Speckled Hen Inn

Garden

Planning the Garden

It is easy to find information on planting a garden but we think that planning the garden is just as important.  Only a plan well executed and blessed by the good Lord can assure the best results. Days like today are perfect for working outdoors: when the sun is shining yet there is a good breeze to keep you cool. The April rains have been preparing the soil to be easily cultivated yet full of moisture to help the plants quickly adapt to their new environment. We’ve also been working hard cleaning up the property and preparing our flower and vegetable gardens for planting.   After breakfast, many of the guests like to take a stroll around the bountiful gardens while taking notes
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Four Sure Cures for Spring Fever in Madison, WI

I have Four Sure Cures for Spring Fever that you can find in Madison, WI.  I’m sure that this is just what you need after a long, rough winter.  It’s time to get out of the house, get a little exercise, and bring a little color back into our lives. Beginning on Saturday, April 19, the Dane County Farmer’s Market will move back onto the Capitol Square.  Go to seek out fresh spring veggies, herbs and bedding plants for your own home and garden or go just to be a part of one of Madison’s greatest traditions. You can also go visit The Allen Centennial Gardens on the UW campus.  The spring bulbs always put on a bright show of
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Eating Fresh, Eating Local in April

Eating fresh, local produce begins to become a real possibility now that the snow has melted away from the garden beds and wooded hillsides of our Madison Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast.  We look forward to serving fresh nibbles from our greenhouse pots and outdoor herb beds sometime in early April. Already the pea shoots in the greenhouse are ready for snipping to add flavor and fresh color to breakfast plates.  They were so easy to grow.  Just simply pushing a pea seed down into a small container of potting mix rewarded us with quickly growing pea vines.  We may start more this week to keep a supply going until time for the outdoor gardens to supply us with more. A
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The End of Another Season

There are only three more Saturday Farmer’s Markets before the market moves indoors for the cooler months.  Now is a great time to stock up on all the great winter squash and pantry staples to see us through the winter months.  My fall shopping list always includes honey and baby rice popcorn even though I know I can buy those in the later months.  This just seems like the right time to stock up and fill the shelves.  It is also the time of year when I feel the need to put together a hearty soup and let it simmer in the slow cooker while I tend to clearing off gardens and composting leaves.  But the project du jour is
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The Gazebo – A place to enjoy a little music, a little wine, a pretty view.

Earlier this summer I visited Olbrich Botanical Gardens, our award-winning city garden in Madison, Wisconsin.  I discovered that they had created several small sitting areas throughout the garden where visitors could stop and rest and enjoy the views of the garden or perhaps become a part of the garden.  I decided that guests might enjoy doing the same thing at The Speckled Hen Inn. I often feel that some guests, with their desire for privacy, fail to take advantage of all the extra little places around our property where they can share a quiet conversation, relax and enjoy the natural surroundings, and disconnect from whatever it is that they need to get away from.  Our rooms in the Inn are great
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A Rainy Day at The Speckled Hen Inn

It has been a long hot summer in Madison, Wisconsin.  There was hardly any rain at all during the months of June and July.  All the ferns in the beds around the Speckled Hen Inn turned brown and crispy.  It was a struggle just to keep up with the watering of the vegetable gardens, flower pots and new trees and shrubs that had been planted this spring. But now, it’s August and a few rain showers have turned the pastures green again.  The lawn is recovering from dormancy and we are no longer stressing about how we will feed our sheep and llamas this winter.  The gardens are providing lots of fresh veggies for the breakfast table and a few peaches
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Addition to the Garden at The Speckled Hen Inn Bed and Breakfast

Today it really begins.  The carpenters arrived at The Speckled Hen Inn around 9:00AM, just as the lumber delivery truck was departing.  Their mission is to build the garden shed of my dreams, Pat’s Playhouse, another Fischbeck Folly. The plan has been developing all winter long.  We spent hours pouring through folders of saved magazine clippings.  We consulted our library of garden design books.  We clicked our way from one end of the internet’s photos files to the other and finally came up with a design simply sketched on a pad of graph paper.  There is an air of finality about a design finally drawn using a straight edge. Then there were endless debates about where to put the little building.  It should
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The boys at The Speckled Hen Inn have a new toy.

The boys at The Speckled Hen Inn Bed and Breakfast in Madison, Wisconsin have a new toy to help out with the chores around the Inn.  The new UTV is great for getting the garbage cans to and from the curb.  The many trips to the stable to feed the sheep and chickens, collect the eggs, find the needed tool or pick a fresh tomato will be a little bit easier now and of course, Happy can go along for the ride. The chore list at the Inn for the warm season ahead seems to get a bit longer every day.  One project always seems to spawn another.  We will be constructing a new greenhouse on the end of the
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Things To Do In Madison

Folks who live in Madison, WI or who visited before know what a great city it is.  It seems like there is always something to do.  But visitors coming for the first time may not know what to do first so here is the list compiled by our staff at The Speckled Hen Inn.  There are the Top Ten Madison Experiences inside the city.  We will get to that long list of things to do, using Madison as a hub when you explore South Central Wisconsin, later. Take a tour of the Capitol.  Madison is the capital of Wisconsin and the building is truly a treasure.  Do take the tour because the wonderful guides know all those fun stories that bring
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The Speckled Hen Inn in Madison, WI lists February events in the area

There are many events in Madison Wisconsin this February that you will just not want to miss.   This coming weekend, February 6, is the big outdoor hockey event at Camp Randall stadium on the University of Wisconsin campus.  Will it be the largest crowd ever to watch a college hockey game?  The Badger women play at 2:00PM and the Hockey Badger men play at 6:00.  You will have to go to see how they created a level ice hockey rink on a very crested football field. On February 11 Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love will be speaking at the Overture Center.  Her presentation is a part of the Wisconsin Book Festival. Get ready for spring at the Midwest Garden Expo
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