Archive for March, 2011

Bring on SPRING! March 23, 2011

It’s too true!  By the calendar it is spring but I could identify with the robin up in our crabapple tree yesterday afternoon as wind, rain, sleet, then snow put a damper on its migratory welcome from warmer climes.  It is our belief in magic that gets us through the month of March when weather can tease back and forth between spring and winter, melting down snowbanks to reveal lawn and garden spaces long hidden only to throw a dusting of sleet and snow over them yet again.

This is the time of year in the midwest when everything from your winter parka to your windbreaker needs to be available, when it’s too early to store the snow boots but galoshes should be handy as well.   Hats, scarves, gloves?  Keep them handy!

But if you haven’t already ordered seeds for your garden, get a move on! Is this a ritual at your house?  Here it has been many years since I’ve started plants from seed.  There are an abundance of great resources for plants in our area and I’ve been content to choose from their offerings.  But those nursery choices often follow a Wish List made from one of the seed catalogs that are delivered (still) in January.

What we’ve noticed in our yard is that we would like more blooms in certain times of the year.  Last year, especially, when April’s warmth prompted perennials to get an early start, daylilies were a piece of history by mid-July.  So,  this year it seemed almost a duty to see what the seed catalogs had to offer that could fill in the gaps;  and they did provide ample temptation!   Of course, it isn’t just flowers that they offer and soon I was looking at herbs, greens, vegetables……we could have had a spot at the farmer’s market had my fantasy of an abundant harvest been realized.

I did realize the fantasy involved and painstakingly pruned my order from super-extravagant to mildly extravagant.  Now I’m told the order has been shipped so I am days from getting my hands in the dirt and planting and tending these seeds.  Having watched the video online, I am reminded of the nurturing needs of these seeds and seedlings.  This will be a reminder of the variables each farmer faces as fields are planted with precious seed.  By comparison, my investment is minute and I will have more control over the environment provided since I can control the heat, the watering, and, within reason, the light.

However, we have no greenhouse, no grow lights, and I purchased only a gadget that creates tiny planters from newspaper strips.  This is going to be anything but a professional’s approach to starting seeds.  But something tells me that with a little luck, the amazing varieties of zinnias that I ordered (even one that is an heirloom variety) will prosper and beautify flowerbeds at Port Washington Inn this summer!  And if that happens, I will have the satisfaction of knowing  more about the process.

Just like the robin, I’m convinced of  spring’s arrival in spite of the teases of March.   Spring will bring smiles aplenty from all of us who’ve endured another winter.  Bring on Spring!