Thurs. Oct. 20, 2022: Frost

image courtesy of Perez Vocking courtesy of pixabay.com

Thursday, October 20, 2022

4th Quarter Waning Moon in Leo

Saturn, Neptune, Chiron, Jupiter, Uranus retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

A little cloudy and cold

We’ve had frost several times in the past week, although it’s supposed to go back up to the 60s over the weekend. Plant rearranging time has come. By Sunday, we will move more plants in from the front porch, such as the geraniums, and probably bring in the last few from the back balcony and put them on the front porch for the winter.

We have to sort out the different pots, too, and figure out where we can store them.

The tulip, daffodil, and hyacinth bulbs arrived, and we will plant them on the next planting day, which is Wednesday. They will live out on the front porch all winter. In spring, when they come up, they will go out on the back balcony.

Pretty soon, we have to sit down and figure out what seeds we want to plant next year. I think we’ll focus more on medicinal herbs, and maybe some zinnias.

Although. . .the tomatoes are suddenly growing like gangbusters. Go figure.

The trees are absolutely gorgeous. The colors are spectacular.

How’s your garden?

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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. 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?

Pots

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Waning Moon in Scorpio
Saturn Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Rowan
Snowy and cold

I’ve always liked flower pots, mostly the simple terra cotta kind you can find anywhere, but also the lovely, ceramic, decorated ones. It’s kind of like “fashion for flowers”, and, this year, I have to think about pots in a different light, since most of my gardening will take place in containers, especially the herbs. Inside, I have a lovely jumble of all sorts of clay pots, the traditional terra cottas, and pots that I bought at craft fairs or people I know made for me at some point or another.

And, when the Alberta Spruce trees in front wake up and decide to grow this spring, I want to put them in pretty pots slightly larger than the ones they are in now, so that they can grow and enjoy themselves. The plan is to put them in a slightly larger pot each year until I own a property where I can put them in the ground and they can live like, well, trees.

I bought five pots the other day — two in a faded, heathery bronze, two in a heathery blue, and one in a kind of a muted red. They’re different sizes, but the shapes are complimentary. The two largest ones, the bronze, will hold the tomato and basil plants. I’m not sure what the others will hold — I kind of like the idea of one of the blue pots holding the white poppy (provided I can find that seed) and mugwort and something else that works well with those.

In any case, although it’s still January, I am stockpiling pots when I find pots I like and they go well with each other and the deck — the roof of the deck is painted a bright, crisp white. The floor is a muted, heathery grey — hence the heather tone in the pots, which will compliment it, even if it place the pots in different places in the yard. I’ll have a mix of terra cotta, probably, but in the back, I think I’ll keep the tones muted.

In the front, around the Alberta Spruces, I may place more brightly colored pots. Another plan is to find a wheelbarrow to place in front of the Gemini Oaks (no, I’m not calling them that because I think there’s a genus or species of oak named Gemini; I’m calling them that because they are a pair of twin oaks in the front yard), and will place a variety of pots in that. I’ve wanted a wheelbarrow since I was six years old; now I have a reason to get one.

So I sit in the snowstorm with garden books and plan. I keep my eyes open for sales and on craigslist and elsewhere. Slowly but surely, I accumulate what I need and want for the garden — with an eye on budget that keeps me creative instead of stifling me.

Devon