Thurs. Feb. 4, 2021: Snow!

image courtesy of Peter Kraayvanger via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Scorpio

Mercury Retrograde

Snowy and cold

It’s snowing! We weren’t hit with snow as hard as other areas of the state this week; for us, it was mostly rain, sleet, ice, high winds. But now we have some snow, and it looks pretty!

Usually, I plant the first seeds of the season, indoors, at Imbolc, but, according to my calendar, Tuesday was not a planting day. However, today and tomorrow are, so I will plant the strawberries and the breadseed poppies. I haven’t had good luck with any type of poppy in the past, but I keep trying. The breadseed poppies make the seeds used in baking. Although I seriously doubt I can grow enough to, say, make my favorite poppyseed roll, I still want to see what I can grow. This is very much an experiment. I haven’t grown strawberries from seed before; I’ve only bought seedlings at the garden center. Another experiment. I will wait another week or so to start the tomatoes.

I bought cut flowers last weekend; two different bunches, and then arranged them in vases around the house. It’s very cheerful, and reminds me how much I enjoy having fresh flowers in the place.

In summer, it’s easy, because I can cut roses or lilac or zinnias or hydrangeas or whatever’s blooming. I wonder, if someday, I can set up a year-round greenhouse that’s warm enough to grow flowers, herbs, and vegetables all year. Something to think about.

We need some real winter, with real cold, or the garden will be unhappy in spring and summer. Even though I won’t be here for it, I still want it to do well.

How’s your garden growing? What are your plans?

Thurs. Jan. 28, 2021: The Seeds Arrived!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Full Moon in Leo

Celtic Tree Month of Rowan

Wintery weather

The seeds arrived!  I’m so excited.

After unseasonably warm weather in January, it’s getting colder, and we expect to have snow/sleet/rain mixing on and off for the next few days.

Means I can enjoy fires in the fireplace, which is always a good thing in winter!

I have to decide which seeds I will start next week. Most likely, the poppy and the strawberries first, and then the tomatoes, eggplant, bok choy, and lemon balm. I will probably wait to plant the flowers until after the move.

What are you most excited to plant this spring?

Thurs. Jan. 14, 2021: Finally Winter Maybe?

image by JackieLou DL via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 14, 2021

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Aquarius

Uranus Direct

Celtic Tree Month of Birch

Cloudy and cold

According to the weather, we’ll finally get some cold for the next two weeks. The past few weeks have been unseasonably warm, most of the time. In fact, the grass has been growing, and I wondered if I would need to call the guy who mows the lawn in, say, February, to have him start up again.

It’s good for the grass to grow out at times (though, probably not in the middle of winter in the Northeast). It’s healthy for the roots. Too many people in this neighborhood mow every other day in the spring, summer, and fall, keeping their grass very short. Of course, they are also the ones who use chemicals, so that the lawn looks like astro-turf.

We replanted some cuttings. Well, they were less “cuttings” than “fell of the plant.” Bits of the Christmas cactus or the big geranium or the philodendrons fall off. We rescue them and root them in water until they grow roots. We plant them in a fresh pot. And our plants multiply.

I have to make seed decisions in the next couple of weeks, and I just don’t know, since I don’t know where we will move. And yet, I don’t want the whole season to go by and not plant anything. Perhaps I will pick one kind of tomato (a small one), and one or two other things.

I have to sit down with the seed catalogs this weekend. I’m looking forward to trying seeds from Kitchen Garden this year, and I’ll buy a few things from Johnny’s, which has been my old reliable most of my gardening life. I’m skipping Botanical Interests this year, since they were a disappointment the past couple of years, especially last year.

I also have to decide what seeds I want to start on Imbolc (February 2). Traditionally, I start seeds on something meaningful to me on that day, and nurture the plant for the entire growing season.

Remember those organic lemon seeds I planted a few months back, nothing came up, and I was so disappointed? One little shoot finally came up!

When we put away the holiday decorations, we moved the gigantic peace lily from its temporary abode in my bedroom back down to the living room. When I first bought it, in January 2011, it was in a 4” pot. Now it’s in a 15” pot and is about 4’ tall and 2’ wide.

It’s on a side table next to one of the wingback chairs and actually helps form an entryway. This house doesn’t have a vestibule – the front door opens into the living room. We’ve sort of created an entry way with furniture placement. We put the peace lily on that table because it was the only place with enough room for it at the moment, but it works well as an entry definer. Plus, it’s good feng shui.

That’s really all that’s going on right now. Today and tomorrow, I’ll break up the time spent working on a book proposal and an article, and make seed decisions!

How do you connect to the garden in January? Do you live in a place where you can garden year-round?

Thurs. March 12, 2020: First Blooms

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image courtesy of cocoparisienne via pixabay.com

Thursday, March 12, 2020
3rd Quarter Waning Moon in Libra
Celtic Tree Month of Ash

It’s been unseasonably warm for this time of year, and then a few gusts of cold here and there. I’ve aired out the house and started washing windows. I physically can’t do a lot of the deep cleaning yet, being in between surgeries, but I’m doing things bit-by-bit.

Last week, we managed to repot some plants that outgrew their pots, and plant some cuttings.

I also planted seeds for Black Velvet Nasturtiums, spinach, cucumber, and peas. Let’s hope they come up. I’m still on the fence about the tomatoes.

The potted forsythia in the garage has started to bloom; not sure if I should bring it out on the deck yet. The planted bushes are showing buds. Some of the crocuses are out.

Early spring.

I’m worried it will be awfully buggy this year. I’m going to need a possum on the property!

Just doing what I can, a little bit at a time.

Thurs. Nov. 14, 2019: First Bite of Winter

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image courtesy of JillWellington via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 14, 2019
Third Quarter Waning Moon in Gemini
Celtic Tree Month of Reed
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Partly Sunny and cold

We had our first bite of winter on Tuesday night, with a dusting of snow, and plenty of sharp, cold weather.

Charlotte is fascinated by snowflakes, Willa runs away, and Tessa is used to them.

Last weekend, we worked hard to put the rest of the plants to bed for the winter. I did some of the pruning (not enough). I have much more pruning to do this weekend. We cut down/pulled out the annuals and put the pots away. We brought in the remaining pots that will spend the winter in the house, rather than in the garage. I oiled the teak furniture before putting it away. The large teak bench went upstairs to live at the bottom of my mom’s bed. Brought the large geraniums in — they live near the very sunny window in my bedroom all winter, and usually bloom and bloom and bloom. Cleaned the decorations and brought them in.

I will have a lot of repainting to do in the spring.

So far, 10 30-gallon bags have gone to the dump. 6 more are waiting, and we’re still working on the front. If the weather holds, there is a great deal of raking, bagging, and driving to the dump over the weekend.

I will have to get my act together to start the seeds earlier in February next year. I started too much too late, because certain seeds don’t like to be moved, and I wanted to plant them on the deck in their mature pots. I’m going to have to find the room to do that inside this year. Not sure how, especially since the cart where we usually start seedlings in the front window of my office has been converted to a perch for Willa.

I have a few months to think about it. But I don’t want to wait until the last minute.

Have you finished everything that needs to be done in your yard for winter?

Thurs. May 9, 2019: Lost Lettuce

Thursday, May 9, 2019
Waxing Moon First Quarter Cancer
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Sunny and cool

We finally have some decent weather, although it’s still cool.

Unfortunately, the six packs of lettuce all died (the romaine is hanging on, but fading) and the parsley died. They were too early, and too wet. I’m sad, especially since a major, unexpected car repair means I won’t be able to put money into anything, including the garden for awhile. It was a blow, and I had to start a Go Fund Me to get immediate money to do the series of repairs necessary. If you could share the link and spread the word, I’d appreciate it. I hate asking for help, but there’s no other choice.

Anyway, the first mow of the season happened, in the terraced back area. I still have to clean up a bit with the clippers, but the grass looks good. This afternoon, I will do the first mow for the front.

I have to clean up a lot of sticks and debris from the meadow, and that’s next.

I’m so much happier with my little push mower. It doesn’t try to kill me every time I want to use it. It’s a big help.

It’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, but we might have decent weather over the weekend, and I can get more done in the yard.

We brought some of the big pots out of the garage. Our little lilac already started blooming in there. I did some pruning. There’s still a lot to do before we transform it into our Enchanted Garden for the summer.

But we still have frost warnings at night, and it’s too cold to get the outdoor planting done.

One day at a time. One plant at a time. That’s all I can handle right now.

Thurs. May 2, 2019: Unhappy Lettuce

Thursday, May 2, 2019
4th Quarter Moon in Aries
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Cloudy and cold

The weather is not cooperating. Rain and chill means that I can’t go much yard work. There’s a lot to do. Dry stretches aren’t coordinating with times I have off to do the work.

Most of the lettuce and the parsley isn’t doing well after being transplanted from the flats in which they came. This is the first time we’ve had trouble with lettuce or parsley transplants. The Romaine is holding its own, at least so far.

This weekend, I have to transplant a lot of tomatoes. I have a feeling I’ll be doing a run to the garden center for more pots and more dirt. But it’s still much too cold to put them outside. I’m worried about the lack of sunlight, too, stunting their growth.

Hopefully, we’ll have a bit of spring in May, and not just move directly into summer!

Thurs. April 18, 2019: The Weather Works Against Me

Thursday, April 18, 2019
Day Before Full Moon
2nd Quarter Moon in Libra
Jupiter Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Rainy and cool

I’m trying to remember what got done since last Thursday. The days I’ve been free to do yard work have not coincided with the weather, unfortunately. What were supposed to be a string of sunny days weren’t.

I started work on the side yard, and I got the front beds raked out. Cut back a lot of invasives. Got one load of yard debris to the dump, and am accumulating another.

Bought six-packs of Romaine lettuce (grow your own; avoid e-coli), Buttercrunch, and Boston lettuces. Got a six-pack of parsley. They are all happy in their new pots. Got the pansies into the hanging baskets out front, and in the barrel.

Yesterday, finally started replanting the Cherokee Purple tomatoes in big posts. Got some of them in; will get in more today, and then start replanting the Romas and the Eggplants.

Then I can move forward some of the other tomatoes, in smaller pots, closer to the windows.

The lettuce and parsley go out on the deck during the day on good days, and come in at night, because it’s still cold. The tomatoes are still too fragile to go out.

The forsythia and white Rose of Sharon are out on the deck; the hydrangea, lilac, and large Rose of Sharon will go out soon.

I need to put teak oil on the wooden furniture as it goes out on the deck, repaint the white plant stand, and decide if I want more pansies in the little teacup planters.

Again, I don’t know how much I’ll get done this weekend because of rain.

I’m posting most of the in-process photos on Instagram, where you can find me @devonellingtonwork.

Hope you’re having fun with your gardens, too! Drop a line or a photo or an Instagram link. I’d love to see how it’s going.

 

Thurs. April 11, 2019: Growth & Sunshine

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forsythia in the garage

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Waxing Moon, 1st Quarter Cancer
Celtic Tree Month of Alder
Sunny and pleasant

The forsythia is blooming in the garage. I’ll have to get it out on the deck this weekend. It’s a little bit ahead of the forsythia planted outside.

The maple tree in the backyard is starting to bud. It’s always such a pretty tree.

20190411_064951

I finally planted my last four kinds of tomatoes last weekend: the Principase Borghese, the Purple Cherokee, The Gardeners’ Delight, and the Moneymakers.

By the end of the month, I hope I can plant the peas, beans, zucchini, and cucumbers outside. But it’s all dependent on the weather. It may well be later in May before I can.

The Roma and Chocolate Cherry tomatoes, and the eggplants are growing like gangbusters. It’s such a delight to come down each morning and see how well they’re doing.

Today or tomorrow, I will plant the first of the mixed greens, the spinach, and the kale. I might get some basil and marigold plants (if it’s not too early) to go with the tomatoes that need to be transplanted to their big pots, and some pansies for the outside hanging baskets. I also have to get some hardware to fix our lovely wind chimes. I also have to get more potting soil.

The weather is supposed to be pretty decent this weekend, so I intend to do a few hours each day of yard work. Raking leaves, cleaning out beds. I think it’s a little too early to mulch, but most people are already mulching. I’ll have to see.

There’s a lot of work to be done. So much of it depends on weather. Unfortunately, good weather is also coinciding with me being on tight deadlines, so it’s a balancing act.

I’m on Instagram, by the way. You can find me @devonellingtonwork over there. I share posts on Twitter and Tumblr, but not necessarily on Facebook.

Thurs. March 14, 2019: Already Getting Behind

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Waxing Moon
Mercury Retrograde
Cloudy and chilly

 

Did I do any of that re-potting I talked about last week?

No.

Have I planted any more tomato seeds?

No.

I need to hop to it this weekend on the planting days, or I’ll fall too far behind.

The peppers are peeping up, so that’s a good thing. The other plants are doing well.

Yesterday, I went out to the pots that overwintered on the deck and cleaned them up a bit. I have A LOT of work to do in the back yard, especially raking what didn’t get done last fall.

I noticed in the front this morning that the prickly invasive cedar is all over the front side yard, so I need to yank it out.

If we have some dry, reasonably mild days this weekend, I can get started.

Plus, you know, the re-potting and starting the rest of the seeds that I need to still plant.

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