Protecting the Strawberries Growing in Gutters

 I’ve been procrastinating doing this post that some of you have been waiting for, on the topic of how we’re protecting our strawberry plants from birds, squirrels, and other small creatures that may be drawn to our delicious berries, and have their fill of our harvest.  The reason I have been hesitant, is because I’ve come to realize I’m not thrilled with our solution, nor excited to share it with you.  I’d even go so far as to say that in all of the years Michael and I have collaborated together over creative projects, and problem-solving, this is one we just never saw eye to eye.… Read More

Strawberry Planting in Rain Gutters

 We’ve have grown strawberries in our gardens going for five seasons now, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it!
While strawberry plants generally comes back and produce for 3-4 years before they are done, we managed to squeeze one more year out of ours. This year however, it was truly time to start over. And so, we decided to really change things up and start anew, by planting and growing our new strawberry plants in rain gutters. We’ll be sharing with you this fun gardening experiment and the progress of it all, with any of it’s failures or successes, as we go along here.… Read More

A Simple Palette Compost Bin and Learning Organic Composting

I’ve finally jumped. We have built a simple compost bin, for the purpose of learning some organic composting, and it’s (hopefully) already cooking.


Noun – Decayed organic material used as a plant fertilizer.

Verb – Make (vegetable matter or manure) into compost: “don’t compost heavily infested plants”.

Synonym – fertilize – manure

For as long as I have been gardening, I have wanted to be making my own organic compost for our gardens.  Because we all know that what one is trying to grow organically, is going to grow best in healthy, rich, organic soil, that derives from organic compost.  While on the one topic I have learned a lot and made physical progress with gardening over the past several years, on the other, we have been buying compost in bags for the gardens.… Read More

4th of July

HaPpY 4th of JULY, Everyone!

Since I wanted some photos, to go along with our wishes for you,  I thought today would be a good day to show you where I put my painted American Birdhouse.  It’s out on the potting bench near thegardens!  So now you know! I’ve got a whole red-white and blue theme going on out there, and it’ll be there throughout the month of July.  Then I’ll likely change it up, to some other summer theme. 

 The birdhouse has held up very well in weather, despite the sun andrain beating on it.  Again, I credit that to the wax finish.… Read More

3 Little Garden Chairs / Refinishing

 There’s been these 3 little chairs, sitting in our basement for years now.  One of my husband Michael’s clients offered them to him, knowing we had triplets, and thinking maybe we could use them.  They are about toddler size. So he brought them home, and they’ve been in the basement ever since. I’ve never been a primary-colors kind of girl.  I thought maybe I would repaint them or do something with them at some point, for the kids, or maybe as available props for my photography studio.   But, I was just never inspired to ‘have-at’ them.

Until of course, I was.… Read More

Lessons Learned with Growing Strawberries

 Here at our homestead, we’re in our fourth year of gardening in the raised beds that Michael built.  This includes growing strawberries, which has come with a few surprises and lessons learned, some quite by accident! I thought I would tell you a little bit about that today. Especially because lately, we’ve had more strawberries than we’ve known what to do with, and it was the last thing we expected.

The first thing we learned, the very next morning after planting our very first strawberry starter plants 4 years ago, was that we needed to find a way to protect them from the birds and small animals, if we ever wanted to have any berries to pick.  There were squirrels feasting on our new plantings in our bed, and that put Michael in high gear.… Read More

Flower Photography, and History Repeating


I don’t know where time has gone, but I sure wish it would slow down some.  I’ve done the best I can all along, to cherish every moment of watching all of my children grow up, knowing it will all happen too fast. It’s yet another reason I school my kids myself. I don’t want to miss any of their fleeting childhood. Still, it seems like yesterday that my first baby girl, Alexis Grace, was born.  She grew up in the blink of an eye. Next thing I knew, she was in high school, and taller than me!  She’s athletic and strong, and it blows me away.Read More

On Faith, Gardening, and Digging Deep.



      Our family really loves Sundays.  It’s just a feel-good-family day, all the way around.

     This past Sunday after Mass, we all came home, and changed into our old clothes, so that we could get working in our garden beds.  Oh, the butterflies I get this time of year! It’s almost time for planting, so we needed to get all of the winter rye that we had growing in the beds, chopped down, and turned into the soil. There is much to do, to create soil rich enough to produce well for us.

     Whenever I’m working in the gardens, especially in the planting season, my thoughts most always turn to my faith in God.Read More

Early August Gardens, at Our House.

Just a quick update on how our gardens have grown. It’s August now.

The most exciting recent development, is we finally have some watermelons growing!

They are still fairly small. I forget what variety we planted, so maybe they won’t get much bigger.


I need to find the seed packet, and find out, because we’ve got a (passed due) deadline here!


We need to use the ‘Watermelon Patch’ as our ‘Pumpkin Patch’ soon!  If not yesterday.  If you were with us last year, you may recall we planted our pumpkins way too soon.  We had to harvest them by early October, and so we didn’t have any WE grew, by Halloween.  : ( But apparently, it takes 120 days to grow pumpkins!Read More

Garden Peek!> Early Summer 2011

I believe we’ve been both gardening and blogging, for about 3 years.  Our life is filled with so many various passions, there is more than we are actually able to get to blogging.  I sure try to get it all in though!  But one area that is especially hard to keep you all updated with, is the gardening!  Good gosh. Things grow and change SO fast, by the time I photograph what I want, edit the photos, and start putting a post together (while you know, living my life and doing 1,000 other things in the midst of it all), the post report, explaining the photos I took, don’t seem very current by the time I get to typing it out!Read More

Strawberries, Super-Sized.

It’s that time of year again, when we start sharing with you what we’ve got growing in our gardens!  For me, growing our own gardens is one of the greatest gifts of the season, and I revel in the joy of it!  So I am anxious to chit-chat with you in all of the gardening-related posts coming up, as we update you on this year’s fruits of our labors, and sharing with you all of the photos I’ve been taking as well.  I love to talk about gardening, so I hope you’ll all join me in interactive conversation, in the comments section throughout the season!Read More

Improvised Potting Bench

We’ve been blessed time and time again, with wood to burn in our wood stove through the cold seasons of the year.  Having a cozy fire going in our home, is definitely our preferred source of heat, and we’ve hardly had to invest much in keeping it going.  Oak pallets are dropped and stacked beside our driveway regularly through the winter, by Michael’s supply company, who is always looking to get rid of them.  They burn nice, hot & slow.

This load of tree wood is from the guy a few houses down, who was clearing off his lot behind his home.Read More