Thurs. June 23, 2022: Steady Greening

image courtesy of Manfred Richter via pixabay.com

Thursday, June 23, 2022

4th Quarter Waning Moon in Aries

Pluto & Saturn Retrograde

Partly cloudy and mild

It’s been rather on the cool side lately, and for that I am grateful. The heat is off for the summer, so we’ve piled comforters back on the bed, and are wearing socks again. Last year at this time, during the move, we had to be careful not to collapse in the heat. I much prefer this.

However, the squirrels are already burying the barely grown nuts. Spiro Squirrel dug up the tansy on the back balcony to bury tiny little bits of nuts in the pot. The cats are shedding their summer fur and growing in thick winter coats, which means, once the heat and humidity do hit in a few days or weeks, they will be miserable.

It also indicates the likelihood of early winter.

Plants are doing pretty well on both the front porch and the back balcony. The brown-eyed Susan gave up the ghost completely, which annoys me, since it was so expensive. I have to figure out what to put in the pot. The columbine died, too.

Some of the plants that struggled early on are doing well, such as the Marine Heliotrope, the Echinacea, and the Lemon Balm.

I planted some of the borage seeds, some pepper seeds (saved, from bought vegetables), and nectarine pits. It’s late for borage, and I’ll probably save the rest for next spring.

I’m saving some seeds from the cherry tomatoes bought at the Farmers’ Market, and will plant them next spring.

The bulb catalogs have arrived. I think I might buy some tulip bulbs and plant them in pots this October, then keep them out on the front porch over the winter, to see if they come up in spring. Trying to decide which ones to buy are a lot of fun. It means getting more pots, too.

I’ll also have to repot several things by the end of the summer, because they’re growing so well.

I hope the dahlias bloom soon. They keep growing taller, but no blooms as of yet.

We’re using the chives, basil, and parsley regularly. We need to eat the lettuce, before we lose it, and start using the cilantro. I’m wondering if I can grow the cilantro all year.

How’s your garden doing?

Thurs. May 5, 2022: Spring

image courtesy of dae Jeung kim via pixabay.cm

Thursday, May 5, 2022

First Quarter Moon Waxing in Cancer

Pluto Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Willow

Sunny and pleasant

We’ve been able to leave the plants on the front porch for most of the week, although the weekend nights are supposed to dip down into the 30’s again, so we’ll have to take the plants back in. I hope, by next week, we can set up the front porch and the back balcony the way we want to. I want those enchanted garden spaces set up, and then we’ll add/subtract/rearrange over the season.

This is our first season where we start growing things here in the mountains, so there will be a learning curve

The pear, clementine, and mallow have not come up, and I’m giving up on them. I’ve already planted the Norway spruce seedling in the pot where the pear seeds were. Haven’t decided what to plant in the other pots yet. The lavender hasn’t come up, but that’s not a particular surprise. I usually need to buy those as plants.

It looks like I’ll have to buy different morning glory seeds and try those again.

I keep planting cat grass every couple of weeks, alternating the two pots, because Willa and Charlotte love it so much. Tessa has no interest. She likes the herbs – not to eat, but to roll in.

The peace lily is very happy in its new pot, so let’s hope it can stay in it for a few years. Because I don’t know where we’d put a bigger pot to winter.

The dahlias are the big excitement. They are growing beautifully, and are such fun to watch. If they do succeed and bloom, I think they will be gorgeous. My dahlia coach will be proud!

The Tamed Wild box which arrived last week had a small plant kit (could be marigold, mint, or money plant). Today is a planting day (planting and harvesting days are noted on my Llewellyn datebook calendar), so I will plant whatever it is (I hope it’s mint, I have the other two), and I will plant more cat grass.

I’m already excited about Saturday’s Farmer’s Market. I might stop at the Plant Connector that day, too, and see if I can find a small philodendron, a spider plant, and maybe an ivy.

Once the car is fixed and we can go to Whitney’s Farm in Cheshire, I want to get some herbs, geraniums, and maybe begonias. When it gets a little warmer, I want to get a big hanging basket of petunias, and one of cranesbill geranium to hang out on the back porch. At some point, I will buy a few pots of black-eyed Susans.

I hope the night blooming jasmine arrives soon. Although it’s been so chilly, it’s not surprising that it hasn’t shipped yet.

The Rose of Jericho had its week-long rest last week, out of water, and is back in the water, enjoying it. The research I did indicated the water should be changed every day, but this plant prefers water changed every 2-3 days. Tomorrow will be its weekly rest day. Supposedly, it needs to rest one day a week and one day a month out of water.

In the neighborhood, the forsythia is blooming, and so are the tulip trees. Out back, a neighbor has a gorgeous white flowering large shrub. Not sure what it is. I thought it was some kind of azalea, but friends suggested white forsythia or witch hazel. I’m wondering if maybe it’s apple, and is actually a tree or several trees that have been espaliered against the fence? There are quite a few apple trees planted in the various streets which are coming into flower.

It smells wonderful when I run errands on foot!

How are things in your neck of the woods?

Thurs. Oct. 20, 2021: Blooms

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, October 21, 2021

3rd Quarter Waning Moon in Taurus

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Cloudy/Sunny and warm

The Thanksgiving/Christmas cacti on the front porch are blooming like crazy! They are beautiful.

The porch gets Southern exposure, so on sunny days, it warms up nicely, and there’s lots of sun.

Still no frost. We have plants out on the back balcony. We figured we’d let them enjoy it as long as possible.

We haven’t hit peak color yet, but it’s beautiful. Last weekend, I took a nature walk with Mass Audubon out at The Spruces. Because it was, at one time, a planned community before it was a community park owned by the town, there’s a mix of native plants and cultivars. The walk was fascinating.

It makes me want a book about local flora and fauna even more!

There’s something rather wonderful about being tucked in the mountains. It feels protected (even though we’ve been warned about the harsh winters). And I don’t miss raking leaves AT ALL.

My downstairs neighbor has cut back her vegetable garden, and prepared it for the winter.

I plan to enjoy the beautiful weather as long as it lasts, although I’ve planned to hunker down from November to March, as advised. If the weather is better than expected, I will take joy in every lovely day.

How’s your weather, where you are?

Thurs. Feb. 6, 2020: Rain. More Rain

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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. Jan. 30, 2020: Dilemma

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image courtesy of NadineDoerle via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 30, 2020
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Last year at this point, I’d ordered my seeds and was ready to begin planting on Imbolc.

This year, I have no idea what I want to start planting, or how much I should plant. The theft of my tomatoes last year really discouraged me. I shouldn’t let it get me down, but I did.

I should just pick myself up, dust myself off, and GO PLANT.

With the weird weather and the lack of true cold, the bugs will be out of control this year.

So I’m asking myself, Is it worth it?

What are you doing about the garden this year?

Thurs. Dec. 12, 2019: Weather

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image courtesy of Sonyuser via pixabay.com

Thursday, December 12, 2019
Full Moon in Gemini
Uranus Retrograde
Cold and clear

Not much to report on the garden front. The weather has been difficult for most of the week, either raining or snowing. I should have gone out to rake more leaves last Sunday, but I wrote holiday cards instead.

I figure, any dry day when the snow’s melted, I’ll do some raking. By spring, it will be done.

In the meantime, I can dream about the garden I want for next year.

In addition, I’m designing a large, complex island garden for a novel I’m writing. It’s one of my favorite parts of writing books — designing the houses and gardens!

The exterior decorations are up. However, even though I tested all the lights before I put them up and they worked, the strand of lights in the middle of each section isn’t working. So I have to replace them. Frustrating.

Hope all is well with you!

 

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

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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!

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Thurs. Aug. 8, 2019: Joy of Red Geraniums

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Thursday, August 8, 2019
Waxing Moon Second Quarter in Scorpio
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Sunny, hot, humid

Our red geraniums are going like gangbusters. To think, the second or third year we lived here, I bought them as small 3-for-$10 plants!

The tomatoes are growing, too. We lost some of them to rot, and some others are starting to get color. Hopefully, we can start enjoying them soon. The cucumbers are growing like wildfire — hopefully we’ll get some cucumbers. The eggplants and peppers look good, but haven’t yet bloomed.

The morning glories are acting like an invasive this year.

Haven’t seen the fisher lately. I worried he’d eaten the bunnies and Che Guevara Chipmunk, but saw both of them a couple of days ago, so they’re safe. I’m letting Tessa out with me on the deck in the mid-afternoon, but not early in the morning or at dusk.

It’s hot and humid, but leaves are starting to turn and fall. The hosta blooms have come and gone (I’ll have to cut them back soon). The basil is huge. The lettuce is almost done.

I have to figure out what to do with the kale soon. Maybe make a ham, white bean, and kale soup and then freeze it for winter?

How is your garden growing?

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Thurs. May 2, 2019: Unhappy Lettuce

Thursday, May 2, 2019
4th Quarter Moon in Aries
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Cloudy and cold

The weather is not cooperating. Rain and chill means that I can’t go much yard work. There’s a lot to do. Dry stretches aren’t coordinating with times I have off to do the work.

Most of the lettuce and the parsley isn’t doing well after being transplanted from the flats in which they came. This is the first time we’ve had trouble with lettuce or parsley transplants. The Romaine is holding its own, at least so far.

This weekend, I have to transplant a lot of tomatoes. I have a feeling I’ll be doing a run to the garden center for more pots and more dirt. But it’s still much too cold to put them outside. I’m worried about the lack of sunlight, too, stunting their growth.

Hopefully, we’ll have a bit of spring in May, and not just move directly into summer!

Thurs. April 18, 2019: The Weather Works Against Me

Thursday, April 18, 2019
Day Before Full Moon
2nd Quarter Moon in Libra
Jupiter Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Willow
Rainy and cool

I’m trying to remember what got done since last Thursday. The days I’ve been free to do yard work have not coincided with the weather, unfortunately. What were supposed to be a string of sunny days weren’t.

I started work on the side yard, and I got the front beds raked out. Cut back a lot of invasives. Got one load of yard debris to the dump, and am accumulating another.

Bought six-packs of Romaine lettuce (grow your own; avoid e-coli), Buttercrunch, and Boston lettuces. Got a six-pack of parsley. They are all happy in their new pots. Got the pansies into the hanging baskets out front, and in the barrel.

Yesterday, finally started replanting the Cherokee Purple tomatoes in big posts. Got some of them in; will get in more today, and then start replanting the Romas and the Eggplants.

Then I can move forward some of the other tomatoes, in smaller pots, closer to the windows.

The lettuce and parsley go out on the deck during the day on good days, and come in at night, because it’s still cold. The tomatoes are still too fragile to go out.

The forsythia and white Rose of Sharon are out on the deck; the hydrangea, lilac, and large Rose of Sharon will go out soon.

I need to put teak oil on the wooden furniture as it goes out on the deck, repaint the white plant stand, and decide if I want more pansies in the little teacup planters.

Again, I don’t know how much I’ll get done this weekend because of rain.

I’m posting most of the in-process photos on Instagram, where you can find me @devonellingtonwork.

Hope you’re having fun with your gardens, too! Drop a line or a photo or an Instagram link. I’d love to see how it’s going.

 

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