Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This morning it is snowing. That's nice, since we could really stand to have some white stuff here, it's WINTER after all!
But, then I went to the dining room and looked out the window at all the bird feeders. There must have been close to 50 American Goldfinches there. WOW! I only see them when it's snowing, but that's OK. I'll take them whenever they choose to come. If you'd like to know even more about Goldfinches, click on this site.
This morning one of them was actually BRIGHT YELLOW! Now THAT is a harbinger of spring if I ever knew one.
I'm happy to see the yellow. I just hope that pretty, little guy is warm enough!

Monday, February 22, 2010


I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but this winter will have a devastating effect on your garden!
We have had very little snow cover, and the temperatures have yo-yo'd up and down all winter. It's been in the 30's and 40's and then down in the teens and 20's. This is NOT good for your garden!
Snow provides a wonderful insulating layer above the ground, keeping the frost level from going crazy. When the temperature goes up and down like it has this year, it forms frost heaves in the garden as well as on the roads. It's terrible for the root systems and bulbs that are trying to rebuild themselves for another season of growth. They get yanked up and down. Then when the thaw comes and the rain soaks the ground, what's left is a disaster.
Be prepared to deal with a poor showing in the spring. When the thaw comes, get out and try to press roots and shrubs, and even perennials back into the ground. It may be a rebuilding year for the garden!
I looked up "frost lines" on the internet and came across this VERY interesting link about frost in the ground. It doesn't really talk much about plants, but it sure paints a picture of what's going on under the ground up here in New England, and why we have so many stones in our gardens! Give this link a "click" and spend the time you read thinking, "Wow! Who would have known!" It will give you an entirely new insight into your garden, the ground, and why there are so many stones...and what frost has to do with it!

Friday, February 19, 2010


That is the mantra of the folks using the Internet. I am trying hard to do just that. For all of the folks who come and read my blog, it's free. True, I do mention that a donation would be nice, but I don't push that at all.
I have begun to ask gardening companies to advertise with me. I hope that those of you who visit the blog will also visit the links that I provide on the sidebar of my blog, and on my "Post Promotions". These companies are trusting that you will click on their links rather than just google randomly to find a place to meet their needs. I try to make sure that either I, or people I know, have used these places and that they are reliable and trustworthy!
So, when you are here, please try one or more of the companies that I list. They are worthy of your time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

District of Columbia Cherry Blossom Festival

Today, I have a guest blog posting. It's from the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. Perhaps that appears to be a strange place to hear about the Cherry Blossom Festival...but, here it is!

Springtime is perfect for picnics, wearing shorts, and admiring the Cherry Blossoms in DC. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an two-week (per annum) event that celebrates springtime in Washington, DC as well as the 1912 gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that coordinates, produces, supports creative and diverse activities promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, the environment, community spirit and youth education. It also begins the peak season for an influx of tourists to Washington, brought in by the thousands of historical landmarks, museums, and other buildings. The National Museum of Crime & Punishment, located in Washington, D.C. is one of those such buildings, with excellent depictions of historically famous crime scenes along with detailed information concerning past wars, forensics, organized crime, and more.

Monday, February 15, 2010


We went out for pizza tonight. On the way home I couldn't help but be aware that it is really cold, and there is very little if any snow cover. That's not a great thing for our plants, trees and shrubs. The snow provides a layer of insulation...and protection from drying wind.
In our climate the plants are far better off with a snow cover. It helps keep the ground at a constant temperature. It also offers support for fragile stems and trunks.
The only good thing that I can think of is that little rodents that tunnel around in the snow can't really do that if there's no snow. They spend all winter figuring out which tender shoots they can use for food. I guess what that says is that like everything else, there's a good and a bad side for just about everything.

The Post Promotion
I have just listed a new link on the right of my blog. It is for The Cast Aluminum Patio Sets. I think you'll find that their variety is good. There are many things to choose from and they should all hold up pretty well in your garden. Give it a click!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Have you been counting birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count? It is fun and helpful to the birding community. Since you're gardeners, you know how important birds are to the whole gardening picture. They are beautiful to see. They eat harmful insects. They sound like a most delightful, cacophony in the garden. They pollinate flowers... on and on.
At any rate, at this time of year, when gardeners are craving the ability to get outside and work in the garden, most of us are enjoying the birds that visit our feeders. Why not help the Audubon Society and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology?
Visit this web site for the Great Backyard Bird Count and get involved in counting a few birds over the next couple of days. It's easy and fun.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Whoops! Sorry! I forgot to post February's chores... Here they are!

Bring home some wonderful blooming flowers to enjoy around the house!

Look around the garden (if it isn't covered by snow) and be sure none of your perennials have been heaved out of the ground by frost. If they have, press them back down.

Remove any heavy snow from the evergreens.

This is the time to get out and take a good look at your trees to see if they could stand some pruning. It is easy to see whether there are broken or diseased branches now that there are no leaves.

Are you ordering from those catalogs? This is the time to plan on making your dreams come true! At least in the garden.

As you look around the neighborhood, make note of plants that have "winter interest". Find out what they are and plan to add them to your garden when the weather is better!

Trees are easy to identify in the winter because all the leaves are gone. However, you have no leaves to use to help you go to the book store and buy a Winter Tree Identification Guide. It's kind of fun identifying trees by their shapes, and the kids love doing it as well.

If you haven't done it already, sharpen those tools-and while you're at it, organize them as well.

Before you know it, it will be time to roll out the lawn mower. Has it been serviced? Get it to the shop before everyone else beats you to it.

If you have grapes, prune the vines now. If you wait until it begins to warm up, they will "bleed".

If you start vegetable seeds this month or next, try using clear topped take-home trays that you get leftovers in, from restaurants. They work really well!

Force some of your spring blooming twigs for indoor color. Try fruit trees, forsythia, dogwood, pussy willow and quince. Just bring them inside and allow them to sit in a large vase with water.

Keep those bird feeders full.

Be sure to keep the leaves of indoor plants "dusted". It helps to wipe them with a damp cloth to keep the pores open.


I KNOW it's the wrong month to be thinking about bulb planting...BUT... I just found a great link that is like a zone map, but it tells you when to plant what bulbs in your area. It also tells you what bulbs to plant and HOW. It's a neat link! I'll put in in my "September Chores" list, but, hey! It's February, and what gardener isn't itching to learn something new to apply to the garden...even if it IS the wrong time of the year??? :-)
Here it is! US Regions for bulb planting! ENJOY!

When the time comes, a place I've had lots of good luck with bulbs is Van Engelen. They have a very nice catalog.with multiple varieties of every kind of spring bulb imaginable.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Oh gosh! That "cabin fever" is really getting intense. In case you're getting impatient about Garden or Flower Shows, here is the list of New England Shows. They will be starting SOON!

The Rhode Island Show starts Feb. 18.
The Connecticut Flower Show starts Feb. 18, as well.
The Portland (Maine) Flower show starts March 11.
The Boston Flower Show starts March 24.
Vermont's Gardens & Green Living Show starts on March 13.
The Seacoast Home, Garden & Flower Show (New Hampshire) starts March 26.

Is one close to you? I hope you'll manage to get to one or another. They are always a feast for the eyes. I have to admit that my nose LOVES flower shows as well. When I walk in the door, the odor of springtime and summer are almost more than my senses can handle!!!