It’s a new year and I am excited about what amazing things may happen this year. I am poring over seed catalogues trying to decide what to grow for myself and my customers this year. I have lots of ideas as usual but I have to remember I can’t clone myself yet, plants, yes, myself, no. The weather in December was our coldest and snowiest in several years. As I sit here writing there is more snow and cold in the forecast.
I couldn’t resist a walk in the garden today. The hummingbirds had been spotted flying about the front garden looking for food. I wanted to take a look at the kitchen garden to see if it made it through our -8C temperatures of late. I carefully uncovered the salad greens and there is some damage but I can see some parts that may make it through the cold. This area of the garden had my heaviest floating row cover over it, weighted down with bricks. Unfortunately it was covered in snow for quite a few days, melted away and then it snowed again. I really doubted the lettuce would make it.
Next to it was another planting of lettuce which I thought was hardier and it’s really suffered from the snow cover and frost. Not much hope for this one but I will give it more time. I am always one to give the underdogs another chance in the garden.
One of the raised beds was full of cosmos and nasturtiums. Now its a soggy mess of decay. I must admit a nasturtium in death is still beautiful. They flowered into early December and collapsed with the first snowfall. I will dig the last of them into the soil when it warms up. No sense cleaning them up now when they can add organic material to the garden bed.
Today was one of those ‘I can see my breath’ kind of days as I searched the garden looking for changes. I secretly want spring to arrive but it will be awhile yet. I am so impatient, I want to garden. Above is the first Hellebore bud in brilliant green saying “I want to be the first to bloom in the new year.”
During our hard frost and ensuing cold temperatures the Viburnum flowers had frozen and turned brown. Today there are two pink buds on the shrub celebrating this splendid start to the new year. As I sit here writing, the chickadees are picking at the roses just outside my window. Farmer Jim and I are going to make a list of goals for this year. My first goal is to get the new greenhouse frame in place so I can move the 4″ pots of perennials out of the old greenhouse. I am also making a list of all the garden supplies to last me until the end of May. By the end of January I will have the greenhouse all set for seed planting. Plants like Lobelia and Impatiens need an early start.
My wish for the flower garden this year is to track down a few white Hydrangea for the shade garden. I have no shortage of blue Hydrangea. Next I need to uproot those perennials that just don’t pay the rent and replace them with plants I can use to make tea. I love the holy basil tea I made from plants grown last year.
I dream of building a herb wheel like the one we built at the community garden. It’s a big job so it may not happen this year. I could grow all sorts of plants to use for tea, now couldn’t I? Have you set garden goals for 2017? I would love to hear bout them.