allison's new garden


I spent the other afternoon digging a couple of raised beds to get some starter plants and seeds into the ground. Tilling away, I dug a winter’s worth of pent up slushy city street aggression up and out of my life. My arms still ache. Gardening is an incredibly zen pursuit for me. I start out rushed and then let time and trouble roll off my back. I’m very grateful for the chance to plant my veggies and some pretty flowers. It’s been hard going on my fire escape—and in the past I’ve been an interloper in other people’s gardens where they weren’t that interested in sharing the space. Alas, Mother Nature has found me a new space — I have access to this incredible overtaken garden upstate no one is interested in cultivating except moi. It’s perfect. So far I‘ve planted zinnias, broccoli, beets, mesclun, wildflowers and arugula. That was last weekend. It’s not easy to be a week-end gardener as I read in a recent NY Times article . But I am going to give it a go. I’m set to get a new batch planted this coming week. I’ll keep you posted on my failures and victories, respectfully.

What activity do you like to do around the house & garden that relieves your stress? Allison R

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allison’s new garden


I spent the other afternoon digging a couple of raised beds to get some starter plants and seeds into the ground. Tilling away, I dug a winter’s worth of pent up slushy city street aggression up and out of my life. My arms still ache. Gardening is an incredibly zen pursuit for me. I start out rushed and then let time and trouble roll off my back. I’m very grateful for the chance to plant my veggies and some pretty flowers. It’s been hard going on my fire escape—and in the past I’ve been an interloper in other people’s gardens where they weren’t that interested in sharing the space. Alas, Mother Nature has found me a new space — I have access to this incredible overtaken garden upstate no one is interested in cultivating except moi. It’s perfect. So far I‘ve planted zinnias, broccoli, beets, mesclun, wildflowers and arugula. That was last weekend. It’s not easy to be a week-end gardener as I read in a recent NY Times article . But I am going to give it a go. I’m set to get a new batch planted this coming week. I’ll keep you posted on my failures and victories, respectfully.

What activity do you like to do around the house & garden that relieves your stress? Allison R

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adventures in beekeeping: the bees arrive!



We have four thousand new buddies at our River Cottage today. That’s right, the bees have finally arrived, after being delayed a couple of weeks due to weather. These are Italian bees that were shipped from Georgia to Betterbee, where Chad picked them on Saturday morning. The box they came in was about the size of a toaster oven. Because it was cold outside, and they had been traveling for days, the honeybees were really mellow, all huddled together and softly buzzing. Needless to say, I’ve never seen so many bees in one place. And, I never thought I’d say this, but honey bees are damn cute! Nothing like those pesky yellow jackets or chunky bumblebees. Approximately four thousand bees were in that box, along with the queen in her own special container. To get the bees in the hive, you pull out the queen’s box, place it in the hive, and shake all the other bees in. They are dying to be near the queen — whose box has a door made out of candy that bees eat to free her — and follow her immediately. Amazing, huh? Chad got stung only once. Sadly, some bees did die in the transfer. We think the cold temp may have been too much for them. But the next day, the sun came out and we could see the busy workers coming and going from the hive’s entrance. We’ll check on them in a few days to make sure the queen has made her way successfully out of the box. Wanna see more? Click here to watch Chad’s the installation of the bees on YouTube — Angela M.

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adventures in beekeeping: flowers on the menu


Our bees are late. They were supposed to arrive last Saturday, but at the last minute we got a call saying they wouldn’t be available until this Saturday… something about the weather still being a touch too cold for them. We used our extra weekend to get our garden ready for our a buzzing friends. When we bought the place, the front garden was a bit of an overgrown mess. A wild vine was consuming the fireplace, and the little patch of dirt was an uneven cluster of flowers and weeds. Chad’s been clearing out the clutter, and this Saturday it was finally ready for some planting. We heard that bees really respond to purple flowers, so we put in some May Night Salvia, Emerald Blue Moss Phlox and my favorite, Provence Lavender. This will keep things pretty and tasty for a month or so. But what we need to do next is plant some autumn blooming flowers, so the bees will be kept busy for months and months. Something yellow, perhaps. Any suggestions? — Angela M.

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hot hose! cynthia rowley goes pink at target

We spotted this in the new MetHome and had to blog it. At Target, Cynthia Rowley has turned a tired old garden staple into something fierce. Behold the hot pink garden hose, sure to give your shed a firey accent. Sadly, it’s not available online, so you better mosey on over to your local store and pick one up before they’re gone. Priced at just ten bucks, they’re sure to sell fast!

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