Moving at the Speed of Stopped

Spring would be nice but it’s snowing again, and it’s hard to look normal trimming back dead perennials and grasses in a white-out so even I will be staying indoors this morning.  I suppose spring will make it eventually, it usually does, but in the meantime looking at snowy snowdrops while my toes are freezing has lost its magic.  Whatever.

galanthus nothing special

Most of the snowdrops have recovered from being buried in snow for two weeks.  This is ‘Nothing Special’ for those who need to know.

As the snow continues to accumulate now might be the perfect time to confess a few more gardening purchases.  Let me start by first congratulating myself on not ordering any hardy camellias from Camellia Forest Nursery.  They are extremely reasonable in price and I was already excited about them through speaking with Charles Cresson and having several of my own seedlings survive last winter’s cold.  Right now I’m not buying any, but you never know what will happen if this cold lasts.

I’ve spent some money on far more reasonable purchases.  $4.88 for some water soluble plant food and $22 for a new pair of long handled loppers to help in the spring cleanup.  The fertilizer is for some of the potted bulbs in the winter garden and the loppers are to replace a pair which disappeared last summer.  Really I should really charge the loppers to the ‘child care’ fund but there’s also a possibility I’ve thrown them onto the compost pile again, so for now it’s a garden charge.

A not-so-reasonable purchase was $14 for rabbit repellant.  The snow crocus were true to their name and emerged right as the last snow melted so as usual the rabbits are excited and hungry for something other than blueberry buds and dwarf conifer shoots.  I don’t mind losing a few flowers but based on the math of over a thousand bulbs planted I would think leaving a half dozen or so might be a reasonable expectation… unless you’re a rabbit.  One day of blooms were enjoyed and then another snowstorm appeared to have neutralized the repellant.  My meadow is once again bare.

crocus in lawn

A few crocus out back in the meadow.  There are still a bunch of late ones coming along, but once the rabbits find them they don’t stop.

So I don’t think that’s too bad.  $41 to add to the tally and for the most part it’s all gardening essentials.  The local garden center opens again next week so I’m already accepting the fact some pansies and a hellebore will follow me home, but for right now responsibility is the name of the game.  Good for me 🙂

$5 fertilizer
$22 new loppers
$14 two days worth of rabbit repellant
(oops)$95 worth of obscure Japanese Solomon’s Seals from Michael Vaughn via Facebook
(oops)$79 worth of unnecessary, uncommon and therefore expensive things from Odyssey Bulbs

$547 total so far for the 2018 gardening year.


28 comments on “Moving at the Speed of Stopped

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I feel your pain in that the rabbits have worked so hard to destroy my garden this winter.
    I have done a bit of shopping too. I bought 3 shrubs this past week. Happily it rained a couple of days after we put them in the ground. I will have to check my garden purchase totals. I think you are ahead of me. I don’t think most of our local nurseries will open until a couple more weeks. There is one that is open but they don’t have much stock in yet. They tell me it is coming in weekly. I will have to make a pilgrimage there weekly I guess. It won’t be long now and we will be having warmer weather…I hope.

    • bittster says:

      I think it will warm up soon…
      In the meantime I saw our local nursery opened last Wednesday, so looks like I have a little more temptation to deal with! That’s fine though. My garden is ready for a few pansies.
      Pansies are so much easier to fit in somewhere, nothing at all like a new shrub (or three)!

  2. I was terribly good and only ordered a few fall crocus from Odyssey, but did fall prey to greater temptation at Brent and Becky. And was just making lists of potential Sequim Nursery plants when I saw your comment on my blog. Weather continues up and down here with some snowy something in nest week’s forecast. The later we get outdoors, the more we spend online. No two ways about it.

    • bittster says:

      It’s gloomy out this morning and I think the grey days are the worst for me. Yesterday was beautiful and a perfect outdoor cleanup day… even with the windy gusts… but today not so much.
      Probably for the best since I’d look particularly godless working out there on Easter Sunday 😉

      • April Fool joke was on us here as it was 17 degrees when we got upon this morning a little after 7 am. Winter just doesn’t want to let go.

      • bittster says:

        Our April Fool joke was the beautiful sunshine yesterday. It had me thinking spring was here… until another four inches of snow fell :/
        Still better than 17 degrees though. I hope that’s the last of your really cold weather.

  3. So you have bare ground in your back yard? Well, lucky-pants you! Still a few inches over my whole yard! Congratulations on you Camellia restraint (so far!). I’ve been trying a new, organic fertilizer for my houseplants, from a company called Earthworm Technologies–Tea Drops and Earth Pods. Seem to be working well, and I like that it’s not manufactured chemicals. The older I’m getting, the more I seem to care about things like that!

    Does the rabbit repellant actually work? I’ve about given up on crocuses here!

    • bittster says:

      The rabbit repellant may have worked for a few days before the snow. Unless it was just that the rabbits didn’t find the crocus yet, which is another possibility, but as soon as the snow melted the crocus were gone. It does say re-apply after rain, but at $15 a pop I think I’ll just count my blessings with the first flowering.
      I try to avoid most chemically stuff, but there are a few things I take advantage of because they are so effective. Other than that I’m more than willing to sit back and let whatever bug or nutrient problems work themselves out.
      Happy Easter!

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    You seem like a racehorse approaching the gate, raring to go!
    A pity about your croci. Rabbits nipped my new Japanese maple and even left their calling card to let me know who-dun-it! 😦

  5. pbmgarden says:

    The crocuses are so sweet in your meadow. Sorry the rabbits don’t respect your property rights.

  6. rusty duck says:

    Soloman’s Seal takes over here, it makes good ground cover. Therefore it goes to the Weed Control budget as distinct from New Plants. I’m not sure about obscure Japanese ones though..
    Bulbs of any description would go straight on to the Mouse Food budget. If there was one. Which there isn’t. So bulbs, with the exception of a few notable lapses (mostly snowdrops) tend not to happen.

    • bittster says:

      Solomon’s Seal is a hardy weed in my mother’s garden so I’m hoping it does the same here in the driest of shade. Maybe the fancy variegation will distract me from the fact it’s taking over 😉
      I’m sorry you have such aggressive mice. Here it’s a so far so good scenario, and I think all the tunnels I find in the mulch are from shrews. I wouldn’t be surprised if the nasty little shrews help drive off mice and voles, in which case I’m more than happy to host them!

  7. It never occurred to me to worry about rabbits eating my crocuses, because the voles always get to them first. But voles are lazy and if I plant them in the lawn they leave them alone, preferring to eat the ones in easily-dug, good garden soil. But hard digging would be of no concern to rabbits, so I guess I don’t have a problem with rabbits. Yet.

    • bittster says:

      Maybe you have enough foxes in your woods to take care of the bunnies. We had a few foxes last summer, but I guess they’ve moved on… and of course the bunnies are quick to catch on to the vacancy.
      Each afternoon I admire whatever crocus have come up, and each morning I look at a newly empty meadow. They must be delicious.

  8. Annette says:

    Frank, you sound a bit depressed but I’m glad you haven’t lost your fine sense of humour which I appreciate so much. Don’t know if it’s a comfort but it’s cool here too and I’m a bit fed up. Thankfully no snow though and we only have one rabbit and it looks like a domestic escapee but it annoys me too at times. I’ve planted lots of crocuses too and lost most of them, I think it’s mice in my case. Chionodoxa are doing so well though and I shall plant more of what’s thriving. As for the weather, I secretly think we’re drifiting into a new ice age. Time to take up knitting perhaps? Keep your chin up xx

    • bittster says:

      Spring will come I’m sure but in the meantime we have another four inches of snow on the ground this morning. Good thing I finished cleaning out the beds Saturday!
      I keep hoping that some day the rabbits will have their fill of crocus flowers and move on to dandelions or clover, but it’s been a long wait. I don’t think I’ll add any more crocus, but instead follow your lead with the less appetizing choices. Fortunately they are extremely pretty as well!

  9. Indie says:

    Crocuses are sadly one of the things I’ve stopped planting for the most part, which is sad as I love crocuses. The critters love them, too, though, so most of the ones I’ve planted have disappeared. They look so pretty in your meadow. I’m really hoping that this week that most of the snow will melt with the rising temperatures…

    • bittster says:

      Well…. our snow melted but there’s more this morning. I hope it missed you though and has kept your winter aconite in the clear.
      I stopped adding new crocus a few years ago. Until I have a rabbit proof patch to put them in there’s really not much of a point in planting them… although now that the larger, later ones are opening out front a few do escape munching.

  10. Christina says:

    Love the way the last two items just suddenly appeared from nowhere! Ha! ha! It was very cold here last week too but it does seem to be warming up – it might suddenly be summer next week without bothering with spring at all. Hope the weather improves soon for you – as you say “it must come soon”.

    • bittster says:

      Haha, I was wondering how many people caught the last two items in the plant budget!
      The good thing about this long drawn out spring is that some of the bulbs seem to be in flower forever. Usually a warm spell comes and wraps it all up in a couple days and I’m forced to wait another 11 months for another chance!

  11. Ugh. I hate rabbits. They are evil. My Crocuses have not yet bloomed except for a couple of outliers. You make me feel I should rush out now and sprinkle them with animal repellent, but then your experience makes me think: what’s the use? Temps still in the mid-30s today, though it was supposed to be warmer.

    • bittster says:

      Yeah. My repellant results have been less than impressive, and you’re right that it does smell quite a bit.
      Much easier to stick with the less tasty plantings. Your potted tulips are looking great btw!

  12. Chloris says:

    Your crocus meadow looks lovely, what a pity it was so short lived. I think you should ditch the budget and enjoy a bit of retail therapy. And don’t tell a soul what you spend. That’s what I did last week, a very special nursery full of rare plants cheered me up no end. And nobody will ever know how much I spent. I’ve already buried the evidence.

    • bittster says:

      I like how you think. We have more snow this morning yet the nurseries are open, so maybe a visit and look around wouldn’t be the worst idea 😉
      I have had some second thoughts about honesty and plant reporting. Snowdrops are already exempt from budgeting but I’m thinking of adding witch hazels and other shrubs to the don’t ask, don’t tell list. Like you say, it’s so easy to bury the evidence.

  13. Oooh, thanks for the camellia nursery link! 🙂 The sasanqua that was recently moved out of cesspool-job danger is not looking very happy in its new location (though the two snowstorms since then are probably equally to blame) which really does get too much sun. If it survives, I’ll have to create a new planting area on the north side of the house. If it doesn’t survive, I’ll probably create the new area anyway, so might as well put a new camellia in it. And some epimediums. And ferns. And hostas. And snowdrops. And there goes the rest of the budget, lol

    • bittster says:

      Good for you! The budget really just needs to take a back seat during April and May. Did you ever get a chance to visit Planting Fields? When the magnolias are in bloom it’s awesome, and there might be a few inspirational camellias outside to consider.
      Did I mention I bought two peony seedlings? I decided I don’t have enough time left to wait for my own seeds to decide on sprouting, but of course that means they now will 😉

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