BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: It’s Not Too Early

It is definitely not too early to be thinking about what you will grow this spring and buying seeds. For me, now more than ever, keeping busy in the positive pursuit of spring is healing.

I keep remembering last year when it was so hard to get seeds and even plants due to the lockdown and also due to the number of people planting a garden – many for the very first time. Plants and seeds flew off the shelves and from the online stores.

Aren’t seeds just the most fascinating things. They do the miraculous. Most are very small yet they are packed with everything a plant needs! I doubt I will ever loose my fascination with the process. When you start plants from seeds, you have a front row seat to the miracle.

My front row seat last year …

I placed my first seed order in December to Renee’s Garden. I highly recommend Renee’s Garden as they have a great selection of seeds – many old fashion varieties and the seed packets are so pretty. Their website is full of how-to videos and fact sheets as well as recipes. My recent order was for sweet peas: Blue Celeste, Zinfandel, April in Paris and French Alouette Larkspur.

I had the best sweet peas ever last year. The seeds I planted were ones I bought in the UK … Sarah Ravens Midnight Blues. So pretty and they bloomed up until frost.

Larkspur is one of my very favorites However, it has not done well for me in recent years. Last year I did have one area where a few self seeded! That seems to be the key — if they self seed and make it through the winter they are strong and gorgeous. Yesterday when I was walking in the garden I noticed that last year’s larkspur has self seeded and the area is thick with baby larkspur. Let’s hope the winter is kind to them.

Our local Lowe’s already has their seeds in stock – the earliest I ever remember. I hope there is as much excitement about planting this year as there was last.

Another thing that does my heart good are these sweet boys. Here they are learning about seeds last year. As you can see, their momma is a very creative teacher. She has been inspiring me her entire life. (Click images to enlarge)

If you want to know more about seeds, I have a book to recommend. My friend, Julie Thompson-Adolf’s beautiful book….

STARTING & SAVING SEEDS … grow the perfect vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers for your garden.

This book makes you want to grow all your plants from seeds and with Julie’s help we just might be able to do so! Each page is filled with beautiful images and helpful information … practical information … real gardener information. I particularly like the Trouble Shooting section and info on saving seeds. I always save a few but it is an area I want to do more of.

Whether you are a newbie at growing from seed or have been doing it for years, I think you will find this book inspirational and helpful. More book info here.

 

THE YEAR OF …

The National Garden Bureau is celebrating 100 years. Congratulations!

Each year the NGB selects one annual, one perennial, one bulb crop, one edible and one shrub as our “Year of the” crops. Plants are chosen because they are popular, easy-to-grow, widely adaptable, genetically diverse, and versatile.

2021 NGB YEAR OF PLANTS…

Year of the Hibiscus
Year of the Garden Bean
Year of the Hyacinth
Year of the Monarda (Very excited about these!)
Year of the Sunflower

This year I am declaring the Bloom Thyme Cottage Garden Year Of…

BASIL

Yes, this year I am taking a new look at all varieties of basil due to a random purchase of a “new to me” basil. I bought it because it was available when others were sold out last spring. I don’t even remember it’s name. Oddly I don’t have the tag and I keep almost every tag. I believe it was a Thai basil. Needless to say, I will enjoy several varieties.

We used more basil last summer than ever before. We fell in love with a tomato salad and the “unnamed” basil was perfect in the salad.

I am preparing my Burpee order and have several basils on the list.

Proven Winners has new basil out that I hope to find … Amazel Basil. It is said to be resistant to powdery mildew (which would be so nice) and it’s sterile – meaning that the plant will continue to produce shoots and leaves and is less likely to lose its flavor when the flowers come.  More about Amazel Basil here.

Do you have a basil that you particularly like?

Here is the yummy Tomato Salad Recipe

GARDEN JOURNALS

Several have asked me about garden journals. I have one that I can definitely recommend. I actually bought it last year but didn’t use it. The first quarter of 2020 I was super busy and traveling, then BOOM March came and lockdown came with it. I got busy in the garden but the journal somehow seemed too pretty to use with the current world vibe. BTW, I did keep an almost daily list of LIFE & GARDEN observations through all of 2020 and have started that again. Sort of a highlight and “lowlight” listing. When I look back, I can hardly believe some of the things I wrote. What a year.

A YEAR IN THE GARDEN … A GUIDED JOURNAL

This journal gives you practical spaces to create, plan and record but also encourages you to be a better observer of things around you and jot down your observations.

I am a self professed page layout snob. And I love the pages of the journal and the illustrations. It is soothing just to open. I love the prompts too. I am not waiting another year to use it. It is a go now. It’s on Amazon here.

 

Friends, thanks for joining me today. It has been a difficult week for us all. I find garden friends and garden work whether inside or out helps me better cope with the world around me and I am grateful.

I hope your garden world is comforting to you as you begin planning for what will come this spring. And for those of you in warmer places  – enjoy every minute in your garden. A special thanks to those who are sharing beautiful, colorful pictures on social media. You give us hope and bring us joy as we make our way through the grayness of winter and these tumultuous times.

Until next time…  be well and be safe. xo

Come to me, all who are weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

6 thoughts on “BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: It’s Not Too Early

  1. If you are interested, I know a lady in my area who is a flower farmer and has her own business selling freshly cut flowers, lots of her own different packaged seeds, and books she has written and published from her own gardening experiences. I have two of her hardback books that have a lot of photos in color of her gardens and flowers. Her name is Lisa Ziegler of Newport News, VA. She has all kinds of gardening tools for sale, writes a newsletter, and does lectures and tours of her rows and rows of flowers. This is what she does and has been doing for years just where she lives on her own property. I am certain that she would love to send you her newsletter/catalog of her seeds with their flower pictures. She is a top-notch gardener I must say! Also, since your precious grandsons and daughter live in England and you love roses, I have three of the Queen Elizabeth pink roses which are beautiful. And the cover of the seed book is Garlic Chives as I have a ton of those just going to seed. The Garlic Chives have tiny white star-shaped flowers that eventually go to seed. I am still a fan of bulbs myself rather than seeds. Did you know the very first farmers were ants? You cannot go wrong with Thai Basil, and it will reseed. I have dried Cilantro as we love the avocado dip which I use to make a lot of. I just found Lisa Mason Ziegler’s website which is: The GardenersWorkshop.com, and I know she has worked very hard in past years, and her business has grown, too.

  2. Goodness, I have not see Renee in a long time. I am right across from where their office used to be, and can almost see her home from here. Yet, I no longer purchase any of her seed. I use seed mostly from the previous year. If I do purchase seed, it is it typically the common hardware store type.

  3. Just watched the webinar on New Roses for 2021 hosted by Carol Shockley, and I saw your rose photo, Moonlight in Paris, shown. I really learned a lot, but I still love all of my “old” roses though. Perhaps you watched her presentation today also, Sat., 01-09-2020. Btw, she said her computer “died” about 10:30 PM last night, and Jon Corkern drove all of the way from Shreveport, Louisiana, to wherever she lives in Arkansas to help her out so that she would be able to give the webinar today. Such dedication!!!

  4. Now, I would purchase maybe a dozen of the most beautiful yellow rose, Gina Lollobrigida, with maybe up to 70 petals if I could find it again sometime. I use to have a couple of them and loved them. When I was younger, yellow was my favorite color. But I love pink now. I do have a yellow Graham Thomas rose (David Austin). The petals fall off too soon, but I usually cut off the stems and float the flowers in a small round glass bowl. So pretty!

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