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. Dec. 30, 2021: Birch, the Month of Regeneration & Creativity

image courtesy of Alain Audet via pixabay.com

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Fourth Quarter Waning Moon in Scorpio

Uranus and Venus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Birch

Rainy and cold

It’s rainy and raw over here in the mountains. We had some light snow, intermittently, over the past few days. We had snow on Christmas Eve, which was quite lovely, but it switched over to freezing rain by Christmas Day, and everything washed away. Then, the other night, we had just a bit of overnight snow, which the rain has, again, washed away.

The seed catalogs are coming in. After the holidays, I will sit down with books like ALL YOU CAN EAT IN THREE SQUARE FEET to figure out what we can and want to grow next year. I never got to use the seeds I ordered last year, before the move. In fact, I can’t even find them, although I hope to uncover them as I finish the unpacking.

Planning next year’s garden is always fun. I can dream as wildly as I want, before getting more practical, in terms of space available. It will be very different this year, because we can’t do any in-ground planting.

I miss my lilac bushes terribly.

The Celtic Tree Month of Birch is about regeneration and creativity. I could use some of that!

Happy New Year! I wish you health, peace, abundance, and joy.

Thurs. Oct. 7, 2021: Mist and Mountains

image courtesy of Eberhard Grossgasteiger via Pexels.com

Thursday, October 7, 2021

1st Quarter Waxing Moon in Libra

Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Misty and mild

It’s been raining for the past few days. So, although the leaves are turning colors, everything is damp and a bit muffled. It’s still very pretty. And, as we drive to our errands, watching how the color palette changes on the mountains around us is beautiful. I worry when I see the river getting high against the banks, but the locals aren’t worried; I figure they’ll let me know if and when it’s time to be concerned.

We brought in some of the plants from the back balcony. Some of them are now on the front porch, at least temporarily, like the Christmas cacti, which are about to burst into bloom. The front porch has southern exposure, while the back balcony faces north.

The red geraniums are still blooming like crazy.

The apples are plentiful this year. I’ve been baking with apples: muffins, cake, etc. I indulged in my favorite apple cider donuts, too, from a local orchard, and they were wonderful.

The days are shorter. It’s too dark to sit on the front porch and write for my first writing session of the day. I write in the living room, on the couch, with the light on. The cats are still curled up with me, though. It’s usually dark when I start my morning yoga practice, but fairly light by the time I finish it. I like the way it lightens as I progress through the sequence.

I’m learning the rhythms of this place, which is so different from the rhythms of the Cape.

The farm-to-table movement is huge here, with plenty of local farms, which means lots and lots of harvest festivals all around. Each has a unique personality, which is why they can all thrive in the same region.

The town re-instated their Fall Foliage Parade last Sunday; we were lucky enough that some of the floats and marchers came down our little street at the end of the parade route, and we could watch from the safety and comfort of our front porch. Still not comfortable around a lot of people, even if we’re all masked and vaccinated. So much work went into the floats; it was delightful. There was a sense of humor and fun about them, and bright colors. Everything’s felt so drab for the last eighteen months, that people want to create and wear color.

Since we keep hearing how hard winter is here, we have every intention of finding lots of joy in autumn!

Thurs. March 25, 2021: Listen To The Wind

image courtesy of mahongphuc via pixabay.com

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Second Quarter Moon Waxing in Leo

Celtic Tree Month Of Alder

Foggy and cooler

I’m worried that the next couple of months will be boring on the garden front for readers. I’m not planting, because we’re preparing to move, although we don’t yet know where we will land.  As it gets milder, I may put some of the big pots back out on the deck, but it won’t be the Enchanted Garden we usually set up. I’m packing the other pots and the garden ornaments. I might put out the Adirondack chairs when it’s nice, so we can at least sit on the deck and enjoy it a bit before we go.

There hasn’t been much rain lately, and we desperately need it.  Supposedly, we will get some today.

The last few days have been nice enough to open the windows and doors to the deck to let in some fresh air, at least for a little bit every day. That’s been cheerful.

I think I will, however, put up the chimes on the deck. I love the sound of the chimes. Especially in the night. Or, sometimes, I like to just sit on the deck in a light breeze and listen.

How’s your garden growing? How’s your spring shaping up?

Thurs. Dec. 3, 2020: Holiday Decorating

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Cancer

Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

Not much to report on the garden at all this week. We’ve had a series of storms coming through. My neighbors spend all their time leaf blowing, and then the wind just blows leaves all around because THEY DON’T HAUL THEM AWAY. As usual, doing everything half-assed and spending hours creating noise pollution that does nothing.

I haven’t finished taking in things from the deck, although I will probably do so this weekend. Because of the storms, I’ve delayed putting up the exterior decorations, something else I hope to get done this weekend, although we’re supposed to have more storms.

I suppose I should be grateful it’s all rain and not snow.

The lemon seeds have not sprouted. I’m not sure if it’s because the lemons weren’t actually organic, as marked, and these are sterile seeds, or because it’s off season. They’re in a lovely pot in a warm, sunny window.

I find it alarming that so much seed-saving from grocery-bought food now yields nothing. Too many sterile seeds, and too much corporate control of our food supply.

I’m designing fictional gardens for several stories right now, and thoroughly enjoying it. If there isn’t much to say, plant-wise, over the winter, maybe I’ll share some of that.

The Thanksgiving/Christmas cacti are blossoming, though. They are beautiful, and make us happy every time we walk into a room and see them.

We don’t have real Poinsettias because of the cats. We do have an artificial one, and I have to spray it with Bitter Yuck anyway.

Our neighbor down the street has put lights up on the front of his house, and they are quite lovely. He keeps them on all night.

It seems quite a few people have waited this year to decorate outdoors. There’s a lot of talk about more indoor decorations, since more people who have the option to stay home as much as possible during the holiday season are doing that.

We have the large, artificial tree up – we had to rearrange the furniture in the living room, since the large cat condo lives where the tree usually did. I bought this tree at Pergament in Port Chester for $49.99 in the early 90s. It’s been a lovely workhorse.

We have several artificial trees throughout the house – or rather, we will, when we finish decorating, which will probably take a few more weeks.

We do, however, have a live wreath, pictured at the top of this post. I buy a plain wreath, and then we decorate it however we wish for that year.

We also use a lot of real pinecones in our decorating.

When I take it apart over the winter, I save a handful of the dried greens for the following Solstice – for instance, last year’s wreath will start this year’s Solstice fire on the 21st. The rest of the greens I also keep, and use as kindling throughout the winter for the fireplace.

That’s pretty much it, this week. If the weather lets up a bit, I can put up the outdoor decorations. At the very least, I have to start getting in the furniture and the last big pots in off the deck. It’s been mild, so I haven’t wanted to bring the overwintering plants in yet.

How’s your week in the garden?

Thurs. Feb. 6, 2020: Rain. More Rain

rain-455124_1920
image courtesy of ChristopherPluta via pixabay.com

Thursday, February 6, 2020
Waxing Moon 2nd Quarter in Cancer
Celtic Tree Month of Rowan
Rainy and mild for February

It’s raining. Again. I don’t mind the rain; I quite like listening to it tapping on the roof, provided I’m curled up with a good book inside.

But we need a prolonged cold snap. Otherwise, the growing season will be thrown off, and the bugs will be a nightmare.

A client of mine went to her garden club meeting, where an etymologist told them not to use anything organic to fight ticks; instead, use dangerous pesticides. How much you want to bet he’s getting a kickback from a pesticide company?

In any event, I hope to get some indoor planting done today and tomorrow, which are planting days. Some cuttings are showing roots, and need to be put into pots. I want to start some lettuce seeds.

Fingers crossed!

Thurs. Nov. 21, 2019: The Weather Is Not Cooperating

20191121_074435

Thursday, November 21, 2019
Waning Moon, 4th quarter in Virgo
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Reed
Partly sunny and cold

The weather is not cooperating.

We took 10 30-gallon bags of leaves to the dump late last week. We’ve only filled about 3 or 4 more, mostly because it’s either been too windy to rake, or it’s been raining. That cold, damp, chilling rain that stings when it hits your skin and makes you cold to the bone.

I managed to scrub down the inside of the deck over the weekend. There is no mold. It was all dirt from being blown around in the yard, or from the plants. I dry brushed, then used Murphy’s oil soap. It downright gleams now.

Some boards in the deck do need replacement, as do the stairs, but they don’t have to do the whole thing.

The guy who was supposed to come and look at the deck and the back of the house (which was never painted eight years ago when the front of the house was done) never showed up on Monday. I’m sure it was because of the rain, but still, someone should have let us know. I rearranged my work day so I’d be here.

I’m tired of losing billable hours due to unreliable workmen.

It’s rained all week so far. This is the first day it’s drying out.

As soon as it’s dry enough, I’ll be raking again. We’re supposed to get snow at some point this weekend. I’m just going to rake any day it’s dry enough so to do. Every day a bit, and eventually, it all gets done.

Because the front is what’s most seen, that’s what gets the most attention, but, eventually, I’ll get the side, the back, and the meadow done as well.

Much of it depends on how soon the snow comes in, how much it is, and how long it covers the ground.

The beds are tucked in with leaves, so they will have a good winter. It’s always good to use leaves on the beds. They mulch down nicely, and then the soil is in good shape in the spring. Clean-up’s a bit messy, but the plants like it, and it’s worth it in the long run.

I can’t believe next week is Thanksgiving. Which means, shortly thereafter, that the Winter Holiday decorating begins. I decorate outside as well as in, so I’m sure there will be something to say.

The Thanksgiving cacti are in bloom, and look beautiful. The photos at the top and bottom of this post are those plants.

I won’t post on Thanksgiving, but I’ll be back the following week to talk about how I’m doing with my holiday greens!

20191121_074621_Burst01

Thurs. April 25, 2019: Almost Time to Mow

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Waning Moon 3rd Quarter Capricorn
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Sunny and pleasant

Slowly, too slowly, I’m replanting the tomatoes into the pots in which I hope they’ll grow and thrive all summer.

A lot of rain this past week, which means I haven’t been able to do much yard work. Yesterday, I managed to rake out and cut back part of the terraced bed. I got about half done. Lots to do, because of the invasives. Cut back the roses some more.

I can see how the roses grew and overwhelmed castles and cottages in fairy tales. I feel like we’re on the cusp of it here.

In order not to get overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, I decided that this year, I will listen to the yard, instead of watching what the neighbors do. What demands attention first? I’ll prioritize from there.

The rain means the grass looks good. It also means I need to start mowing soon. I might get a chance to do a bit this afternoon, maybe at least one section. But there’s a lot of raking I need to do before I can mow everything.

Last year, I ditched the gas mower that was always trying to kill me and went old school with a push mower. Best thing I ever did.

I still don’t enjoy mowing, but it’s a much better experience, which means I can stay on top of it more.

Where are you in your planting/gardening for the season?

Birdbath and Bugs

IMG_1080

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Dark Moon, 4th Quarter Aries
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Cloudy and cool

I finally found a birdbath I like, and I have happy birds splashing around in the yard. I figure I’ll clean it once or twice a week, but it’s now included in my daily morning stroll around the yard, connecting with the property and seeing what needs to be done.

The morning glories died — I think I put them out on the deck too soon. I’ll have to plant some more today.

Inside, I’m having trouble with those little cream colored bugs, infesting all sorts of my plants. They are especially aggressive with the eggplant, cucumber, lemon, calendula, and cyclamen. I have to de-bug these plants leaf-by-leaf. They haven’t been too successful with the tomatoes yet, but this is war. The stuff I bought at the garden center doesn’t work; ivory snow soap and water doesn’t work. I’m picking them off by hand, leaf by leaf, and washing the plants down, but I’ll have to dig into garden books and find something herbal that will kick ass. I also need more marigolds, especially to protect my tomatoes.

The tomatoes are getting moved to the “big girl” pots today, as are the bok choy, the cucumbers, and the peppers. It’s still too early to put them in the ground or even on the deck. But I’ll also start some other seeds, since it is a planting day.

Astrologically, I should wait until Friday to plant anything that appears above-ground, but I probably won’t. I have more lemon seeds, gala apple seeds, and jalapeno seeds harvested from bought produce to try, and I want to get some of the flowers going, too.

IMG_1072

The lamb’s ears in the terraced bed haven’t reappeared this year, but some invited themselves into the front lawn, so I’m going to dig them up and move them before mowing the front this morning. I mowed the terraced back area a few days ago, and then used the trimmers (I have hand edgers, not gas-powered) around some of the edges and yanked dandelions. I like the violets and johnny-jump-ups that pattern in the yard, and while I appreciate the dandelions, there are too many of them, and I’d rather they stayed in their own area.

It’s supposed to rain later this morning, and then rain off and on for the next few days, so I’ll be limited in what I can do. I hope to get started on mowing the meadow over the weekend, and maybe clearing out some more stuff at the property’s edges. I’d like to get some grass seed in a few places, before the rain starts.

In other words, I must adapt my day to the weather, not do things when I can fit them into my schedule!

Devon