Thursday, February 15, 2018
I knew on my first trip outside outside this morning that something was different. The birds were singing and there was warmth in the air. The snow pack had shrunk enough for me to get out and take a few pictures. Most of the garden is still out of my camera's reach. The coneflower seed heads that stood tall for so long have been bent down by the snow. There aren't many seeds left. Most of the seed heads have been picked clean.
Two coneflower seeds are shown here on crystals of ice that used to be fluffy snow. They bear a resemblance to a sunflower seed, but are much smaller and flatter. The now increasing presence of the sun is making itself known. Brown patches of grass and puddles are getting bigger and bigger while the formerly fluffy white snow shrivels down to ice.
The rusty color of my curly spearmint caught my attention. I never noticed its winter coloration before. I grow it to use in cooking and for tea. It spreads like all mints do and I know for sure that when spring actually arrives, the patch will be bigger than it was last year. Some plants you can always count on to thrive.
So here is a preview of coming attractions in the garden. Once the ice is gone there will be weeds to pull, plants to trim back and best of all promising new spring plant growth. This catnip can hardly wait to get started. It may only be February, but the sap buckets are out, the sun is getting stronger, the days are getting longer. I'm ready for spring and I'm not alone!
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
As a child during the 1950's, Sunday dinners at my maternal grandmothers apartment were both frequent and regular. Her second floor apartment came with a covered porch that ran the length of the building. Grandma had flower boxes spread all across the front edge of the porch railing. I remember brightly colored leaves that included the colors red, yellow and green. Those plants were likely coleus. She also had a row of drinking glasses filled with water and pieces of plants. Masses of roots crowded together in the glasses. Grandma called these plants slips and indicated that sometimes she was able to grow new plants from what was growing in the glasses.
Recently, Becky accidentally broke off a piece of Rosemary. Wanting to see some new green, she placed the stem in a cup of water on the kitchen windowsill. Some time passed before roots appeared. Today we decided that it was time to move the growing plant piece into dirt. We have sixty gallons of carefully prepared potting soil in cans in the basement. The bright red pot was chosen in honor of Valentine's Day! Everything we needed was at hand. Expecting nothing we will keep this piece of plant watered. It is placed in the warmest spot in the house. With luck, we will have a young plant to place alongside of the veterans on the patio this summer. In any event, I have come away from this activity today with fond memories of my grandmother and her impact on my interest in gardening.