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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Decisions of All Sizes

Was it something I did? Something I didn’t do? Or something that didn’t involve me at all?

The Iris danfordiae did not bloom this year after two years of blooming in mid-March. All I got were a bunch of strappy leaves.

Oh, where for art thou, I. danfordiae?

I spent just a few seconds doing some research to find out that this dwarf iris has a habit of forming so many bulblets that the original or parent bulb loses its vigor and often doesn’t bloom after the first or second year. I wonder why I didn’t find this out before I bought the original bulbs?

The good news is that if I let these bublets continue to grow, in a couple more years, I’ll have more blooms.

A couple more years? Is it worth the wait? The bed where these Iris are growing is going to be redone a bit with the new Garden Design. With all that going on, one of three fates awaits these early blooming irises.

I might dig them up and move them someplace else where they can continue to grow and mature.

Or, I might not dig them up and just take my chances that they’ll remain undisturbed in all the digging around them and continue to grow and mature and flower in a few years

Or, I might not dig them up and they will be inadvertently dug up and tossed aside as plants around them are dug up and removed and new plants take their place.

Decisions! There are many decisions to be made with a new garden design - tiny decisions involving irises, big decisions involving hardscape, decisions of all sizes. Decisions!


Iris danfordiae what shall I do with you?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Garden Design Update: I Have Seen The Plans

I have seen the future of my garden, and I like it.

The Garden Designer and her Partner in Digging returned Monday evening with garden plans to review and discuss. The Garden Designer went over a detailed plan for the front and a concept plan for the back. I like what I saw. The future looks very bright for my garden. The ball is rolling, as they say, and I’m excited about all of the next steps.

Over the next several weeks, we will move on to cost estimates, patio design, refined plant lists, and hopefully soon, put a shovel in the ground and get started.

In the meantime, I’m going to work on the vegetable garden, which will remain where it is.

I read some interesting ideas in the book the Garden Designer left me, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway, and have decided to apply one concept, that of keyhole gardens, to the arrangement of the beds in the vegetable garden, if I can do it before the May planting season arrives. Many of the wood sides of the beds need to be replaced anyway, so would it be that much more work to move the beds?

That’s a rhetorical question, you don’t need to remind me of how much more work it could be to move the beds.

Let's make that a "maybe I’ll move the beds around". We’ll see how much time I have in April to do such a project.

The concept of a keyhole garden is to arrange the garden beds like keyholes to increase square footage but maintain the same accesibility to all sides of the raised bed. A simple example is if you have two 4’ x 8’ beds with 4’ paths all the way around them, you will have 64 sq. ft. of planting area and be able to reach across all the beds to the center of those beds.

But if you take the same 4’ x 8’ beds and add a 4’ x ‘4 bed between them at one end to form a “U” shape, you now have another 16 sq. ft. of planting area, plus you can still reach into the center of each bed, from all sides. You’ve formed a key hole of sorts to get to some of those areas.  My example is squared off, but many keyhole gardens are round.

Does that make sense?

Many keyhole gardens are also raised up three feet or more to allow you to reach the beds without bending or stooping. I don’t plan to raise my beds to that level, but I think I’ll try to carefully reposition them to use the concept of a keyhole for accessibility, to see how much more planting area I can add. Of course, I have to do this without messing up the peas, sweet peas, lettuce and spinach that I’ve already planted.

And while I’m at it, I’m going to move the compost pile to another location in the garden so it isn’t so visible from the house. That’s on the garden plan, too.

Or maybe I’ll work out the arrangement for the garden this spring and summer, and move the actual beds this fall after I've harvested everything?  Yes, I think that is the more practical approach.  I'll work out the layout,  grow the garden, harvest from it, and then in the fall, which is a much better time of year for that kind of work, I'll rearrange the beds to better utilize that space.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Letters to Gardening Friends: March 29, 2010

Dear Dee and Mary Ann and Gardening Friends Everywhere,

Did you ever feel like the days go by so quickly that you can hardly remember what you did from one day to the next? I feel like that sometimes, which is why I try to write down “important gardening news” in my 10 year garden journal.

For this past week, looking through my journal, I can report that yesterday (Sunday), was a gloomy, rainy, cold day and I did nothing in the garden except run out and take some crazy picture of the hyacinths all rowed up for my post yesterday.

On Saturday, I mowed the front yard for the first time. It barely needed to be mowed, but it was a nice day and I really, really wanted to mow again with that new Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower, so I mowed anyway. So far so good. The reel mower does take a bit of getting used to. For one thing, it doesn’t cut grass when pulled backwards, like a gas powered mower does, so there’s no backing up over an area to cut where you might have missed. But I do like it and I’ll keep using it and trying it out each week, now that the mowing season has started.

The rest of the week is a bit of a blur and I just wrote in my gardening journal what the high and low temps were and if it was sunny or cloudy. I did write down that I planted lettuce seeds on Monday, and then came inside and sowed seeds for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. But other than that, between work and weather and other activities, I didn’t have a chance to do much else in the garden.

Whenever I have a moment or two, I’ve been steadily reading through the book the Garden Designer left me, Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway. She was smart to leave me that book to read because with every page, I think of more that I want to change in my garden. I even want to change up the vegetable garden, which I had previously told her was fine “as is”. She’s returning this evening with her Partner in Digging to show me the plans and concepts she has so far. This evening!

This may seem silly, but the other day, when I was thinking about the garden design, and how much of the garden I’d like to change, I wondered if this is my midlife crisis. Doesn’t everyone go through some kind of midlife crisis at some point when they reach a “certain age”? I guess some people buy fancy sports cars, or quit their jobs and run off to Europe, or maybe put big ol’ swimming pools in their backyards. None of that appeals to me at all. If this is my midlife crisis, I’m happy that it is an overhaul of my garden.

And with that I'll close this letter before I start getting too deep into analysis, ala Dr. Hortfreud.

Hortifully yours,
Carol

P.S. The picture above is of some species tulips in my garden, I believe it is Tulipa biflora. I took a picture of its first open bloom on Saturday, but that came out all fuzzy. On Sunday, when I took this picture, none of the blooms were open… too cold and gloomy outside.

P.S.S.  I'm going to finally plant radishes and onion sets this week, since the moon is changing from waxing to waning.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hyacinths: Soldiers of Spring

Why did I plant these hyacinths in a straight row?

Is it possible to plant these “soldiers of spring” in another way, other than a straight row?

Somewhere it is probably possible, but not where the gardener, trained from years of growing veggies in straight rows, practices SLOP-py planting techniques. (SLOP = Straight Line Obsessive Planting)

Currently, these hyacinths look like the lights of a landing strip, guiding birds safely to the garden gate to the backyard. Tower to the spring robins: “You have clearance for landing once the gate is open”.

I imagine that the garden fairies tell each other, “If you go out the gate and get lost, follow the line up of hyacinths to find your back.”

You can also follow the line of hyacinths to all the reasons why I am looking forward to seeing the design that the Garden Designer is working on for me. I am sure there are no straight rows of plants included in her design.

That’s good, because in spite of the many straight rows of plants in my garden, I don’t want straight rows of plants!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pansies or Violas?

Pansies?

Or Violas?

I am in favor of both pansies and violas for early spring color in containers and window boxes, or even just planted in the ground. I purchased and planted my pansies and violas on March 15th and already they are filling out the containers they are in and will provide a grand display in time for Easter weekend.

But I am having a difficult time convincing people in "real life" that it is worth the effort to plant pansies and violas now. They all seem to be programmed to start gardening around Mother's Day weekend in mid-May, when it is too late for these cool weather loving spring flowers. 

I'm as persistent as an evangelist trying to convince them to plant pansies and violas in the spring.

They are also surprised that so far this spring, I have not only planted pansies and violas, but have also sowed seeds for peas, sweet peas, lettuce and spinach. And I've weeded some, too.

And tomorrow, "God willing and the creek don't rise", I'll be mowing the lawn for the first time this season.

It's spring! Let's get out into the garden!

And oh, yeah, the original reason for this post... do you prefer pansies? Or violas? Or both?  Choose!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Five Things To Do While Waiting To See The Garden Design

I got an email from the Garden Designer, a progress report of sorts. She has completed a detailed garden design for my front yard and has a concept design for the back yard. We will hopefully meet next week, schedules permitting, to review what she has so far.

In the meantime, out in the garden, I sense myself thinking of the garden differently as I continue to read the book she left for me and anticipate implementing the new garden design. I am fighting the temptation to put the garden on hold while waiting to see the garden design. But a garden can't really be put on hold. It keeps growing, changing, and evolving.

Here are five things I'm going to do while waiting to see the plans the Garden Designer has.

1. Weed. I am confident the plan will not include weeds, and every little weed I pull now means there won't be a big weed to pull later.

2. Plant. I told the Garden Designer that the vegetable garden design I have is fine "as is". Then I read the book she left me and decided that there is a better way to design even that garden. But I'm still sowing seeds and planning to plant vegetables as the Spring season takes hold, anticipating that I can re-work that area in the fall.

3. Mow. I see that the grass is growing. I expect my lawn to be smaller with the new design, but that doesn't mean I'll just let it grow, unkempt, waiting for its removal. I should be mowing for the first time on Saturday.

4. Prune. I'm still going to take care of the plants I have. Some may be moved, some may be removed, some may stay where they are. As long as they are here, I'll take care of them. (Except for the 'Stella d'Oro' daylilies which I dug out so the garden designer wouldn't see them).

5. Read. I'm up to chapter six in the book the Garden Designer left on my bench last week,Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway.  Very interesting...

And a bonus sixth thing to do... imagine and wonder what the garden designs will look like. I'll find out next week....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dr. Hortfreud Returns For Spring Therapy Sessions

A spring session with Dr. Hortfreud.

Good evening, Carol. I figured you would show up this evening. You always do when it is nice outside like today. Are those seed packets you have in your hand?

Hi, Dr. Hortfreud. Yes, these are the lettuce seeds. I’m growing nine varieties this year.

Carol, that’s quite a lot. What happened?

Well, seed ordering happened, I guess. It seemed like everyone I ordered from had some interesting lettuce varieties that I wanted to try with names like ‘Red Deer Tongue’, ‘May Queen’ and ‘Tango’. So I ordered a few packets from one company, a couple more from someone else and then the next thing you know, I have nine varieties of lettuce. It’s really not my fault, though. It’s the fault of those who write those descriptions in the seed catalogs.

I see. Well, we’ll have to meet over a nice salad in a few months and discuss your tendency to blame others for all the seeds you buy. But right now, I want to talk to you about the Garden Designer.

Yes, what about the Garden Designer?

I’m just surprised after our therapy sessions that you decided to do that, to bring in a Garden Designer. Isn’t our therapy helping you reshape the garden?

Oh, Dr. Hortfreud, don’t take offense, but you and I neither one have much of an eye for garden design. And even if we did, it seems like it was taking forever for us to work out a design through all these therapy sessions.

But you do find our therapy sessions useful don’t you? And you plan to continue them even through the garden design process?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, I think we’ll have much better sessions knowing that the garden design is being taken care of. In fact, I anticipate there will be a need for even more therapy sessions as we start to actually make changes in the garden for the new design.

Good, I think so, too. Now let’s talk about this book the Garden Designer left for you to read.

Sure, what did you want to talk about, Dr. Hortfreud?

You seem quite interested in it.

Yes, I am.

Well, for our next session, let’s go more in-depth into why you like the book. For now, our time is up and I know you want to get inside to sow tomato, pepper, and eggplant seeds. By the way, how many tomato varieties are you growing this year, Carol?

Thirteen.

Thirteen! Please don’t tell me they are in alphabetical order in the flats.

Well, um, okay. I won’t tell you that. But I will say the eight varieties of peppers are not in alphabetical order at all and the two varieties of eggplant are either in alphabetical order or reverse alphabetical order, depending on how you look at them in the flat.

Carol, it is my professional opinion that you are going to need a lot more therapy, even with the Garden Designer. I’m recommending we re-start from the beginning with an extended session on Saturday. Hopefully, you can mow the lawn that day, I mean make a therapy appointment that day.

Mow the lawn? Saturday! It’s a deal! In the meantime, I’ll work on finishing up the book the Garden Designer left me. Thank you for all of your help, Dr. Hortfreud.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Planning for a Shed-less Garden Shed

One of the features that my new garden design won’t have is a garden shed.

They aren’t allowed in my subdivision.

I knew they weren’t allowed when I moved here and so I made sure the garage was big enough to store the countless hoes, hand tools, chipper/shredders, wheelbarrow, garden cart, tiller, cultivator, truck, and other gardening tools I’ve accumulated over the years, along with the lawn mower. (Okay, mowers, plural, but that’s not the point here.)

What I didn’t count on was that I would someday like to have a shelter of some kind in the garden, a retreat where I could keep garden treasures and secrets to achieving happiness in the garden. I didn’t realize I would want a place to go to be closer to the garden in any kind of weather.

But I do.

And I have a plan to get that place, without violating any covenants.

The other day, when the Garden Designer came to see my garden for the first time, she and her Partner in Digging went inside the house to look out the windows to see what I see in the garden when I look out.  According to Helen at Gardening With Confidence™, considering the view from the inside out is number one on her list of 50 ways to love your garden. I would have been surprised if the Garden Designer hadn't wanted to see these views.

Once inside, we went into the sunroom, and the Garden Designer commented how nice it was to be in there surrounded by the garden.

That was kind of her to say, but the room really isn’t set up to allow for spending much time in there. It mostly has plants in it taking up all the space in front of the windows, as plants sometimes do. I go in there just to water them but don’t find myself sitting in there enjoying the views of the garden.

So here’s my plan.

I think the views out the windows of the sunroom will improve considerably with the Garden Designer’s design, and I want to enjoy those views in all seasons. So at the end of this new gardening season that is just beginning, I’m going to work on making that room more of my personal “garden shed”, where I can go to be in the garden without being outside. It will be a shed-less garden shed.

I’m getting plenty of inspiration on how I might do this by reading Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways by Debra Prinzing*. The book is loaded with ideas and photographs of a variety of different styles of garden sheds, personalized to fit the needs of the owners.  I think some of their ideas can be adapted to my sunroom.

Reading through the book, I'm inspired to bring in some of the retired, antique garden tools I have, move some plants out to other places, add some more comfortable seating, improve the lighting for night time and for reading and writing…

Maybe I’ll start working on this room sooner than next fall?

*It was my pleasure and privilege to meet Debra Prinzing last fall at the Garden Writers Association symposium, where she gave me a copy of her book, Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideways.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Letters to Gardening Friends, March 22, 2010

Dear Dee and Mary Ann and Gardening Friends Everywhere,

These early spring days are exciting times in my garden right now!

Last week, I planted peas right on schedule on St. Patrick’s Day. This year I went a little wild with the peas and planted three types of shelling peas – ‘Green Arrow', ‘Progress’, and ‘Lincoln”, along with some snow peas called ‘Melting Sugar’.

I also sowed seeds for three varieties of sweet peas, Lathyrus odoratus – ‘Pastel Sunset’, ‘Bouquet Blend’, and ‘Wedding Blush’, all from Botanical Interests. I mixed them together intentionally before I sowed them so when they bloom I will have no idea which is which and if I prefer one over the other. Oh, well, I’m sure I’ll like them all. I always do. I think more people should grow sweet peas, for the scent alone, so I decided to write about them in my newspaper column this week.

I also sowed seeds for spinach. Three varieties, again – ‘Space’, ‘Pelican’, and ‘Bordeaux’.

Later this week, I’ll sow seeds for lettuce and then when the moon begins to wane, I’ll plant radishes and onion sets.

Outside of the vegetable garden, I managed to find some time to do some clean up some of the perennials and enjoy more early spring blooms, like the dwarf daffodils pictured above. When  I'm working around  in the garden, and even when I'm not, I think about the garden designer I’m working with, wondering what the plan she is working on will include. I hope to hear from her early this week to set up a time to look at the plans for the first time. In the meantime, I’ve been reading the book she left for me when she came by last week to study the garden a bit more.

I hope you both had a good week and are getting a good start in your own gardens!

Hortifully yours,

Carol

P.S. – After I planted peas in my own garden, I planted peas for my sister and her husband in their garden the next day. I am the designated gardener in the family, so they call on me for help when they are in a pinch looking for some gardening help. I was happy to do it for them. I also took my mom a copy of the March issue of Indianapolis Woman magazine to show her the feature on gardeners, which includes a bit on me and my self-proclaimed world’s ugliest tomato. Remember when I grew that?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In and Out of the Garden

No matter how long I garden, and I’ve gardened for a long time, I think I’ll always have to look up the botanical name for this Glory of the Snow. I believe it is a Chionodoxa of some type. I can never remember beyond Chion… and then I have to go look it up. It’s an annual rite of spring.

I’ll also admit I have no idea how to pronounce it. I’m not even sure I’ve ever said it out loud. I’ll confess that I really am not all that sure this is a Chionodoxa, anyway.

I guess I’ll just to stick with the generic Glory of the Snow.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Some people think that all I do is garden and think about gardening when I have day off from work, but on this first day of Spring I actually went to see the Indiana Historical Society’s new exhibit called Indiana Experience. They have these “You Are There” exhibits that you enter by walking through a 3D photo image, which is very cool. One of the exhibits is of a garage in 1924, where they had this tractor on display.

They also had a grocery store circa 1945, with this Victory Garden poster.

See, I do other things besides gardening! (Sort of)


~*~*~*~*~*~*~

In the garden today,  I cut back the few perennials still left from last year and sent them through the chipper shredder, along with grape vine trimmings. Every time I use that shredder with its handy collection bin, I’m reminded again how much I like it, and how easy it makes clean up in the garden.

I was almost ready to quit for the evening when I looked at the 'Stella D’Oro' daylilies just beginning to emerge and thought about how I’ve wanted to get rid of those over-used daylilies for awhile now.

According to the Hoosier Gardener, a guy from northwest Indiana named Jablonski hybridized this daylily in '77. With apologies to him, I dug them all out and threw them in the compost bin. There were quite a few along the edge of the patio and I just did not want to include them in my new garden design or admit to the Garden Designer that I even grew them.

They are gone now and will return to the garden someday as compost.

Remember the first of the five secrets to achieving happiness in your garden? Grow the plants you love.  I just didn't love 'Stella d'Oro' anymore.  But I do hope the Garden Designer has some ideas on where to plant the spider-type daylilies I bought last summer.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sign of the Garden Designer: An Update

I headed out the back door yesterday evening, before sunset, looking for a sign that the Garden Designer had indeed come by earlier in the day to take a closer look at my garden and yard.

She had explained when she came last week that this was part of the process, for her to spend a few hours wandering around, cogitating on the property, pondering it alone, without me nattering away about what I thought was wrong or needed to be changed.

What did I expect to find when I went out looking for signs that she had been there? A broken twig? A footprint not my own? The old Helleborus foliage cut off and piled up on the lawn? I really should have cut that old foliage back a few days ago and could barely stand that I hadn’t done it yet, so perhaps she couldn’t stand it either and cut it off for me?

I saw none of that in the backyard. So I went around to the front of the house, and there was the sign.

On the bench on the front porch.


A book.

And in the book was the Garden Designer’s card with a note on the back…

“Carol, have you seen this? I think you’ll find it interesting.”

And I’m finding it very interesting. I’m reading it and will be reading it all weekend. I’m devouring it, studying it. I’m enthralled with it. I’m intrigued by it.

It’s quite a sign that the Garden Designer left for me.

(And yes, I trimmed back the foliage on the Helleborus right after I took that picture.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dr. Hortfreud Reveals Five Types of Garden Therapy

Working under a grant provided by iGROW (Institute for Gardenetics Research and Other Works*), Dr. Hortfreud recently published an important paper on the five primary types of garden therapy, as observed… well it doesn’t really matter where she observed these five types of garden therapy in action, does it?

We just need to know that through “extensive research”, Dr Hortfreud identified that there is more than one way for a gardener to get therapy from her garden. There are five.

Garden ritual therapy occurs over the course of the year as the events of the garden unfold gradually, one day at a time, one ritual at a time.

Waiting for the first crocus to bloom. Planting pansies in containers on the front porch. Sowing peas on St. Patrick’s Day. Picking the first ripe tomato. As each ritual is anticipated, observed, and then remembered, we learn through this therapy that as much as things change, there is a sameness, a rhythm to the garden that is comforting.

Garden digging therapy happens in bursts of great energy and enthusiasm as the gardener tackles the most arduous and physical tasks of gardening and problem solving.

Through sweat and occasional blood, we work out our troubles in and out of the garden. We reclaim a flower bed, choked out with weeds. We determine a course of action to solve a problem left outside the garden gate. When there is no hole to be dug or garden bed to be reclaimed, we turn to mowing. We tell our friends that before a major decision can be made, we must mow on it. And then we set about mowing the lawn, sweating out the issue, until at last the therapy session ends, and we’ve made a decision.

Garden maintenance therapy is for refreshing the psyche of the gardener.

During times of quiet activity in the garden, we ponder the day, think about new plans, new flowers, new goals for the garden. Our hands comfortably hold the pruners as we methodically deadhead a flower border. Almost without thinking, we find the faded blooms and cut them out. We weed, rarely pausing to know if the plant is a weed or not. We know, we just do it. By the time we have finished, our psyche is refreshed and we are ready for another day outside of the garden.

Garden visiting therapy occurs when we venture out of the garden and go see other gardens.

If we only see our own garden, we become stale and the garden becomes stale. The cure is to visit other gardens and talk to other gardeners, to see and learn new ways of gardening, to find new plants. All these ideas can be brought back to our own gardens, where they can be put into action, bringing new life to a garden that seems to us like a barren desert in its sameness. There are two other forms of this therapy. One is to invite others to our gardens where they can help us see the garden through their eyes. The other is to go to garden centers and nurseries to see what possibilities there are for the garden. This type of therapy, in any form, is obviously best done as group therapy, with other gardeners.

Finally, there is garden relaxation therapy which occurs when we are able to just walk about the garden and not feel compelled to do anything but enjoy it.

This is an advanced state to reach in the world of garden therapy, and some gardeners never reach it. They walk through their garden and see plants to water, branches to prune, a patch of earth that calls out for a new plant. But if one day they can walk about their garden and just enjoy it, then that is the greatest therapy of all.

*I made up iGROW, you know that, right? And you know about Dr. Hortfreud, too, don’t you? She is my garden therapist. Dr. Hortfreud, by the way, is qualified to assist with all types of garden therapy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Embrace "Why Not" For A Happier Life

Embrace “why not” for a happier life in your garden

Why not?

Make your garden bigger and bolder this year!

Why not?

Buy that plant you’ve always wanted. Dig up some of that turf and plant some vegetables. Make that flower border a little longer and a little wider.

Why not?

Hire a garden designer and just  let her design a garden for you. Don’t put constraints or limits on her and see what she (or he) comes up with.

Why not?

Make your travel plans and meet other garden bloggers in person in Buffalo this summer.

Why not?

The skies are blue, the grass is green, the garden is all new again! Do you want to look back in a few months on this garden season that is just beginning and be overcome by a bunch of “why didn’t I’s”? 

Hurry, some of the crocuses are already fading.  Why not now? This season... today.

Embrace “why not” for a happier life in your garden, for a happier life!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And The Winner Is...

To help ensure that a winner was truly chosen at random, I asked  The Hoosier Gardener, Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, co-author of Indiana Gardener's Guide, to use http://www.random.org/ to pick a number between 1 and 174, the total number of entries.

She sent me an email just a few minutes ago to let me know the winning number is 33.

Entry number 33 belongs to...

Samia!

Congratulations, Samia. You've just won a  Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower! Mowing your lawn will never be the same again.  I'll be in touch via email to get you in touch with the generous people at Fiskars so they can send a new mower out to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered the drawing and thank you to Fiskars for allowing me to host this giveaway.  Please visit Fiskars' website for another opportunity to enter a drawing for a free mower.

Happy mowing, everyone!

Letters to Gardening Friends, March 16, 2010

Dear Dee and Mary Ann and Gardening Friends Everywhere,

Do you want to hear a funny story about pansies and violas?

After work yesterday, I cruised by a local grower's to see if she had any pansies and violas out front, and she did! So I stopped in, liked what I saw, and decided to get some.

After a minute or so, her Mom came out and just started laughing and said she should have guessed it was me, one of their frequent customers. She then told me that they had just put the flats out about a half hour before I got there.

I couldn’t believe my timing, either, especially after writing that post awhile back about trying to get the pansies and violas as soon as they showed up at the garden centers. I think this set a new speed record, even for me. I bought two flats of pansies and a flat of violas and also got a sneak peak at what’s growing in their greenhouses for spring. I can hardly wait until mid-May to go back and start buying summer annuals.

I also stopped by Lowes and picked up some seeds for several more varieties of hot peppers and snow peas, along with some seed starting supplies. Mary Ann, I promise I didn't buy any more seeds than I can handle! Dee, I’ve enjoyed reading the blog posts you’ve started writing for Lowes. You and all the other writers who are doing that are off to a great start. I like what they are doing to engage gardeners.

When I finally got home, thanks to Daylight Savings Time, I had time to eat dinner before I planted the pansies in a few containers on my front porch and  a window box. I’ll have to plant the violas later this week because a day doesn’t last forever, even with DST. But even though I was rushing around a bit as the sun set, it felt good to have my hands in the dirt again after the long winter break.

Tomorrow, I’ll hopefully be out digging in the dirt again, following my tradition of planting peas on St. Patrick’s Day, along with  spinach and sweet peas. I’m going to hold off a week or so until it is a bit warmer before I plant any lettuce, and I'm waiting until March 30th to plant root crops like radishes and onions,  when the moon phase will be right for them.

Yes, the gardening season has begun again. Isn’t it great?

Hortifully yours,

Carol

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Thank you to everyone who posted for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day this month. I’ve enjoyed the posts I’ve visited so far, and plan to try to visit a few each day, but it is nearly impossible to read all of them. I encourage everyone who posted for bloom day to visit the two bloggers who linked before you and the two who linked after you in Mr. Linky. (As always, if you see someone who added a link for outright commercial purposes, let me know and I’ll “deadhead ‘em”.)

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

There’s still time today, Tuesday, to register to win a Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower! Go to that post, read the rules, and register by 9:00 PM EDT. A winner will be chosen later in the evening. Good luck to all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - March 2010

Welcome to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day for March 2010!  (Yes, this is the place, May Dreams Gardens, with an updated blog template.)

Is it my imagination, or is spring just a few steps behind this year in my USDA hardiness zone 5b garden?

Or maybe I’m just a few steps behind? I have plenty of crocuses blooming, but I usually have crocuses blooming by mid-March.

I have them in a few flower beds where they are spreading out a bit.
That's nice to see.

There are still a few out in the lawn, too.
But they don't seem to spread that much.

Some of the crocuses were kind of sulking when I took their pictures, because of the cloudiness and rain.

But a few of them were open for awhile.

Elsewhere in the garden there are dwarf irises in bloom including Iris histrioides ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’.
And Iris reticulata ‘Clairette', which is nearing the end of its bloom, already!
Whenever people see these dwarf iris flowers, they want them in their own garden in early spring.

If you're thinking that, too, go right now to your calendar, turn to August, and write “Order dwarf iris bulbs for fall planting”. That will remind you to order them for your own garden. And if you can only order one variety of the blue irises, I'd definitely pick 'Lady Beatrix Stanley'.

While you are at it, you should also get Iris danfordiae, which is yellow. It was blooming in mid-March in my garden in 2008, but it is either late or a no show for this year.

I'm going to put a note on my calendar to plant a witchhazel this fall like this one that I saw blooming at the Indiana Flower and Patio Show, going on now.


I've always wanted one, so hope at least one or more will fit in with my new garden design.

Elsewhere in the garden, I’m starting to see a few buds on Helleborus sp. and there is one bedraggled pansy trying to rebloom after overwintering from last fall. But there are no signs of Forsythia blooms so I don’t think we are as far along as 2009 at this time. I think this spring is similar to 2007. April should really be something!

What’s blooming in your garden today?

We would love to have you join in for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. It’s easy to participate and all are invited!

Just post on your blog about what is blooming in your garden on the 15th of the month and put your name and the url to your post on the Mr. Linky widget below. Then leave a comment to tell us what you have waiting for us to see so we can pay you a virtual visit!

We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yes, This Is May Dreams Gardens

Wait, come back!  You were looking for May Dreams Gardens, right? The blog that never changed its template in over four years? 

Well, guess what? Blogger made it so easy to update templates in Blogger in Draft that I decided to give my blog a spring face lift.

It's still a work in progress. I need to clean up the sidebars, remove some widgets, maybe add others, and move them all around a bit more.

And I'd love your feedback!  After all, no blogger wants you to arrive at her blog, say "ick" and not even read the content.  Leave me a comment or send me an email.

When A Gardener Goes To The Indiana Flower and Patio Show

When a gardener goes to the Indiana Flower and Patio Show...

The first thing she does is head up the main aisle to see the display gardens. This year's show theme is "A Novel Idea!" and so the gardener tries to guess what novel the designer used for inspiration before she sees the sign indicating what book it is.

The gardener sees this garden complete with a topiary serpent and guesses correcty that it was inspired by The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

The gardener gives this one a green thumbs up for good use of plant material.

The gardener then turns to her right and is taken aback by flowers she has never seen before.
She knows without thinking that this garden was based on The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The gardener soon realizes that those flowers are not real, of course, but she gives credit to the landscaper for good use of detail even in this large scale garden. Notice the ruby red slippers?

The gardener sees this little planting and is reminded again how she would like to have a copse, a small grove of trees somewhere in her garden.
She also likes the use of the ironwork and is reminded that she would like to have an interesting gate that leads into her vegetable garden, which implies a fence between the vegetable garden and the rest of the yard, a detail she has discussed with her Garden Designer.

The gardener goes further into this display garden, which is based on The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green, and can't take her eyes off this path.

She makes a note to send a picture of this path to her Gardener Designer because she thinks it has several elements of garden design in it including wanderability and gardimacy.

After seeing the display gardens, of which there were several more than pictured here, the gardener goes through the other aisles of the show where there are various experts to talk to and lots to buy. She regrets that she didn't have time to stop at the gigantic seed displays, but found this display of old hoes for sale.
The gardener didn't buy one because these are just not her kind of hoes. She realizes this revelation may be shocking to some people who didn't know that there was a kind of hoe that wasn't her kind of hoe.

After leaving the show, the gardener is further inspired to garden and can hardly wait to get her hands in the dirt in her own garden. And that's a sure sign that the Indiana Flower and Patio Show has accomplished its mission, once again.

For more information and pictures of the Indiana Flower and Patio Show, visit the Hoosier Gardener's blog.

(And don't forget to visit last Wednesday's post and enter the contest to win a Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower! Last chance to enter is Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 9:00 EDT.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hortish: A Guest Post by the Garden Fairies

Garden fairies here. After getting “called out” for posting so infrequently last year, we’ve been biding our time waiting for Carol to relinquish control of the laptop so that we could get in here and post something.

We’ve waited so long, we’ve almost forgotten what it was we wanted to post about.

Oh, now we remember. We wanted to post about the language of gardeners, which we’ve dubbed “Hortish”

Now, many of you speak Hortish, and speak it quite fluently. The botanical names just flow from your lips in almost lyrical fashion, and to non-gardeners, it is clear you are talking a language they don’t know. If they want to know what you are talking about, they ask you for a translation.

Echinicea? Coneflower

Quercus? Oak

Dr. Hortfreud? Your therapist who visits you only when you mow or hoe or otherwise garden.

But there are other times when you talk Hortish and it sounds like English and you confuse the non-gardeners.

A six-pack? You, of course, are referring to a little plastic six-celled plant holder, the unit that annuals are often sold in. To others, it is beer.

A bulb? You, of course, are referring to “a short, modified, underground stem surrounded by usually fleshy modified leaves that contain stored food for the shoot within”. To others, it is a source of light, screwed into a socket.

Deadhead? You, of course, are referring to the action of cutting off dead flowers. To others, it could be a noun meaning a head that is dead.

A hoe? You, of course, are referring to a gardening tool used to chop down weeds or loosen the dirt. To others a hoe, is, well, not a gardening tool.

The whole point is… wait, we’re garden fairies. We don’t like to have a point to anything. It sets expectations. And when there are expectations, it leads to responsibility. And responsibility leads to work, and we garden fairies, as you know, do not knowingly work. We have to be tricked into doing anything that seems like work.

Hey wait a minute… did Carol just trick us into doing her writing? She’s going to pay for this! Just wait until she goes out into the garden this spring…

And while you’re waiting to get out into your garden, remember that when you are with people who don't garden and don't speak Hortish, think about what you are saying. There are similarities beween Hortish and English that might not always be apparent to them. Especially that one word… hoe.

(Don't forget to visit Wednesday's post and enter the contest to win a Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower!)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Irises Waltz In

May I introduce to you Iris histrioides 'Lady Beatrix Stanley', a new dwarf iris that I purchased last fall from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.

Did you know that there really was a Lady Beatrix Stanley? I assumed she was a real person, and went on a little Internet search for her.

It turns out she was the daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Headfort, Thomas Taylour, and his second wife, Emily, who was the granddaughter of the 2nd Marquess of Bath, Thomas Thynne. Lady Beatrix married Sir George Frederick Stanley, who was the sixth son of an Earl and therefore probably had no chance at a title like Marquess. I presume Sir George and Lady Beatrix  had an interesting life together especially when they lived in India where he was the Governer of Madras.

Lady Beatrix must have taken up with a bunch of gardeners or plant breeders at some point because in addition to this iris, there also seems to be a double-flowering Galanthus named after her. We should all be so fortunate.

With all those titles in her family tree, I feel a need to dress up a bit when I walk by Lady Beatrix Stanley’s iris and maybe even do a little curtsy.

I do know how to curtsy, sort of. As a fifth grader, I took ballroom dancing lessons with several other fifth grade classmates. Our parents plotted to sign us up so that we could learn the social skills necessary to conduct ourselves as ladies and gentlemen. Along with learning how to dance the waltz, the cha-cha, and the swing, we learned how to go through a receiving line and say very politely, “Good evening, Mrs. Colodon (that’s the name I remember), my name is Carol”. As the words came out of your mouth, you gracefully extended your white gloved hand for a ladylike handshake while placing one foot behind the other and slowly bending your knees in a little curtsy.

When I try to do a curtsy today, and I just did one so I could remember, my knees creak a bit. But I can still do one and am now ready to go through a receiving line where one might find the likes of Lady Beatrix Stanley, daughter of a Marquess, and patroness of my little iris and somewhere a double flowering galanthus.

On the other side of the sidewalk, under a crabapple tree named Guinivere, other irises are now blooming, too.
These are Iris reticulata ‘Clairette’.

Without a last name, or just a wee bit more information, I don’t really have the story on Clairette. I'm tempted to make up something about her, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter who she was.

What matters is that these irises are both blooming in my garden now, on March 10th, just five days before the next Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.

Spring is arriving in my garden.

"Good evening, Spring, my name is Carol"… as I gently extend a garden gloved hand and curtsy to the Iris.

(Don't forget to visit yesterday's post and enter the contest to win a Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Win A Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower!

Win A Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower!

This spring I’m looking forward to mowing the lawn more so than ever before because I have a new Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower in my garage, ready to bring out for the first mowing of the season.

I recall fondly the final mowing of the season last year, my first time to mow with this new reel mower. What fun that was!

Soon, in just three or four weeks, I’ll roll out my new Fiskars® reel mower again and begin a whole new season of mowing the lawn.

Let the countdown begin

According to my garden journal, I've started mowing for the season as early as March 26th and and as late as April 7th. It all depends on the weather and how quickly it warms up. I hope this is an “early” year. We’ll see. All I know is that right now each day is warmer than the day before, crocuses are blooming like crazy and soon the grass will start growing again and be ready for me to mow it!

Thank you, once again, to Fiskars® who sent me that mower to review last fall.

And thanks to Fiskars® , one lucky reader/commenter will soon have a new Fiskars® Momentum™ Reel Mower to start their mowing season with, too.

There are two steps to enter this giveaway:

1. Add your name and blog or website url to the Mr. Linky Widget below. If you don’t have a blog or website, just enter www.fiskars.com for the url.
2. Leave a comment and tell us when you generally start mowing your lawn in the spring.

Other contest details…

Open to U.S. residents only, 18 years and older. Contest ends at 9:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, March 16, 2010. Winner will be chosen by random number as generated by http://www.random.org/ with the assistance of one of my garden blogging friends, yet to be chosen, who has not entered the contest.

Please make sure you leave your email address in your comment or make sure that it is easy to find on your blog so I can contact you if you win. You do not have to have a blog to enter. Email addresses can be left disguised along the lines of Indygardener AT G Mail dot Com and I’ll figure them out.

One entry per person! However, if you tweet about the contest with a link on Twitter, post about it on your blog, or note it on your Facebook page, you can put your name and url in the Mr. Linky widget a second time and add a second comment with a link to your tweet/blog/Facebook entry for reference and double your chances of winning! (Maximum of two entries per person.)

Good luck to everyone!

Remember, all entries must be submitted by March 16, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT.

Update March 16th. The winner is entry number 33, Samia! Thank you to all who entered and thank you to Fiskars for allowing me to host this giveaway.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Plant Name Amnesia: First Meeting With The Garden Designer

I thought it was just me that suffered a bit from post-winter plant name amnesia (PWPNA, for those who like acronyms).

After the long winter, the names of plants that last fall came easily to mind and rolled off the tongue now seem to be stuck in a haze, the words a bit blurry, the accents all mixed up. Even common names take a minute or two to bring to mind.

I knew I should have studied up on my plant names before the garden designer and her partner in digging came for a first look-see of my garden! We toured around, pointing at bare stems of shrubs and tiny little plants just emerging from the ground, stumbling over names.

Snow-in-summer? Ceras? Oh, yes, Cerastium tomentosum, pictured above. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue after the long winter.

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’? I tried to call it “tardita”. Without the paniculata. And I could barely remember that the ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas were ‘Endless Summer’ hydrangeas. But yes, of course, I knew they were hydrangas.

But if someone said something close to the actual name, someone else figured out what it was and so we managed. Around the garden we went, stumbling through the names, as I pointed out flaws, areas that I thought needed to be fixed, a tree that should be cut down, utility boxes to hide. I consider my garden pretty much a blank slate as long as she…

Leaves the vegetable garden alone.

And actually, I hope she has suggestions for the vegetable garden. It could  use some help, too. And a nicer “entry way” into it, maybe an arbor. Or perhaps a low fence that divides it from the rest of the yard.  Maybe better paths?

After walking around the garden, we sat and talked about what I want in the garden in addition to wanderability, placeness, well plotted, gardimacy, and hortiful. (Yes, she read about those on my blog, but came anyway.)  I did forget to mention my five keys to achieving happiness in a garden. (Grow the plants you love, size your garden for the resources you have, buy good tools (I did show them my hoe collection), respect Mother Nature and, share your garden.) I hope she can take all that into account, too.

She noted a lack of evergreen shrubs in my garden and asked me about that. I said evergreens would be fine, but no Juniperus (junipers), Taxus (yews), Thuja (arborvitaes) or Chamaecyparis. She kindly and patiently pointed out that there were really no other choices for evergreens around here, so I agreed to re-consider sculptural junipers, new varieties of yews, and Chamaecyparis, and really anything else she suggests.

We also talked about my lack of grasses. I’ve had some bad experiences with invasive grasses, which I didn’t mention to them. I’ll work through those issues with Dr. Hortfreud on my own time. I’m sure after a few sessions I’ll soon be able to consider some nice grasses that aren’t invasive.

Whew, this garden design process is going to be like therapy, as she challenges me to let go of some of my pre-conceived and perhaps strongly held opinions on some plants and reconsider them, after all these years. Before you know it, she’ll have me liking and planting red flowers. Red flowers!

The next step is for her to come back and spend some more time walking around the garden, mulling it over, considering what concepts she wants to present in a garden design before she gets too far.

In the meantime, I’m going to pull out my plant tags, walk around the garden, and shake off my post-winter plant name amnesia!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Dear Friends and Gardeners: March 8, 2010

Dear Dee and Mary Ann and Gardening Friends Everywhere,

Greetings from the beginnings of spring in my garden. It’s amazing how there were no blooms last week and now this week there are crocuses blooming everywhere. Out in the vegetable garden, henbit is starting to sprout and grow everywhere, too. I see some weeding in my future!

On Saturday I went outside in the afternoon and looked over the raised bed vegetable garden, pictured above. There are at least two beds that need new wood around them. The wood that is there, even though it is cedar, is pretty well rotted. Any ideas on something other than cedar boards to edge those beds? I don’t want to spend a fortune on them, but want them to look nice and last a while.

I also made note while I was outside that its time to cut back the grape vines. When I do that and am out there with my pruners in hand, I’ll look around for other stuff to cut back because it is just so darn fun to prune, isn’t it?

On Sunday I went to the Indianapolis Home and Flower show at Lucas Oil Stadium. It was much more home than flower, but I still managed to find HarvestMan Sweet Corn selling seeds and bought a package of ‘German Giant’ radish seeds. Yes, I had my seed list with me so I could check to make sure I didn’t already have that particular variety before I bought it. Their real specialty was sweet corn seed, but they only had very large packets of seed, much bigger than I’ll need for my 4’ x 8’ plot of intensely planted sweet corn, so I didn't get any.

I missed hearing Carolee from Carolee’s Herb Farm talk about herbs but did meet another Purdue horticulture grad who was representing the Indiana Daffodil Society. It was fun to talk to her and compare notes. She has a blog called “Cool Things for the Garden” and is starting a nursery.

Other than that, like I said, it was more home than garden, but it did give me a chance to see Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, up close. It’s an impressive facility.

Next weekend, I hope to go to the Indiana Flower and Patio Show, which will be much more garden-y. I’ll give a full report in my next letter.

Until then,
Hortifully yours,

Carol

P.S. I’m meeting with the garden designer this evening for the first time. I’m looking forward to meeting her and seeing if she can help me out on a better design for my garden.

P.S.S. The show on the football field at the stadium…

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Seed Update With A Gratuitous Crocus Picture

A seed update with a gratuitous crocus picture.

Earlier this afternoon, out of the blue, I started thinking that in spite of all my seed ordering spread across four different seed companies, I had forgotten to order cucumber seeds.

To confirm if this was indeed the case, I rounded up all the seeds, which were mostly all piled into one basket, and listed them out on a spreadsheet.

Sure enough, no cucumber seeds!

And only one variety of hot peppers.

But I have three varieties of egg plant, thirteen varieties of tomatoes, nine varieties of lettuce with one more variety being sent my way to bring the lettuce total up to ten.

2010 must be the year of lettuce.

For some reason, I have three kinds of shelling peas even though I swear by ‘Green Arrow’ peas. Why did I buy the other two varieties? I blame the people who wrote the seed catalog descriptions for making everything sound so good, especially when you read them in the dead of winter. I still need to get some snow pea seeds, too.

On and on my seed list goes. It seems a bit more of a mish-mash than usual. But I’ll study it, mark it, organize it, rationalize it, and it will be a good list by the time I start sowing seeds beginning with the tomato, pepper, and eggplant seeds around mid-March.

And I’ll keep the list with me at all times so that when I see a rack of seeds for sale, feel the magnetic pull and end up looking at the seeds for “just a minute”, then see yet another variety of lettuce that I think I have to have, I can look at my list and remind myself that ten varieties of lettuce is enough.

Especially when planted with three varieties of spinach.

2010, the Year of Lettuce… and spinach… and don’t even ask me how many varieties of zinnia seeds I bought.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Cruising For Pansies And Violas

Yes, that’s me, driving slowly by the still desolate garden centers, peering out the window hoping for a glimpse of the first pansies and violas for sale. I have my routes, I make my rounds. On the way to and from work, I carefully choose a route that takes me past a small garden center

Sometimes I take a slight detour on the way home to go by a local grower’s place. She’s usually pretty good about putting a few flats of pansies and violas out front by mid-March or so. Sometimes I wonder if she bets on how quickly I’ll show up once those pansies are for sale.

And if those two places don’t have any pansies in a timely manner, gulp, I can always sneak in and out of a big box hardware store’s garden center and get some there. But I prefer not to, because they often just have those silly six packs of pansies and I need flats.

Flats of 48 pansies. Flats of 48 violas. At least a flat of each.

They have to be spring colors, too. No oranges, deep purples or golds. Those are for fall! I want pastels -  soft pink, new white, buttery yellow, light purple, with maybe a dark purple or bright yellow for “pop”. Spring colors.

Once I get my flats of pansies and violas, I haul out some containers that I have just for those pansies and violas, plant them up and put them on my front porch. Then I plant more in my front window box. It’s an annual ritual, I always do it.

And though I’ll start cruising for pansies and violas this weekend, according to my garden journal I rarely get them before the 15th of the month.

But that doesn’t stop me from starting this little pansy ritual every year at about this same time....

I brake for pansies and violas.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Thoughts on Seeing The First Crocus Blooms Turn Back Into Buds

Just like that, today was overcast and the temperature was around 38 F at 5:00 pm. The crocuses that were blooming yesterday have closed up to guard against the cold. 

Such is the fickleness of early spring flowers, and the unpredictability of the seasonal changes. Spring takes its time arrving, and Winter seems in no hurry to go. They taunt and tease in turn. One day Spring acts as though it owns the weather. The next day Winter gets in its last licks.

We knew the crocuses wouldn't stay open for long. The earliest blooming crocuses often close up on cloudy, cold days.

Nor did the short-term hsyteria of "I still need to" and "I should have" last much longer than the few minutes it took to write up the lists and post them. On the bright side, at least I have a "to do" list now.

In other glorious Spring related news...

- The garden designer is coming on Monday.

- I'm planting peas in two weeks.

- No doubt we'll have some sunny days again, perhap as early as this weekend. Then those crocuses will re-open and be joined by more crocus blooms. Each year, it is as though I am seeing them for the first time. I'll dart from one to another like a mad gardener, trying to photograph each one.

I never grow tired of the early spring blooms.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Thoughts On Seeing The First Crocus Bloom...

On this bright, cold sunny afternoon, there it was…

the first crocus of the season.
And nearby, another crocus.
Both were just a few days later in arriving compared to when they showed up last year, but both conjured up the same exact thought…

I still need to... (fill in the blank)!

In that brief instant of seeing that first crocus, I suddenly realized that winter really is going to end and spring really is coming. Everything I was going to do over the last few months, while the garden was buried in snow, suddenly came to mind.

I must face the music, see the sunshine, fess up that I still need to…

Organize all the seeds to make sure I have all that I “need’!

Gather up my seed starting supplies and get going on the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant!

Figure out if and how to replace the raised bed frames in the Vegetable Garden!

Meet with the garden designer!

Prepare to meet with the garden designer!

Take down the Christmas lights! (Just kidding, I took them down when it got up to 15 F one day in early January. The sun was sort of shining, as I recall, so it didn’t feel that cold. Really, it wasn’t that bad.)

Read more gardening books!

Water the houseplants! (Kidding again. I’ve kept them watered this winter… sort of.)

Then just after I had calmed myself down by shaking a few seed packages and listening to the calming rattle of the pea and radish seeds, my very next thought was…

I should have (fill in the blank)!

Oh, the remorse of time spent idly waiting, watching, and whining for winter to end and spring to arrive! I can not be the only one filled with regret that I frittered away the hours of winter and have so little to show for my time. I must pay the piper, own up to my laziness, accept that I should have…

Cleared out the dining room of all that stuff I stashed in there “awhile ago” to get it out of the way.

Cleared out the spare bedroom where I moved some of the stuff that I wanted to donate.

Taken the stuff I wanted to donate to the charity of my choice

Finished my catalog of what grows in my garden. Oh, wouldn’t that be handy to show a garden designer?

Cleared some more bookshelf space so that the newer gardening books don’t have to be stacked on the floor in front of the bookshelf.

Planted up the terrarium.

Exercised more so I’d be in better shape for gardening.

Planted more crocus bulbs!

Then I see more crocuses starting to bloom.

And I’m reminded that everyone has a case of the “I still need to’s” and the “I should have’s” around this time of year, as winter leaves and spring finally arrives.

The only cure is to keeping looking forward, get out into the garden, and just do what we can and let the rest be.

Dr. Hortfreud would approve, don’t you think?