Seeds: Tiny Miracles

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11-12

THINGS ARE GOOD AROUND HERE!

I just placed my first seed orders and already simply can’t wait to get them in the ground. But, wait I will — as rushing any type of gardening is most often futile.

Seeds heading my way:

RENEE’S GARDEN

I am always looking for more bokay makers and found a couple to add from Renee’s.

Mulberry Rose Nigella  (link)

I already have two other colors and love them even though you have to keep your eyes on them. #overcheivers

White Bishop Lace (link)

 

Flashback Caledula (link)

Loving the colors and will add these to the yellow ones I usually plant.

 

BURPEE

Steak Sandwich Tomato

I happened on plants of this tomato at Lowe’s last year from the Bonnie Plant collection. Since I had never heard of this variety, I immediately took to my phone to do some research (don’t you love on the spot research!). I found a YouTube video of someone who was testing this tomato and things were looking very good. I took 3 home.

Background: WE LOVE LOVE LOVE TOMATOES. Every year we plant many varieties (mostly in pots). While we get a few good tomatoes per plant, we find that most “slicers” are stingy with their fruit. Our goal is both taste and quantity. This year the goal was met. Tons of delicious tomatoes (medium sized). Not being sure we will find the plants again, buying seeds is our insurance policy.

If you are interested in knowing all things tomatoes, I would recommend Craig LeHoullier’s Epic Tomatoes.

Image courtesy of Bonnie Plants

Senora Zinnia (link)

Look at that color. I can already see this one making beautiful bokays with roses!

SEEDS ALREADY WAITING IN THE POTTING SHED:

Look at this plethora of “special” seed packets that my grandsons helped me pick out while I was in England. I love each one for the memories they evoke. Many will make it to the garden this year. Some of the packets will adorn the Potting Shed.

 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE SEEDS.

Seed packet reading will be high on my list especially with so many new seeds from the UK.

Then, I will begin to jump start with indoor planting…

I take a small and simple approach to indoor seed starting based on my limited time, space and light. I use basic seed starting grow pots or starter kits filled with seed starting mix. When: For the seeds I am starting, I need about 5 – 7 weeks before our last frost date (see your seed packet for specific info) to get the seedlings where they need to be at planting time. Planting time is the last frost date and around here (Zone 5) that is Mother’s Day. The potting shed does not receive enough light and few spaces do this time of year, so I will have a grow light over my plants.

For additional details about seed starting, here is a quick but excellent video by Epic Gardening. Take a look

I find the whole seed process fascinating and fun! This is truly a special, miracle filled part of gardening! What a glorious day it will be when I see green! 🌱🌱🌱

LITTLE MIRACLES INDEED:

While not all seeds are tiny, many of our flower seeds are. Hard to believe something so small has everything needed to grow! Size certainly does not determine their effectiveness. Of course for many of them we do have a role to play in providing light and water. However, as I pull over achievers, whether cultivated or wild, out of my garden … I know all too well that seeds do their job very well — often without my help. They are quite proficient at recruiting wind, birds and such. I don’t know about you, but I am blessed with many over achieving seeds. 😉

2 Corinthians 9:6 says… The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

YESSSS! LET’S GO AND SOW BOUNTIFULLY IN LIFE AND IN THE GARDEN!

PS: I’ve been ordering a few roses too.😱 We’ll talk about that later.

New Year. New Plan. 

While I’m not into resolutions, I do like a good plan. A place to start with an end in mind. In 2020 we are not simply ushering in a new year, but a new decade. We want to get this one started off right!

The current trend to choose a word or phrase for the year has worked well for me the last few years. So whether you work best with resolutions or words, I think we have a better chance to achieve if we start intentionally.

My word this year is actually two words. Every. Day.

  • I want to be open to God’s plan for my life — Every. Day.
  • I want to find the beauty around me — Every. Day.
  • I want to count my blessings and be a blessing to others — Every. Day.

The older you get, the more you realize that life is fragile and temporary… I want to make every day count.

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Psalm 25:4

Things I want MORE of in 2020

  • Holding Mr. G’s hand.
  • Time with family & friends.
  • People around my table.
  • Mentoring new gardeners.
  • Bokays to share.
  • Home cooked food.
  • Home grown tomatoes.
  • Dining in the garden.
  • Walking in the garden.
  • Working in the garden.
  • Birdsong.
  • Flowers.
  • Roses.

Things I want LESS of in 2020

  • Rushing about.
  • Under-performing plants. (They gotta go.)
  • Japanese Beetles.
  • Raccoons.
  • Moles.

Without those last three, the garden would be almost paradise — almost. 😆

2019, you threw us a curve ball or two, but you also had some incredible moments!

— Like spending an afternoon in the Sultan’s rose garden in Istanbul – even though the roses were not yet blooming. (read more)

–Hosting Sr. Editor of Garden Gate Magazine, James Baggett, Photographer, Jack Coyier and garden friend to us all, Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp. (read more)

–Traveling to England to spend time with my daughter and grand boys. Oh the gardens and castles we visited. More on that here.

TAKING NOTE:

Last year my words of the year were “taking note”. It was a desire to see more of what’s around me. This year I will adopt “taking note” to encourage me to write down more garden notes. The last few years my garden notes have been taken on the Evernote app and I will continue to use Evernote — as it is not paper that can be lost or destroyed, but also add in a hand-written garden journal too. Do you have a system of garden note taking that works for you?

I think, in part, this desire to write notes comes from some of the incredible garden journals I have been given or bought and finding hand written recipes from my mother and others who are now gone. I love having their hand written words and want to leave some of my own.

2020, I think I’m ready for you!

LET’S ROLL!

Gardening Season

My gardening season begins today… December 26 when for the last 26 or so years, I start my annual countdown to spring. With the count down comes getting serious about my garden planning. I love every minute of it!

This year December 26 finds me once again in England where it seems everyone is a gardener and at the Toad Hall Garden Center in Henley on Thames things are booming and blooming. Toad Hall has been around for more than 60 years and they are good at what they do. They have everything this gardener could want — Wellies, row covers, trugs in all sizes, seeds, houseplants, tools and ROSES. Have you ever seen a yellow poinsettia? Well, they had those too. I am a “purist” when it come to plant color, but I liked this one better than I thought I would. I’m not even in the “wanting a blue rose” club. Just doesn’t seem right. Anyway, this garden center is truly Mecca for gardeners.

There is a whole line of these Fleece Jackets.

This Cymbidium Orchid in the middle was knocking my eyes out!

If you have been following me on social media, you know that my family is having a wonderful holiday together in England. We love time together anywhere, but England has been especially nice!

Beautiful decorations and wonderful music filled the air in London.
Mr. G found a special friend.
Westminister Abbey … Amazing.
Christmas highlights #1, #2 and #3. JOY JOY JOY
The English do charm – very well.
Time with my son to tour Grey Court garden and plot and plan what we will do in our own gardens. I saw this garden in full bloom this summer and I loved getting to see the “bones” that winter shows off.
Our beautiful hostess! xoxo
Teamwork!

I love the holidays with gusto. Celebrating Jesus’ birth is a highlight of our year. Mr. G and I start listening to Christmas music in late October if the truth be told, but once Christmas is over, it is over. I quickly move to dreams of spring. Seriously, I am very glad for these months of winter at a slower pace giving us time to reflect, rewind and get ready for spring. There is so much “gardening” that needs to start now to prepare for greater success later. Plus, it is just FUN!

  • Read gardening books.
  • Organize tools and supplies.
  • Pour through catalogs.
  • Put plans on paper.
  • Place orders. (We don’t want to find the perfect plant, only to find it is SOLD OUT.)

Up next I will focus on setting some goals for me and the garden.

A New Decade!

2020 is going to be special, I can just feel it. Can’t you?

Let’s get this spring planning party started!

Bloom Thyme Friday Flashback

We are having a very dark week and I’m going back to sunny days in May (when it wasn’t raining… and it rained a lot!) ☔️

Let’s start with Niobe Clematis: Gorgeous blooms for months! She cared little about the torrential rainfall — just did her beautiful thing!

Reine des Violette: This almost thornless, one-time blooming OGR gives so much in beauty and fragrance that you forgive her for leaving so quickly!! Hybrid Perpetuals usually rebloom but she hasn’t in 5 years. She is in a bit of a shady area so that could be the issue.
Sweet William (Dianthus): Makes spring so special with it’s dependable mass of bloom! Great in a vase!

Rosa Mundi (Gallica Rose) and friends…
Rosa Mundi is a beautiful and fragrant one-time blooming machine! I dream of her blooms in winter! She is fantastic!
Easy on the Eyes Rose: This disease resistant, fragrant beauty blooms all summer long and is indeed easy on the eyes and gets a lot of attention in the garden. I don’t think I ever saw a spec of disease on this one. Thanks Tom Carruth! 2018 release from Weeks.
Peonies: The rain beat them down too quickly, but I had plenty to bring inside! Their season is always short and sweet but I couldn’t do without it! Even after my blooms were gone, I bought bundles from the grocery store to bring home.

IN OTHER NEWS:

BULB UPDATE:

As of today, all bulbs are planted. Daffodils, Alliums, Crocus. I was so surprised how soft the soil still is. It was a pleasure to be digging!I have a lot more garden clean up to do and am hoping that will happen this weekend as the weather looks to be just perfect for some outside work — once the rain moves on!

ROCKY:

We have a raccoon that is making our bird watching fun most unpleasant. One evening while sitting in our chairs we heard a loud thud from outside. A few minutes later, we heard another thud. I said, “I am sure it’s just a raccoon on the bird feeder.” Not really sure that was it at all. Mr. G goes to investigate and the fattest raccoon you have ever seen, was climbing up our window (how do they do that) to try to get to the feeder and he did! Got right in the middle. Raccoons are a year round problem here. We are spreading around more cayenne pepper. But, if you ask me he kind of likes it — or at least sees it as a challenge. Any tips??

AMARYLLIS:
It’s time to plant amaryllis… I’m waiting a bit later than usual to plant them this year so that I have blooms in January when I return from England. I’ll really need them then!
Look at these amazing bulbs I found! You probably can’t really tell the size but they are huge! The last time I grew a Mount Blanc – it had 14 blooms – at one time. A record for me! Seriously, I have a picture somewhere! Apple Blossom is always pretty. I wanted red this year but didn’t find any large bulbs. #sizematters

I also had to buy this Smith and Hawkins pot for old times sake. I miss the Smith and Hawkins store so much. Trips to that store made my winters so much more pleasant! It is where I did so much spring dreaming! Anyone else remember those amazing places for gardeners. Glad Target keeps the memories alive with their S & H garden collection.

POTTING SHED PUTTERINGS:

Repotted a very leggy Swedish Ivy that was in a tiny pot. Swedish Ivy is not a picky plant. I don’t ever remember buying this plant but I sure like it. If you are new to houseplants, this would be a great one to buy!
Took some cuttings from the Ivy and potted up a broken stem of the Thanksgiving/Christmas cactus. We’ll see what happens with them. Hope they take. I love having new babies. (Like I need more. 🤦‍♀️)
Window garden still looking good. The sun found us a bit today!

GIVING THANKS:

I hope you enjoy this very special week. A time to stop and think about all the people and all the things we have been blessed with. And cook all our favorite foods! Yummmmm.
Til next time… know that I am thankful for you and the Giver of all good things…