Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Winter Sowing

Recently I saw a picture on Pinterest that led me to a new idea that sparked my interest.  The picture was this one from Kevin Lee Jacob's blog, A Garden for the House.  He has several helpful posts about winter sowing (planting seeds in the winter in little milk jug greenhouses.)  He has lots of other cool stuff on his blog that I enjoy, too - like recipes, houseplants, etc.

I have been feeling those winter blues that show their demon heads every year.  So when I read about winter sowing it sparked an interest, gave me a purpose, a needed distraction from reading, genealogy, and quilting.  I can prepare for SPRING!

Today my granddaughter came over after school and we melted holes in a couple milk cartons, added soil, and planted lupines in one and hollyhocks in the other.  I let her use the wood-burning tool to melt the drainage holes in the milk jugs.  We were tickled how easy that tool did the job.  She planted the seeds and I labeled the jugs.   Here's a picture of our little greenhouses.  There will be more.

I'm hoping we get our poor picnic tables painted this summer.  It was on the list for last year, but we didn't get to it.  Of course, that didn't stop us from having b-b-qs and lots of visiting time around the tables.  We even encouraged people to peel the paint off while we visited so we wouldn't have as much to remove when the time comes.
While we were feeling 'springy' we tried our hand at propagating geraniums.  This activity took some pre-planning - I had to bring the plant inside last fall.  (It's not everyday I get to pat myself on the back.)  Here's a picture of our baby geraniums.  They are all Martha Washingtons.  I'm thinking I'll buy 6 more pots and try for 12 babies.  I love geraniums so the more the merrier.  I could never justiify buying 12 new geraniums from the nursery.  Usually, I only allow myself 3.  It'll be fun to have more of them in my gardens this year.

The flat of pots in the tray under the geraniums is for planting in March.  I thought while I was outside dealing with potting soil, I'd put some in that tray, too.  We have finally made it into the 20s & 30s during the day so it isn't so awful to be outside for a short time period.  You can see the snow has started melting and our brown grass is starting to peak through.  We had a friend from California who moved here in the winter.  After several weeks he asked us why we didn't cut down our dead trees and shrubs!  Luckily, he lived here long enough to see everything start to grow again in the spring.  We met him when we lived in San Diego.  The weather was delightful there, but after a couple years I began to really miss the seasons.  Okay, I didn't miss winter so much, but I will put up with it so I can have spring and autumn, especially autumn.

I love the seasons.  Each one has it's special delights.  I love winter for the soups and other comfort foods.  Who wants to eat a big Thanksgiving meal in the warmth of summer?  Winter means meatloaf with baked potatoes, acorn squash, and baked apples.  Cold, quiet January is the perfect time to curl up with a good book and some popcorn. And winter is the best time to sew quilt tops.  It's also a good time to work on genealogy, organize pictures, write histories, etc  Spring is iffy - it's either windy or rainy and the temps can switch so quickly between mild or cold.  Heck, it can even snow but you know the snow will melt in a day or two.  But in spite of those drawbacks, spring is when the new buds appear on the trees & shrubs, tulips & daffodils pop up from the ground, trees blossom and the world looks pretty again.  It's a time of new beginnings, rebirth, and spring cleaning.  Summer is not my favorite but it means the grandkids are out of school and I get to see them almost every day, lots of barbecues, watching the kids run through the sprinklers, reading on the patio, berries are ripe, the 4th of July celebration and homemade root beer.  My grandson said the other day, "I can't wait for the 4th of July."  When I asked why he said, "Because we get to make root beer."  And then there's fall.  Ahhhh, my favorite.  The harvest, corn on the cob, the cooler weather, the colored leaves, school starts up again and I have more time to myself.  And about the time we get tired of mowing the lawn and eating zucchini, it's winter again.  What a perfect cycle.

What's your favorite season?  Do you dabble with gardening, reading, genealogy, quilting?  Would love to hear what you love and why.

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