Saturday, February 7, 2009

Keeping busy, the anticipation of spring is intense!

With the arrival of gardening magazines on racks, and the garden section of the stores coming to life, my anticipation for spring is intensifying. And only increasing as the days go by. I've picked up a few magazines to spawn ideas, and I've been sketching in my journal almost every day, budgeting, and planning. Dreaming, mostly.
Today, our local temps broke a record set in the late 1800's, toppping out at 56F!
We grilled out, and opened up some windows. The spring fever subsided a bit. I jumped at the chance to roam out in the garden a bit. The bad news first: the rabbits are raising hell! They chewed right through one of my favorite clematis and have made my roses look like they were passed through a shredder! The good news? If winter ended today I'd still have several inches of green cane on even my most tender roses. I guess the snow cover has been protecting the roses. We have no snow left now... so I have to pray and hope that the temps don't dip too extreme (0F and lower) from here on out.

This is all miraculous b/c we had actual temps dip down to -20F already this winter. Thank God for snow cover!
So, on my stroll around the yard today, under the layer of leaves and muck I found dozens of perennials that never even died back... including several ground covers, campanula, and even a pansy! I covered them all right back up and hope to see them again in about 2 months. I Hope.
I also started removing the dead leaves from last year's roses. Disease can spread rampant if I leave the leaves on the plants through spring.

As far as the rabbits go: Off I went to the local home improvement center and bought some chicken wire. I made little tubes of chicken wire, just circles about 12 inches around, and wrapped my most damaged roses, as well as all the clematis I think are at risk to rabbit damage. My husband bought a live trap, too. So we can relocate the rabbits to the woods. They're pretty out of the control in my yard... I could build you a whole house out of rabbit turd pellets. Any takers?

Earlier this week I made my first trip to the local nursery, and got a good dose of warmth from the greenhouse. I brought home a rosemary plant, and I'm determined to keep it alive, atleast through the summer. I also fell for a baby tears. I'll have to take a picture of the container I put it in, I think it looks so cute.

My seed collection has begun, as I strolled through Kmart to find all their new seeds 40% off (GOOD DEAL!). I have brought home tons of seed packets, including morning glory, nasturiums, radishes, lettuces, peas, lavender, cosmos, turnips, and the list goes on and on. See my seed basket?

Madness, I know.

Well, I made the mistake of strolling into the local farm and fleet. I was secretly hoping they'd have summer bulbs out, as I'm itching to replace all the dahlia's I lost last fall to mold. Instead, I found seeds (25% off, not bad), and a plastic greenhouse for $39.99. Not a bad deal, and definately something I think will work for starting seeds and bulbs on the back porch in March. Last year my entire dining room table, and surrounding areas, including chairs were covered in seedlings and starts.

I am feeling so excited about the greenhouse, which I plan to tend to vigourously, keeping all disease at bay, circulating air frequently, etc. I have never tried to start my tomatos, cukes, or squash from seed. I always buy nursery starts. This year, I decided to try to start it all from seeds right here in my green house.
I've been quelling the need to buy plants by looking at the garden stuff in the stores. My favorite place is Hobby Lobby. This last week I found these gorgeous metal corner decorations I plan on using in the entry to my garden. Guess how much they were each? $4. Yup.
And indoors, my hyacinth are blooming. They smell incredible! Such a treat to grow these in the house to stop the midwinter blues. ;)
Happy gardening everyone!

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