nice gift for a gardening friend. DSC_0330 DSC_0336 DSC_0338
plants such as lamb's ear, sage, santolina, and kale all have a beautiful grey- blue tone that blends well with purples and greens. they all have a tougher, hardier leaf that allows them to last later into the year sometimes even able to withstand some light frosts.

these are just a few of my favorites. i'll highlight more plants and ideas for fall in the upcoming weeks.

Friday, September 20, 2013

autumn is here

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autumn certainly has arrived here at second and edgemont.
things are slowing down a bit out there but there is still quite an abundance.
the light is changing and so has the garden's palette.

every few days i find just a handful of cherry tomatoes.
but herbs like thyme and sage are still plentiful. i plan to hang some to dry this week on the sun porch.

the hens are molting and like the nightly temps their egg supply has dipped.
but the horseradish is ready to be harvested. it's  doubled in size from last year.  time to make horsradishy deviled eggs!

the cone flower has all gone to seed.
but the dwarf weeping crab apple tree is dripping with fruit. i'll leave a few for the birds but the rest will be combined with other apples to make a tart applesauce and butter.

what's still growing in your garden?