Everything has its moment in the garden

This week, it was peas. Picked and picked, shelled and froze.

Peppers are starting to set fruit, kohlrabi close to ideal size, tomatoes flowering (finally), and the eggplant plants are huge.

No matter how challenging the late frost, month-long drought, and various insect enemies, the garden chugs along and manages to produce. It’s a miracle.

Gardening for food and beauty

That’s the thing about gardening: yes, it feeds us but it is also a source of beauty and personal satisfaction. It changes every day, and at the end of the season, it’s gone, like a Buddhist sand painting.

Clematis flowering, garlic getting close to harvest, salad greens abound.

Right now we’re eating all kinds of salad greens, peas, spinach. We had a rocky start to the growing season: a month of drought and then a very late frost. But things are starting to take off.

Weeding is my summer meditation. Okay, you don’t have to weed if you come to stay and work on your own project…but you can’t blame a girl for trying to entice you into the garden.

Reach me at 315-347-3456 to books space at the Boardinghouse.

May morning

I used to call a May morning or a star-filled night sky a simple gift of life. Now, I think of the natural world as the greatest gift. The basis of love and beauty. Sound corny? What’s more important? Or greater?

March is tricky

Yes, it may come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, or vice versa, but really what March is all about is unpredictability. We may have a couple of 50-60F sunny days followed by snow and overnight lows around 10F. Today started out at 30F with strong winds. This afternoon it’s about 35F and sunny. Tomorrow? 60F. Friday? A high in the 20s. And by then it’s April.

So welcome to the North Country but don’t be scared away. Even with the variable spring weather, things of beauty are happening…like the crocus (and the garlic is poking through its winter cover in the garden).

Below the crocus, tulip leaves pushing through!

Remember to book late spring and summer/fall stays at the Boardinghouse: 315-347-3456 or ellen@boardinghousenorth.com

A year of living safely

Dangerous as the pandemic has been, I have been so grateful for this place. Isolation was not terribly onerous because I could step outside and walk for hours, or putter in the garden or stack wood.

We set up a fire pit on an open porch so neighbors could visit even when it was chilly. And, now, with spring about to emerge from beneath snow and ice and frozen ground, I am so ready to spend time with friends and neighbors, again.

Get your vaccinations (if you’re eligible) and then think about coming to stay–for work or rejuvenation or both. As always, you can reach me at 315-347-3456 or ellen@ncpr.org or ellen@boardinghousenorth.org

Bright snow and fog

A morning of dense fog blurring the boundary between earth and sky. It’s been a relatively mild winter, but northerners know that “winter strengthens as days lengthen.” Late January and February frequently bring the coldest, snowiest days.

It’s the time of year for snowshoeing and long walks. We get the wood stove going in the shop to create a safe, socially-distant place to visit with one or two friends.

The pandemic has helped focus me on what matters in this life: friends, family, community, the natural world and love. Everything else is secondary. I am reminded daily that we must take care of each other and the earth we live on.

I’m always available to talk about a visit to the boardinghouse, 315-347-3456.

Yes, it’s really a new year

With the pandemic raging across our country and politics still dividing us, it may not feel like a new year but we have indeed put 2020 behind us.

Here at the boardinghouse, I’ve had friends and family visit–safely, of course–and I’m gearing up to welcome new people into my home–testing, vaccine and best practices around the house make this possible.

Dog, cat and boot prints in the front yard.

I’ve been walking our road every day–sometimes I run into a neighbor out and about. Mostly, it’s just me and the dogs. The north country landscape is broody and beautiful.

Glad to talk with you about a possible visit. Call anytime: 315-347-3456.

Happy New Year!

Stoking the fire

The old sailor’s saying about “red skies in the morning, take warning” held today for us landlubbers, too. I took this photo at about 6:30 am. It’s one of those cold November days, fall on the cusp of winter. The dogs and I made it back from our walk just before the rain began.

I’m starting to get serious inquiries about the Boardinghouse as we face another few months of pandemic closing in. Do check in with me if you’re thinking about a late winter or early spring month or two in the north country. I have limited space and I don’t want to turn people away. Call 315-347-3456 or email ellen@boardinghousenorth.com

Stay safe. Follow the best practices guidelines. We all know them by heart by now.

Battening down the hatches

It’s that time of year.

Garden put to bed.

Wood split and stacked.

The spinach and Asian greens in the cold frame should do nicely for November salads.

And I’ve just ordered a new pair of snowshoes.

So, bring it on. Let the north wind blow. I’m booking guests beginning January 2021. Let me know soon if you’d like to spend a month here–it’s a great time to get projects completed.

I do love winter.

It’s official!

Boardinghouse North is open to guests beginning December 1, 2020. After months of remaining closed, except to family and close friends, I am now confident I can follow recommended best practices and keep everyone safe.

I have room for a small family (six to eight people, roughly) if you’d like to reserve the boardinghouse for the holiday season. I can offer a special two to four week rate for a family.

Please call me to discuss a winter or spring booking. I prefer stays of at least four weeks, but will consider shorter visits if there is room available. Best to reach me on my land line at the house, 315-347-3456.

It’s also officially fall. Here’s a photo of the autumn palette I took on my walk this morning.