Thurs. Feb. 11, 2021: Real Winter Weather

image courtesy of moonzigg via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 11, 2021

New Moon in Aquarius

Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Rowan

Snowy and cold

I’m grateful that we have a good, solid cold snap. It will benefit the yard.

It was frustrating to try to dig out, because the plow pushed ice boulders into the bottom of my driveway that then froze down. And the Dig Safe guy showed up to mark the lines during the storm, and spray paint info on the snow. Does he not realize that it must melt before any digging can happen?

Not my problem.

I still haven’t planted either the strawberries or poppies. Tomorrow’s another planting day, and it’s waxing moon, which is good for planting that which will be above ground. So maybe I can make up for it tomorrow.

We’re having some more flurries this morning, and possibly another storm over the weekend. That’s what winter’s for, right?

I have every intention of enjoying as much of it as I can!

What’s new in your garden?

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. 21, 2021: Waiting

image courtesy of Conger Design via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Taurus

No Retrogrades

Celtic Tree Month of Rowan begins

Cloudy and cold

Rowan trees are about protection and inspiration. They often grow in poor conditions. The wood makes excellent walking sticks. It’s tied to Brigid and Imbolc, which is about the quickening and rebirth of spring.

I ordered some seeds, from Kitchen Seeds and Territorial Seeds. I hope at least some of them arrive in time for Imbolc, when I hope to start some of them.

I did not yet order from Johnny’s – and I might not. Supposedly, their catalog went out, but I haven’t received it. And now, they are only accepting orders from home growers on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The timing might not work out this year.

But I ordered enough to have, at least, a minimal garden, no matter where I end up: bok choy, only two kinds of tomatoes this year, eggplant, strawberries, morning glories, moonflowers, breadseed poppy, and a pollinator mix.

It’s finally a little colder. We had some snow flurries yesterday, but we haven’t had a bad winter. When we first moved here, the winters were harsh, and we were sometimes snowed in for days before the plows came.

Right now, I’m just in a waiting period. Eager for new seeds to arrive, so I can start them. Eager to figure out where we’ll live next, so I can learn about native plants and plan new gardens.

How’s your winter going?

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. Jan. 7, 2021: Wish for a Real Winter

image courtesy of Hans Braxmeier via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Waning Moon Fourth Quarter in Libra

Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

I wish it looked as it does in the photo I chose for today’s post, but it’s much milder down here on Cape. It worries me; if the plants don’t get the rest from a good cold snap, it will negatively affect growth patterns. Not to mention all the bugs.

It feels frivolous to write a garden post when domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol yesterday. But I’m in touch with my elected officials, and they are representing my views in this. Thank you, Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Bill Keating.

Seed catalogs are arriving, which means there will be hours of delightful daydreaming, a nice antidote to what’s going on. However, I’m not sure what seeds to order, or if I should order any, as I’m moving in spring. Since I don’t know where I’ll land, or if I can transport seedlings, I have a feeling most of my catalog reading will remain in daydreams.

We’re still in the process of taking down the holiday decorations. It will take a few days.

The live green wreath has been stripped of its decorations and is now on the hook inside the door. I have an artificial gold-painted bay leaf wreath on the front door for the rest of the month, until I put up the Valentine door décor.

I’m tired and sad and angry. I have a morning group meditation via Zoom. If the weather clears up a bit and it’s mild enough, I’ll do a meditation later in the day under the beautiful maple tree in the back. I will miss the maple and the lilac terribly when I move. They’ve both brought me a lot of joy in the past decade.

Let’s hope there’s better news to report next week. Stay safe, my friends.

Thurs. Nov. 19, 2020: Last Tomatoes

image courtesy of congerdesign via pixabay.com

Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Capricorn

Neptune and Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

Sunny and cold

We are finally having some cold weather! It snowed in Western and Central MA, but not here. We had some winds, and it’s colder. It’s supposed to warm up for the weekend, so, while I will take in some of the garden decorations and more pots, I’m leaving out the furniture. Wouldn’t it be fun if we could sit outside over Thanksgiving weekend?

Our virus numbers are going up, and nobody who’s supposed to handle this is doing so. Governor Baker, who did a better job than I expected early in the pandemic, is now acting like the Republican he is and not shutting things down again. The curfew means he’s treating us like naughty high school students, although I don’t miss the drag racing at 2 AM waking me up.

We are hunkering down. Instead of the big Thanksgiving dinner in Maine, with everyone at the VFW Hall, we are having a small dinner at home, just those in the house. We will do a Zoom dessert party to catch up.

As someone online said, better a Zoom Thanksgiving than an ICU Christmas.

I dragged the brush the landlord cut and left to the brush heap in the back. The lawn guy promised to come on Saturday and suck up the rest of the leaves. I cut back a bunch of stuff in the beds, and will cut back more.

The big pots will probably come in sometime next week to overwinter in the garage. I’m leaving the furniture out as long as possible. Even when it’s cold, I like to go out and sit for a few minutes.

I still have to oil the teak furniture one more time before I put it away for the winter. I might to that this weekend.

It will be interesting to see where we are next year at this time, and what the garden adventure will have been.

I planted some organic lemon seeds in a pot and put them in a sunny window. Even though it’s not “growing season” I wanted to see if they would sprout. If they do, I’ll try the apple and pepper seeds I’ve been saving.

The last of our garden tomatoes are almost ripe from sitting in a sunny window. We will eat them in the next two days and enjoy them.

Soon, I will have to decide which tomatoes I want to grow next year, even though they might be seedlings here and then be transplanted elsewhere.

I won’t have a post next week, because next Thursday is Thanksgiving and I’ll be cooking – so it’ll be two weeks before I check back in with you again. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Thurs. Sept. 10, 2020: It’s Starting To Fade

image via congerdesign via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Waning Moon Third Quarter in Gemini

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Hot, humid, cloudy 

Not much to report in the garden. I’ve been delighted that hummingbirds and beautiful Tiger moths visit.

The tomatoes are finally ripening. They are delicious. I’m so delighted with them.

I’m pulling out the Tiger Lily stalks as they brown. The leaves are browning, too, and when all the chlorophyll is back in the bulbs, I’ll cut back the dead leaves, too. The grass hasn’t grown much and doesn’t need to be mowed.

We had a very short growing season this year.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll get chrysanthemums for the front of the house. We’ll take the geraniums in and have the mums out on the doorstep. I’m not yet sure if I’m going to bring the small trees back around and decorate them for Samhain, or wait and decorate them for Yule.

I’m already thinking ahead to what I want for next year’s garden. I think I’ll get seeds from Johnny’s and Kitchen Garden rather than Botanical Interests, because the Botanical Interest seeds were a disappointment this year, except for the pollinators.

There will be a lot of changes to next year’s garden, that’s for sure.

One of the things I want to do is print out calendar sheets and make an overall plan about when to plant what. I have my calendar with planting days for next year, which will help.

I planted things late, during lockdown, mostly because I was so overwhelmed by all things pandemic. I really do need to start a lot of the seeds inside in February, even the ones that don’t like to be transplanted. I have to figure out how to start them in their permanent pots – I mean, I know HOW – stick the seeds in the soil – but where to put them so they can sprout.

I definitely want to plant more Asian vegetables next year, and more herbs. This was a good year for cucumbers and beans and basil, but a bad year for tomatoes. Who knows what will thrive next year?

I also have to be more conscious of planting more of what we like to eat – yes, the tomatoes and cucumbers, but also zucchini and spinach and eggplant and other things. If I can figure out the room, I’d also like to try potatoes.

In the meantime, I want to put the garden to bed properly this year. Not just sort of let it all fade away, like I’ve done the past few years.

How’s your garden growing?

 

July 9, 2020: Enjoyment

garden-2437534_1920
photo courtesy of MikesPhotos via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 9, 2020
Waning Moon Third Quarter in Pisces
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Foggy and humid
Celtic Tree Month of Holly

There’s not a whole lot to say this week. The garden in the picture is not mine; I’d love it if it was.

We have a lack of bees around this summer, and it concerns me. We had a good quantity earlier in spring – and then the neighbors used chemicals for their lawn, and here we are. So nothing is getting pollinated, which is not boding well for the blossoms on tomatoes and cucumbers.

The beans are doing well. Che Guevara Chipmunk dug up the sunflower and pea seeds, so nothing there. I’m battling the bindweed invasive.

The bittersweet is blooming and is a pollinator, so I’m not cutting it back yet. The Queen Anne’s Lace is about 4 feet tall and beautiful.

I enjoy some time out on the deck every afternoon, reading and/or writing. I take Willa out in her playpen, and she loves it.

Willa and the bunny love staring at each other.

Che Guevara Chipmunk hasn’t been around much in the last few days. I hope he’s okay. The illegal fireworks (10 hours straight on July 4th; every night since July 1) upset the critters.

Some of the lilac cuttings seem to be rooting; only a couple of the rhodies look good. But a couple is better than none.

We’re just keeping on keeping on. The pansies are still blooming; it hasn’t been too hot, so I haven’t needed to switch them out to petunias yet.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Botanical Interests seeds have been disappointing. Next year, I’ll buy my seeds elsewhere. Usually, when I sow Botanical Interests seeds, I get 60-70% germination rate. This year, it’s about 10%. The percentage/cost of seeds/time spent ratio isn’t working for me this year.

The roses are lovely. They grew back quite well where I’d hacked them back last fall.

The tiger lilies should bloom soon. They are in drifts up on the bay side of the Cape, so they will bloom soon over here. The bay side blooms a little earlier.

That’s pretty much it. I’m getting as much enjoyment as possible out of it all.

Too bad the neighbors can’t. All they do is use noisy machines, put down chemicals, and destroy. They never build anything, or make anything beautiful. They just make noise, pollute, and destroy. It’s disappointing.

Hope your garden is growing well.

 

Thurs. June 11, 2020: Progress

Thursday, June 11, 2020
Waning Moon 3rd Quarter in Aquarius
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Oak
Cloudy and humid

Things are growing, which is good, about now. It’s warmer and humid, but still much cooler than usual. Not that I’m complaining for myself, but I worry about the plants.

The transplanted tomatoes are doing well, with their little basil companions. The cucumber now has three blossoms – let’s hope the bees pollinate! Peppers are doing well. Nothing from the eggplants yet – I have a feeling Che Guevara Chipmunk’s been digging.

Morning glories and moonflowers are growing well. Pollinator mix doing well, as are the zinnias. Nothing from the hollyhocks, which is disappointing.

The herbs are all doing well.

I have to scrub the tree pollen off all the surfaces, but other than that, our Enchanted Deck is doing quite well.

Today is another planting day. As late as it is, I’m going to plant some zucchini seeds, beans, and start the peas soaking to plant tomorrow. I know, I know, it’s waaaay late to plant peas. But I’ll try.

I cut back a lot in the front beds and on the side. I have to clean out the front beds, do some more weeding and tidying up around the roses, and get rid of some invasives in the back. The weather’s been a little wonky, so I haven’t done all that much. I’m hoping for a nice weekend, so I can spend a couple of hours every day getting things done.

I’m designing a garden for one of my books – and having such a good time with it. There’s a lot of room in this fictional garden, and it’s set within a wood, so there’s all kinds of fun stuff, with patches of sun and shade.

The lettuce is absolutely yummy, and we love being able to eat it.

The pair of bunnies love the patches of dandelion and clover in the yard. They’re so much fun to watch. The birds are busy, and Che Guevara Chipmunk keeps everyone in line.

Willa loves going outside in the playpen. She’s really funny.

It’s so nice to sit outside and read a book or write or have a cocktail on the deck and just enjoy the yard. It’s always nutty around here in summer because of tourists, so I’m always grateful to have this sanctuary. I’m even more grateful this year, with the reckless re-opening and people running around like the virus doesn’t exist any more.

I’ll just stay and enjoy my sanctuary.

How is your garden doing?

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