"I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere beyond the morning." - J.B. Priestly

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

...and my garden is started!

I've been doing lots of reading, and getting into the spirit for the coming year -- so it was time to get started. On the 22nd, I put in some orders:
*shade perennial grab bag (for up north)
*3 reblooming German Iris
*3 Sunshine Gaillardia
*3 Red Freedom Hedge roses
*1 white feather hosta
*1 sorbet peony plant
*3 butterfly plants

All of those from Springhill Nursery to be delivered in the spring.

From Gurney, a dwarf Meyer lemon, a Black Magic elephant ears plant, 3 mixed foxglove, and a Top Hat blueberry plant.

15 assorted plants pre-ordered from the Master Gardener Association that I'll be able to pick up May 5.

And, I planted seeds for the past couple of days:
*32 marigolds
*18 sunflowers
*8 poppies
*8 hollyhocks
*8 snapdragons
*8 pumpkin-on-a-stick
*8 pony tail grass
*24 lupine
*12 zinnia

and I have quite a lot of seed that will be used for direct seeding as well.

Additionally, I started seeds for edibles:
*3 peppers
*1 Big Boy tomato
*2 cherry tomatoes
*2 yellow pear cherry tomatoes
*2 heirloom tomatoes
*2 ground cherries

That's a grand total of 142 seedlings if they all sprout, plus the 15 plants I ordered through MGA, the 6 plants from Gurney, and the 14+ plants ordered through Springhill Nursery. I think I'm going to be quite busy this spring!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Flower Show

'Birds and Blooms' gets invited to everything, of course, and I'm thrilled to be using Stacy's extra entrance ticket to the Philadelphia Flower Show next week.  We're headed out on the 7th, with a full day at the show on the 8th, and back home on the 9th.  Looking forward to seeing the exhibits of new cultivars and new equipment, and attending the lectures from some of the country's leading authorities and experts!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Setting the Stage for a Great Year of Gardening

Welcome to my efforts to become an actual gardener!  I don't have a green thumb -- never have had -- so I have to work at it if I want things to grow and be beautiful or nutritious or whatever.  My Mom can grow anything, my brother and sister are both gardening superstars, my daughter-in-law is totally fearless about trying new things -- and I'm just interested in creating a beautiful space!

So, I'm reading all of the seed/plant catalogs that have been arriving and today I went seed shopping and readied all of my equipment for starting seeds.  I have 110 pods ready to go so I'm wondering if I even bought enough seed starting mix.  Well, we'll just have to wait and see.

I had a new fence put in last year and it created havoc with my efforts to create a lovely garden.  I didn't want to put all of my new plants (both those I raised from seed and those that I bought) into the ground before the fence was installed because I knew there would be a lot of trampling going on.  Because the fence didn't go in until the latter part of May, many of my plants were weakened or dead due to the delay of going into the ground.  Then, when the installation was done, there was, indeed, a lot of trampling on the existing plant life.

Butterfly garden in June
I also wanted to recreate some of the spaces with new colors and plants, so there was a lot of transplanting that took place.  Not sure how successful much of that was -- we'll see what comes up this year.

Butterfly garden in August
Lastly, it was a pretty dry summer so I had to do a lot of watering.  Even so, the area in front and in my butterfly garden struggled with the drought and, again, I'm not sure what will survive and come back up this year.  Our winter has been without much snow so there is no protection for the plants but, fortunately, it has also been pretty mild so I'm hopeful that not much will be lost.

Despite the poor conditions last year, I had a ton of tomatoes (love, love, love the new tomato cages that I got), a pretty fair amount of herbs, some zucchini, and my flowers really did look beautiful.  Gotta thin out that butterfly garden before it gets ahead of me this year!