Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Green!

Since we dodged the big snowstorm, I'm hoping We've rounded the corner and it's full steam ahead to spring. l'm glad we didn't have to shovel 8“ of snow, but they sure forecast the wrong storm for us. I really feel like I’m in the midst of spring preparations. Greenhouse #1 filled  up fast, so now I've moved plants into #2.  The greenhouses go from completely empty to packed full in a short amount of time. Takes a little longer to empty them out.

And of course, with the nice weather, people come out and are anxious to buy plants. It's still too early to plant pretty much everything, even perennials. The ground is still cold and wet and we’ll have cold nighttime temperatures for quite awhile yet. Of course, annuals can't be planted until May. Also, the  plants have just been potted for a short time. They really need to  establish in the pots and remain in the greenhouse where they can happily size up in the ideal environment. I always encourage early birds to look around and take a plant list so they can plan. People sometimes want to buy the small plants and keep them at home, but of course, they‘ll do much better in the greenhouse for a couple weeks.

The herb shop is still open Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9-5 until the greenhouse reopens April 2. Then we begin spring hours ~ Tuesday through Saturday 9~5 and Wednesday evenings until 7pm.

I see other signs of spring outside, too. Lots of buds forming on the trees. When l was young, my sister and I shared a giant box of crayons. One of our favorite colors was spring green, a yellowish-green that is the color of so much new spring growth as it first emerges. I always think of the color when the neighbor's weeping willow starts pushing new growth-an exact match to spring green!

One day, there were dozens of birds scattered throughout the yard - all robins. Lucy stalked a robin in the yard one day. She usually doesn't bother, since she's long figured out they can just fly away. But this one had its back to her so she got close before it flew. It‘s not the same as a squirrel or a rabbit, but it will do in a pinch.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Can it be spring?

It's beginning to look a lot like spring around here. There are numerous trays of little seedlings in various stages of development. Some have germinated and are just poking through the soil. Those planted the earliest are filling out the packs and looking like mini versions of the adult plants. Some, like lavender, are wonderfully fragrant even in their young stage. So far, l've only filled pots with soil in the greenhouse, in anticipation of planting.  Soon, starter plants will arrive and along with the mature seedlings, planting will begin in earnest. 

There's always one day in March when everything breaks loose and spring just charges in. Then it's non-stop busy throughout the season.

There are definitely some toads hibernating is the corner of the greenhouse. On sunny days, when it gets very warm in the greenhouse, they sometimes poke their faces out of the dirt - to cool off, I guess. I've seen two at a time there, but there are some other holes in the dirt, so there may be more than two. l'm glad they wintered over happily there.

At last check, all my outdoor upright rosemarys still survive. The creeping rosemary died off in January, but that wasn’t surprising as it seems to be the least winter hardy. It's still worth growing, for its habit and also the fact that it blooms so readily.

The spring newsletter will be out in a couple weeks, so keep an eye open for that. The shop remains open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 to 5 through March. This year, the greenhouse opens April 2, and then we begin spring hours and are open 5 days a week through December.

We finally get our basement/family room completely put back together (it was flooded in fall 2011.) Luoy's happy because now she has her choice of places to relax - sometimes up, sometimes down. She always sleeps in the same place when we go away. A creature of habit for sure.