Friday, March 31, 2017


My babies are doing good. As you can see I didn't throw away any seedlings not even the tiny ones. The begonias will be houseplants. It's taken months for them to get to this size and I keep them in their seed tray with the humidity dome still on.

Another type of hot peppers. This is the first year my peppers have done so well.

Only 2 dichondra silver falls seedlings survived so far. I hope they make it and I'll try again with them in the fall but order more than 10 seeds due to poor germination per Swallowtail. I planted 10 pelleted seed and 6 germinated. I think I over watered the others.

Sad case of dill. But, I'm thrilled it even germinated. Herbs have been a challenge for me, but I'll keep trying.

Patio tomato. They smell so tomatoey. Is that a word?

I'm proud of 2 yellow bell pepper seedlings because this was real old seed and I didn't think it would germinate.

Russian kale. Not pretty but I think it'll make it. This picture was taken last week but it's actually looking better today.

I'm tired of the vegetables taking up space. Russian kale, tiny Swiss chard, and the lettuce is going to be hardened off this week and go into containers in the yard to make room for perennials I want to start before fall.

Pelargoniums maybe should go in larger cups.

Bergenia is also a slow grower. Hopefully some will make it.

I have 8 black krim tomatoes but only 2 are now doing well. I only really need one seedling but if they survive till after frost I'll plant them all in containers.

Sadly only 2 thyme seedlings. What am I supposed to do with that, lol. My basil is near death but I'll sow more. The lovely parsley is no longer lovely and on the porch.

Hyacinth bean vines.  I have another type of vine that's taken 2 months to germinate. I'll show that if it survives.

The 2 best looking black krim tomatoes. 

I'm excited to have so many digitalis (foxglove) seedlings. They were so small and one day started to grown. I'm afraid to move them from tray but I have to. Hopefully they'll be beautiful and flower next spring.

The first few zinnias I sowed. 

Dusty miller is a slow grower. This is my first year growing it so it's a learning experience and if I start them again, they'll be started earlier.

I need to pick out the poor performing ones or just cut them off at the soil level.

I wasn't good to my echinacea  and let most of them die. One of my projects for the weekend is to start more trays and get them in the ground before fall so they develop a good root system and hopefully will be beautiful plants next spring.

Two pelargoniums I'll keep for indoors. Still growing slowly but alive.

Not the best selection for an orchid from the flower show. It's aromatic but it stinks. Not plesant smelling at  all!

Zinnias sown on last Sunday and did well germinating on the radiator.

I'm tired of this lettuce. Time to go outside and live or die.

For kitty. Too expensive to buy a pot when seeds are soo cheap. It was sown on Sunday but hasn't germinated as of Friday. My Callie will love it. She's  discovered the seed shelf and has been nibbling on the lettuce seedlings.

What have I learned this seed starting season? When seedlings are tiny, leave them alone in their trays and allow them to grow at their own speed until they're a manageable size. Don't sow too many seedlings, I get bored and start not to tend to them. Sow more perennials to build my garden. I've learned that many do very well and are easy to grow but cost so much at nurseries. Why buy a twenty dollar plant when you can grow it for cents. Hope your seedlings are doing well indoors or winter sown. It's going to be a beautiful season.


The only thing that helped me get warm today along with turning up the heat, and a hoodie. Doctors appointment after work  and traveling in the rain chilled me and I couldn't seem to get warm. Wearing my winter coat might have helped.

Zinnias planted on Sunday all germinated. They're hot pink! For the flower bed out front when I remove the shrubs.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Finally Spring and Those Pansies

Spring arrived and so have those beautiful pansies and violas. No the Philadelphia Flower Show wasn't enough, it's time to garden and plants have started to arrive at garden centers and nurseries. It took me several seasons to figure out exactly the right time when certain items would arrive starting after Christmas. First the after Christmas sale, then the hustle and bustle of assembling displays of garden furniture, arrival of onion sets, bare root grape vines, and berries, summer bulbs, and seed starting mix, trays, and seed racks. 

Able to handle the fluctuating weather as winter tries to hold on are the arrival of shrubs, trees, and cool season perennials including my favorites, pansies. I guess they're considered annual but they can survive in my region when planted in fall until the following spring. It's more difficult here to keep them alive over summer till fall due to the heat and humidity because they're cool season lovers. Hard to choose a favorite with so many varieties, but I'm partial to the blues. They're all beautiful. 

In the yard robins arrived weeks ago with increasing numbers, the largest I've ever seen them and possibly not due to food but maybe a heavier coat of feathers to protect against our cool winters. They must not migrate in the fall. I know our cardinals and sparrows, and other birds stay. I'll have to read more about them because they were huge almost 3 times their normal size with huge brown breast. Sadly some spring blooming trees won't bloom again. 

Every spring I look forward to see my neighbor's cherry blossom tree but not this spring. We live on the same street so how did I miss it blooming. Must of been for a few hours during our snow storm because the blooms are dead, dead! Her narcissus are in bloom and pretty. My patch in the yard didn't do as well for the first time ever. Don't know if I want to pay to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival this spring. The trees will be there but they also may have already had a short bloom. Well I'll wait to see what the magnolias, and dogwoods will do. Until then, I'll enjoy the pansies and my sister's forsythia which has already started to bloom.

Those beautiful pansies. 

For sidewalk planters.

Homedepot wanted twice the price for a hanging pot of pansies. That will never happen to me. Got to find the bargains.

Crocus and waiting for narcissus.

Yes I just started forcing these, hyacinths, lol. I have to do better next year. They got lost on the porch, not true. Let's see if they'll do anything before it gets too hot. They may do better in my basement because the porch heats ups starting in spring.

On the porch. Next week it's going to be nice weather, so I'm going to start painting the porch floor after work. Did you laugh. I should be laughing too. If I'm not too tired after work, I'll start painting before it gets too hot.

Finally freshened up and removed ornamental cabbage. Actually squirrels didn't tear it up over night and that's rare.
 The arborviate look bad and will be removed when I find something I like to replace it with. Thinking of ornamental grass or scotch broom. I know scotch broom is invasive in some areas but not mine, and a fire hazard. It'll be fine. It's blooms are so beautiful and it'll be evergreen.

Plans for the flower bed include more rocks if I can find some similar and taking up the shrubs for blooming annuals and some perennials. I'll relocate them to the yard.

In the yard.

Bleeding heart.

Critters have been digging but they must not like crocus.

A columbine is in the center from last season. Hasn't shown any signs of life yet.

Have to put some pansies in here maybe next weekend until it gets warmer and I can plant something else. Never occurred to me o plant some tulips here. Next fall.

Looking forward to replanting this soon.


This patch of narcissus has always been  pretty but not this year and there are only 2 blooms.

Lettuce or kale. I didn't label anything and it all looks the same.

Beets I think or carrots. I've never grown neither. I'll know when they get bigger because carrots have hairy tops.

Radishes amongst the strawberries.


Last night my cat was watching the yard from my bedroom window. The security light was on so I went to see why. Two raccoons twice the size of my cat were in the yard walking the fence. I missed a good opportunity but they always come back. Soon they'll be heard in the trees fighting at night. They make a strange noise.

Not only was I playing in the pansies this weekend I got loose in other plants. All these and 2 bunches of tulips for thirty dollars. I couldn't pass it up. I spent more for my orchid. It's still alive!
I've never had a white cactus, two for a dollar and fifty cents. No I wasn't leaving that in the store but I only got one. The common names of the others are I think poka dot plant, oxalis, flamingo plant, and gloxinias. Where did I put them? The bottom rack of my plant shelf although oxalis went on the porch because it can tolerate some cold. I don't think we'll be having any more below freezing nights but time will tell.

I normally get the purple oxalis. The white flowers are pretty. This size was 4 times more money at the flower show.