Garden

Winter Winds

Wild winds

come a-blustering,

Clearing a path

for the feet of Spring,

To dance her way

along the lane,

Bringing

daffodils

again.

Patience Strong

These last few days we have been battered with the worst winds that I can remember.

Trees down, power outages.

Winter is going out with a bang.

The first month of Spring will soon arrive, and none too soon!

I am so ready for Spring to dance it’s way in.

I am tired of being cold!

Are you ready for Winter to be over?

*

Psalm 40:3

And He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

 

Garden · Uncategorized

In Concern of Spring

 

In Concern of Spring

I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,

If wintery birds are dreaming of a mate,

If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun

And crocus fires are kindling one by one:

Sing Robin, Sing!

I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring!

Christina Rossetti

*

Winter still has a grip on us-cold, snowy, windy, icy, all the things that accompany these winter months.

Spring seems so far away, though, in reality, I know that spring will ‘spring’ upon us before we know it….

and I will be behind, as usual.

The ground outside is dead and lifeless, or so it seems,

though I know the growing things are stirring underneath this snow and ice.

(See my winter surprise HERE)

And just because I am missing the wonderful color

and the growing of the spring and summer months….

I am so enjoying the growing of Amaryllis indoors.

Do you grow anything indoors during the winter?

*

Romans 8:14

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

 

 

Garden

Seed Catalogs

The seed catalogs have arrived.

(They actually began arriving before Christmas.)

The stores now also have a great supply of seeds.

I tell ya, seeing all of these seeds makes me anxious for spring growing!

Perusing the seed catalogs and dreaming of the beautiful garden you will have this year is a great way to spend some of this time while you are stuck inside because of the cold and snow.

Some of the seed companies that provide catalogs (both paper and on-line) are:

  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  http://www.Rareseeds.com.  This catalog is the premier dream of seed catalogs.  The photos are gorgeous, the information is plentiful, it is full of interesting stories and the selection beyond compare.
  • Pinetree Garden Seeds.  http://www.superseeds.com.  A great catalog.  I have ordered from them for many years.  The prices are good, and they have a nice selection of garden related books and soapmaking supplies.  For those that don’t have a lot of room to grow many different varieties, they have custom mixes of seeds that let you grow a variety from 1 packet.
  • Territorial Seed Company.  http://www.TerritorialSeed.com.  A lovely catalog with a big selection.  Also have beneficial insects.
  • John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds. http://www.kitchengardenseeds.com.
  • Totally Tomatoes.  http://www.totallytomao.com.  This catalog is devoted to the avid tomato grower, and also includes a nice selection of other garden seeds.  A must if you love tomatoes!
  • Vermont Bean seed Company.  http://www.vermontbean.com.  This catalog is devoted to the bean lover, they have every kind of fresh and dried bean seed, plus other vegetable garden seeds.   Wish I had more room to grow!
  • Jung Seeds and Plants.  http://www.Jungseed.com.  A great catalog of seeds, perennial plants, fruits and berries.
  • R.H. Shumway.  http://www.rhshumway.com.  An old fashioned style of catalog.  Free seeds if you order before March 15!
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  http://www.Johnnyseeds.com.  A great catalog with a huge selection.
  • Gurney’s Seed and Nursery.  http://www.Gurneys.com.  Seeds, perennial plants, berry plants, fruit, nut and shade trees.  1/2 off till March 6th!
  • Farmer Seed and Nursery. http://www.FarmerSeed.com.  They have been around for 131 years.
  • Burgess Seed and Plant.  http://www.eburgess.com.  They have been in business for 107 years.  They are advertising a 1/2 price vegetable seed sampler that includes 12 packets of the most common vegetables grown in the home garden for $6.99.  That is a good deal.
  • Burpee.  http://www.burpee.com.  A nice selection of good growing seeds and plants.  I no longer order from them as they sell their seeds at Wal Mart.

There are many more seed catalogs out there, but these are the ones that I have ordered from and have been happy with.

Do you order your seeds from catalogs?

Happy garden dreaming and planning!

*

Proverbs 3:6

“In all thy ways acknowledge him,

and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

 

 

Garden

Flower of the Week-Daffodil

Daffodil

 

Daffodowndilly Crown

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,

She wore her greenest gown,

She turned to the south wind

And curtsied up and down.

She turned to the sunlight

And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbor,

“Winter is dead.”

A.A. Milne

 

We are enjoying the cheery spring greetings of the yellow daffodils right now.  Such a common flower, but such a welcome sunny sight as we begin the march of the blooming flowers. Daffodils are one of the first splashes of color in the spring. What a welcome sight they are!

Daffodils can be enjoyed outside in the garden as well as inside in the vase.

Daffodils are a popular flower that multiply quickly.  Daffodils include narcissi and jonquils and they come in a variety of sunny colors, the usual yellow, along with white, cream, orange,  pink and multi-colored.  There are literally hundreds of varieties of daffodils, including different styles with trumpet, doubles, split cup and miniature sizes good for the rock garden and front of flower borders.

Growing Daffodils

Daffodils are spring blooming flowers that grow from bulbs. They are a very reliable and easy to grow flower.

The flower bulbs must be planted in the mid to late fall while the ground can still be worked.  You can find many varieties of the bulbs in the local stores in the fall, or harder-to-find varieties can be ordered from mail order nurseries in the summer.

Daffodils are winter hardy in zones 3-8.

Daffodils do well in full sun as well as part shade.

Bulbs should be planted 4-6 inches deep with the pointy end up and about 3 inches apart.

Daffodils will grow just about anywhere, but do prefer well-drained soil.

Daffodils should be kept well watered;  this is not usually a problem during the spring season.

Daffodils can be planted in among perennial flowers and will be done blooming by the time the perennials flower.

They should be planted in informal grouping to look more natural.  One idea for informal planting is to throw the bulbs out, and plant where ever they land. They will naturalize and multiply nicely.

A variety of daffodils can be planted for a longer bloom time in the spring, and they look lovely inter-planted with other spring blooming bulbs.

Daffodils also do well planted in containers.

Daffodils make wonderful cut flowers, but they do secrete a fluid that is irritating to the skin and that will inhibit other cut flowers  If daffs will be used in a mixed flower arrangement, the stems should be soaked in their own water for 24 hours, then rinsed off before adding to the other flowers.

 

Care of daffodils after bloom time

When daffodils are finished blooming, the flower stems can be removed, but the green foliage should be left to die off on its own.  This foliage builds the food storage reserves that the bulbs need to keep growing nice and healthy from year to year. When all of the foliage has turned brown, it can then be cut off at ground level, or it can usually just be pulled off with a little tug.  I have heard of gardeners braiding the foliage for a tidy look as it dies off.

A nice mulch of compost will be appreciated and act as fertilizer for the bulbs.

Daffodils can be lifted and divided every 4-5 years or so.

It looks like spring has finally arrived here in south-western Pennsylvania-the days are warming, the sun is shining much of the time, the perennials are popping up, the trees are starting to bud, the grass is greening-Oh, what a glorious time it is for the gardener, especially after this long winter.  I have been interested, and am looking to see what is coming up in the gardens of our new home-and it doesn’t look like much.  Mostly evergreen shrubs, I suppose a very easy landscape for the elderly couple who previously owned this house.  Everything looks neat and tidy.

There are no daffodils here-most of these flower photos are from our former home in Cottage Hill.  I did get 1 flower bed planted to spring blooming bulbs last fall, it is blooming right now and looking very pretty and ‘springy’.  I will share pictures next week.  Next fall there will be many spring-blooming bulbs planted, including many daffodils!

Are you enjoying your Spring?

*

Psalm 34:19 (TLB)

“The good man does not escape all troubles-

he has them too.

But the Lord helps him in each and every one.”

 

 

 

 

Garden

Flower of the Week-Crocus

Crocus

 

And all the woods are alive

With the murmur and sound of Spring.

And the rose-bud breaks

Into pink on the climbing briar,

And the crocus-bed

Is a quivering moon of fire,

Girdled round

With the belt of an amethyst ring.

by Oscar Wilde

The first flowers of the the year are blooming.  Crocus bloom in late winter and early to mid spring, with many of the blooms popping up even while the snow is still on the ground.  They open their flowers on those sunny, early Spring days, shining up at us, as if to tell us to not despair,  spring really is on its way.

Crocus are known for their cheerfulness, especially needed right about now, when everything in the garden is still dead and asleep.  Soon, soon.

How to Grow Crocus

Crocus are very easy to grow; they grow from corms, planted in the fall when the weather cools but before the ground freezes, usually in September and October.  You will find bags of bulbs in the stores about then, and they can be ordered from many seed companies.

They like a sunny location, with the flowers opening on sunny days and staying closed on cloudy days.

Crocus adapt most anywhere, but prefer a well-drained soil.  Dig some sharp sand into the planting hole along with a handful of good compost when planting if growing in heavy clay soil.

Crocus should be planted 3-4 inches deep, with the pointed end up.

Crocus is very carefree, and will naturalize anywhere, multiplying each year to make a nice clump of spring blooming flowers.  If planting in a flower bed, take care when planting your annuals later in the spring-it is easy to dig up the corms.

Crocus are good to plant right in the lawn-they will come up and bloom before it is time to begin the years mowing. The foliage, which is grass-like, can then be mowed off with the lawn.

They should be planted in groups of at least ten to be effective-1 little crocus would be too lonely!  They are good in mixed flower beds, and are a lovely start to the flower year.

Crocus are not bothered much by deer, rabbits and squirrels.  Bees love it for their early pollen.

Crocus come in a variety of colors-mainly lilac, mauve, white and yellow, and also many striped varieties.  They range in size from the small, early snow crocus to giant crocus.  There are also summer crocus varieties and, even more well-known, fall crocus.  The famous ‘saffron’ crocus is a fall blooming flower, with the saffron being harvested from the orange stamens.

Every Spring, as I am enjoying the blooming crocus, I vow to myself to plant many more the next autumn. Have never done it yet-maybe this fall?

Do you grow crocus and are your crocus blooming ?