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The Parade has Begun

March 8th, 2012

When I was out washing out the cat litter boxes on Tuesday afternoon I decided the weather was nice enough to check the front yard for crocus blooms. If you remember I planted hundreds of crocus and mini daffodil blooms in the lawn last fall. Low and behold I spotted a few bit of purple in the sea of green. Only about 15 are blooming right now, I can’t wait until the rest of the 500 bulbs bloom. I plated 5 different kinds of crocuses in a variety of colors.




On the back hillside, which was planted with over 800 tulip and other flowering bulbs the snowdrops are coming out in full force, pushing their way up through the mulch of chopped leaves and reaching for the sun.




These small splashes of color in the garden mark the beginning stages of a parade of color that will last until late May. I’m so looking forward to watching everything unfold as the coming months progress. Gardening truly is one of those hobbies that brings much joy.

Anything blooming in your garden yet? What’s usually the first bloom you see?

The First Reward

February 7th, 2012

Remember all those bulbs I planted this past fall? While we were out tapping all the maple trees on Sunday afternoon and I spotted the first reward from all my hard work. One tiny snowdrop was blooming on the back hillside.

I’ve been meaning to plant snowdrop in the garden for years and always forgot to purchase the bulbs in the fall. I’d always think about them when they were blooming the spring and then completely forget about purchasing bulbs when I needed to. Late last winter, when the snowdrops were blooming, I flipped forward in my calendar and wrote “ORDER SNOWDROPS” in September.

Lucky for me, I did buy bulbs for ‘GALANTHUS ELWESII’ last fall and now I’ll be able to enjoy snowdrop blooms in my own garden this spring. This isn’t the earliest flowering plant I have in the garden, there’s a Mediterranean Pink Heather on the front hillside that starts blooming in early January.

What’s your earliest flower that appears in your garden each year?

Make it Green Please

January 19th, 2012

My mom’s always had amaryllises blooming around Christmas ever since I can remember. It was no different this year, she has quite a collection of bulbs that she’s had for a very long time. She even has a few that she’s grown from seed from blooms she hand pollinated a few years ago.


Her amaryllises have always tend towards the red and salmon shades, nice, but not my cup of tea. I prefer something green or maybe white, so I purchased three different kinds of amaryllis bulbs this past fall when I ordered all those tulips, daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs.

I ordered ‘Baby Doll’, ‘Green Dragon’, and ‘Evergreen’ amaryllis bulbs, three of each. I gave one of each to my mom and planted the remaining six bulbs in pots. The ‘Evergreen’ started blooming earlier this week and it’s quite lovely; this is not my mother’s amaryllis. It’s perfectly green, just like I was hoping.  My mom, who dislikes green flowers with a passion, didn’t like the green one, but the white ones she said were “OK”.  I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but it does fall from the tree!




Can you believe this is the first amaryllis I’ve ever had? It seems like they’re one of those intro to gardening plants that everyone has grown before.

Do you grow amaryllises? What’s your favorite color?

If you’re looking for great prices on amaryllis bulbs of all colors, shapes and sizes try visiting Van Engelen. They sell in lots of three bulbs, but generally getting three bulbs is cheaper than buying one from other places. Give the other bulbs away as gifts, or find a gardener to go in on the purchase with you. They do have a sister company that sells in single bulb lots, John Scheepers.

Forcing Beauty in Winter

December 14th, 2011

When I was planting all the tulips a few weeks ago, I made sure to save out four bulbs of each variety to force indoors this winter. Each variety was put in a separate bag and labeled so I know which is which. I also poked holes in the plastic bags to allow the bulbs to breathe a bit. Then all the bags went into a brown paper bag and they were laid to rest in the fridge for the next 2 months.

Come February I’ll take these bulbs out and most like force them in vases of water, I’m thinking a long row of them in a windowsill like this will be really lovely. I don’t have a ton of vases, so I’m thinking I’ll be using mason jars for forcing the bulbs. I might need to buy some river rocks for the bottoms to weigh down the jars to keep them from toppling over. I’ve also saved out a few other varities of bulbs like tiny daffodils and muscari.


When I ordered by tulips, daffodils and other bulbs, I added three different kinds of amaryllises to my order. I gave one of each kind to my mom, since she’s a big fan of amaryllises and always has them blooming around the holidays. Mine are still hanging out in their mesh bags as I’ve keep forgetting to pot them up. They’re starting to sprout though, so I must add this to my to-do list this week! This is my first attempt at forcing bulbs, so I’m kind of excited to see what happens. I’ll have to make sure to plan around a trip to Florida in March, my luck they’d all end up blooming while we’re gone!

Do you force any bulbs in your indoor garden?

Predominately Purple for Brooklyn

October 27th, 2011

I was out working in the garden earlier this week and noticed that most of the things blooming in my garden happen to be purple. I’m not quite sure how or why this happened, but it’s kind of funny. Most people have lots of marigolds and mums blooming this time of year because I don’t really have any in the garden.










I’m glad all these purple flowers are blooming because purple is the color for Rett Syndrome Awareness and October is it’s month. I didn’t know what this disease was until my friend Kelly’s daughter Brooklyn was diagnosed. All month long I’ve been wearing my purple gloves and thinking about Brooklyn when I see all these lovely purple blooms in my garden!

What colors dominate your garden right now?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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