Desperate times call for desperate measures. Thank goodness my “desperate measures” are already in place. I’ve been planting early blooming bulbs where the snow melts first for several years. And every time the snow starts to melt, I check all those places for signs of emerging sprouts. Do you want to see what I found during our most recent thaw? It's easier than you think to have flowers blooming sooner than your neighbors.
The tagline of my blog is "Hardy plants for hardy souls," because you have to be a hardy soul to endure the fits and starts of winter ending and spring arriving. Cold climate gardeners are resilient in the face of adversity and prepared for setbacks before winter is gone for good. Here's how I'm coping. How about you?
Two tools I got this year really saved my bacon. They just made the job at hand so much easier, and a couple of projects I thought were going to take weeks only took a few days. Oh, yeah, and I managed to get an amaryllis to rebloom for Christmas.
November started out marvelously with highs in the 50s(F) and one day even hit 66°(19C). The second week the switch flipped and the real November showed up with a vengeance. Most nights have been in the teens, but we also got two nights that dipped into single digits (9F=-13C)--that's unseasonably low for November and was [...]
Sometimes plants surprise me. It surprises me that this 'Sweet Nymph' amaryllis is blooming. Why? Because I didn't follow any of the "rules" for getting an amaryllis to re-bloom. I did not put it (or my other amaryllises) in a closet in mid-August or early September. Why would I, when the plants were growing lushly? [...]
It is more important to have the first bloom on your block than the first tomato. The first outdoor bloom is a potent morale booster, signifying that the back of winter has been broken. However, to have the very first flower blooming in your neighborhood is not a matter left to chance. You must employ [...]
We've had plenty of cold (subzero Fahrenheit temps at night) and plenty of snow (pushing 18 inches at this point), and the only thing growing here is icicles. They grow when the sun shines, especially if we manage to hover around the freezing point, our new definition of a heat wave. And the sun hasn't [...]
It's January, and cold climate gardeners everywhere are finding their hardy souls tested. Winter is tough on the body and on the spirit, and indoor plants are one of the many ways we keep cabin fever at bay. Plants, especially flowering plants, are not an indulgence. They are mental health medicine. The contents of my [...]
Thirty-seven days after I planted it, the 'White Nymph' amaryllis from Longfield Gardens is blooming. I was surprised to see how fast it grew. I like the pink flush on the tips of the petals, but I don't know as I'd call this a double flower. Semi-double would be more like it. At any rate, [...]
I do sometimes wonder if gardening is an addiction. If so, I had a very abrupt withdrawal this year. One day, 55F and sunny, the next day, BAM! cold enough to snow. And every day it got colder and colder. Time for some hort therapy. And--I don't know about you--but many indoors plants just don't [...]