Thurs. April 21, 2022: Seedlings

image courtesy of jggrz via pixabay.com

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Capricorn

Celtic Tree Month of Willow

Cloudy/rainy/cold

The weather has been all over the place, veering from snow to rain to sun back again. Very bizarre.

Last Saturday, as the temperature plummeted, we took the plants in from the porch. We brought them out again for a few hours on Tuesday, but now they’re back in, because it’s just too cold for them out there.

One of the dahlias is starting to come up, which is very exciting, along with the snapdragons. The cilantro started, too, which is good, since I use a lot of cilantro. I’m still waiting for the mallow, and about to give up on it. I’ve given up on the pear and the clementine. Obviously, those were GMO seeds.

In honor of Earth Day (which is tomorrow), a local grocery store gave away Norway spruce seedlings. I got mine yesterday — a teeny, tiny little sprig. I planted it in the pot where I’d given up on the pear seeds. That pot is out on the front porch (along with the chrysanthemums, which always lived outside on Cape). When I set up the back balcony, I’ll probably move the seedling there. It’s supposed to grow about 2 feet per year, so I have a few years before I have to worry about donating it to a community garden. It’s only about 5 or 6 inches tall at this point.

The dwarf sunflowers have sprouted, out of the kit, although the lavender hasn’t done anything yet.

Quite a few of the plants seem to have stalled. They shot up, but now they’re sitting there, not getting taller or the stems getting thicker. So, we’ll see.

And, of course, I’m alternating the two pots of cat grass, one always seeded and growing, one down where Charlotte and Willa can enjoy it. Tessa doesn’t like cat grass.

I’ve started oiling the outdoor wooden furniture with teak oil. I should have done it at the end of last season and didn’t, so it’s very thirsty now. The chairs have needed two applications so far. I need to be on the lookout for more teak oil. I’m almost out. This bottle lasted me nearly ten years, so I have no complaints.

The Celtic Tree Month of Willow began last Friday. What does that mean? Willow is about being in touch with deep emotions, understanding them, and working with them, not against them. Willow bark has properties similar to aspirin. I’ve used willow bark tea for headaches in the past. With the sun moving into Taurus now, which is about stability and pleasure, and the tree month being Willow, emotion, there’s an opportunity to enjoy and stabilize emotions. Really feel the pleasure, and work with the unpleasant emotions.

Plant growth wise, we are moving into growing season (well, we will, if it ever stops snowing). All these little, tiny plants struggling to get out into the sun and be somebody.

How is your garden growing?

Thurs. March 24, 2022: Plants and Seedlings

image courtesy of conger design via pixabay.com

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Sagittarius

Celtic Tree Month of Alder

Rain/sleet/snow

There’s a lot of garden-related stuff to write about this week! Very exciting.

I replanted more cat grass on the Equinox last Sunday. As of yesterday, it had already germinated, which is a good thing, since Charlotte and Willa are chomping on the second pot of it.

I’m a little worried about the heliotrope and the columbine. I’m not sure the seedlings will survive. The echinacea is growing slowly, but it’s growing. The black-eyed Susan vine is growing steadily, which is very exciting. The lemon balm has only one tiny shoot, not even a half an inch tall. The cherry falls tomato seedlings are doing well, and the mini cucumbers are growing fast! All 10 seeds germinated, and I will need a tomato cage for them by this weekend.

I bought more soil and pots, and even some more seeds, because I hadn’t bought any morning glories or moonflowers, and I love those.

I planted the Watchman hollyhocks, a rose mallow (Lavatera), a batch of mixed colors morning glories, moonflowers, jewel blend nasturtiums, marvel of Peru four o’clocks, heirloom sweet peas, and two pots of tansy seeds.

Yes, the tansy seeds finally arrived, after travelling from Missouri to Massachusetts to Chicago and back.

I also planted some saved seeds: pear, clementine, and some of the pumpkin seeds I saved from my friend’s Halloween pumpkin she carved when she visited.

Once the front porch warms up enough in the morning, we move the seedlings out for their sun. As it cools off in the late afternoon, we move them back into the warmth.

The night-blooming jasmine should arrive in April sometime. We’ll buy some lettuce plants and herbs, and a couple of hanging baskets of flowers later in the season.

It’s all very exciting! This is the first year we’re starting the growing season in the Berkshires, so there’s a lot to learn.

We’re in the Celtic Tree Month of Alder now, which means a focus on expressing hopes and dreams, and forgiving the past.

I focused more on flowers than on vegetables this year. I want to see how these work; if they grow well, I will try a couple of others next year, and so forth and so on. I’m more conscientious about keeping the notes updated in the plant journal, which will be a big help.

I still miss my lilacs so much it causes physical pain, but I will have to figure out what to do about it; keep some small ones in a container? For this season, I will have to buy bunches of cut lilacs.

Even missing the lilacs, I am excited about this year’s planting.

This morning, the weather keeps fluctuating between rain, sleet, and a smattering of snow., coating everything with a white sheen.

How’s your planting going?

Wed. March 17, 2022: More planting, more seedlings

image courtesy of pexels.com

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Second Quarter Moon Waxing in Scorpio

Cloudy and mild

Celtic Tree Month of Ash

After a beautiful day last Friday, we had yet another snowstorm on Saturday, which dumped heavy, wet snow on the area. And then the temperature has rocketed up again. It was 61 degrees F yesterday afternoon. Most of the snow is melted; there are some small patches, in places that were plowed into mounds.

I’d picked up more pots and more potting soil, and used them quickly, for the cherry tomatoes and mini cucumbers. I need to get some more pots and potting soil for the rest of the plants. I don’t know when we’ll get back to storage to get the pots we’ve still got there (and there may not be enough). I didn’t want to buy too many, but too few doesn’t work, either. And I always, always underestimate how much soil I need.

Charlotte and Willa have nearly decimated the first pot of cat grass, so I planted a second pot. I will alternate the two, so they always have cat grass (which means I need to buy more seeds). The second pot has already started to grow.

The lemon balm hasn’t yet sprouted, but a few shoots of the black-eyed Susan vine are cautiously putting their heads out. The echinacea is doing well. The heliotrope and columbine remain tiny shoots.

I’m still waiting for the tansy seeds, which should have arrived on Tuesday, but seem to be going around in circles between Springfield and here. Usually, once something hits Springfield, it gets here fast.

The sweet pea and mallow seeds arrived much more quickly than I expected; I hope to get more pots and soil soon, and then I can plant them.

The peace lily is, once again, outgrowing her pot. This plant is a bit of a drama queen anyway, but is getting crowded. To think, I bought it for $3.98 in a 4-inch pot back in January of 2011! And it’s spilling out of an 11 ½ inch pot now.

Some of the Christmas cacti are blooming. They’re always a bit confused, and tend to bloom year-round, taking turns.

The birds are very busy on the back balcony, sorting out who will live in which house, and on the nest under an eave. There was a cardinal in one of the trees the other morning, and the crows living in the tall evergreen out back are very busy, morning and night. The scout crows check in every morning, and when I run errands on foot, I generally have a running commentary from the crows as I head there and back. They have an absolute fit if I step off a curb and there’s a car within 100 feet of me, as though I’m not bright enough to avoid getting hit. I do appreciate the warnings, though.

Because the screened-in front porch faces south, it generally warms up quickly when there’s sun, so we put out the seedlings in the late morning, and then take them back in before supper.

I hope this is the last of the snow. Much as I love living in a place with seasons, I’m ready for the snow to be over. Granted, that means we’re in for mud season, but that’s what boots are for. And I love the way it smells as the seasons change.

The time change, as usual, has thrown me off. I’m great when we fall back; I’m disoriented for a few weeks when we spring forward.

A new combination of plant center and art gallery will open on Main Street soon, within walking distance. I’m very excited to spend time there. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot. And buy too many plants!

It’s lovely to watch the mountains, out back and out front, change with the seasons.

What’s changing in your neck of the woods?

Thurs. Feb. 24, 2022: First Growth

image courtesy of Jag2020 via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 24, 2022

4th Quarter Waning Moon in Sagittarius

Celtic Tree Month of Ash

Cloudy and cold

We’ve had wacky weather, in the mid-fifties one day, snow the next. It’s been mild the past few days, but tomorrow, a foot of snow is predicted.

Tiny shoots have come up in the two marine heliotrope pots, and one tiny echinacea shoot has come up. Earlier than expected, and so exciting! I moved the pots out onto the front porch in the sun during the mild days, and will take them in today as the temperature drops. The shoots are too tiny to show up well in my low-grade camera in my phone, but once they’re big enough to look good in a picture, I’ll post one.

I meant to plant cat grass earlier this week, but I didn’t, so tomorrow I will plant cat grass and the nasturtiums.

Yesterday it was in the mid-fifties, and the weather veered every few minutes from rain to sun and back again. By evening, it dropped to the mid-thirties, and when I woke up this morning, it was only 16.

Snow’s supposed to start tonight and go all day tomorrow. I have the pre-storm headache, so I think it might start earlier. Or maybe I just hope it will, to ease the pressure in my head.

What do we focus on for the tree month of Ash? Ash magic is connected to dreams, prophecy, the sea, healing, and prosperity, so any of those aspects of your life that need work are a good focus for the month.

I hope this weekend’s snowstorm is it for this area. I shouldn’t complain; supposedly November and December were unseasonably mild, so we really only had rough weather last month and this month. But, for the shortest month, February seems long. And dreary. I mean, I live in New England because I like seasons, so here we are with seasons.

And I like sitting inside and watching the snow from the tall windows.

Hopefully, next week, it will be milder and more plants will be up!

Thurs. Dec. 2, 2021: Just A Little Winter Snow

image courtesy of Alain Audet via pixabay.com

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Fourth Quarter Moon Waning in Scorpio

Neptune Direct as of December 1

Chiron and Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Elder

Rainy/snowy, starting cold and warming up

It’s been snowing, on and off, since just before Thanksgiving. Not enough to be a problem, just enough to be pretty. The buildings and branches are all decorated for winter.

We’ve left only the hardiest plants on the front porch, and will probably bring those in, as soon as we get the Yule tree up. It is an artificial tree, and the smaller tree, that we’ve also had for decades, will be decorated and put on the front porch.

Decorating is happening in bits and pieces, mostly because the COVID booster took me out of commission for a few days and I’m behind where I’d like to be. Plus, I have to do the domestic cards and the baking.

But it will all get done.

We’re in the Celtic tree month of Elder, which is a time for creativity and renewal, of endings, beginnings, and rejuvenation. I’m ready for that.

And it’s lovely to lie on the couch and watch the snow fall.

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

snowflake-554635_1920
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?