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?

Aug. 12, 2021: Making Friends With My New Area’s Nature

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Waxing Moon First Quarter in Libra

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Hazel

Heat wave: hot, humid, hazy

It’s been a few months since I posted. The photo above is the enchanted garden we’ve set up on the back balcony at the new home in the Berkshires.

We also have a screened in front porch, where we have our Adirondack chairs, the blue wicker chair, more plants (especially herbs, because of the Southern exposure), and more of our outdoor décor.

It was painful to say goodbye to Che Guevara Chipmunk, the murder of crows, the Gemini Oaks in the front lawn, the lovely Maple in the back. The covered back deck.

We couldn’t take many of our large potted plants with us, such as the Roses of Sharon, various lilacs, forsythia, etc. We gave them to neighbors who love to garden, and will either plant them in their own garden, or find them good homes. We gave away a lot of pots, and a lot of garden tools, including rakes, hoes, spades, the lot.

For a decade, we’ve loved that third of an acre, even when things like the mowing were difficult. We had a close relationship with the plants and wildlife. I’d done a lot of rooting work, psychologically, and it was difficult to disengage.

We’ve moved from the ocean – where, due to the increased tourism and the local attitude that ONLY tourists matter, not residents, so the pollution increases as habitat is destroyed – to the mountains.

Technically, we live in a city. Yet there are so many trees all around us. And grass. And plants. We are tucked into the Berkshire mountains, with mountain views out the front and the back. The buildings here have porches or balconies, up and down. Most residents create their little patches of garden enchantment.

It’s very different than on Cape, and each region is beautiful in its own way.

The air is quite different, lacking the salt from the ocean. Also, even though we’re in a city rather than a village, there’s less pollution. The oily residue that’s taken over the air, the dirt, and even the fog on Cape isn’t in everything here.

The soil quality is different. While Cape Cod is known for mounds of gorgeous blue hydrangeas, the hydrangeas here tend to be white or pink and white. Black-eyed Susans (one of my favorite flowers) are popular here, as are sunflowers, and mounds and mounds of petunias, spilling out of baskets on porches and along public streets.

I have to learn the native plants, and figure out what we can grow next year. This year was too late to start much; we bought some pots of herbs, and some flowers, but next year, I will try to start more from seed.

I’ve visited the nearby lake, and I’m looking forward to visiting the Botanical Garden, and some private gardens, and the community gardens that are so popular here, and learning about the gardens and plants that thrive here in the mountains.

While I miss the space and the variety in my Cape garden, even though so much was in containers, I don’t miss the mowing, or the constant pressure for the property to look more landscaped and not be a habitat for the local wildlife.

Our back balcony is habitat – we have two birdhouses and a nest that were already occupied when we moved in (the landlord takes delight in them, too). They are bratty little birds, but an awful lot of fun to watch.

A pair of crows has found me, and visit every morning, when I write on the front porch. They’ve started to stop by and tell me the news. I enjoy my time with them.

I’m excited to see the beauties of autumn, winter, and spring here.

Thurs. Aug. 20, 2020: The Season Starts To Shift

sunflower-1627193_1920
image courtesy of uileo via pixabay.com

Thursday, August 20, 2020
First Quarter Moon Waxing in Scorpio
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Those aren’t my sunflowers, sadly. Mine didn’t come up this year.

The season is starting to turn. It’s not as hot and humid. It still doesn’t quite smell like autumn, but it’s not that hot, heavy, summer sensation. Thank goodness.

We had some rain, much-needed. The grass is still brown, and I’m waiting for the lawn food to arrive. I feel like all I do is battle kudzu.

The goldenrod is blooming. The Queen Anne’s Lace is fading, and, as it fades, it makes me sneeze.

The landlord is coming by later this afternoon, so I’m going to have to cut back a few things.

The beans were delightful. I think we might get one more meal’s worth from the plants before the end of the season.

The tomatoes are finally forming, on one plant anyway, but they’re staying green.

More cucumbers. Yum. I can never get enough cucumbers.

Zinnias and nasturtiums are fading. The morning glories are going like gangbusters.

I have so much basil I’ll be doing a big harvest and making pesto again. I love the home-made pesto.

The pansies are still blooming, which is kind of cute. We didn’t even switch over to petunias this year. Pretty soon, though, I’ll get some chrysanthemums. Mums always make me feel like it’s autumn. Not sure yet WHERE I’ll get them, since Country Gardens is so lax on masking and safety protocols, and I don’t want to shop there any more. But I’ll make that decision when it’s time.

The days are shorter. It’s actually too dark to do my first writing session of the day on the deck. And I have to work to catch the sunset after dinner, or I miss it. The angles of light are different, too. It’s one of the things I like about living somewhere with lower buildings – you can see the way the light changes through the year.

The other morning, when I was out watering by moonlight (which I had to do over the weekend) – the sky was so clear! Even the waning moon and the stars were so bright! It was lovely.

How’s your garden changing these days?