Sunday, March 1, 2015

The artichokes and cardoons have already germinated! They have not lifted their heads up out of the soil, but probably will tomorrow. That is the only interesting thing that happened today.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Broke down and took Sudafed today. Not sure if that's why I felt a little better or if I'm actually better; possibly both. Still didn't get anything done but I did manage to bring in firewood, take Banshee for a walk, get the utilities money from both renters, and write a review. Hopefully I'll get another one written tonight. Damn near froze to death walking Banshee and getting wood; now I am enjoying some hot jasmine tea (made with black tea instead of green).

The maple seeds arrived today; that was fast shipping! Now to look up what they need in the way of stratification. Have to keep them in the house to stratify and germinate them; there are so many mice in the greenhouse & hen house that they run around my feet when I go in. Today one ran across in front of me, then stopped and looked up at me for the longest time as if it expected something of me. I could swear it shrugged as it turned and ran away.. but that could be the cold meds talking.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Planted artichoke and cardoon seeds today, in little four packs, about a dozen each. To fill out the flat, I also put in some Allium stellatum (Prairie Onion, which is both decorative and edible), Tunica saxifraga (Coat flower, a low growing groundcover with pink flowers), and Achlys triphylla (Vanilla Leaf, a woodland plant with sweet smelling leaves). Silver has already been laying with his head on the flat; I'm sure he's only waiting for the potting soil to dry out some before he gives it the whole body treatment. Which I'm sure he's only doing so they'll be the correct temperature and germinate faster.

It's still too early to really be planting things as we don't have enough space or enough light in the house and can't afford to heat the greenhouse, but the perennials should be sturdy enough to go out to the greenhouse not too long after they germinate.

Did *not* take Banshee for a walk today; I have once again come down with a crud that has filled my sinus, given me a sore throat and fever, and has my ear aching. Bah.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sunny but cold today. I did hang the laundry outside, but it only got about half dry. Still, that's a few cents of electricity saved by running the dryer a shorter time afterwards!

Took Banshee for a walk; all the daylilies are coming up, the lilacs have very swollen buds, the rugosa roses are budding up, and crocus are poking their little noses up. All this is at least a month earlier than normal for our yard.

The book I ordered on growing and cooking Oriental vegetables arrived today. Looks pretty good; lots of vegetables I've never heard of before. I'm so eager to get to gardening it's silly. I know it'll still be too cold for over a month, even for the cold season crops. But indoor gardening is starting: the artichoke and cardoon seeds are soaking in warm water and will be planted in little containers tomorrow. They take a long time and they need to go out in the cold and then back to warm to trigger blooming, so they have to be fair sized while we still are in cold weather.

Monday, February 23, 2015

And now I've gone and ordered $40 worth of maple seeds. It's a variety; 'Crimson King', sugar maple, and four kinds of Japanese maples. I've had good luck with germinating maples before but I lost the seedlings when the greenhouse collapsed one winter. The place I used to buy tree seeds from seems to be out of business even though their website is still up, so I'm trying an ebay seller who has a 99.3% positive rating. Soon my house will be full of flats of germinating seeds of all kinds- all with cats laying on them.
Tim was home yesterday and, after doing the morning alpaca chores, we started doing our seed orders. We meant to only order a few things, and only from one company, but the best laid plans went awry and we ended up with a whole lot of things- mostly vegetables- from two companies (Pine Tree and Johnny's). Then I also did an order of seeds for perennials from Hudson and iris seeds from the Median Iris Society.

While the flowers- mainly perennials- are what excites me the most, I can't seem to look at a vegetable seed catalog with out decided that this is the year I'll gather the energy to take better care of the vegetable garden, that the Oriental greens won't bolt, that I'll make a salad every day in summer and lots of stir fries, that I'll keep everything weeded and use lots of herbs. And keep the slugs from eating things before we can get to them. Those were my worst nemesis last year. I even ordered a book on growing and cooking with Oriental vegetables- used from Amazon. I still want to check out what Angel Grove has this year for tree seeds. Time to get some crab apples & Japanese maples going again.

The whole thing energized me and made me want to do all the things. Sadly, the energy was short lived and the only thing I got done today that was on my list was the seed orders. Got a lot of other things partly done, but that doesn't get them off the list. Tomorrow I'll go to town and that means I won't get much done. *sigh*

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Autumn is closing in for real. Working outside is getting to be an exercise in perseverance; frozen feet and fingers and it’s still up in the 50s during the day. And wet. Thinned two big beds of strawberries for a  client and we ended up with two full feed sacks of strawberry plants. I trimmed them all and planted them in the vegetable garden yesterday. Today I went around harvesting herbs- lots of parsley and catnip, some sage, but the lemon balm had all gone to seed and was shitty. Just as well, I suppose; I really only use it as sugar free flavoring for mixed drinks. Still have to process the herbs and keep the cats out of the basket of ‘nip while it dries. I thoroughly expect to find Silver passed out in it.

Tomorrow we both go up to a place on Gold Creek and rake and clean up the yard. That will be my job, while Tim helps the owner put covers over the basement windows- they’ve been broken before by heavy snows fall on them. At least he’ll be home so I can warm up- and pee- when needed. Then probably three days cutting back shrubs at one job but I really hope I have some dry days for that. Then I should be able to stay inside and do things in here.