Monday, March 28, 2011

I Thought It Was Spring

This was the garden Sunday afternoon.
It melted a lot today but more snow is forecast for us tonight and tomorrow.  It is a very wet snow so I'm good with it.
Looking forward to much warmer weather by Saturday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Searching For A Long Term Relationship...

...with a watering can!

Here are the current watering cans at Garden on Sherlock Street:

This is the first watering I ever purchased.
It is almost 18 years old.
It used to have a sprinkler head, but it cracked beyond repair and came off.  I like how the carrying handle and pouring handle are in line with each other.

This is the watering can I purchased to "replace" the first watering can.
It is probably 15 years old.
The sprinkler head cracked, but only on the neck area. I duct taped it to the watering can.  With the fill opening on the top, water spills out when it is full.  I've accidentally drowned seedlings with this watering can.

This is the last watering can I purchased to "replace" both of the other watering cans.
It is at least 10 years old.
No cracks.  With the fill opening on the top at the side, it too spills water when it is full.  It does have a rotating sprinkler head so I can switch between a sprinkle or a pour, but it leaks and drips a lot either way.

I am in search of the perfect galvanized watering can. One I can use for the rest of my years.  It must have a screw off sprinkler head. The carrying handle needs to be inline with the spout and pouring handle. Plus, I want the fill opening to be on top at back. I'm ready to ditch the plastic watering cans for a "real" watering can. One that will function well, last for years and age gracefully.  Like the gardener.  :-)

If you see one, please let me know!!!

Our forecast for the weekend and into next week is looking more like winter than spring.  I'm not seeing much time in the garden these next few days.  I'm not worried about what is planted just bummed that we probably won't make much progress on the concrete pieces for the new planting bed.  Hope you get some time in the garden.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Promises In Zipper Bags

I was talking with a friend at work the other day about spring, flowers, gardens, vegetables...much like my conversations with you, when she said, "I saved a lot of flower seeds from last year.  Do you want some?"  To which I replied, "sure!"  Anyway, today she brought me little zipper bags of seeds.  Milk weed, gomphrenia, millet purple majestic, cleome and castor beans.  I'm not sure where they're going to be planted, but I'll find a place.  Time to adjust the container list and the garden plan.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Understand How It Feels

The geraniums on the plant stand in the family room have done very well this winter.  They're all leaning towards the window to capture as much sunlight as possible.  The ivy geranium in particular is making the most of its ability to grow long stems.

The ivy geranium has reached through the blinds.


While the ivy geranium caught my attention initially, I discovered that the Martha Washington geranium is showing off too.  It's blooming.

It is pressing its bloom up against the blinds as if to say, "I want to be outside."

I understand how it feels.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Peas, Onions And Working On The 2011 To Do List

Saturday was cloudy and cool so my wonderful husband and I decided to do our garden work on Sunday.  Sunday got very warm.  We hit 80 degrees.  That doesn't mean winter is gone as I saw 30 degrees in next week's forecast.  Anyway, while my WH worked on more pieces of cement for our new garden bed, I proceeded to plant peas.  This year, the peas are going to be on the berm with the strawberries.

I cleared off the tree limbs and straw before putting in little wire fences and some wood stakes for supports.  I planted Little Marvel (shelling), Sugar Bon (edible-podded snap pea) and Melting Sugar (snow pea).  I've only planted the Little Marvel before.  We're trying some new varieties.  

I put two of the old hanging baskets in the center of the pea patch because I  need to hold space to plant watermelon and cantaloupe seeds later.  By the time they vine, the peas will be done and can give up the space.

You can't tell much difference, but here are the peas planted with a little straw scattered on top and watered well.

On my list of things to do this season, I had decided to round up the hardy geraniums and plant them all together.  Their delicate flowers just don't get the attention they deserve when tucked in by other larger plants.  I moved one last fall to the end of this bed and added the two other geraniums Sunday.  I had to move a chrysanthemum plant out first.  It was just hanging out there over the winter until I decided where it should go.  I watered in the geraniums and gave them a decorative backdrop.

I also planted onion seeds, watered the sprouts in my winter sow containers and my cold frames, relocated a couple of Siberian Squill which I had missed in the front garden last fall to a space by the locust tree and planted a lot of allium seed I saved from last year in the side garden.  I don't know what kind of luck I'll have with the allium seed but I figured it couldn't hurt to try.

Friday, March 18, 2011

First Daffodil

March is being kinda fickle on letting spring come to Garden on Sherlock Street.  We get a couple really nice days.  Then, we get a couple cool days.  Then, we get a couple days that look warm, but have a cold wind.  Sigh.  The daffodils don't care though.  Here's the first blooming daffodil at GonSS.

At Least A Few Survived

Last fall, I dug up the patch of Siberian Squill that bloomed so beautifully last spring.  I marked the location knowing there would be no sign of the plants by fall.  I spread the tiny little bulbs around the locust tree in the back garden.  Well, a few flowers are emerging!  At least I didn't kill all of them.  I hope the rest show up soon.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Don't Tread On Me

As the mail deliverer leaves our front door, he/she (we seem to have three or four different people who alternate on our route) walks across the lawn and through the end of the mulch area by the street sidewalk.  Last year, I transplanted some irises to this area.  I would like them to survive.  Thrive even.  Bloom, hopefully, this first year.  I knew I needed to take action to protect the irises. 

It may not seem like much of a deterent, but has worked in the past so I'm trying it again.

After my wonderful husband saw my efforts, he said something about investing in a front fence... :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Taking A Survey

If you comment on posts very often, you've probably noticed the option to have follow-up comments emailed to you.

I almost always select this option especially if I've asked a question about a post.  I love reading other people's comments, and I don't want to miss an answer the blogger may have for a question I've asked.

This does create a lot of email to  Eventually, I unsubscribe to each follow-up request.

If you leave a comment on my posts, I almost always leave you a note in return trying to answer questions especially.  I usually just leave a comment on my own post to do this.  If you select the follow-up option, you won't miss those notes!  Occasionally, I will track down your email address and send you a note that way.

Either way, I'm curious if you use the follow-up option.  I've created a little poll in the right hand column directly under the photo.  Please take a moment to click a choice.  I'm going to leave it up through March 31, 2011.

Thank you!

This post is property of

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Full Year Of Tours

I almost forgot that it was time to conduct another tour of Garden on Sherlock Street.  This makes the twelfth tour!  I made it a whole year.  The photos have been very helpful in showing me areas that need new plants to perfom at certain times of year.  You can always find the tours with the link under Pages in the right hand column.

I'm continuing with the same layout.  Plus, I've added a photo that includes the berm and the two raised vegetable beds.  I thought it would be interesting to focus on the vegetables too.

Go back one post to take the March Tour!

Tour March 2011

Front Garden


Back Garden

Side Garden



Vegetable Garden

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Taking Down The Russian Sage

The front garden has a large area where I grow Russian Sage.  More accurately, where I try to contain Russian Sage.  It is a very durable plant that can spread with very deep roots.  Those deep roots are great for helping it survive during dry spells.  Each spring, I dig some of it up to keep it under control.  I leave the stalks through the winter to add some interest to the garden and capture snow.

Well, Saturday it was time for the Russian Sage to be cut down.  Here are the weapons.

I started by the house.

Basically, I bend the plants plants over, snip near the ground and then chop up the stems leaving them to "return to the earth."

All down.  Just a little chopping left to do.

Perfect, ready for a new year of growth.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sowing Saturday

Saturday was a great day to be in the garden.  I readied the cold frames with jugs of water to act as heat sinks and with thermometers.

I planted a few seeds from each of these packets.

As I'm planting the broccoli raab I read on the packet that they want you to plant them in rows three feet apart.  Really?  Within the row, it says they can be two inches apart.  I don't have space for rows three feet apart.  I only planted about a dozen seeds just to give them a try.  This is a new vegetable for us.  I watered the cold frames and closed the lids.  Grow seeds, grow!

While I was planting, my wonderful husband was working over the concrete pieces we're planning to use to edge a new planting bed.  They are of various thicknesses so he is chipping off the extra concrete.  Then, he is cracking some of them into smaller pieces so they are relatively similar in size.

He made a lot of progress, but more await his attention.

I know the gardening season has officially begun when my garden hat comes out of hibernation and hangs on the hall tree again each night.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Still Looking For A Four Leaf Clover

Oxalis, Shamrock Plant.

I couldn't resist bringing one of these home from the grocery store.  After all, St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner.  The fun thing about oxalis is how it goes to sleep at night folding it's leaves together. 

I tried one of these a couple of years ago, but it died; or, I think it died. I have since learned that the plant grows from a bulb. It will wither and rest as bulb plants need to do. Since this one was forced to bloom for St. Patrick's Day, it may need a rest soon after the holiday.

If you grow this plant, please share any advice you can. I really want to keep one as a houseplant. If I'm successful with this one, I think I'll get the purple variety too!