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. 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?

Thurs. March 10, 2022: Watching Seedlings Grow

imaage courtesy of Jesus Leal via pixabay.com

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Gemini

Celtic Tree Month of Ash

Sunny and snowy

They told us we’d have 2-3 inches of accumulation yesterday, but it snowed all day, and I think it’s between 6 and 8 inches. I have some shoveling to do in the parking lot to get my car out!

The little seedlings are doing well. When the sun warms the front porch enough, I bring out the seedlings for a few hours in the afternoon, and then take them back in when the sun angle changes.

Last Sunday, I planted the Black-Eyed Susan vine and the lemon balm. They should sprout by the end of the month.

I ordered tansy seeds from one company, and mallow and sweet peas from another. The tansy seeds should be here Saturday, so maybe I’ll plant them this weekend. I want a pot of tansy in for the front porch and one for the back balcony, to keep away pests.

I bought some more pots. I have to get the lighter ones, because I don’t want too much weight on the porch or the balcony. I could have the large, ceramic planters on Cape because they were on the deck, and that was sturdy enough to hold the weight. The porch and balcony can probably take a good deal of weight here, but I don’t want to push my luck.

I have to get some more potting soil, too, which I will pick up tomorrow. I want to get the tomatoes and the cucumbers started. I’m going to seed them directly, rather than do starter pots and then replant.

I will need to replant the lemon that I grew from organic seed into a bigger pot. It’s doing well. I have some organic pear and clementine saved seeds that I want to try.

It feels weird to focus on planting when there’s still so much snow happening, but it’s necessary. We probably can’t put anything out on the back balcony until late April or early May. The front porch, since it’s enclosed and south-facing, will be able to hold plants earlier, as long as the nights don’t get too cold.

I miss my lilacs terribly. I’ll probably spend way too much money this spring buying cut lilacs.

The cat grass grew like crazy. Willa and Charlotte love it, and have almost chomped down the first pot. I’ll order more seeds, and probably grow two pots to alternate, so they always have some cat grass. Tessa thinks it’s awful, and won’t go near it.

The snow is pretty, but it was a heavy, wet snow that’s clinging to branches and power lines. It won’t be fun to shovel. But it will all get done.

The birds are very busy, and they’re negotiating who lives in which bird house and nest out back (there were two bird houses and one covered platform with a nest up on the back balcony when we moved here). The cats love to sit on the chairs in the kitchen near the window and watch the birds. I have a Sibley’s Audubon Guide to the birds I recently unpacked, and I bet we use that a lot this year.

How are things in your neck of the woods?

Thurs. March 3, 2022: Tiny Shoots

image courtesy of u_79qqozws via pixabay.com

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Waxing Moon First Quarter in Pisces

Celtic Tree Month of Ash

Snowy and cold

It’s snowing, off and on, every few days, then changes to slush, then freezes over and snows some more again. We had about eight or ten inches of snow over last weekend, so there was shoveling involved.

The marine heliotrope seeds are growing steadily. Still tiny, thin shoots, but quite a few of them. The echinacea is slowly adding more shoots to its pot. These are sturdier and wider. The columbine has a few wispy shoots coming up.

This past week, on a planting day, I planted some cat grass. I’m going to see if the cats will go for it, and leave the maiden hair fern alone.

Some of the Christmas cacti are blooming again. And they’re dropping some stems, which means we’re rooting them. The geranium, which came from a cutting from the huge geraniums we gave our neighbors when we moved, is doing well, although I’ll probably buy a couple more this spring.

I miss my lilacs so much that it physically hurts.

I’m in the process of getting more pots and more earth, so I can stagger the starts of the rest of the seeds over the next few weeks. Some of them are seeds that don’t like to be moved, so I have to plant them in their permanent pot from the beginning. I don’t want to do that until we can put plants out on the screened-in porch in front. It will be a couple of months until we can put things out on the back balcony again.

How are your plants doing?

Thurs. Feb. 3, 2022: Seeds Ordered

image courtesy of Jonathan Kemper via Unsplash.com

Thursday, February 3, 2022

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Pisces

Mercury goes Direct today

Chinese Lunar New Year of the Water Tiger has begun (as of Tuesday)

Celtic Tree Month of Rowan

Rainy and mild

It’s raining this morning, and this evening, another snowstorm comes in. I don’t know how much snow we’re supposed to get; the predictions are all over the place. So I’ll try to dig out the car in the rain, before it all freezes down again.

This week, I ordered my seeds. Yes, it’s probably a little late, but at least they’re ordered.

I did a spread sheet with information from the four different seed catalogs I got, comparing the seeds I liked best, and prices. I decided that, this year, I’m ordering from Botanical Interests (even though their seeds disappointed me a couple of years back) and Kitchen Garden Seeds.

I only ordered two vegetables this year: mini cucumbers and a cherry tomato that can be grown from a hanging basket. I want to see how they do, and then maybe add more vegetables next year.

I will buy herbs in small pots at the garden center. I ordered an echinacea mix; if it grows well, then I’ll have that, and lemon balm, and cat grass. We’ll also buy some lettuce, because we love salads with lettuce we’ve just picked.

Most of what I ordered this year are flowers: black-eyed Susan vine (which supposedly grows well here); Four O’clocks; Hollyhocks; Nasturtiums.

I’d hoped to get a globe thistle and grey poppy, but they were sold out, across the board.

So we’ll see. Hopefully, the seeds will arrive soon, and I can start the planting.

I did not do a ceremonial first planting for Imbolc yesterday; I might do one today, with some clementine seeds and some pumpkin seeds, which are part of my saved seeds project.

I have to learn how to garden here; what works, and what doesn’t. It will be trial and error.

I miss my lilacs. I might buy a lilac slip and try growing one in a pot again, like I did on Cape.

What seeds are you planting this season?

Thurs. May 20, 2021: Brilliant Lilacs!

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Second Quarter Moon Waxing in Scorpio

Pluto Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn

Sunny and pleasant

The lilacs are absolutely magnificent this year. I’ve never seen the heritage lilac so laden with blooms. The scent is amazing. I have my windows open, and every time there’s a breeze, it’s heaven.

I’m grateful we were here to see and smell them one last time, and that they’re so magnificent.

The grass is growing, and it’s exciting. No, I’m not being sarcastic. It’s actually exciting to watch the grass grow. There’s a difference, not just every day, but between morning and evening.

The pollen, however. . .my goodness. I sat outside for an hour the other day; when I came in, I had to shower to scrub off all the pollen. Then I had to scrub out the tub, because it was all in a lump at the bottom of the tub. Tessa, my black cat, sat in the window for a stretch; the pollen came through the screen, and she had gold highlights. I cleaned her off so she wouldn’t groom herself and ingest the pollen.

I need to run the little push mower over the front grass, which is starting to suffer from Vacant Lot Syndrome. I didn’t hire the lawn guy this year, since we’re leaving; besides, that little patch isn’t worth anyone’s time. Let’s hope the push mower can get it done.

I’m cleaning, sorting, and stacking the pots we’ve accumulated over the years. Boy, do we have a lot of pots. They’ll have to go in storage, if we move somewhere without a garage or a basement (which seems likely at this point).

Trying to get rid of the big lawn mower and the electric shovel, but no takers so far. I’ll just keep trying.

How are things blooming in your area?

photo by Devon Ellington

Thurs. May 13, 2021: Lilacs!

image courtesy of RitaE via pixabay.com

Thursday, May 13, 2021

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Gemini

Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn begins

Sunny and pleasant

The lilacs are blooming! My lovely white Edith Cavill lilac in the pot blooms, and the heritage lilac tree that came with the house. I’m so grateful to be here for the blooms one last time. I will miss them when we leave. When I’m out on the deck, every breeze is filled with heavenly scent!

So what does Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn mean? Instead of regurgitating information, I’m linking to a delightful article on Eco Enchantments here. I can use some of the protection, relaxation, and happiness!

I’m tending the irrigation on the newly sodded patches. The landlord set it up after the septic guys sowed last week, and I make sure to turn it on in the early evenings, when it looks dry.

I’ve been so sick since the last vaccine dose that I haven’t done much anywhere. The landlord has landscapers looking at the space, so once the sod comes in, I assume they’ll get to work. I’m going to ask him to let me know when, so I can get the big potted lilacs and azalea out of the way. I hope we have green space where we’re going so we can take our big pots, but if we don’t, neighbors down the street will give them a home.

This weekend, I plan to clean out the garage, while still packing and trying to purge more from the basement. I especially want to get the garden things sorted out and packed.

It’s supposed to be lovely and finally getting warmer (we still have flannel sheets on the beds and are using hot water bottles). But I bet the pine pollen drops soon and then, it’s one big Achoo! For a few weeks.

How’s your May shaping up?

Thurs. April 22, 2021: Earth Day

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Leo

Celtic Tree Month of Willow

Sunny and cool

Earth Day

The photo is of the forsythia in the backyard, with the chimes from the deck. It’s in full bloom now, and lovely.

The lilacs are starting to bud, and the maple is showing red buds. We still have daffodils and hyacinths in the front yard, although the rain battered them a bit. I’m enjoying whatever time we have left with this yard.

Today is Earth Day. I still have the tee shirt from the first Earth Day.

How much do you want to bet the jackasses will be out today, since it’s sunny, cutting down more trees and destroying more habitat on Earth Day? Pretty soon, there won’t be any trees left on Cape Cod, except in the Audubon sanctuaries.

Weather’s been all over the place this past week, reeling from snow to warm enough to sit on the deck. I’ve taken Willa and Charlotte out in their playpens a few times. The other day, I took Willa out, but it was so windy, her playpen got blown over, so I took her back inside.

I hate not having any tomato or lettuce seedlings, but it doesn’t make sense to plant them, since we don’t know where we’ll be, or if we’ll have any green space.

The indoor plants are doing well.

I just want a nice, safe place to live with a little green space. I hate being in limbo.

April 15, 2021: Spring in A Changing Neighborhood

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, April 15, 2021

First Quarter Waxing Moon in Taurus

Celtic Tree Month of Willow begins

Cloudy and cold

Yes, that is a photo of my potted forsythia, started a few years back from cuttings from the forsythia in the yard. It started blooming in the garage. Last weekend, I moved the forsythia, the potted lilac, the two potted Roses of Sharon, and the clematis onto the deck, with the Adirondack chairs and the small table. We might as well enjoy whatever nice days we have left here.

We have a few daffodils blooming at the front and side of the house.

It’s been much cooler here than in the rest of the state, although Worcester is set to get snow tonight into tomorrow. Here, it will be heavy rain, which we desperately need.

People move to Cape Cod, claiming they move here for the beauty. Then, all they do is cut away trees and bushes and add chemicals to grasses and make it look like any subdivision in any bland spot in the world. Why do people come here to destroy? Why can’t they ever appreciate the beauty that’s here?

Coyote mating season is February/March. This year, I didn’t hear a single coyote call. Not one. Usually, they keep me up for at least a few weeks while they get busy. This year – not once.

Between the idiot with his landscaping and heavy machinery across the street, and the sketchy neighbors on the property behind with their late-night deliveries, odd heavy machine noises, and stack of old mattresses stacked in their back yard, this neighborhood is turning into a mix of industrial park and short-term rentals. It’s very discouraging.

On a happier note, we are moving into the Tree Month of Willow. I love Willow trees. They are about healing, growth, and protection, all of which I could use right now.

Yesterday was a nice enough sunny day, albeit a little chilly, to sit outside. Willa and Charlotte wanted to come, so I put them in their playpens, took a book and a glass of white cranberry peach juice, bundled up in a jacket, and sat outside for about an hour.

The traffic is as bad as it would be in midsummer. The neighborhood idiots keep buying bigger and louder leaf blowers, and running them all day every day EVEN THOUGH THERE ARENT’ ANY LEAVES. Quiet enjoyment of one’s space is no longer an option.

But the perennials in the terraced bed are poking up again, determined to make it for another year. The lilacs – both the old lilac by the fence, and the two potted lilacs I have near the fence – are starting to bud. There are some birds. Somebody built a big old nest in one of the oak trees.

Charlotte was a good little princess out there on her playpen. She sniffed the new smells, gave herself a bath, played with the toys in her playpen, and settled down to enjoy being out.

Willa did sniffy-sniffy and paced like a caged lion. She had a few things to say, and also played with her toys. But she’s learned how to roll her playpen, and I have to keep an eye on her, because she’s gotten pretty good at it, and can cover a lot of ground fast. I don’t want her rolling down the steps and across the yard.

Tessa, meanwhile, was up in the window, and in her new bed (more about that on today’s Ink in My Coffee post on the other blog).

Even with the noise and the chaos, it was nice to sit outside in semi-fresh air (all the leaf blowers and heavy machinery leave a weighted scent of machine oil around all the time, so it’s hard to smell what’s budding).

Maybe, just maybe, it will clear up a bit over the weekend, so we can sit out again.

In the meantime, how’s your garden growing? Have you started any seeds?

Thurs. May 21, 2020: Finally, A Planting Day

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Thursday, May 21, 2020
Dark Moon in Taurus
Pluto Retrograde
Venus Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
Sunny and pleasant

I’m very disappointed with the packet seeds I bought this year. Saved seeds from organic food has sprouted much better. Let’s see if they will get pollinated and actually make food.

It was too cold to plant last weekend, but it’s warming up. Since today is a planting day, I’m going to plant some flower seeds, and maybe repot some tomato seedlings. Monday is the next planting day, and I will probably plant beans and peas that day.

I still have to clean out some of the beds and trim back some plants.

The big lilac is blooming in the back; not that many flowers this year, but I will cut some and put them in water. I love the smell of lilacs.

When I own my own property, I plan to add one lilac each year! Lilacs, lilacs everywhere!

We have the deck mostly set up – the photo above is a partial view. If the idiot neighbors didn’t spend all day EVERY day running chainsaws and leaf blowers, maybe I could actually enjoy sitting outside sometimes. I’d like to be able to enjoy the reason we rented this house. For the past few years, the neighbors blatantly violate noise code 7 days a week, for hours at a time, and the town can’t be bothered to enforce it. Yet renters are required to sign something stating they “understand” the noise code. But owners can do whatever they want?

No one HAS to make that much noise ALL the time.

Let’s hope I can enjoy a few hours here and there outside this weekend.

I intend to take it as a holiday weekend, and enjoy time at home without the pressure of having to do anything I don’t want to do.

Hope you can do the same.

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