Sunday, March 28, 2010


OK, it's time for this to stop! It's been down in the 20's the last few days. That's not fair!
We've had company, so have been pretty busy. But nothing is coming up in the garden anyway. The daffodils are showing their leaves, but no buds yet. The daylilies are showing a bit of green. The climbing hydrangea is actually showing plump buds. That's good. But, everything else is still brown.
Tonight it has begun to rain. I understand we'll have a LOT of rain over the next few days. We're supposed to have inches of wet, and we are to be on the lookout for flooding. The frost isn't entirely out of the ground yet, so it will puddle all over. Hopefully, most of the wet will go into the ground.
Oh, SPRING, where are you????

Saturday, March 20, 2010


It's been up in the high 50's and even approaching 65 degrees on a day or two. I'm loving that, as I know you are as well.
The daffodils are making an appearance, if only green yet. However, there are still large banks of snow where the snowplow has pushed it. That's OK. When they are gone, I think I'll be ready to accept that spring really IS coming!
I'm afraid to get too excited about that happenstance because we have often been surprised by a late March or early April snow storm. I hope it doesn't happen, but...
I am into the final preparations for my first "A Bridge to the Garden" series. I will be doing Seminars for B&B's, Inns (and businesses) on gardening. It will be a way to help these Inns invite people into their facilities. Most Inns do a LOT of business through local people who have guests coming that they cannot accommodate for one reason or another, in their homes. But, how often do local folks actually stop into an Inn to really see what it is like?
This is one way to help the local economy by having local people actually go into the Inns and then be able to genuinely recommend them, because they now know the proprietors, and can speak for the interiors and accommodations found within. At the same time, they will go home with wonderful gardening information that they can use right away in their own gardens.
I have looked for Gardening Seminars throughout Northern New England (on the web), and have found nothing except Flower Shows. So, maybe this is a little different, and welcoming for gardeners.
At any rate, I'm looking forward to a successful venture. It hasn't been advertised yet, and it's already half full! That's a GREAT sign, isn't it?
If there are any of you who might be interested in having this kind of an event at your place of business, drop me an e-mail !

Sunday, March 14, 2010


During these days of anxious waiting to get out into the garden, you could be thinking about and educating yourself, about SOIL!
In the garden, if your soil is good, your garden will be wonderful as well. This applies to flowering plants as well as vegetables. The plants take their nutrients from the soil. It's just like humans. We are what we eat. Plants work the same way.
It's so easy to get that soil where it should be. There are organisms that help the soil thrive, thereby helping every plant that grows there.
The first place to start is with a compost heap or bin. Do all the research you can on compost. You will soon be convinced, as are all serious gardeners, that compost can change your gardening world.
You can start with the simplest of techniques (digging trenches and inserting kitchen scraps-NO fat or cooked items please). You just cover it well with soil and voila, next year you have a row that's soft and nutrient rich! OR, you can make a compost heap where you just pile garden (and kitchen) debris, covering each addition with soil or leaves or something; leave it for a season; and next year... another voila! A bigger pile of black gold. This is usually sited in an out of the way spot in the garden.
Then of course, there's the little more complicated, but neater looking, compost bin. These are easy to make; look a whole lot better than a pile; and work wonders in the garden!
I promise, when you use compost you will become addicted to the process. Your garden will benefit because the soil where you apply it will be so much healthier and will be able to support wonderful plant materials. There is a reason why they call compost "Black Gold"!
If you read all of these articles, you'll be a better informed gardener, and by being better informed, your garden will benefit more than you'll EVER know! Good luck out there. Now, start learning and click all those links!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

16 Tips for Wildlife Gardening with Kids - National Wildlife Federation

I came across this link in Twitter today. It has ton's of really good ideas for doing some good gardening with your children. It's specifically targeting Wildlife Gardening with Kids, but it applies to any kind of gardening with them.
It looks like a lot of fun to me!


Driving home yesterday, it was apparent that the late snowstorms of the season have done a lot of damage. There are broken branches everywhere and even broken trees. Twigs and logs litter the yards and lawns of the entire town.
That is something you can get out and work on. Clean up the debris on your property. If you don't, it will just slow you down later when it's warm and you'd like to get into something more productive in the garden.
After you've picked up all those twigs and branches, etc., stand back and look at each tree and shrub. If there are raw and jagged stumps sticking out, try to get to them and trim them neatly back to the nearest large branch. Ragged edges are an invitation for disease and insect infestation. You don't have to "paint" the open wounds with anything, just make them smooth and the plant will do the rest.
While you're there, cut out any other broken or diseased branches. I'd resist any actual pruning until the growth begins. The reason for this is that sometimes branches that LOOK dead really aren't!
Doing this now will help your garden, yard or lawn look so much better and neater. Then when that first warm day comes? You can be out there in your garden checking for the emerging bulbs, green sprouts, etc.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


The light is right!
The American Goldfinches are getting brighter!
I'm seeing more of the ground under a persisting snow cover!
BUT, no little green sprouts heading up toward the sun yet... I'll have to look a bit more carefully, but the snow is in the way!
It's making me think about lunch out on the deck, and tea with my friends. I'm afraid I'll have to keep dreaming a bit longer!

The Post Promotion
In line with that patio dreaming, I think you'll find some of the most complete Cast Aluminum Patio Set options anywhere and some pretty good prices as well, right at the Cast Aluminum Patio Set website. As with all of their aluminum patio set pieces, you never have to worry about rusting! Each piece is easy to move and rearrange. That sounds pretty inviting right now.

If you're feeling a bit "broke" right now, as I do, they also have Aluminum Patio Sets at wholesale prices. You can find Aluminum Patio Sets at the "patio furniture liquidation center". Give them a try!

Friday, March 05, 2010


It's time to get back to thinking about the garden!
In Northern New England we have a 5th season. It's called Mud Season. We laugh about it a lot, but sometimes it's ANYTHING but funny!
What exactly IS Mud Season? Well, when the ground freezes in the winter, it is full of frozen water. As the temperatures begin to climb, and the sun becomes a bit warmer (usually in March, but sometimes this season can stretch into April) it begins to melt that frozen top layer of dirt. The ground that had soaked up all that water before it froze, now cannot drain because there is still a frozen layer of dirt below it. When cars go over these dirt roads, they quickly find themselves in deep ruts of soupy mire. The ruts get deeper with every passing car, and soon become a bath of mud. This is why New England cars are all the same color during Mud Season! Even if you wash your car every day, within an hour it will be "putty muddy" colored!
Our loggers really suffer at this time. Usually winter is when they do their logging and transporting of logs out of our forests on frozen roads. Just imagine having one of those big pieces of equipment hitting a road of mud. NOT a good thing!
This season also has implications for the garden. Gardeners have been itching to get outside. When the days warm up, they are spring loaded and dash right out into the garden. Resist that impulse!
That same phenomenon occurs in the garden that happens on the roads. Here if you step on that soft soil; ride a bike over it; dig in it; or heavens forbid, drive a car onto the lawn... You will pack that soil down into a hard clay mass. It's terrible for the roots below.
So, go to a flower show. Browse through some gardening catalogs. Clean your gardening tools. do anything, but stay out of the garden until that spongy top layer has turned hard. The old adage to remember is: if you can make a ball of the dirt, it's too early to plant! That soil should fall apart. When that happens, it's time to break out the shovels and trowels.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Well, it's being a PAIN!
Since I put the chat box on the web site, I am having difficulty loading the page. The email link doesn't seem to work either. I think for my sanity (and maybe for yours too) I'm going to remove it. Sorry. It seemed like such a good idea!
Anyway, back to "comments" and "emails".


Yesterday's job was to get a "chat" box on this web site. It was a tricky proposition! It took quite a bit of searching and experimenting, but it's DONE! If you scroll down a bit in my side bar (to the right) you'll find it.
Unfortunately, it appears to say "full" most of the time. That means that the traffic is high and there isn't room!
Also, it appears you have to sign in. At first, I figured I should remove that requirement since this is supposed to make the process easier. When I went to do that, however, it appears they have you register because using the chat is a fool proof way for spammers to get into your site! I sure didn't want that, so I'm sorry. You'll have to register. It doesn't cost anything, it's just a bit of a pain!
If either of these become a bigger issue that I'm willing to deal with, I'll remove it. But, for now, let's give it a try!

Monday, March 01, 2010



Be sure to fertilize that poinsettia.

Check your stored bulbs to be sure they're not being eaten by

Also, remove forced bulbs from cold storage. Put them in a cool place until they begin to sprout, then bring them into the place you want to have them bloom.

This is a good time to buy summer blooming bulbs.

Start seeds inside.

Begonias can be started in peat moss.

If you haven't done so yet, start planning a new garden!

This is a good time to send in a soil sample for testing...if you can get to it!

If you have a lawn, this is a good time to send the mower in for
a tune-up.

Fruit trees should be pruned of dead and diseased branches. Check
a reference book and give them a general pruning as well.

It is time for Dormant Pruning. This is the process whereby you prune the trees while they are in a dormant (non-growing) state.

Keep your pruning shears away from spring blooming trees and shrubs, except to
snip a few for inside forcing!
(Although you should certainly remove dead and diseased branches.) Some good forcing candidates are: cherry, apple, dogwood and forsythia. Just remember that whatever you cut off now will not be blooming in a few months!

Cut back woody perennials like artemesia, lavender and russian sage to about 6 inches from the ground.

Talk about pruning shears...sharpen them before using.

If any of your plants are frost-heaved, gently push them back into the ground.