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Joanne Bourne
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I remember in Iran, there used to be these small, very sour fruits. Maybe ... plums. Strangely enough, after many months of very few vegetables and no fruit in the market -- those plums were just exactly what i wanted.
Toggle Commented 47 minutes ago on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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I'd never heard of them. But I went looking. Something like this, I take it: http://www.gardenista.com/posts/10-easy-pieces-plant-blankets http://www.hgtvgardens.com/garden-basics/grow-guide-how-do-i-protect-plants-from-frost That is so cool.
Toggle Commented 23 hours ago on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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I've never grown roses, and I've always wanted to. When I was growing up we had rose vines running up and over the brick garage. They were smallish red roses, just very simple. Only a few petals. And oh, how those roses filled the air with their smell. And they seemed to be in bloom for months. I'd like to grown those roses.
Toggle Commented 23 hours ago on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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Hi Shannon -- You are so lucky to have these memories, though I imagine it was hard work and you spent at least some of the time wishing you'd never see another string bean. I put out bird mesh to protect the tomatoes from birdy-thieves. Mostly though, I get troubled by squirrels. I will admit -- yes, I will admit it -- I hate squirrels.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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Hi Sonya -- Autumn for you, huh? (I'm trying to work out in my head where you'll be in the growing season.) Definitely harvest time for a lot of stuff. Around here, we have lots of pick-your-own produce. Strawberries in the spring. In the fall, apples mostly. We're a big apple-producing area. I used to take the kids and we'd do this. Now I try to get out myself and do my own picking.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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Hi Anne -- I believe cities are several degrees warmer than the surrounding countryside. Something to do with all those flat, hard, reflective surfaces. The sacks over small wood frames sounds like a good idea. We don't have as many things come in hessian sacks these days, I think. Mostly all plastic.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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The plastic jugs milk and juice come in are supposed to be able to act as cloches. In fact, the other day I was talking to an old men in the local town, hanging about on a bench outside the town's bookstore. He recommended those little plastic 'hats' for the garden. Locally we get very unpredictable weather in the spring. The mountains catch the winds from both east and west and create dozens of little microclimates. Strange to think the frankly unlovely cut-off mild jugs or soda bottles are the utilitarian descendents of the lovely glass cloches.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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Yes. One does try to protect the tender young plants. Fortunately I always seemed to have loads of spare leaves left in piles from the fall before. Certainly enough to rake over the veggie garden. We had marigolds, lots of them, in the spaces around and between the edible stuff. I believe this is supposed to protect the plants from invading insects. Perhaps those zinnias served the same purpose ...
Toggle Commented yesterday on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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I too have become distressed by the declining quality of fruits and vegetable in the stores. There is not so much taste and smell resemblance between what's in the bins and, y'know, vegetables. I just wish I had the time and the location to grow at least some of my own. It is so satisfying. In the past, I've tried to grow some vegetables that weren't just in the common run of things. Heirloom varieties of tomatoes, for instance. I have had what one might politely call 'mixed success' at this. I fear I'm not a highly skilled gardener. Cloches go way back, historically. Before 1630, anyway, when they were mentioned in a gardening book of the time. A lot of these pictures are from the Colonial Williamsburg historical garden.
Toggle Commented yesterday on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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Hi Mary Jo -- I didn't grow up with any kind of veggie plot. I've felt very lucky when I've had a bit of ground to work. My father grew up on a farm though. He'd shake his head at the vegetables and fruits available in grocery stores and say what was in there was what they'd have fed to the pigs back in his farm youth. Nowadays, I buy from a farmer's market in season. Some of them -- can I say I suspect some of them sell produce that doesn't come from their farm at all, but is just bought up at the nearest wholesale market.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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Every site where I went to look at these old cloches, I saw also the modern equivalent. Plastic soda bottles. It makes so much sense to use these. It's recycling, for one thing. And they don't have to be stored for all the long winter. That might be one of the differences between the last century and this one: many people, even when they can put a small plot of ground into garden, find themselves without much space to store equipment from one year to the next.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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HI HJ -- Yes. The terra cotta jars are for protecting lettuces and rhubarb. The tops often lifted off to release humidity, apparently. I'm not sure whether they are called 'cloche' or not. The bell shape would seem to let them into the category ... The glass cloches are lovely, are they not? Great ornaments.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Garden Bells at Word Wenches
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Cloches were sort of a poor man's mini-greenhouse. They could hold about one plant, so you needed a goodly number of them. You had to keep an eye on them so as not to scorch a delicate plant in the sun. Keep another eye on to guard from moisture build-up and mildew. But, oh, how useful. Cloches didn't just protect against the cold, they held in moisture and kept the wind out, they stand between the tasty succulent little plants and birds, deer, slugs and such hungry beasts like that. Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Word Wenches
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Oh *blush*. I am so glad you like Black Hawk. It's going to be out in audiobook soon -- I don't remember the date but it's in a month or two. I can say nice things about the audiobooks because the dramatic performance is a new and distinct artwork and I can admire it for that. They've give me the most perfect narrator for Black Hawk. She'd Kristen Potter and she is just great. I can hardly wait to see what she does with the story. I know exactly what you mean about needed great fiction at certain points in the writing cycle. One gets so very tired of the laborious course of writing and wants to leap into a story where someone else has done all the work. Very sorry to hear about the wrist. I get this carpal tunnel syndrome. Dreadful stuff when our bodies refuse to let us work.
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2014 on What We're Reading in February at Word Wenches
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Criminy -- you're right. Lymond's voice is very English in my head. Don't know wy.
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2014 on What We're Reading in February at Word Wenches
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I'll have to pick up the McKillip book. I love her writing.
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2014 on What We're Reading in February at Word Wenches
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I always find cool new books, here at the end of the month. Grace Burrowes -- I see she has a recent audio book out at Tantor. I'm looking forward to get my hands on Cathy Maxwell's next one. (It'll have to wait till I get to the TBR pile ...) I'm a big fan of Steampunk, so I will certainly have to look into the McMaster's book. I haven't read anything by her. So many books ... so little time.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2014 on What We're Reading in February at Word Wenches
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I'm going to check the Connie Brockway book out. It happens I haven't read a lot of hers, but what I've read I liked very much. I was watching the BBC series, 'The Tudors,' recently and it's got me all het up to read some fiction set in that era.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2014 on What We're Reading in February at Word Wenches
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I've never read a bio of Millay. I love her work, but know very little about her life. The wiki says "known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs." Hmmm. Sounds interesting.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2014 on What We're Reading in February at Word Wenches
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Interesting take on a 'wounded hero'. Reminds me of some of my favorite books. I'll keep an eye out for this one.
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2014 on What We're Reading in February at Word Wenches
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Let's see what's piled up here beside my reading chair . . . fiction, non-fiction, Pottery Barn catalogs, pens and notebooks . . . I'm reading/browsing/researching medieval history again, so I'm currently immersed in a stack of excellent academic tomes on the Norman Conquest and medieval France and taking notes like mad. Fiction-wise, I've been reading some mysteries. I just finished The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, Alan Bradley's sixth mystery featuring the intrepid, impish, wonderful Flavia de Luce. Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2014 at Word Wenches
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Hi Sonya -- We forget how few municipal services there were in Regency England and how inefficient the ones in place. I imagine folks who moved through the city with their sleek teams of horses had a mental map of where they could stop and water -- in the same way mothers driving to Massachusetts with a a car load of kids know exactly how far it i to the next rest stop.
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2014 on Horse troughs at Word Wenches
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Hi RevMelinda -- There's a wonderful post for someone, talking about the history of water fountains. After the 1850s they were a hot philanthropic item and -- sure 'nuff -- one of reasons was the Temperance Movement. Before sanitary water fountains, beer was safer to drink than water. Drinking water was often put opposite the local public house to provide an alternative. Or they were put in churchyards as a visible sign of the church's concern for the poor. I feel like I have to mention Bills Horse Troughs -- an Australian philanthropy that placed 700 water troughs for 'horses and other dumb animals' in Australia and other countries in the Twentieth Century. Two of them landed as far away as England. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bills_horse_troughs
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2014 on Horse troughs at Word Wenches
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I can see horses 'testing the bouquet' of the water, running their noses through it, lapping up a bit and holding it on their tongues.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2014 on Horse troughs at Word Wenches
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One of the things I liked about Germany is they have long walks through all their wild places and on the edges of cities. Everywhere there's a good view, they put a bench.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2014 on Horse troughs at Word Wenches
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