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seedlings

On 10, Apr 2017 | No Comments | In advice, plants, propagation | By All Year Garden

This year spared us the usual unpleasantness: no hard freezes, no long stretches of unholy temperatures, no weird weather swings. As a result the spring planting is unfolding right on schedule to my great delight.

Usually after a seedling grown in a seed pod is transplanted into the garden, one of two things happen, and I had my fair share of both: it either doubles its growth speed when exposed to the sunshine and the rich garden soil or collapses dramatically under your very eyes, making you feel like a horrible person. Who would do something like this to a little plant, you quietly ask yourself, as your heart sinks into a puddle of misery and self loathing. Read more…

sweethearts

Since they went above and beyond this spring, let’s talk about sweet violets.
These beautiful early spring bloomers love moist, rich soil and are quite sensitive to slug attacks in summer, when the bigger plants’ foliage gives those pests a place to hide.
Some gardeners suggest feeding them in spring and fall, but in my experience the last thing you want to do for those prolific seeders is to give them additional reasons to spread out. Read more…

flowering onions

On 28, Mar 2017 | No Comments | In plants | By All Year Garden

If the spirit moves you towards a romanticized view of these lovely spring bulbs let me be the one to shatter your fairy tale: they are called flowering onions. You are growing onions. In the flower border. Onions.
I don’t say that to be obnoxious, I’m sure onions are wonderful plants in their own intensely aromatic way, but just because their more refined relatives spring up giant flower balls, that doesn’t mean their needs and growth habits are much different. Read more…

almost spring

In anticipation of good weather I’m already planning some gardening activities, there are summer bulbs to be planted and perennials beds to be cleaned up for spring.I took a stroll through the back yard this morning, and even though most of the snow is still there, I can feel nature breathe in the spring sun. After plodding through day after day, bullied by cloudy skies and bone chilling temperatures, I almost forgot how beautiful the garden is, how exhilarating it is to feel it warm up and try to guess the fresh growth right under the soil surface, almost ready to breach it. Read more…

plant catalogs

If you are a dedicated green thumb, all you do after winter begins is sit around and wait for it to be over. Two long months of dreary weather later, the sight of spring catalogs gracing your mailbox is a hopeful sign of better days to come. Everybody has some signs they swear by that spring is drawing near. Some people go by the buds on the trees, others by the first crocuses, I go by the arrival of spring catalogs. Read more…

rain

I woke up to wonderful booms of thunder and lightning flashing through the sky early in the morning. Instant happiness. The air was so warm, humid, and charged with electricity, that it felt like the middle of June. I almost expected to find a lush summer garden when I went out the door.
I love the rain. Not the miserable November drizzle that can’t make up its mind whether to freeze or not, but the powerful downpours of summer, when the gloomy sky is ripped open by thunderbolts and the rain falls to the earth in sheets, not drops, and you can hear its drumbeat on the roof. Read more…

I’m late, I’m late!

I need to speed up the garden planning if I don’t want the roses to leaf out before I get a chance to prune them. See? This is why the wiser gardeners of olden times like to do all the preparation work while mercury is frozen in the thermometer, spring tends to sneak up on you.
Of course now I’m late with the seed starting, spring cleaning, bulb planting, plant ordering, and pretty much everything else. Read more…

little miracles

On 20, Feb 2017 | No Comments | In advice, plants, propagation | By All Year Garden

The amount of time I spend contemplating the fresh seedlings in the starting tray would probably irritate an action oriented person. I would likely have some difficulty explaining to that person the wonderment of seeing the first set of leaves emerge, or the excitement of watching the tiny shoots develop from delicate strands barely hanging on to life to healthy plants ready to withstand whatever circumstances bring. Read more…

strange and wonderful

Another one of those evenings you are not quite sure were real. It was warm yesterday, almost seventy degrees, with a sky the color of fire. Soft breeze and so quiet! Hard to tell the season, but you sure wouldn’t guess late winter.
The garden is still asleep and in the balmy air suffused with purple orange glow I didn’t understand why. Everything in the surroundings conspired to defy reality, from the eerie silence with watercolor clouds to the absence of air movement. Read more…

planting time

It is planting time, and I got the Canterbury bells and the carnation seeds again, because I’m stubborn. I wised up and picked different varieties, who knows, maybe this year they’ll germinate.
The rest of the selection is unpretentious and reliable: zinnias, marigolds, snapdragons, cleomes and lupines. They’re going to make a colorful summer border in shades of purple and orange. Read more…