A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Springtime in January

Hopefully this is the beginning of my gardening journal. My arthritic hands prevent me from keeping a handwritten one so this will have to do. If I can actually keep it up, it will be fun to be able to look back, year by year. I've been gardening at this house for almost 10 years. It's time!

Usually on New Years Day, it is freezing cold. I am taking down the Christmas tree, putting away the decorations and drooling over seed catalogs. Not this year. Today it was in the 60's. I was outside in just a sweater looking for things to do in the yard. It felt just like spring. I was itching to be working in the gardens. But it is much too early so I settled for some clean-up that didn't get done in the fall. I trimmed away the dried flowers on the hydrangeas, something I usually do in the spring, and cut away most of the vines growing on the back fence. I have no idea if it is "my" fence or my neighbor's fence. I haven't quite figured out this whole fence ownership issue. The fence was here when I moved in. It is an ugly chainlink fence. If I could afford it, I would replace it. Or do away with it entirely. I'm not a big fan of fences.

Last year (2004) set a new record for flower longevity. Usually, I have flowers from the end of February (snowdrops)to Thanksgiving (whatever is growing next to the composter). Last year, I had Johnny Jump-ups and Calendulas flowering into December. December 11, to be exact. I left the next day for a business trip to Canada and the flowers had succumbed by the time I returned four days later.

This year, 2005, is already setting records. I have a snowdrop blooming by the birdbath. This is a record for two reasons. The date and the location. The birdbath is in the shadiest corner of the yard. Any snow (of which we haven't had any accumulation so far this winter) melts last there so the plants in that corner of the yard are usually weeks behind their peers instead of weeks ahead of them.


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