Kitchen Widow Garden

Looking at the weather forecast today and it seems like fall is on the way. This gets me in the mood to gets my garden ready for winter. I like getting the soil cleared and raked and mulched after a long summer of use.   And I do need the break from gardening all summer and canning this early fall. However, I miss the fresh food.  My solution is grow fresh herbs in my kitchen window over the winter.

So I have started my herbs- Parsley, Basil,  Rosemary and Lavender. I use seeds for some and cuttings for others. I make a little greenhouse with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Once the seeds germinate and leaves are maturing then I take off the wrap.


Springs of lavender I trimmed from a plant in my garden


Terra cotta pots are best as they hold in moisture needed to root


A little tent with a plastic bag.

Below is my parsley and basil that I started  from seed in march and cut all summer.


Well used parsley



This is a close up of the woody stems where new leaves grow. I am going to bring my old basil plant inside and keep trimming. When the plant went to flower last month, I trimmer it down to a few inches and hoped for new growth.

Woody stem with new leaves.

Woody stem with new leaves.


A little rosemary started

I found last year that my rosemary loved a nice cool window to grow. My kitchen windows were perfect. I would trim off a few springs to make a lemon chicken in the oven.  The plant will regrow.  Well worth the effort to have fresh herbs over the winter.


Smell of Fall in the Air

Been a chilly couple of days in New York. Absolutely beautiful sunny days with a chill in the air that makes you think about Autumn. My garden is finally starting to produce red tomatoes. I had more cucumbers than I knew what to do with and made many pints of pickles to get us through the winter. I cannot buy pickles in the store anymore as I am spoiled from eating ones from cucumbers grown in my gardens.

I was getting a little worried that I might not be canning sauce this year. Whenever I think about canning tomatoes I am reminded of my paternal grandmother and great- great grandmother.  They were two ladies who preserved the fruits of their gardens and passed that knowledge down to future generations. I cannot think of fall without thinking of sauce simmering on the stove.

My great great Grandmother Emma Borgwardt May

My great great Grandmother Emma Borgwardt May


Harvest time with my grandmother and a worker picking beans in the 1930’s

A busy summer of flowers

It has been too long since I posted but I have been busy in the garden both vegetable and flower. I will do a fast post now of some of my summer blooms. Upstate New York has had a wonderful summer ..a little rainy but great for the plants. I love being surrounded by such pretty things after a long cold New York Winter.  Most of these blooms were in Late June and July.  I promise to be better about posting now that gardening weather is slowing down.


Creeping Phlox


Wild Geranium


Lemon Drop Lily


Weigela Wine and Roses


Antique Peony


Old Red Poppy


Siberian Iris


Old Red Peony


Stella d’oro




Cone Flower


Wild Marjorum



Almost free garden

Now that the weather is cooperating, I am in my gardens all the time. I have a shady and muddy area in my yard that I felt needed a little perking up. However, I didn’t have the funds to purchase a lot of materials to make a new flower bed. I looked around for what I had at hand in my flower beds that could be transplanted. I found some black-eyed Susan, hostas and ferns that need to be thinned out. I have a rock wall I have been building that needed some help as falling over the winter. So I straightened out the rocks and took some of the extra stones to use as edging on my new bed. I purchased a few bags of garden soil to help the clay like soil.

Today was a local garden show where you can get amazing deals on plants. I donated a few as I was thinning out my flowers this year. I love that I can give back a little.  The plants are all donated by local gardeners to raise money to foster historic preservation efforts in the area. The prices are so reasonable and you know they are hearty to your growing zone. I bought some white iris and antique iris that are yellow with purple, forget -me -not and euphorbia.



New flower bed

New flower bed

The total cost of materials and plants was $25! And I have a lovely new area to enjoy .



Violets and Grandma

My Grandmother had fantastic flower gardens. I inherited her love of plants along with all things British. Her yard was shaded in parts and she had lovely pine trees that had large patches of violets around the bases. They spread and took over everything.

Grandma and I in her yard under the pines

Grandma and I in her yard under the pines


My mother dug up and brought to my childhood home some of these violets. When I was able to have my own home, I too added some of these violets to my gardens. I think of all the places they have grown and flourished.  I took this pictures of my violets blooming this morning.


Grandma’s Violets in my garden