“Over the years I’ve learned that for the gardener, in addition to rest, winter is a time for wide-awake visions about things to come.” ~Judith Couchman
A couple of weeks ago I was reading a blog post, from Hannah@Weeding On The Wild Side, about being a gardening fanatic. And it brought to mind, how fanatical I can become once seed starting season (especially indoors) begins in late February and continues through March and April.
And continuing with that theme was Pam@Pam’s English Cottage Garden who has a super organized way she puts her veg garden seeds together that is all too familiar to me. Then Kathy@The Violet Fern (about 1.5 hours North of me) posted her grand plans for her Potager. It is getting closer to spring as we all think about starting our seeds and planning our veg gardens. And I do love to read what others are planning for their veg gardens, and what better time to plan but now just as spring is beginning.
As I begin this new veg gardening season, I am joining in again with Dee Nash for her virtual garden club called, Dear Friend and Gardener. You can see the badge here and on my sidebar. As Dee says about this new club:
Carol Michel, Mary Ann Newcomer and I are starting a virtual garden club for everyone growing their own food, flowers or herbs this summer. It’s a fun club. There are no rules except if you grab the badge, please link it back to this page. Here, I will list everyone joining us for our summer adventure of growing our food, flowers and herbs. You are welcome to post once a month if you want. We’d love to see what you’re growing.
Seed Starting Indoors
When we finally cleared the basement of so much we didn’t need, I was able to carve out an actual workspace to start seeds. You can see the Grow Station that is full of herbs that have been growing indoors to either overwinter or to use throughout winter.
The table and shelves are new. All the pots, and seed starting materials in that big pile need to be cleaned and moved to the shelves. I am working through that little by little.
I start sowing early flowers, in late January or early February so they can be ready for potting up in early April. And I begin to sow my summer veggies, in late February. I keep a calendar showing what I need to start when. And I also keep a plastic storage container for flower seeds, one for veggie seeds and one that I move seeds to by season and month as I start sowing. A bit obsessive I know. But I am now sowing so much from seed, that I feel I need to be super organized. I also think it is a bit of my old self as an over planner, left over the over from my old line of work.
Veggies-I just started 5 varieties of eggplants, and 10 varieties of peppers (2 types of green chiles, 3 sweet pepper, 5 hot pepper). I also started celery. This is a new veggie I will trying to grow in a container. Tomatoes will be started in mid-April.
Flowers-Pansy/viola were started in late January (shown above), while snapdragons or Antirrhinums were started in late February with Petunias. Next week I will be starting 6 varieties of marigolds or Tagetes, and a few varieties of Alyssum. And I am finally trying a few other flowers that will need to be started indoors here as we have such a short growing season; namely Tithonia, Calibrachoa, Gilia.
Herbs-Most of the herbs I grow are either perennial or are started outside. But I do grow basil from seed, and will start it at the same time I start my tomatoes.
Here is this year’s Veg Garden Plan. I generally change it a bit once I get started, but not too much.
I usually know my general planting scheme by early fall of the year before, as I have to rotate crops and figure out where I am planting the garlic (which was planted this past October). But there are always small tweaks. I am trying to use the beds as much as I can, and will be growing squashes and melons up trellises again so I have more space to grow more veggies under them.
I do have one new bed, the portable 4ft by 4 ft bed. It has a liner and a plastic frame. I will have it up on the patio planted with early greens, and later green chiles around the perimeter on 3 sides and watermelon growing up a trellis. We shall see how it goes. It seems my patio is becoming more of a growing area with loads of grow bags, the round asparagus bed and now this new bed.
I will give more specifics about what I am growing and updates, in monthly posts, usually near the end of each month, and in my Journal posts.
Here are plants that I have started from seed in years past, and I plan to grow these again this year. Starting top left is okra. Moving clockwise is basil, peas, tomatoes and sweet peppers in the center. All big favorites in our house. I am unsure when my peas will be sown, but it will depend on how fast all that snow melts, and the soil can be worked in the raised beds. Still very cold and all our snow is still piled high.
Do you grow veggies, herbs and flowers from seed? Which are a must to grow yearly in your garden?
In A Vase On Monday
So we are slowly moving to spring, but I still can’t get to my gardens. Five feet of snow on the ground takes a while to melt especially when temps are still hovering in the 20s or just around freezing.
I needed a different container to display this week’s vase, and this time I found a pot that was given to me as a retirement gift from a friend. I loved the sharp white contrast. I put a small jar inside of the pot so I could place the flowers in water, and keep the arrangement tight and not floppy.
I was thrilled that Hippeastrum ‘Red Lion’ was blooming again. Such a rich brilliant red to brighten up these days before spring’s arrival.
This collage shows the progression of the growth of the flowers, starting with the full flowered version top left and ending with the beginning flower buds I started with, bottom right. It took a few days for the flowers to fully open. I again used Chinese Evergreen or Aglaonema ‘Emerald Beauty’ along with the dried seed pods of Baptisia and dried grasses both from last week’s vase; originally used in vases in December.
I really like how this vase complements the tapestry of the couch and the table runner. And I added a red candle for a bit more contrast against the white.
I am joining in with a couple memes this week as I prepare this vase: Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, and Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles.
I am observing and celebrating as the new season awakens. I hope you will join in the celebration whether you are in the Northern or Southern hemisphere.
All you have to do is write a post between now and March 22nd. Then leave a comment on my Seasonal Celebration post with your link so I can include your link in my summary post on March 23rd.
I do hope you will consider joining in celebrating the new season in your corner of the world.
And as always, I will be collaborating with Beth@Plant Postings and her Lessons Learned meme at this same time. What lessons have you learned this past season of winter here in the North and summer in the South. Write a separate post or combine your lessons with your celebrations for one post.
Next up on the blog:
Next Monday, I will have my final Flower Tale of winter. I am hopeful I will have spring blooms to show off next month.
I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her new blog just for Nature Notes. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Tuesday.
I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.
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