I currently reside on a 2-acre property in South Central Pennsylvania with my husband J, daughter E and 2 pups D and R. I love this heading photo of the three of us that was shot by the wonderful Diane at DI images, she did our first Christmas as a family of 3 photo shoot, we left the pups at home because they tend to get to crazy when we take them out in public.

On to the purpose of this blog……

I LOVE gardening…. to me it is not a chore but a stress reliever. My husband never understood that until he saw me hack down a bunch of bushes with a shovel (yes, it is possible), I think he may have been a bit fearful of me since. I thrive to make our property a perfect little homesteaders haven, but it is still lacking a flock of chickens, a few pigs and steers; oh and of course the cats. Wait we need a barn first, right? (Poor J) I have worked in greenhouses and nurseries most of my working career, except for a brief stint as a one room schoolhouse teacher, (I learned that year that I prefer plants even more than a room full of 27 children ranging from age 6 to 15). I also worked as a cook for a year, and then went on to a few years as a pharmacy technician; also another one of my favorite jobs was a credit union teller. I am currently a stay at home mom, and a part time student to earn my Bachelors degree in Business Administration.

My first job was at the age of 13 at my cousin’s greenhouse, I learned so much in my 5 years there, ferns can grow pretty much anywhere, you can even take a hack saw to the roots and it will survive. (Please do not try this unless you have confidence in your green thumb). In a greenhouse I was at home, in my safe place, I could lose myself for hours and feel totally refreshed when I was done at the end of the day. I loved helping customers pick out the perfect plants for their sunny yet shaded area that nothing grows, (yes please challenge accepted). I grew up in western Pa. so my first job was in that area. We sold so many HUGE fern baskets and no planter was alike, the more creative the better, I mean really we did fairy gardens and succulents  before they were cool, instead of having all this cute furniture available like we do now, we made our own. Creativity was pretty much the theme unless we did the cemetery planters for Memorial Day then we had a certain selection of plants we went with.

When I moved to Lancaster, Pa. area I was shocked how boring the planters were, instead of huge fern, coleus, begonia and ivy planters we did 25 in one plant variety, 20 more in another and so on, (seriously what is this?) I was so confused by this method, and was even more surprised that they sold! I could feel my creativity start to quake and shrivel, but then on occasion we could splurge and do what ever we desired to with a planter! (Happy dance, I can live again). I also learned in my years of working in greenhouses that most people working there have no idea what growing region certain plants require and so on, so before you believe the people working there do your own research or in this case “know your grower”. With this being said there are some places that have very well informed people employed within their premises.

And on to more about me……

When we first moved to our current home I was not at all concerned about the interior of the house, I was more interested in the landscape and the potential it had, so it was a snowy day in March and some of our family was here to help us prepare to move in. Instead of having them clean or paint the interior, we were outside cutting down trees, shrubs and pulling out a huge bed of ivy (who would every plant this stuff). Sorry family, arborvitae is not a cool shrub and a falling apart brick planter will not be ok, it needs to go.

 

We also had a huge garden but it was so boring, just a square in the grass so we eventually added a raised garden that a few years later became a bigger semi raised garden because I wanted more square footage to grow more vegetables after our daughter was born. (More pics to come in future post). I had dreams of feeding her organic beets and so on, but then I became a realistic Mom and fed her crackers (JK, she loves her veggies;).  We also used our old paneling basement walls and made a raised herb garden that also contains my rhubarb, strawberries, asparagus, and garlic. This is where I plant my perennial edible plants, and where my earliest spring crops are planted since it is right outside the basement door (easy accessible, I maybe lazy). The first 6 years of living on our property I changed an garden area every summer, this past year when I was pregnant was the only year nothing changed. When my daughter was 6 months old I was mowing the yard and got tired of mowing around all the trees, and tree stumps in our front yard so here we go making more landscape areas so instead of doing 6 small circles with the mower I only have to do 2 large circles. Yay! Now when I talk with the neighbors and I am explaining where we live they’re like, “oh, you mean the house with all that landscaping?” yes, that is us!

Enough about me, I look forward to getting to know my readers and hope to help you in any way that I can. If there is a subject that you would like to read about please comment below.

Till next time,

Jo

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