Adventures Outside the Garden: Wickford, RI ~ Part 1

While I was visiting my family in Rhode Island last week, we took our annual trip to Wickford, a small village in North Kingstown that sits on Narragansett Bay. I never tire of walking the streets of this quintessential New England village. Named after a town in Essex, England, Wickford was founded in 1637 by Roger Williams (the founder of The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations – yes, a very long name for a very small state). He purchased the land from the Indians and built a trading post here. Gilbert Stuart, the painter of the most famous portrait of George Washington, was baptized in Old St. Paul’s Church, which still stands in Wickford. In fact, many of the pre-Revolutionary-War houses are not only still standing, but are still occupied. Wickford happens to have one of the largest collections of 18th century houses in New England. Come take a look. Photos of Wickford, RI!

Time for a Break!

Time for a break pic

Good morning, everyone! I have some news for you today. I am going to be taking a much needed break. I’ve been working so hard at my job, in the garden, in my business, on my blog…I am plumb worn out! So, I’m going to take a break – from everything. No job, little garden, no business, and <gasp!> no blog. For a little over a week.

This is the first time I’ve taken a break from writing in the two and a half years since I started Sanctuary Gardener, and I almost decided not to take a break from this. But, I need to. I need to think of nothing but spending time with loved ones and having some fun – before I forget what that word means. So, my dear friends and fellow gardeners, I will be silent here until Monday, August 10th.

Thank you for understanding. Enjoy the week in your garden, and still think of me while you’re having your morning coffee. (You know who you are. 😉 ) I look forward to connecting with you again on the 10th.



Who Are Your Garden Buddies?

Garden Buddies PicHappy hump day, everyone! We are halfway to the weekend when we can spend more time harvesting, canning, and playing in our gardens. (Well…if you don’t live in the Scorch, anyway.) Yesterday, while thinking about what I would share with you today, something hit me at work in a way that it never had before. If you were to ask me who my garden buddies were (besides my Garden Wilson, of course), I’d first say you, my readers, as well as online connections I have with other bloggers, and maybe some Facebook friends. Sometimes, I also talk with my neighbor across the street about her garden; but our schedules don’t seem to allow us to see each other as often as I’d like. However, I never thought my best garden buddies would be my coworkers. My Garden Buddies!

Beautiful Vegetable Gardens

I admit it. I’m discouraged. With all this heat and then long bouts without any rain followed by storms dumping three to five inches of rain at the same time, my garden is not doing as well as it should be. Add the fact that the heat has prevented me from being able to feed and maintain my garden properly, and I could just cry. I’m throwing away tomatoes that are just starting to ripen because they’ve rotted from the inconsistent rain or they’ve been attacked by squash bugs. My pepper plants’ leaves are falling off from heat stress. My corn looks like it’s growing in the back field of a third-world nation. And my cucumber and melon vines are drying up from downy mildew. I won’t even discuss the bugs. 😦 Beautiful vegetable gardens!

Genetically Modified Mosquitos


Good morning, everyone. I have just entered hell-week x 2 at work. (That sounds better than hell-fortnight, doesn’t it?) For the next two weeks, I have no life except that which fiscal year end allows me. Thankfully, technology allows me to plan ahead and schedule articles for posting, so you won’t get total withdrawals if Sanctuary Gardener were to go without posting! Today, I’d like to spur a little conversation about something I read recently.  Genetically Modified Mosquitos

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge picAs most of you are well aware, the bee population worldwide has suffered tremendous losses over the past few years. If you think about that, it’s a pretty scary thing because over one-third of our food exists because bees help to pollinate the flowers. There are other pollinators, too, that have suffered – like butterflies. (Monarch populations, especially, have dwindled.) As gardeners and farmers, we need to do all we can to save and support pollinator populations. That’s why I was very excited to learn about the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge!

How to Care for Tomato Plants

Tomato Care picI’ve had several questions lately about tomato plant care, so I thought I would share my insights on this subject. Living in the South, I’ve had more challenges than most growing tomatoes because of the humidity and intense heat here. I’m not an expert at it yet; but each year, my plants do better than the year before. And isn’t that the goal? Tomato plant care!

How to Give Your Garden a Wellness Checkup

Wellness Checkup pic

Spring is here, and everyone is getting seeds and seedlings in the ground – or watching them germinate and grow, as we are here in the South. The first couple of weeks after planting are always exciting, watching the seedlings come up, anticipating the first true leaves then the first flowers and fruit. Yet, every gardener knows there’s a bit of time between seed germination and fruit set. What should we be doing between planting and harvest? Sure, we keep the garden watered and fed. But what else should we do? I suggest we let our plants tell us that during a weekly “wellness checkup.” A garden wellness checkup!

A New Kind of Bee Hive!

DCIM105GOPRO A week or so ago, I came across an IndieGogo project that got me very excited. After ten years of experimentation, a father and son team in Australia has developed a new kind of bee hive and are fundraising to start manufacturing it. It’s called a Flow Hive, and it is amazing! Take a look!