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The February Full Moon

 

Tonight’s full moon is known as the snow moon,

or snow-blinding moon.

or the boney moon,

or the little famine moon,

or the hunger moon

or the trapper’s moon.

February usually has the heaviest snow fall of  the year…but do not despair!

This is the month that the temperatures are gradually rising, and they will keep rising until they peak in July.

And the days are getting noticeably longer.

There will still be snow, ice and cold to deal with, but Spring really is on the way.

 

Psalm 40:3

“And He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.”

 

Faith · Garden · My Town

In Praise of Snow

Beautiful snow, so pure and white,

Dancing through the air you go.

Falling so gently, softly and light

From th’ clouds above to the earth below.

 

Beautiful snow, so pure and white,

Th’ crowning beauty of winter cold;

Falling both by day and by night,

Falling on mountain-top and wold.

 

Beautiful snow, so pure and white,

Falling gently on vale and dell;

Cov’ring the cottage of the poor,

And the mansion of the rich as well.

 

Beautiful snow, so pure and white,

Falling on things both high and low,

Hiding the fallen leaves out of sight,

While o’er the brown tree you thickly blow.

 

Beautiful snow, so pure and white,

Oh, how I love to see you fall.

Oh, I am certain, yes, I am sure,

Nothing’s as pretty as snow at all.

 

Lord! make my heart as pure and white

As the snow when it falls from above.

Fill me with Thy truth and light

And sweet beautiful faith and love. 

Effie Waller Smith

 

A poor photo, I know, due to the angle of the sun, but icicles on the roof of the house.  My roses are just below and they are entombed in ice also.  Hopefully, they make it through this winter.

There are benefits of snow for the garden.

  • Snow acts as an excellent insulator.  Shovel the snow onto your growing bed to give them a nice blanket of protection.
  • Snow protects from harsh, drying winds that can damage plants.
  • Snow can protect from the heaving up of plants due to the freezing and thawing cycle.  It is best to have the ground stay frozen until spring.
  • Snow provides moisture to perennial plants and bulbs as they are waking up for the spring.
  • Snow, as it melts, provides nitrogen that is essential to plant growth.
  • If you have designed a garden for winter interest, snow provides beauty as it covers everything.

As we are ending the month of January, we are leaving the season of Deep Winter.  As we enter the month of February, we are entering the season of Late Winter, and the seasonal temperatures should be steadily rising all across the nation, which they will continue to do till mid July.  There will still be snow and ice and cold to contend with, but-

Winter brings the

the cold of February,

But remember,

It is only temporary.

I do love a good snow fall!

Following are some photos of my town after the last storm.

 

And a photo of the Redbank Creek with the resident geese and ducks.

And lastly, a big shout out to the state and local snow crews that work so hard to keep our roads clear.

They had quite the big clean-up job after this last snow storm.  And another one is on the way….

Thanks guys!

You Lord, are forgiving and good,

abounding in love to all

who call to you.  

Psalm 86:5

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

Winter Surprise

February…what a teaser!

We have struggled and endured the stunningly cold polar vortex that assaulted us for a number of days in late January and early February….then February decided to give us a taste of spring with warm breezes and sunshine.  We are now back to cold and blowing snow.

While walking to the house with my head tucked from the cold wind, and not paying much attention, I glanced down and couldn’t believe what I saw…the little violas that had reseeded along the sidewalk were blooming!  Such an unexpected surprise!  February is teasing us again!  But spring will be here soon.

The flowers of late winter and early spring 

occupy places in our hearts

well out of proportion to their size.

Gertrude Wister

*

Philippians 4:4

Rejoice in the Lord always;

again I will say, rejoice!

 

Garden

Brrr! Bring them inside!

Bringing Plants In

“The Autumn Winds They Do Blow Cold…”

It is the time of year to bring in any tender plants that you want to overwinter.

You can preserve plants from year to year and also enjoy the tropical greenery inside.  It is nice to have something green growing when all is dead and buried under snow outside.

Inspect the plants and pots for pests and insects before bringing them in.  The plants may need pruned back some, or re potted.

Make sure you have the right spot for them-they need bright light out of direct sunlight.

The air inside is dryer, and of course much warmer, and the plants need a higher humidity-mist them occasionally or set on pebble filled trays.

I find that it is easier to take care of them if they are grouped together.

Keep them well watered.  They should be lightly fertilized about once a month, especially after the daylight begins to lengthen in the early spring and they begin growing again.

What is going on here garden wise….

The only vegetable garden I was able to muster this summer here at our new home was this…

A few tomato plants and a few zucchini squash along the block wall by the carport.  They grew fine and I enjoyed the precious few tomatoes and summer squash.  The summer season ended all too soon and I am left wondering where the summer went.

The temperatures have dipped into the 30’s at night these last few weeks and reduced my small garden to this…

Good by summer!

One of the most frost sensitive plants are my impatiens-they put on such a beautiful display in the shady areas of the garden-overnight they turned into this.

I do have a few houseplants that I overwinter every year, bringing them inside before the frost damages them.  After spending the summer outside, they are all growing very lush and full.

One is the Christmas Cactus.  It is really a Thanksgiving Cactus, as soon as I bring it into the warm house, it begins setting its blossoms and should be in full bloom in a few weeks.  It is a very forgiving plant and survives just fine outside in the summer and also does well inside during the winter.

I love ferns, and try to keep this one from year to year-it is a challenge as it does not like the dry heat of the house. By the time late spring arrives, it is barely surviving.  It recovered nicely this summer, but I am expecting it to suffer in the house again this winter.

I was given a few pink sorrel plants years ago -these were from the person’s grandmother, and could I keep them alive?-and have overwintered them successfully for a number of years.  They are considered perennials, but are not hardy in our area.  They overwinter in the house fine, but do make quite a mess, as they grow, flower, die off again and again.

The last plant that I plan to overwinter is this mixed hanging basket.  It grew ferociously during the summer, hanging down about 4 feet, but it is very frost sensitive and suffered some killing damage already as I didn’t bring it in soon enough.  I will cut it back severely, and see if it recovers.

It is the time of year to begin tucking everything in for the winter….are you ready?

Do you overwinter any plants?

Are you successful?

*

Proverbs 24:5

A wise man is strong;

yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.