Tag Archives: spring

It’s been a long and lonely winter

Friends, it’s been one of those years. Tough times all around, and now the continuing drudgery of day after day of ice and snow is really starting to wear on me. Spring, I’m sure, is on its way. Maybe took a wrong turn somewhere, maybe decided on an unplanned pit stop – but on its way somewhere.

I’ve been trying to beat the drudgery by perusing and flipping through seed catalogs over and over again. Kitazawa, Seed savers exchange, Annie’s annuals, Bountiful Gardens, Horizon Herbs, and of course the ever inspiring Renee’s gardens have all been the recipient of remarkable shares of my attention, especially during this month of working nights.

I’m excited about this year’s planting selection – some dwarf tomatoes, a few slicers and sauce tomatoes, several cucumbers and peppers, and a whole host of wildflowers. This year we’re thinking about doing much more container gardening and only putting greens, herbs and flowers in the ground. Last year’s containers did beautifully, as you can see in this post. In our rocky rental soil, only a few plants could really thrive – a few Dragon’s Tongue bean plants, a Golden Cherry tomato, 5 varieties of kale that produced from May straight through to the end of November, and a lemon thyme that is somehow, miraculously, still poking its green head out through layers of snow and ice into the -10F air.

I’m looking forward to things getting a little warmer. My dad, who is in a much warmer climate, has started his seeds – some of them outdoors, no less! I’m sending him a few more seeds for his collection, a selfish venture as I hope to experience an early vicarious spring!

Here’s a few of the dwarf tomato seeds I have for my dad, along with a drying variety.


Here’s hoping my next post will start with a joyous “Here comes the sun!”


A day in the garden

It’s been a warm, moist week here in the ‘Burgh, most of which we’ve spent at work.

Today when we went out to see what the garden has been doing, we were amazed at the development that’s happened.

The butter lettuce is flourishing.


The kale and romaine are almost uncontained.


And look little broccoli!


We had a lovely lunch with our first harvest.


Looking in the cracks

It’s so easy to let life pass you by – to let small things weigh you down, to miss life as it’s happening. There’s a story I read in 9th grade English called ‘The Falling Girl’, a parable by Dino Buzzati warning heavyhandedly against the mistake that we all make.

“‘You have your entire life ahead of you,’ they told her, ‘why are you in such a hurry?’
…She made an attempt to answer but the force of gravity had already quickly carried her to the floor below, then two, three, four floors below….”

Life has been like that lately. Working long hours has me in the doldrums, often making me forget that there is life outside the hospital. I spend time in my little gardening space, often daydreaming about a big flat yard in the South where I could grow to my heart’s content. But really, I know I miss so much of my life by doing that. It’s the little things: the one new budding leaf on a tomato seedling, a tiny dandelion bud, a bird perched on the feeder, readying herself for warmth and new life. THAT is life. THAT is why life is worth it.


Life seeps through broken concrete and under rocks. It happens in spite of us, in spite of itself. Celebrate it, love it, live it.


Happy Easter!

Today in the garden

Spring is really here now! Cool wet days, damp and heavy nights with early morning fog – it really gives perspective. Years ago I would have been disappointed with such weather, especially in temps of 50’s. But now, I actually did a happy dance on my porch.

Tomato seedlings are coming up, slowly sending out baby true leaves – it’s time to transplant them!


Snowdrops – a little late but one little guy looks like he made it.


And violets – the joy of those little faces peeking up. Doesn’t it look like this little face is telling us to have hope?


A happy and beautiful Crocus!

“…Then from my heart will young petals diverge, As rays of the sun from their focus; I from the darkness of earth shall emerge, A happy and beautiful Crocus! Many, perhaps, from so simple a flower, This little lesson may borrow, Patient today, through its gloomiest hour, We come out the brighter tomorrow.”

from Smiles  by Miss H. F. Gould in The Poetry of Flowers, 1832. >

Seed starting!

I’m on vacation at my parents’ house, which means early gardening for me! Spring has already come to the South, and with it warm weather and the smell of the earth.

I get my love of gardening from my dear old dad, and he’s just as excited as me about starting the spring garden. We did some indoor sowing and some outdoor today.

Here’s what we planted:

Three varieties of eggplant – Ratna, Shiva and Black Beauty
Two varieties of bottle gourd – Bhim and Alok
Swiss chard
Bitter gourd




It’s almost time to start seeds…

It’s time to plan the garden!

I’m torn between about 25 different kinds of tomatoes – I think I’ll have to narrow to about 6-8. I’m thinking a currant variety, a couple of cherries, a slicer, a pickler and a paste should be a good start. Any thoughts?

In the meantime, I’m scouring the blogs of friends and fellow gardeners, hoping for inspiration.

One of my favorites with plenty of tips and an experimental mindset not unlike my own is Small Kitchen Garden. Daniel over at SKG has plenty of ideas, suggestions and even a seed giveaway!! Gardening can be an expensive venture if you don’t find economical ways to procure new plants, so I suggest you all hop on the giveaway wagon and maybe you’ll get lucky!

As we get closer to seed starting date (probably in another week and a half or so), I’ll let you know what I’ve decided on. In the meantime, what are YOU planting this spring?