Monday, January 14, 2013

Seasonal disorder

I can't be the only gardener who has this problem; come wintertime, I become gardening obsessed, contemplating huge lists of plants to buy in the spring, beds to rearrange or create, the whole nine yards.  I think this is a result of not being able to do anything, but the real problem is I have two "main" hobbies right now.  Gardening and crazy quilting, which are both essentially great seasonal hobbies.  When the weather is nice, I can garden, and when I can't go outside, I can work on my never-ending project backlog.  The problem is, I get amped up about gardening when I can't do it, and then miss the 2-3 week window of "spring" where temperatures are pleasant enough that you can stand to be outside without wanting to find a pool to hunker down in with an iced drink, or in lieu of that, a nice walk in freezer to make your home.

Spring blows by here in a flash, and I always seem to miss it.  I'm going to try and be better about it this year though.  I already planted a ton of bulbs, I got inspired thanks to Helen Yoest saying something about still being able to put pots together, and when I went to Home Depot, everything was 50% off.  You know what that means, twice as many bulbs!
Yes, I'm putting up a picture of bulb packages.  Eat your heart out, Southern Living!
So, other than that, I'm going to try and catalog some of my ideas here, wish lists, etc.  I want to plant some blueberry bushes, and the reading I've done says go with Rabbiteyes and at least two other types for cross polination: Brightwell, Climax, Delite, Tiflblue were all recommended. Will I have room in my yard for 3 blueberry bushes? Probably not.  Maybe I could put them in the front yard if I pulled the boxwoods.

I'm also kind of obsessing over the idea of doing my vegetable gardens in some raised wood beds that I build, harnessing the manic wintertime energy into some hardscaping.  I've got some plans for squash, peppers, cucumbers, some zinnias, maybe even a melon.  I'm still trying to figure out where to squeeze these in to my yard, but right now I'm thinking directly off the deck.  

Speaking of the deck, I've got this idea to get a long galvanized metal feed trough and make all my herbs in one big pot this year.  I think it will neaten up my deck which is really getting overgrown with pots, and make watering them a little easier.  

Lastly, I got the new Plant Delights catalog in the mail, and I think I'll go through it with post its and mark all the plants I'm thinking about getting, and then try and figure out where I can put them.  I need a lot of new ones, I lost almost all the Agastaches I planted a few years ago.  I think the drainage just isn't good enough for them, plus they were super marked down plants from death row at Lowes, so they didn't get the greatest start in life.  

What about everyone else -- any fun plans? Anyone else find they use up all their fire and good ideas while its too cold to plant? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dinosaur Trail!

Earlier in December, we went to visit the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, which has a recently revamped dinosaur walking trail.  I was really impressed by how they managed to keep the woods feeling at least somewhat tropical in the dead of the winter.  Unfortunately there weren't any plant labels to identify what they used, and no gardening staff nearby to ask.  That being said, I'm pretty sure this is the Fatsia Japonica I mentioned in a previous post, in front of a backdrop of a magonlia (duh.)

Here is some more plants, not sure on the ferns, and there is a very pretty yellow blooming plant in the background.  My brain keeps saying mahonia, but I'm not sure if that's right, and I certainly don't know the cultivar.

Either way, isn't it neat how they made the appearance of tropical growth? I'm looking forward to coming back in warmer weather and seeing the total package, but I came away with some more ideas for my tropical bed.

Here's what's blooming for me right now, this is my Prunus Mume "Josephine" and I really love the blossoms on it.  Although I wish I had a pink one as well.  I just need a bigger yard.