Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting ready to plant indoors

Another few weeks and it'll be time to start my plants indoors! I have a 4-tier growing system and a fifth stand-alone light. My neighbor, M, already bought veggie seeds for me to sow. Flowers will be started closer to May. Unfortunately, I usually a) forget to water my seedlings, or b) grow them successfully but then forget to harden them off. Maybe this year will be the year that I remember the proper steps to take for successful transplanting?

Sunday, January 27, 2013


We'll have good soil again this year. J and I fill this gallon-sized compost bucket weekly, and then I alternate bringing the goodies between our neighborhood garden's compost area and my neighbor's compost pile.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Early blooms

I was out for a run this weekend and passed this tree that seemed to be blooming already. Never mind that we're in the midst of a deep freeze and the temps are close to zero with the wind chill. I think this is the same tree I saw blooming early last year, though last year it was closer to late February that it started to blossom.

Rock on, little tree. Rock on.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Aster Yellow disease

I was reading Garden In A City this week and noticed he kept mentioning Aster Yellows infecting his echinacea, thereby requiring the removal of all of his coneflowers. Oh, an invasive yellow aster plant, I thought? Let me Google that.

No, it's apparently a disease, and one with no known treatment except to rip out the plants and destroy them.  According to this site, symptoms in coneflowers include "replacement of flowers by tufts of small, green, deformed leaves."

Image courtesy of http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2006/9-13/asteryellows.html

Ah yes. I've seen that before, in my neighbor M's yard. We were looking at them this summer and trying to remember if she'd planted a double coneflower there, because we didn't know why they looked so funny. And if memory serves me correctly, I had a couple of them in my front yard this year. 

I've emailed my neighbor to let her know what I found, and it looks like I have some digging to do in the spring. I'm not sure why I've had all sorts of problems this year - hollyhock rust, aster yellows, the annihliation of my rose bush. Maybe it's time to really look into more native plants. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

White on white

I feel like an idiot for never trying paperwhites before this winter. Though the third bulb ended up being a dud, the other two keep producing beautiful flowers. They're keeping my attention away from the sad, grey loneliness outside.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Expanding my reading selection

I love discovering new garden blogs. They give me endless hours of reading and, equally important, beautiful photos to look at and use as inspiration.

Today I found the gorgeous Dirt Therapy. The first post I happened upon was a book review of a local (to me) gardener. I'm going to let this post by Phillip Oliver speak for itself, but I can't help but show one of the photos from the book he reviews:

David Culp's Rose Garden, as reviewed on Phillip Oliver's blog, Dirt Therapy
Isn't that amazing?

So, besides finding a new blog to read, I've also discovered a new book I need to buy. Happy Wednesday to me!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Beyond the Garden Gates

Is it weird that I'm excited by this video?

Longwood Gardens - Beyond the Garden Gates

J did end up getting us a membership for Christmas, and I can't wait to attend some of these behind-the-scenes lectures.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I didn't realize they have a subtle fragrance to them.

Not a bad winter treat for $1 a bulb.