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Flowers in Winter -- Well, it's supposed to be winter now PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 15:52

With some orchids finally waking up into buds, we've also got the peach hibiscus and the orange geranium in flower. Really nice to see when outside is so grey and dismal. The cherry tomatoes in the aerogarden are getting ready for a a salad appearance and we just harvested and ate most of the kale (yummy steamed and fried with onions, Spike and butter) and salad greens. Nice to have real fresh food in the winter.

Right now, it's about 60 degrees out on the first of February. Granted, February is when the balance swings to things warming a bit, usually with more snow, but we've only had 2 snows, one in October and a light one last month. Sitting outside in a sweater is nice, but seeing a honeybee flying around, bulbs coming up like it's March makes me think plants aren't really gonna get rested and the non beneficial bugs like fleas aren't going to be eliminated. Anyway, it's out to the coldframe to check on the residents there. The berries, columbine, lavender, etc. seem to be doing pretty well in there.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:56
Happy New Year 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 January 2012 16:05

Happy New Year to all!
We've already started receiving the seed catalogs here. This represents the start of the new season for us. Finding new varieties, thinking about experimenting with some new flowers or veggies is nice when it's not so nice outside. Thing is, it's been pretty warm here. The spring bulbs are popping up which isn't so good for them when the real cold comes back again...

The state of the bay window and the indoor gardening scene are pictured below.

Tiny white orchid

Rosemary Plant with tiny blue flowers

A window dweller.

Heritage Cherry Tomatoes growing inside.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 15:58
Greens in December PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 09:54

Here is the last harvest of greens from outside (except for some Kale and Chard that are living in the coldframe!) What's unusual about this is that this is the latest in the season I have ever been able to harvest these kinds of greens from outside. We did have a snow on October 29, but not a hard freeze. I harvested these greens on December 11th and sure enough, later that night, there was a freeze as evidenced by the ice the next morning on top of the coldframe. We've gone through all the red peppers and tomatoes that we had ripened inside in brown paper bags or living in the crisper drawer of the fridge. We still have plenty of little cayenne and hot peppers though. They add a nice zing to dishes and help the immune system.

The two aerogardens are going strong. We've been getting some nice Red Sails and Arugula leaves from the Salad Greens one and the Cherry tomatoes have blooms and the first tomatoes -- I have to be the bee here.... From here on in it will be flowers (Orchids, Amarylis, Hibiscus and herbs (Rosemary, Chives and Sage sorry no Parsley or Thyme, whatever I can scrounge out of the coldframe and the harvests from the indoor Aerogardens.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 16:00
December has arrived PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 03 December 2011 08:45

This week's harvest. Pictured are Swiss Chard, Parsley, jalapeno and tomato that were still going as of this week. It is December and we've had a snowstorm but not a hard freeze. I suspect the reprieve from winter will be over soon...

Preparations for the coldframe are almost complete. Blueberries, columbine, lavender and a neighbor's echinacea are sitting in the square foot box and new tulip bulbs are planted outside it. The square foot box will be turned into a coldframe with the addition of some translucent heavy gauge plastic. This year I am using bricks to hold the plastic down. This will lead to better access to some of the plants (tomato and garlic chive) that are still growing in there along with the pots of perinneals. We found that stapling the plastic made it harder to get in and ripped the plastic.The kale and lettuce are ok for the time being unless a hard freeze comes to town.

December is upon us...
Gathering seeds outside.
The cold scythe of winter
has not yet arrived
C Nissen

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 08:29
Before the Blizzard PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 09:07

Before winter's little "visit" on October 29th, the garden was still rockin'. Here is a shot of veggies I harvested because a little bird told me it was going to snow and possibly freeze. I tried to harvest a lot of the flowers while leaving some zinnias (part of the sunflower family) for the warblers and small finches. My Filipino neighbors love sweet pepper leaves. They got the harvest of those and they put them into soups and meat dishes. I'll have to try this sometime. Right now the Kale and Chard are still standing with a little lettuce. These plants do well in the cold and even snow as long as it's not a hard freeze.
Peppers and tomatoes

I never take winter lying down so next week I'll show you some pix of the indoor garden along with the aerogardens that were started up a few weeks ago. It's also time to turn the square foot garden box into a cold frame by using some translucent heavy gauge plastic.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 16:02
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photo: Jeannie Cote


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