Category Archives: Home and Garden

TWO UNRELATED BUT JOYFUL SIGNS OF SPRING!

I look forward to the appearance of these beautiful lavender crocus, a patch that blooms without fail every spring. It has naturalized from a garden probably planted long ago and now springs up along the road’s edge at Niles Pond.

And we had our first sighting of plovers, not Piping Plovers mind you, but Kildeers!

SUPER SIMPLE DIY HAND SANITIZER RECIPE

If your skin breaks out in rashes from harsh chemical additives to personal care products, or you aren’t always near a sink for a thorough 20 second hand washing, here is a simple recipe for homemade hand sanitizer.

1/3 C. Aloe vera gel

2/3 C. Rubbing alcohol (99%)

Few drops of essential oil.

Combine all ingredients.

I had neroli oil on hand, but lavender oil, which has natural antiseptic properties would be even better.

Both essential oils and aloe are available at Common Crow.

Common Crow’s DIY Hand Sanitizer

8 oz.. Isopropyl alcohol, no lower than 70 percent OR Witch Hazel

4 oz. Aloe Vera gel

15 drops of your choice, can combine:

Medieval Mix (Aura Cacia)

Lemon Eucalyptus

Laveneder

Thyme

1.Put essential oils in glass jar and swirl to mix

2. Add alcohol

3. Add Aloe Vera and shake well.

4. Pour into squirt bottles.Natural antiseptic Lavender

PLEIN AIR PAINTING FOR LITTLE ONES!

My sweet, dear friend Colleen has a wonderful way with young children. She teaches the art classes for tiny people that are outdoor and seasonally themed. We can’t wait until Charlotte turns three!

PLEIN AIR ♥️Crocuses
ARTS and CRAFTS for LITTLE ONES
Montessori Art Kitchen ages 3 and up
weekdays 10:15-11:15
contact colleenapostolos@gmail.com
978-648-0601

GOLDEN FLOWER OF THE AZTECS

The brilliant red-orange Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) is a beneficial pollinator magnet. Plant and they will come! Grow a patch of milkweed next to your Mexican Sunflowers and you will not only attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and an array of bee species, but every Monarch Butterfly in the neighborhood will be in your garden.

Its many common names include Red Torch Mexican Sunflower, Bolivian Sunflower, Japanese Sunflower, but one of the loveliest is ‘Golden Flower of the Aztecs.’ Tithonia rotundifolia grows wild in the mountains of Central Mexico and Central America.

Mexican Sunflower is one of my top ten favorites for supporting Monarchs, is extremely easy to grow, and deer do not care for its soft, velvety leaves. Plant in average garden soil, water, and dead head often to extend the blooming period. Ours flower from July through the first frost. Collect the seedheads after the petals have fallen off, but before they dry completely and the songbirds have eaten all the seeds.

A GOLDEN SEA OF SUNFLOWERS AT THE STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL SCHOOL STREET SUNFLOWER FARM

The brand new beautiful School Street Sunflower field is not to be missed. With gently rolling hills, abundantly planted rows, and a wide, easy path to stroll (easy enough for a two-year-old to navigate), the 5 acres of sunflowers is a wildflower lover’s dream.

Paul Wegzyn and his Dad, also Paul Wegzyn, shared their enthusiasm for this exiting new venture.

There are picnic tables for those who would like to take lunch, and positioned artfully around the fields are photo props such as tractors and bales of hay, but for the most part, the scene is straight up gorgeous sunflowers (and bees!).

The variety planted blooms in 50 to 60 days from when planted and today is day 61. Only a few flowers have droopy seed-laden heads, or have passed. NOW is the time to go as the blooms will all have expired in another two weeks.

Kissable Butterflies

School Street Sunflower Farm

At the corner of Linebrook Road and School Street (for google maps type in – 79 Linebrook Road)

Ipswich, Massachusetts

Open 8am to sunset.

The cost is eight dollars during the week, ten dollars on weekends, and the ticket covers a full day. Wristbands are available if you would like to return the same day. Children under five are free.

Instagram: @schoolstreetsunflowers

Facebook: @schoolstreetsunflowers

Thoughtful sayings posted throughout the field ~

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”

LUSH SUMMER PLANTER GARDEN

Our planters for the Kendal Hotel and Black Sheep Restaurant, located at 350 Main Street in Kendal Square, Cambridge, are planted up in late spring. We keep them going with daily watering and fertilizing.

The hydrangeas look more and more beautiful as the summer progresses and I found a wonderful complementary purplish-blue and white striped petunia at Cedar Rock Gardens this year. With a name like ‘Blueberry Muffin,’  how could one resist purchasing. ‘Blueberry Muffin’ is holding its own and filling out nicely. It’s a keeper and on the list for next year.

Next time you’re in Cambridge, stop by and check out the Kendall Firehouse Hotel and come on in for a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The food is simply outstanding and the staff are wonderfully friendly and professional.

CHILDREN’S BUTTERFLY GARDENING WORKSHOP AT PHILIPS ANDOVER CHILDREN’S CAMPUS

Snapshots from a butterfly gardening workshop that I recently participated in at Philips Andover Children’s Campus. This wonderful program was coordinated with the Andover Gardening Club and Andover Memorial Hall Library. Many thanks to SHED educator Julie for inviting me to participate and for taking such great care of Charlotte while I worked with the kids!