Jan. 26, 2023: It’s All So Quiet

image courtesy of Ka via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Waxing Moon 1st Quarter in Aries

No Retrogrades

Celtic Tree Month of Rowan

There’s really not much to say, on the garden front. We have a new snowstorm coming in about every other day. Over the weekend into Monday, we got about a foot of snow. Last night, we got a little more. It’s going up into the 40s today, and then another snowstorm Sunday into Monday.

The peace lily is slowly recovering. The indoor plants are thriving. The tulips, hyacinths, and narcissus out on the front porch are slowly coming up.

While the dreary days get a little tedious, I enjoy watching the snow fall during the storms, and watching the weather change over the mountains.

How are things where you are?

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Thurs. Nov. 17, 2022: First Snowfall of the Season

image courtesy of Jill Wellington via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 17, 2022

4th Quarter Moon Waning in Scorpio

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

Cloudy and cold

We’re finally getting some winter weather. The storms are coming in from the Midwest, hitting us, and then warming up before they hit Boston.

We had our first snow Tuesday night going into Wednesday. They told us to expect up to 5 inches, so that’s for what we prepared. It snowed steadily in the evening and into the night, but then changed over to freezing rain around  3 or 4 in the morning. It was kind of yucky all day yesterday.

Fortunately, on the garden front, we were okay.

Last Sunday was a planting day, and it was finally cold enough to plant the bulbs. I have three long, narrow trough-type pots, in which I put the different colored tulips, some of the hyacinths, and a handful of miniature narcissus.

Scheeper’s shorted me on the tulips. Each bag was supposed to hold 12 tulips and only had 10, which means they shorted me a half a dozen tulips. And no, the packets are not by weight, but number of bulbs. Another strike against them, along with all the order kerflamma.

Next year, should I want more bulbs, I’ll get them from Color Blends again. Their bulbs are high quality, and they’re lovely to deal with. The only reason I used Scheeper’s this year is because Color Blends sells bulbs in packs of 25, and that’s a lot. But when you buy 25 bulbs from them, the packages actually have 25.

There were still left over hyacinth and narcissus bulbs left over after I planted the troughs, so I have one large round pot with a mix, and one smaller round pot with the rest of the narcissus.

Some of the bulbs looked like they were already sprouting, because it’s been so warm. We may have flowers for Christmas; if we do, we’ll enjoy them.

We did a bunch of rearranging plants, between what’s still on the porch and what needs to be inside for the winter.

On Tuesday morning, I dashed out to get a tarp. We brought in the rest of the plants and decorations, and some of the furniture from the back balcony. The bistro chairs and bench stay out all winter, albeit without their cushions. We tarped them this year, to protect them, and moved the bench directly under the kitchen window, where we can keep an eye on it.

I have some paint touch-ups to do on the decorations over the winter, especially on the windchimes, which need a new coat of copper rustoleum.

Instead of putting the green shelf unit out on the porch, we’re putting it in the kitchen this year, in front of the window, with some small plants on top, and storing decorations and tools underneath. We won’t have 4 around the table again until spring, as far as we know, so we can take up that space.

We’ve got most of the pots emptied and cleaned; there are still a few more to do. I brought in the lemon balm, and will cut it back shortly to dry it, so I can use it all winter.

The tomatoes are still growing, happy as can be.

We might have lost our giant peace lily, after eleven years, which would be a shame. I think I left it out too long. Even though the days were warm, the nights were too cold. I’m hoping to gently nurse it back to health over the next few weeks.

The snapdragons didn’t bloom this year, but the foliage turned pretty colors, so hopefully, it will survive again for next year. And, maybe bloom.

Pretty soon, we’ll need to decide what to plant for next year. I have to go through the garden journal notes I kept and decide what to plant again (we know we want more black-eyed Susan vine), what to skip (dahlias, they’re too much of a diva for me to deal with), and what to add to the mix.

I’m also going to look at seed companies. If it turns out that we didn’t have success with seeds from a particular company, I won’t order from them again.

I didn’t order anything from Johnny’s, up in Maine, last year, and that was definitely a mistake. And I want to buy more seeds from the Botanical Garden down in Sturbridge, because they were good.

I didn’t plant zinnias this year, either, and I missed them. I also want to get some indoor houseplants over the winter, such as another philodendron. I miss having philodendron.

How’s your garden going to bed this year? Or, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, how it is shaping up?

Thurs. Nov. 10, 2022: Crisp

(image courtesy of Ulrike Leone via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Gemini

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

Sunny and cold

Weird weather, all over the place. It was unseasonably warm last weekend. The weather was beautiful on Saturday, so we trekked up into Vermont and over to New York. Being in this upper corner of MA, we can joke about traveling to three states in one day!

Sunday and Monday it rained. Tuesday and yesterday, it was much colder, and pretty windy.

I finally planted more cat grass for the cats (Willa is very disappointed in me). It should be ready by the weekend, and then I’ll plant another pot, so that’s ready by the time they finish this one.

Either Saturday or Sunday, we’ll plant the tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulbs, finally. I need to clear some annuals from the front porch, and bring in the last plants from the back, and finally take everything in from the back balcony. I’ve enjoyed having extra sunny and warm days, but it’s time.

Yesterday, a bird came to roost on the rail of the balcony, as soon as it got dark. It was still there when I got up this morning, and I wondered if it was hurt, or if I should take food or water out to it. But once the sun came off, it flew away (leaving a big mess on the balcony that I have to clean up). At first I thought it was a pigeon, but it wasn’t. I have to get out the bird book and figure out what it was.

I can’t believe it’s going to be Thanksgiving soon, and then Christmas. This year went fast!

The wreath we got for the front door (and later kept inside, on the living room door) stayed green until June. We got it from Whitney’s Farm in Cheshire, so you can bet that’s where we’ll get it again this year!

I have the needles I stripped from the wreath in June, and I’ll get an orange and put some cloves in it and make a nice scent for the potpourri dish at the top of the stairs. What we have in there now has faded, and I don’t like the store-bought, overly perfumy stuff.

We have to start thinking about what we want to plant next year, already, so that I can order seeds in January. More herbs, I think, and medicinal plants. And zinnias. I didn’t plant any zinnias this year, and I missed them.

I have to go through the garden journal I kept (not this one, the one where I paste in the seed packets and take notes), to do an assessment. That will factor into the decisions.

The tomato plants are growing like crazy on the porch. Christmas tomatoes this year!

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. Nov. 3, 2022: Unseasonably Warm

(image courtesy of Valentin via pixabay.com)

Thursday, November 3, 2022

2nd Quarter Moon Waxing in Pisces

Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus, Mars Retrograde

Partly cloudy and warm

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

We’re in for an unseasonably warm streak, at least through the weekend. That’s good news for our heating bill, and, I think, for most of the plants still out back and on the porch.

The chrysanthemums are blooming beautifully, and so are some of the marigolds. The tomatoes are thriving. I’m telling you, this will be the year of the Christmas tomatoes.

But I’m not sure what to do about planting the bulbs for spring. If it’s too warm when I plant them, will they behave like forced bulbs and come up early? I’m trying to find out that information, so I can plant them properly. Today and tomorrow are planting days, and then not again until next week.

It’s the Celtic Tree Month of Reed right now. Reed is about adaptability and bending without breaking. Definitely good skills to have during the holiday season, and with Mars retrograde. The plant is also associated with health, music, and learning one’s destiny.

Most of the leaves have turned by now, here I the mountains, and fallen. The evergreens are stoic, waiting for snows to decorate them for the winter months, although who knows when that will happen? Some predictions are that we will have snow the first week of December; others than this will be an unusually mild winter.

All we can do is ride it out.

I’m looking forward to burrowing down in blankets and pillows and not being out and about more than necessary for the winter!

How are things in your area?

Thurs. July 21, 2022: Blooms and Bombs

image courtesy of S. Hermann & F. Richter via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 21, 2022

4th Quarter Moon waning in Taurus

Pluto, Saturn, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Holly

Hazy and hot

We finally broke into seasonally hot weather. It’s nowhere near as hot as it is in other parts of the world, but it’s in the low 90’s, feeling like the high 90’s, and humid. Since we don’t have air conditioning, it’s a challenge.

Some of the plants are doing very well; some are not. One of the dahlias is doing well, and we’re getting the first blossoms. The other dahlia is dying, and I have no idea why. The cucumber got pollinated and was growing cucumbers, and suddenly, it’s up and died.

The tomatoes still haven’t grown up into anything. They should be big enough to start blossoming. I don’t know what’s going on.

The pumpkin is happy out on the back balcony, and pumping out blossoms. Hopefully, at least one of them will turn into something.

The geraniums, impatience, and herbs are doing well. The marigolds are doing well as long as I water them every day. The hollyhocks are doing well, although they’ve stalled, height-wise.

Spiro Squirrel kept digging up the tansy, so I brought it to the front porch instead. I’m hoping I can save it. The other tansy is doing well, the one that was always on the front.

The peace lily is quite happy out on the back balcony and blooming like crazy.

Well, it’s a learning curve. I’m making careful notes in the plant journal, so that I can adjust from next year, and learn from what didn’t work.

I’m getting ready to order the tulip and hyacinth bulbs. I bought long window-box style troughs. We’ll plant the bulbs in them in October, so that they’ll come up (hopefully) in the spring. We’ll overwinter them on the front porch, which we close off in winter, because of the cold. So they’ll be protected from digging squirrels, but still get the cold they need.

It gets cool by around 3 AM for a few hours, before it starts heating up again. It’s supposed to break on Sunday night into Monday, and only be in the 80’s next week.

I’m disappointed that the vegetables aren’t growing well, but it makes me even more grateful for the Farmers’ Market, which is just bursting at the seams with wonderful bounty.

How’s your garden growing?