“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.”
Many thanks to commentor Nancy G, for sharing her summer memories:
These are from summer of 2020.
Top pic: Sweet william.
Wish I could remember the name of this daylily:
Our little pocket north of Boston seems to have gotten incredibly lucky during yesterday’s blizzard — only a foot or so of snow, half the official measure in Boston proper. On the other hand, our driveway Plow Guy showed up at 3am, probably 12 hours or more into his shift, so I’m a little worried about having the massive ice berm moved from the edge of the street onto our poor lilacs…
What’s going on in your garden (memories / planning / indoor), this week?
Oh, beautiful flowers Nancy G, thanks!
My dormant potted begonias have started to sprout about a month early down in the basement. So I’ve started to lightly water them, and this year will see if more early pruning will make them bushy instead of the long, leggy plants they usually become after the first year.
I can smell those Sweet Williams from all the way over here. Thanx, Nancy G.
I got finally the first batch of seeds started this week and more than a few germinated in just 3 days (the wild thyme, yarrow and other surface sowed seeds). It’s gonna take a little longer for the nasturtiums.
Such nice flowers! I love a poppy.
AL, I got 18 inches and I thought I was close to you. But all is quiet on the eastern front this morning. I can even hear my neighbor’s pup barking who must have been shooed outside for a bit.
@OzarkHillbilly: I just got some seeds yesterday — very excited to start them inside. The one I am most excited about is the herb epazote. I can sometimes find it dried here, but not fresh and I love it in black beans and other Mexican dishes like this great tortilla soup I make …
PS it is -2° outside right now. Yesterday’s snow is fluffy!
Beautiful! Especially the Sweet William which I haven’t seen in years.
I took the wire fence down on the rental because the new folks don’t have pets and we were thinking about a “no pets” policy anyway. Along with some major tree removal and trimming the backyard looks good. We’ve used crushed brick for the front walkway but it’s impossible to get so I got three bags of red rock from Tractor Supply for $80. It didn’t being to cover the area so I went to a landscape supply joint and got half a scoop in the back of my truck for $50!!! The shower curtain ring for the clawfoot looks ok but it came in sections and was really flimsy at the joints. I went to the hardware store and found a broom that was the correct dimension, drove them into the rods and now it’s pretty stable. The ceiling is angled and the bracket at the top of the rod cost $45!
We’ve got two days until the tenants come from LA to “furnish” it so we’ll have to wrap it up soon.
It’s a balmy 5°F here in tropical Southern MD, and yesterday’s 3″ dusting ain’t going anywhere, other than being blown into the neighbor’s yard.
Wonder if Betty C got her snow.
Here’s how the mantles turned out
@raven: The place looks great! Do the ‘fireplaces’ get gas heaters? I lived in a place similar in Texas.
I have one of those curtain rods I need to put up — the broom idea is genius. Was it plastic or wood handled?
Thank you for the comments, all. Glad to share.
I’d been feeling kind of sad because in one of my cell phone disasters, I lost all the garden pictures from the spring/summer/fall just past.
After seeing these surviving photos through your eyes, I’m feeling great.
When I look toward the flower garden today, I see knee-deep mounds of snow. Scenic in a way, but I have limited desire to document.
@Spanky: Nature’s Ivermectin?
No, just a great herb. Before cooking it smells like Bay Laurel and petroleum. But has the most wonderful flavor. Try it!
@Immanentize: Nah, the place is fully insulated and the existing HVAC will suffice. I used a wooden broom handle, plastic would not have added the stability we needed. The tenants have requested a “long term” lease and intend to be here about half the year so we figure we’ll use this first year to see how things go and what they want in terms of possible improvements or amenities.
@raven: Looking good.
Your brand new hardwood floors will thank you. All the clawfoot tub curtain rods I have seen left a lot to be desired. The broom handle was a stroke of genius.
eta I see Immanentize has the same opinion on the broom handle. I’d say great minds think alike, but when one of them is mine…
@raven: Lovely mantles.
@Nancy: Wonderful! I love poppies.
@raven: Be fun to find a trompe l’oeil ( i had to look up to spell correctly) artist to paint fires ( or something ) in those hearths.
Poppies are always so charming! I can’t quite tell from the photo, are the poppies the classic deep orange or are they actually as red as they look in the pic?
I planted some poppies last year. I have no idea if they will come up this spring – first time I have bought poppies that weren’t in a pot. These were tubers so I’m crossing my fingers but not confident.
@MagdaInBlack: Funny, the new tenants are both painters!
@raven: There ya go ?
I love the sweet william! We have some that pop up between the ground cover by our front patio. I always liked it but never knew what it was called.
14 F and at least a foot of snow in the driveway. First I’ve got to check in for my shift, then shoveling!
@WaterGirl: One nice thing about poppie seedlings is that their sea-green color makes them easy to spot among weed sprouts.
Basil seedlings are also easly spotted, except that they are dark green
But now I see that you’re talking tubers. Oh well. I can try out my own advice when I plant my California poppy seeds.
@Immanentize: You have email
@Geminid: If these don’t come up, maybe I’ll try seeds next.
Gin & Tonic
Once it gets up to about 10 degrees, I figure I’ll go out and start dealing with the snow. Glad I broke down and bought a snowblower this year. Probably like 18-20”, hard to tell with the drifting. Some sizable cornices off the roof too.
O. Felix Culpa
I got my tomato seeds started early this year, with a nearly 100% germination rate. The little green seedlings are redolent of hope. Next on the docket are eggplants, followed by peppers. I have limited indoor grow room, so need to start my seeds in stages.
My tomato seeds plus a few others this year came from Victory Seeds. Got bush and pole beans, plus other veggies and herbs from Uprising Seeds (thank you to opiejeanne for the recommendation!). Ordered additional seeds (flowers, herbs) from Baker Creek. And, theoretically, that’s all for this year.
Rafa wins the Aussie Open in 5 sets!
ETA: okay, now shoveling
@debbie: I’ve only seen Sweet Williams once, and they were cut flowers. I bought a bunch for my mom. Nobody I asked knew about them. Hell, at one point I thought I imagined them.? I love flowers, and this is my forever favorite.
Vaccination has its privileges.
There is a mantle in my den.
I refer to this mantle as Mickey. The other day my grandson, who shares my interest in sports, asked me, “Grandpa, why do you call it Mickey?”
Damn, that was a sobering inquiry. Sometimes, it’s tough to be reminded your summer days have passed.
O. Felix Culpa
@oldgold: Mickey Mantle was one of my first baseball heroes. I grew up watching baseball with my dad on our little black and white tv. All those tiny little men running around a tiny little field. (He was a Yankees fan, having ditched his formerly beloved Dodgers after they debunked for LA.) My parents didn’t splash out for color until after I had left for college, so the transformation once Dorothy/Judy Garland reached Oz was news to me at a college screening.
@O. Felix Culpa: I grew up listening to baseball on the radio, with my dad…usually on the screen porch. I can still see the glow of his cigarette in the dark. And ya, I know who Micky Mantle was
Eta: one of my dads best friends was Si Johnson, who played for St Louis, Boston, Philly, and Cincinnati. Do google, my link skills are deficient.
Dorothy A. Winsor
You gardeners all sound like you’re ready to go if only the weather would cooperate. It’s 13F here this morning, which is the same as yesterday. It will be a while yet.
O. Felix Culpa
@MagdaInBlack: Ah yes, the cigarette glow. They all smoked back in the day. My lungs and I don’t feel nostalgic about that.
My garden is nestled under 2+ feet of snow ATM. Makes me very happy to have them protected by decent snow cover for a change.
I’m late getting started today. I posted a link on the COVID thread, but it’s mostly dead so my apologies in advance for bringing this to the garden thread. Maine’s CDC Director is such a rockstar and he posted an epic Twitter thread satirizing the anti vacc/mask arguments using the blizzard. Freaking brilliant. Please share if you can.
https://twitter.com/nirav_mainecdc/status/1487455146208600066?s=21 #blizzard2022 #hoax
O. Felix Culpa
@MagdaInBlack: Very cool. Here’s Wikipedia on Si Johnson.
My dad grew up a passionate Brooklyn Dodgers fan and collected autographs from Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, and the like. He passed them on to my younger son.
Sweet William is dianthus – a big group of garden flowers called “pinks” not because they’re pink but because the petals are frilled as if cut with pinking shears, so if you love them there are about 300 to choose from, from tall like Sweet William to little ones for alpine gardens. Carnations are part of the same group.
O. Felix Culpa
@MomSense: Heh. That is excellent. Unfortunately it will only be appreciated by those who already know that the anti-vaxx arguments are stupid. I am hopeful about the growth potential of my little plantlings (to refer back to our gardens); but for the anti-vaxxers, not so much.
So true and so sad at the same time. Yesterday, I heard one of the truckers demonstrating against vaccination mandates for those who cross the Canada-US border. “It’s just not fair.” I assume he was a grown-up, but he sure sounded like Eric Cartman.
@MomSense: The south facing iris, daffodil, and tulip beds I built in the fall were protected from the heaviest accumulation of our last snow by my house, so I went out and shoveled snow into them. It gets warm enough that some of the bulbs had sent out little green shoots already. Way too early!
Did you see this reply? ?
@Kay: Thanks! I think I’ll try to plant some this year for next year’s garden. Ok, weird that carnations are of the same family – I really don’t like them (they always remind me of funerals).
O. Felix Culpa
@satby: Have you ever had a cold frame (not for your bulb plants, that is)? I was wondering how they’re best used and whether I might want to invest in/build one.
I can recommend this one. It’s a perennial. Grey green leaves that look great without flowers and then tiny, shocking pink flowers that smell like cloves. It likes sandy soil – “spare” soil, so no fertilizer, and it spreads, but not in an obnxious way. It’s one of my favorite flowers.
@MomSense: That thread is amazing!
In college I was informed O. Henry was not considered a great writer. That was news to this rube. Oh well, I soon was furrowing my brow trying to make sense of Camus.
This thread’s reference to summer and winter reminded me of my favorite O. Henry story – The Last Leaf. Easier to get than the Stranger.
@O. Felix Culpa: I made one by putting a recycled window over one of my smaller raised beds to grow kale one year. It worked fine, but I’m too lazy a gardener to keep up with that activity ?
Good Morning, Everyone???
Thanks for sharing
O. Felix Culpa
@satby: LOL. I always start with a lot of gardening energy, which wanes as the summer progresses. I’m taking an online course from our community college on greenhouse building and maintenance later this morning. Hope springs eternal. :)
The last few winters we haven’t had enough snow to shovel it onto the beds. This fall I packed up the leaves around the plants. It’s a pain to clean up in the spring, but I’m desperate not to lose more plants.
O. Felix Culpa
Our free government
cheeseCOVID tests arrived in the mail yesterday.
@O. Felix Culpa: I read this week that it’s important to not leave the Covid tests in the mailbox for longer than necessary, I guess because of the cold.
Mine sat in my mailbox for two days in zero degree weather before I read that!
I would think you could just let them sit inside for a day or two before using them and they’d be fine. Doesn’t that work for everything else that’s been frozen?
Such pretty flowers! I enjoy reading about gardens, but I haven’t gardened for some time (really bad knee problems). So, I’m reduced to making quilts that feature cats as vegetables or fruit, lol! Here’s my latest creation, hot off the sewing machine (the picture is terrible, I’ll have to take better ones before putting in my Etsy store).
I like whimsy! https://pin.it/6ZjNsO6
@O. Felix Culpa:
No cheese? That’s a pity. A good sharp cheddar has so many uses.
@raven: Love the mantles! What a lovely touch.
@stacib: Apparently gladiolus had that connotation from WWII, I think, and fell out of favor for years.
I have a flowering plant–I keep saying it’s a begonia, but I truly have no clue, and the plant itself has a Story–and it has decided to start blooming, despite the super cold temps and the foot of snow we got. I recycle my dirt, combine it with compost from my composting folks, etc., and as a result I have a pot that is ONLY things that have sprouted from the dirt I’ve used in various plants. So I’m gonna have this pot of flowers in the sunroom. Also, not to jinx myself, but I maaayyyy have rooted some rosemary. I’m not gonna start the other seeds for another month or so; I’ll bring in the containers from the porch, and there just isn’t a ton of room.
@germy: That’s insane. The Berkshires are filled with lovely no-kill animal shelters, some devoted exclusively to cats. No need to dump them outside.
OTOH, my “Visiting Kitty” refused to be trapped this year. Tried over and over.
Last year, it worked, and Visiting Kitty spent 3 weeks safe inside, in its own room. Hiding – and screaming at night – in abject misery.
This year, said I ain’t falling for that.
So, right now, not sure if it is dead or alive in the snow.
@Quiltingfool: All hail Pineapple Butt!
@mrmoshpotato: I have more Garden Cat appliqué patterns – and one IS a cat pineapple! Just have to find the right material…
@mrmoshpotato: I looked at the photo, and the Pineapple butt I think you refer to is actually a pepper (pattern is called Pepper Puss). My photography skills are very poor, but the quilt looks much better IRL.
@debbie: Sadly, whatever I read didn’t say why it was a problem for them to be left in the cold. Some things that are frozen or get too warm are never quite the same.
I googled just now and found 2 articles, with at least one of them suggesting that having been frozen can impact the test going forward.
Some News Station
I did not bother clicking on the one from FOX “news”
@Quiltingfool: That is so creative and hilarious!
OT: Today is the 74th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Unfortunately, the ideology that led to his assassination is on the ascendant in India right now. His assassin is celebrated among the circles that Modi and his inner circle is drawn from.
V.D. Savarkar, one of the indicted co-conspirators of the assassination plot is the intellectual father of the hard right Hindutva that currently rules India.
O. Felix Culpa
@Quiltingfool: Is that quilt available for sale IRL? Asking for a friend. ;)
@Quiltingfool: Oh. :(
All hail Pepper Butt!
@O. Felix Culpa: Absolutely! I make quilts I like, but I don’t keep them…need to make space to make more!
I’ll be posting it in my Etsy store in a couple of days with better photos, but I’ll let you know before I do, and have a price. I’d do it now, but I’m at my quilting machine today (and one quilt I’ve got to quilt is another “whimsical” cat quilt, but not a garden one)
O. Felix Culpa
@QuiltingFool: Please let me know. I’m DEFINITELY interested. Gift for my cat-loving son and his girlfriend. Should I contact you via etsy?
ETA: What is your etsy outlet name? Thanks.
O. Felix Culpa
@O. Felix Culpa: @QuiltingFool:
Never mind. I found your etsy site and sent you a message. :)
J R in WV
Perhaps that means it would cure Covid, just like the horse de-wormer??? HAHAHA sometimes I break me up! ;~)
More seriously, the flower pics are great. Day lilies in WV have gone wild and show up prolifically on roadsides. So much so that they are called ditch lilies by many living in the country. Always the orange ones.
@O. Felix Culpa: I will contact you before I put it in my store, with size and price – so you get first dibs! I will be making another Garden Cat Quilt, but with different fruit and vegetable cats.
@mrmoshpotato: Pepper Cat thanks you!
@QuiltingFool: I see that it’s not linked now, but wasn’t your website previously linked so someone could click on your nym and go directly to your website?
These poppies look like the red of the Memorial Day paper poppies.
I see red, my husband sees orange.
? Vs ?
@WaterGirl: I was writing on my phone and had to put in my nym – but I couldn’t figure out how to put the link in from my Etsy store!
Pitiful, ain’t it!
I’m redoing an entire yard that was badly neglected, and I’m converting it to low water use plants. Once I finished the design for the backyard I realized I would need around 200 plants, so to save money I’m trying to start about 1/3 of them from seed, mostly echinacea (two varieties) and agastaches. I created a small cold frame to move the perennials into as I need more space under my glow lights to start more, yesterday I prepared the sea holly and echinacea for cold stratification and they are now in the refrigerator for the required 1 month. I’ll be able to get another 1/3 of the plants from a local native nursery that has very reasonable prices, and ordered the rest from High Country Gardens when they earlier had a 20% off for preorders sale.
For another kind of dianthus, I have grown this one before and it is small but so cute and there is a range of colors: the variety is Rainbow Loveliness, an old fashioned, very frilly single petals and fun colors; here’s a link to it: https://www.botanicalinterests.com/product/Rainbow-Loveliness-Cottage-Pinks-Seeds
@Quiltingfool: Looks like you have it figured out now!
Good job. :-)
You seem to be a logical gardener, unlike me. I seem to kind of throw things together and buy end of season withered plants to rescue them, then put them in whereever I see a bare spot. In other words, no plan. I hope we see some photos of your progress on the yard.
Best wishes for success.