When the going gets tough….

The tough get sowing ūüôā

Young 'masquerade' hot pepper seedlings, some onions, and other stuff.

Young ‘masquerade’ hot pepper seedlings, some onions, and other stuff.

I guess for as cold as February was spring is almost on schedule.¬†¬†Maybe a week late.¬† I should be cleaning the yard and getting things ready, but nothing’s ever perfect, and¬†as long as there’s not a¬†couple bikes laying on top of the¬†hellebores I think there’s no rush and it will all work out just fine.¬† In case you’re wondering I started a few more seeds to sooth my anxiety.

lunaria annua rosemary verey seedlings

Money plant (lunaria annua) ‘Rosemary Verey’ was one of my oops plantings.¬† They surprised me by sprouting in the fridge, so out of the wet paper towels they came and under the growlights they went.¬† They’re a purple foliage version of the regular moneyplant, and I think their dark purple stems look extremely promising!

I’ve never been this bad with¬†seed starting.¬† My thinking is that as long as I have the seeds I might as well plant them, so besides the ones sprouting under the lights I have a bunch outside in pots exposed to the cold as well.¬† Also I suppose I should fess up to the¬†dozens of¬†baggies of seeds folded up in damp paper towels in¬†the fridge which are also getting a nice cold treatment.

Why do I need dozens of hot pepper seedling?¬† Not important.¬† Why do I need non-hardy South African velthemia bracteata seedling?¬† Because I can.¬† (that’s a nearly direct quote from Chloris btw).¬† So I’ll just continue sowing and growing more seedlings than I’ll ever need until finally I can get outside without a facemask and gloves.

veltheimia bracteata seedling

The first of possibly five¬†veltheimia bracteata seedlings just sprouting.¬† I’ll report back in a couple years to let you know how this¬†turns out…¬†

I’m ready for warmer weather.¬† There’s still snow sitting in every shaded nook of the yard and far too many not-up-yet bulb plantings, but¬† I want to see them now!¬† Plus I need warmer weather in order to think over where the approximately 30-40 Magnolia Grandiflora trees will go.¬† I potted those seeds up today.

Trudging through Winter

I really can’t say I dislike winter.¬† I have a few objections but overall it’s autumn I dislike, with its end of the season, everything dying, days so short, vibe.¬† So if it’s excuses I’m looking for to explain my blogging absence,¬†the only one I can find is that¬†I have nothing to say.¬† Snow and cold are here and nothing much has changed since November.

Fortunately others haven’t been so idle.¬† I’ve been enjoying the posts from both milder and colder climates and since I’m starting to feel a little guilty about not contributing, I guess I should do a little catch-up.¬† Don’t worry, this won’t take long!

lop eared house bunny

Meet ‘Bun-Bun’ the newest member of our household.

Our little lop bunny with the oh so original name of ‘Bun-Bun’ has been sharing the kitchen since November.¬† He’s messy, hungry, bouncy and just about the cutest thing in our house.¬† BunBun was supposed to live in a hutch on the back porch but softer hearts prevailed and he’s been indoors since joining us.

Garden-wise, the annual trip to Longwood Gardens went off (almost) without a hitch this year and we enjoyed the always beautiful indoor and outdoor gardens.

winter conservatory at longwood gardens

I can’t even begin to imagine having a winter garden like this at my doorstep. Coffee here in the morning and then off to work in the greenhouses!

The kids still enjoy the trip in spite of other play options and the long drive, so I’ll drag them¬†with me for¬†as long as I can.¬† During this trip the boy got it in his head to use my phone and photograph everything.¬† Who ever suspected a phone could hold so many pictures?

the kids at Longwood Gardens

Inside the conservatory at Longwood Gardens. This year’s theme was birds, and there were plenty of feather inspired displays.

We got there around three in the afternoon to see the gardens during¬†the day and then stayed for the lights at night.¬† The crowds weren’t as bad as in previous years but it was still packed, and I think unless we can get there on an ‘off’ day next year we might skip.

Longwood gardens decorated for Christmas greenhouses at night

Inside the conservatories of Longwood Gardens at night. Sparkly and magical, just perfect for the holidays.

After dark we toured the gardens again and then walked through the greenhouses one more time.¬† Inside the greenhouses there’s a children’s garden which involves several kid friendly fountains and tunnels and hidey-holes¬†which they love playing around in.¬† Unfortunately this is also where the girl wandered off and got a little confused as to where the play area was, so after¬†a little frantic looking around we ended the day with a teary reunion.

outdoor Christmas lights at Longwood

Just a part of the outdoor Christmas light display at Longwood Gardens.

Back at home the only signs of gardening are the bookmarked seed catalogs on the kitchen table and the crowded shop lights out in the garage.¬† This year’s indoor garden is an odd mix of overwintering tropical cuttings and winter blooming hardy perennials.

houseplants growing under the shop light

Out in the garage cuttings are still doing well under the shoplights. This begonia is actually happy enough to throw out a few blooms, while some creeping houseplant is making a play at smothering a potful of cyclamen seedlings.

Normally the “winter garden” under the shoplights is reserved for a few cyclamen and forced snowdrops, but this year the tropicals are still out there sharing spare.¬† The plan was to set up a spot indoors for another shoplight setup and move the warm weather plants in there for the winter, but as usual things are slow in coming together.

pelargoniums, cyclamen, and snowdrops growing indoors under lights

A slightly non-traditional indoor garden jammed full of scented geraniums, houseplant cuttings, hardy cyclamen coum, and a few potted snowdrops.

It’s this little garden under fluorescent shoplights which will keep me going while the snow flies outside.¬† It’s maybe¬†6 square feet of grow space, and won’t be nearly enough when seed starting begins, but right now while the cyclamen coum come into bloom it reminds me that things won’t be frozen forever.

Happy new year!