Springtime garden dreaming

native withch havelJPG

Hello. It’s been a while.

Like everyone else I know, I’ve been busy. I’ve been attending year end performances, cleaning out the garage, transporting children, filling out permission slips, trying to get a squeaky faucet fixed, and so on. And, of course, I’ve also been busy in my garden.

I started seeds, watched them grow, carried them in and out of the house to harden them off, and now, just this week, planted them outside.

I pruned a dozen inkberry bushes and then luxuriated in the resulting clippings and their glossy foliage and even made a wreath from the cuttings. Sadly, the wreath was a failure, as it turned brown about 24 hours after I hung it in my house, and before I took a photos of the final product, but the project was fun.

I’ve been Instagraming the flowers that have emerged in my garden and trying not to get too excited in anticipation of the ones I hope will bloom soon. (You never know when tragedy may stike in the form of a garden pest.)

I’ve been puttering, planting, and scheming about how to keep the rabbits from eating everything that’s not contained in the fenced enclosure around my vegetable patch. I’ve been thinking about moving some ferns and what to plant in their place.

may apple flower

I’ve been admiring my mayapple which came back five times bigger this year than last. In short, I’ve been happily caught up planning and dreaming in my garden, caught up in the spirit of spring. Happily, I am now caught up here on my blog as well. Happy spring my friends! I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.

hot pink peony

Small Moment: Germinating Seeds

seedlings leaning into the light

Last week, I planted a few seeds. Nothing special, a little basil, a little cilantro. Another way to fight the doldrums of  this long snowy winter.

I was delighted, earlier this week, when the cilantro seeds germinated. I found these seedlings, bright and green, stretching toward the sun, craving the same warmth and light that I do, oblivious to the bitter cold and the blanket of snow outside the window.

Watching tiny flecks of seeds transformed into tender living plants never fails to thrill me. The symbolizism is so obvious (new life, fresh start, etc.), it could seem tired. Germination is such a fundamental function of life, it could be easy to take for granted, but it rarely is. The inexplicable joy of a sprouting seed transcends cliche – this tiny miracle never fails to delight.

I’ll be starting more seeds for my vegetable garden in a few weeks – tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, zinnias. I’d like to plant a few metaphorical seeds as well – kernels of self sufficiency, resilience, and empathy in my children being highest on my list. I’m also working on the seeds of a few creative projects- sketches in a notebook, like a tiny plant curled up inside a seed, waiting to unfurl.

Wishing you all, dear readers, the best of luck in planting some seeds of your own, literal or metaphorical.

Weekend Doings

P.S. Linking up with Martha at Weekend Doings for: A picture… a moment. Click through to see her and other beautiful posts!

More is never enough

seed.packs

I’m so excited about my garden, despite the blanket of snow outside my windows. I’ve decided to try winter sowing this year and so I’ve been busy designing and dreaming, scheming and selecting seeds, and potting and planting them up.

In other years, I’ve planted early crops under a cold frame in March, but this year (and I’m a little late for it) I’ve stuck some seeds out in the snow. Here’s how: Save clear-topped plastic containers, order seeds, fill containers with damp soil, sow seeds, close containers (except for air and drainage holes) and place them in a sunny spot, outdoors. That’s the rough plan, anyway, and a reasonable one, at least, according to my internet search and wintersown.org.

planted.seeds

My internet search also yielded the quote, “More is never enough.”  More googling suggests Marty Rubin as the source of this quote. I have no idea who Marty Rubin is, or the context of the original quote, but feel that in the context of garden planning, it could not be more apt.

I am dreaming big right now. With spinach, arugula, water cress, broccoli, parsley, and a some foxglove now winter sown, I’ve also ordered three kinds of tomatoes, beans, squash, carrots, nasturtiums, zinnias and more. A whole colorful summer garden’s worth of seeds.

As I now consider adding shrubs, perennials, and roses, I realize that late winter garden dreaming is the correllary to seasonal garden ennui. Now is the time for ambitious garden planning. Now is the time when more is never enough.

winter.sown

Starting Seeds

planting kale

Finally. I’ve planted some seeds for my vegetable garden. Last Monday, I sewed cool season crops: arugula, beets, kale and spinach. I was so excited to get started, I probably didn’t amend the soil enough, but I did manage to turn the soil with some slow release fish fertilizer. Hope its enough.

indoor.seed.planting

Yesterday, I started tomatoes and a few watermelons indoors, in jiffy pots. This is the first time I’ve used Jiffy pots. For years, I used an elaborate tray system with a wicking layer to keep the soil moist, but those seemed to have “disappeared” during a shed clean out. I suspect my husband.

planted.beet.seeds

I can’t wait to see these seeds geminate – its probably my favorite part of growing from seed. The sight of a tiny white root (botanically speaking, “the radicle”) sticking out of a seed never fails to thrill me. And when the curve of the first shoot sticks up from the soil as it unfolds out of the seed? Even better.

Starting seeds

As I begin this blog, I am thinking of spring, planting some seeds and dreaming of a lush and productive summer vegetable garden. I like to imagine my new garden will look something like this:

7749894.bin

Since my garden is currently covered in snow, I’m using a lot of imagination.

my.garden.under.snow

I’ve been perusing seed catalogues and websites and I finally settled on some seeds. I’ve ordered “pronto” beets, arugula, spinach and “True Siberian” kale to start under a cold frame as soon as the snow melts. I’ve ordered tomatoes (yellow pear, cherry, “stupice”) and “sugar baby” watermelons to start indoors at  the same time.

I can’t wait, but I know half the fun is in the anticipation. Hoping there are good times ahead, both here on this blog and in my garden.