Sunday, February 21, 2016

On The Porch

 Although spring doesn't arrive for about 28 more days, sixty degrees makes me want to be outside doing something so I got started on the porch. My porch becomes a holding place every fall unfortunately for gardening clutter. I'll have to do better. If I start now maybe in March I can finish painting the inside of the porch including the floor before the weather heats up and work ceases. 

First stack the remainder of the firewood in one spot. Then organized pots so it doesn't look so cluttered. Arranging things neatly makes a difference even if it's still there. Sweep the needles off the floor from the Christmas wreath, remove the pine cones and goodbye wreath. Now to something special for me. Arrange some of the spring plants purchased yesterday for my desk at work and the others for the porch. 

If I have time, give the Boston ferns a hair cut. They look like they've actually made it almost to spring. When I start watering them to take them out of dormancy say a prayer that they start to grow again. I'll time this with my fern in the yard as usually her fronds start poking through the soil in March. There won't be time to start on new cushions for the chair on the porch but I'll get to it this spring finally. The floor needs to be mopped but not today. 

Temperature on the porch.
I have to be more organized, just kidding.
Let's see what this manure does. Actually the soil acidifier was cheaper in the nursery than in Home Depot. I've never seen the full line of their products there but they were at the nursery. Got some Sluggo for the snails and slugs.
This and another bag is the least amount of salt I've ever used during the winter. This year maybe only 1/2 bag. I hope this is an indication of future winters. 
I have to get better organized. 

A couple more fires and all the wood will be burned.

The smell of spring. It has to be the primroses. Some for work, some for the porch but first straighten out the porch.

A little better. The  green pot is a begonia from last season. I took it out the pot today and it still felt viable.
That pumpkin has not rotted.
This is why I love baskets. They can be used for so many things and I love flowers and plants in them. The only thing I didn't get was moss although I picked it up and put it down at the nursery.
Plastic to line the basket.

Didn't you say to smell the flowers. I'll take off the paper after I decide how I want them in the basket. They'll stay in their container so I can plant them in the ground later.

Couldn't keep her off the flowers. Then she proceeded to eat them. I'll have to look up gerbera daisies and primrose to make sure they're not poisonous. I guess she thought it was lettuce. Time for starting some cat grass seeds for her. 
I had to check the bulbs to see if there were any roots because I haven't been watering them. Now I know they should be watered more them more than I did. There's still a few weeks for them to make more roots. At least they're not rotten from too much moisture.
Not a lot of roots.
The ornamental blackie sweet potato vine tubers are still okay. I shouldn't have to buy any if these make it. They've been on my porch all winter. 

Bulbs from Home Depot normally do very well for me. I've ordered twice from Brent and Becky and was disappointed in the performance of the bulbs and the small size. I wasn't impressed with bulbs from Brecks either. Squirrels ate the peonies planted a year ago this fall and left the remnants on top of the soil. I loved the star gazer Lilies and this is the most I've seen for the price. On line usually you only get 5 for the same price compared to 18. I've planted irises twice but they've been eaten. This was a good bargain for the elephant ears although they're smaller  than the ones I usually get but you only get 1 bulb.

Stargazer lilies ready to be planted. 
All failures last season except the blue agapanthus. I won't be buying any bare root plants from K. Van Bourgondien at Philadelphia Flower Show. The agapanthus is the only remnant left of any of these and it's small after the second year. I learned from buying these to get the best, healthiest and largest bare roots from another company.  You may wait years if the root is small to have a large plant. Hopefully dahlias from Swan Island coming in spring will do well.

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