Thurs. May 26, 2022: We Have Lettuce!

image courtesy of 422737 via pixabayc.om

Thursday, May 26, 2022

4th Quarter Waning Moon in Aries

Pluto and Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn

Partly sunny/cloudy and pleasant

Things are growing! It’s lovely to see the plants doing well. The tomatoes are still growing slowly, but that’s okay.

The dahlias, in particular, are nearly three feet tall. I got a book out of the library about dahlias, and it thoroughly intimidated me, but I am doing the best I can with them. My dahlia coach tells me they are actually pretty tough plants, so, fingers crossed they actually bloom.

We’re using the rosemary, parsley, lettuce, and basil. I will probably use some of the spearmint and peppermint over the holiday weekend. I plan to use the lettuce for the tacos I’m making.

The impatiens on the front porch, and the impatiens, geranium, and brown-eyed Susan on the back porch are all blooming with giddy joy. I hope to add a basket of petunias soon.

The lilacs have been gorgeous the past week and change. I’m so happy so many yards around here have lilacs. I can literally stop and smell the lilacs when I run errands. I might, just might, purchase a lilac slip next spring and put it in a pot, like I did on Cape. Having lilacs out back would be lovely.

The good thing about all these blooming bushes around us is that there are plenty of bees, so when the tomatoes and cucumbers and pumpkin need pollinating, I can put them out on the back balcony for a few days and leave the bees to it. Imagine! I live in a city, and there are more bees than we had on Cape. But then, here, people aren’t putting pesticides on their lawns, and cutting down all the trees, either.

We’re spending lots of time out on the front porch. I’m trying to spend more time on the back balcony, too, since we have it set up so nicely. We took Willa out there in her playpen yesterday. She loved it. There was so much to see and smell, and it was so different from the deck in Cape Cod.

Charlotte sat on the kitchen chair inside and watched us, very sad, so it will be her turn today. I might try Tessa out there, too, if I can get her into her playpen over the weekend. She hates being in the playpen. Willa and Charlotte don’t mind.

This weekend, passes go on sale for Windsor Lake, which is only a half a mile up the mountain. The season pass is very reasonable, and I’m looking forward to spending lots of time at the lake this summer. We’re also planning a trip to the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

In the meanwhile, we tend our plants every day. I probably fuss at them too much, but they seem to like it. I mean, the peace lily is a constant drama queen, but that’s a peace lily for you.

It’s time to give the Rose of Jericho a few days’ rest, so I will do that, and then, on Monday, the new moon, put it back in water.

There’s definitely a learning curve, and things grow very differently here than on Cape, but it’s a lot of fun to learn. And can I just say I don’t mind not having to mow, rake, and do all the rest of the yard work, at all?

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. May 19, 2022: Things Are Growing!

image courtesy of RitaE via pixabay.com

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Third Quarter Moon Waning in Capricorn

Pluto and Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn

Rainy and cool

Things are growing! It’s absolutely lovely to be in the Berkshires right now, and watching the trees go into leaf, and the sides of the mountains turn from brown to green. The air smells wonderful.

The weather is all over the place, with bands of thunderstorms and heavy rains passing through Further east, they had hail.

We bought two hanging baskets. One is definitely impatiens (or, as my grandmother used to call them, “patient Lucy”). The other is marked as a “flowering annual”, but the leaves look and smell like a geranium. The baskets are hanging in the back balcony, but I keep having to take them down when it rains, because otherwise they’d get battered.

The lettuce is doing well, and pretty soon we can actually use it. I’m already using the parsley, the rosemary, and the mint. The chives did well all winter, and continue to provide chives.

We repotted the rest of the plants we’d bought at Whitney’s Farm last week. I put some marigold seeds in with the ruby cherry tomato, and they’ve started sprouting. The nasturtium was unhappy up on the shelf on the porch, so I moved it where it gets more sun. Hopefully, it will like it better. I reseeded the morning glories and put the pot out back. Fingers crossed.

The brown-eyed Susan is blooming well in the back, and Norway spruce seedling is growing. The peace lily is being its normal, drama queen self.

We’re keeping the cat grass growing, although they’re not eating much in the current batch.

The missing night-blooming jasmine was replaced. It’s much smaller than expected but I put it in a smaller pot than planned, and it seems perfectly happy so far.

There are lilacs here, so I might get a small lilac slip next spring and start it in a big pot. I miss my lilacs so much. I loved the old-fashioned lilac tree in our previous yard, and I’d nurtured the other potted lilacs for nearly ten years. It was a wrench to give them up, especially the white Edith Cavell lilac, which is not easy to find.

But our garden spaces are coming together, and we enjoy using them. The neighbors are setting up their porches and balconies, too, so it’s fun to see how everyone decorates and enjoys their various spaces. It adds so much to the quality of life.

The Celtic Tree month of Hawthorn began last Friday, so what does that mean?

Hawthorn has a lot of masculine energy. On a medicinal front, Hawthorn is used for circulatory issues and to lower blood pressure (always check with an accredited herbalist first, and discuss any medical conditions before trying an herbal remedy, especially if you’re on ANY kind of medication). On spiritual levels, it’s about clearing negativity and stimulating forgiveness.

It’s been cool enough the past few days to close the windows and for the heat to kick on overnight, but it’s supposed to get up into the 90’s this weekend, which I am not looking forward to.

However, I am looking forward to buying my season pass for Windsor Lake and spending time up there all summer!

How’s your garden growing?

Thurs. May 12, 2022: Creating Our Garden Spaces

back balcony, photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Waxing Moon Second Quarter in Virgo

Pluto and Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Willow

Sunny and pleasant

The focus, the past few days, has been on our version of garden. On Tuesday afternoon, we headed over to Whitney’s Farm and bought all kinds of plants: a red geranium, a brown-eyed Susan, rosemary, basil, a small tomato, spearmint, peppermint, impatiens, parsley. I saw what the black-eyed Susan vine will grow into, and it’s very exciting.

Yesterday, while the computer ran a 14-hour update, we used the time to start setting up the back balcony and the front porch as our Enchanted Garden spaces. It’s not finished, but they are both shaping up to be lovely.

We repotted the pumpkin to a larger pot, and moved the aloe into the former pumpkin pot. We repotted the brown-eyed Susan, the geranium, the basil, spearmint and peppermint, and then we ran out of potting soil. So that is on the agenda for today. More potting soil. We’d bought more pots, but we didn’t get all the proper sizes, so we might grab another pot or two.

We took out some of the big plants that overwintered inside and put them out back. That includes the peace lily. I have so much extra room in my office now! I oiled the bench and the two bistro chairs; we brought out the bistro table, and the small red table. I hung the stained-glass hummingbird and the stained-glass lighthouse. We put the green shelf unit that we use to define the space at the door (the length of the balcony is shared by the two apartments on this floor, but the other tenant uses his half as extra storage). We put out some of our decorations, and put down the red patio rug we bought. It looks good, but I think we need another one to run down the whole space,

We had to take all the furniture out of the front porch in order to put down the green rug I’d bought for that space. By a stroke of luck, it was exactly the right size. I mean, I’d done a rough measurement, but I’d bought the rug because it was the last one in the color I liked, and hoped for the best. It’s kind of a sage green, and it really brightens up the space. We then rearranged the furniture on it. Because the plant stands/shelf units are all on the back deck, we have to figure out what else we need for the plants still on the floor. But it’s a nice, inviting space.

I was tired and achy by the end of it, and I’m sore today, but it was worth it. Still more to do, but we have two lovely gardenesque spaces to enjoy this season!

How’s your garden doing?

Front porch with Willa, photo by Devon Ellington

Thurs. May 5, 2022: Spring

image courtesy of dae Jeung kim via pixabay.cm

Thursday, May 5, 2022

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Cancer

Pluto Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Willow

Sunny and pleasant

We’ve been able to leave the plants on the front porch for most of the week, although the weekend nights are supposed to dip down into the 30’s again, so we’ll have to take the plants back in. I hope, by next week, we can set up the front porch and the back balcony the way we want to. I want those enchanted garden spaces set up, and then we’ll add/subtract/rearrange over the season.

This is our first season where we start growing things here in the mountains, so there will be a learning curve

The pear, clementine, and mallow have not come up, and I’m giving up on them. I’ve already planted the Norway spruce seedling in the pot where the pear seeds were. Haven’t decided what to plant in the other pots yet. The lavender hasn’t come up, but that’s not a particular surprise. I usually need to buy those as plants.

It looks like I’ll have to buy different morning glory seeds and try those again.

I keep planting cat grass every couple of weeks, alternating the two pots, because Willa and Charlotte love it so much. Tessa has no interest. She likes the herbs – not to eat, but to roll in.

The peace lily is very happy in its new pot, so let’s hope it can stay in it for a few years. Because I don’t know where we’d put a bigger pot to winter.

The dahlias are the big excitement. They are growing beautifully, and are such fun to watch. If they do succeed and bloom, I think they will be gorgeous. My dahlia coach will be proud!

The Tamed Wild box which arrived last week had a small plant kit (could be marigold, mint, or money plant). Today is a planting day (planting and harvesting days are noted on my Llewellyn datebook calendar), so I will plant whatever it is (I hope it’s mint, I have the other two), and I will plant more cat grass.

I’m already excited about Saturday’s Farmer’s Market. I might stop at the Plant Connector that day, too, and see if I can find a small philodendron, a spider plant, and maybe an ivy.

Once the car is fixed and we can go to Whitney’s Farm in Cheshire, I want to get some herbs, geraniums, and maybe begonias. When it gets a little warmer, I want to get a big hanging basket of petunias, and one of cranesbill geranium to hang out on the back porch. At some point, I will buy a few pots of black-eyed Susans.

I hope the night blooming jasmine arrives soon. Although it’s been so chilly, it’s not surprising that it hasn’t shipped yet.

The Rose of Jericho had its week-long rest last week, out of water, and is back in the water, enjoying it. The research I did indicated the water should be changed every day, but this plant prefers water changed every 2-3 days. Tomorrow will be its weekly rest day. Supposedly, it needs to rest one day a week and one day a month out of water.

In the neighborhood, the forsythia is blooming, and so are the tulip trees. Out back, a neighbor has a gorgeous white flowering large shrub. Not sure what it is. I thought it was some kind of azalea, but friends suggested white forsythia or witch hazel. I’m wondering if maybe it’s apple, and is actually a tree or several trees that have been espaliered against the fence? There are quite a few apple trees planted in the various streets which are coming into flower.

It smells wonderful when I run errands on foot!

How are things in your neck of the woods?