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First Spring Flower! Crocus!

First Spring Flower!

Ok – so 2 posts today not exactly on purpose. I wrote the “weeds are pretty” post over the weekend, but didn’t want 2 long posts in one day, so I set it to post on 3/10. I checked today and it had some weird message like “schedule missed” (uhh ok?), so then I copied/pasted into a new post and posted that, at which time I noticed the old post had appeared as well. Anyway – problem solved. But I still want to post “actually today” so here I am.

Bulb from 1/10/09 post pic

Bulb from 1/10/09 post pic - almost ready to bloom!

Went to a viewing this PM for a friend of the family. He’s a longtime buddy of my dad’s and was actually my mom’s boss for a few years (she’s a school secretary and he was her principal). I’m ld friends with one of his daughters, too. His wife also works in the school system and was a coworker of my mom’s when my mom worked at a different school (before he was her principal. (Are you following along? I’m not going to draw a chart.) We went to the school our moms worked at, so we (and other teacher daughters) would hang out together after school. She was a year behind me and my BFF, so we did pick on her a little, but it was all in good fun and I wish we’d stayed in contact better through the years (though I know everything about her between Facebook and school gossip!). I hate hate hate having to do that. I swear I feel sometimes like I should be a special guest at that funeral home! But eh. What can you do. It really makes me appreciate the time I have with my parents though. Because you really do never know. It’s a very scary thought. (Love you, mom and dad.)

Sunshine Helenium

Sunshine Helenium

And on to less depressing things, I realized I never bitched about the fact that Springhill Nursery already sent our order! lolwut? We actually got the stuff when it looked like this outside. Awesome! Let me just stick em in the ground right now! uhhhhno. So my mom called and I sent an email complaining. Our complaints are now on record, so if they croak due to being sent out waaaay early, they’ll replace or refund. Also kind of annoyed because for some reason, when I tried to order the “add another plant for 1¢” deal, apparently it didn’t go thru. Bummer. The cust service person gave me a confusing answer about still being able to order the 1¢ one, but I wasn’t sure about shipping and whatev. Basically they said “lolwut” like we did (definition here for those not familiar with the memes of the tubes of internet), and said “well, we send them out according to your grow schedule!” uhhno. Even when there isn’t a freak 1-ft snowstorm, temps are generally in the low 40s-mid 50s rt now. Not planting season yet for at least another month!

So hopefully the plants hang on. Luckily, most of my mom’s were bulb or bareroot, so those should be OK. My sunshine heleniums however, are now being dutifully covered with a bigger pot during threat of frost, or being brought inside altogether at night when its under 40° (then covered with a pot for cat-proof protection). Sigh. The Bluestone order isn’t due till April/May, so those should be alright.

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Also, when I was out with my parents on Sunday helping them get their mind off things and look for a new washing machine, I picked up a palm from the Lowe’s “rescue plant” cart. They had a bunch – this one was literally falling out of its pot, but looked good and was only $3. I had eyed it and left it there they day before, but my mom is a bad influence so I bought it (and my mom bought a rescue gardenia). I have no idea what kind of palm it is. I’m hoping it’s a kentia, deemed a good houseplant/all around plant, and not a majesty palm, which I hear is impossible to keep alive indoors. Any palm experts around? I plan to keep the plant outside for the summer and bring it in for the winter (it’s currently in-and-out with the heleniums till warmer weather). I guess even if it is the “bad” one, it’ll just be a super-fancy annual since I only paid $3 for it anyway. More pics of the mystery palm are below. Any ideas??

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I’ve been feeling sickly all weekend. Sore throat, runny nose, etc. Spent a bit of time outside yesterday working on some plant stakes (will post about how I made those when I make a few more and perfect the plan – I am obsessed with labeling all my plants, but hate the white markers I have now). When I woke up today, I felt fairly horrible. Throat very bad, achey all over, and throbbing headache. I moped around for a bit and then went and sat out on the deck and wandered around the yard a little. Virtual instant cure! The nice weather had probably at least something to do with me feeling bad in the first place, since it was snowy and icy here last week, but you can’t really complain about 70 degree days in February, now can you? I finally made myself get dressed and went to the grocery store, then cleaned out the fridge and freezer when I got home, since I had to buy a lot of frozen veggies (nothing good is fresh rt now, boo) and there was no room.

Hank in the window - must be a nice day!

Hank in the window - must be a nice day!

Only problem is, it’s making me covet plants and warm days more. I now have 3 catalogs: Breck’s, Springhill, and Bluestone Perrenials. I’ll prob order a couple plants from one, just have to figure out which. Everyone says Springhill is awful, but I’ve ordered twice from there. My mom’s plants aren’t thriving, but I think that’s because she has a bad habit of buying full sun plants for part sun or shade areas. We split a couple large sets or the same plants, and mine are all doing very very well. Breck’s and Springhill also have the basically $25 free deal, while Bluestone offers 15% off. All 3 places have the Mardi Gras Helenium, which I’ve decided I MUST have. Can’t decide where to plant it, but I actually saw one pic of it in a (the one you buyt it in) container and might try that (but the right way). There’s also a shorter red Helenium that I like almost as much. I’ll have to decide what to get soon. We’re actually going to visit a friend in Hawaii at the beginning of May, so I’ll have to keep an eye on when stuff is supposed to come. Going to have to wait a couple weeks to really start planting the summer stuff since we’ll be gone.



Throat starting to hurt a bit again (possibly because the sun is going down and I don’t want to deal with awkwardness/annoyance at work tomorrow?). Maybe I’ll make myself a cup of lemon green tea and figure out what I’m going to do for dinner. Thankfully, it’s supposed to be in the 50s and 60 all the rest of this week, so maybe the pansies will get a chance to bloom again. Hopefully the hard freezes are over. But with the weather here, you never know.

img_5301Wow – not a fun day at work. Like so many others in the publishing industry, there were layoffs at my job today. Thankfully, I am safe, but I feel horrible for those who were let go—some who’d been with the company for a very, very long time. I guess there’s a reason for everything, and these people will do fine (might even be a positive change for some) but still—just wow. There will be some restructuring so my job will probably change a little in the coming months. It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out. In the meantime, I think it’s time I updated my resumé and opened a LinkedIn account. I like my job, but I’ve long been worried about its long-term stability and even things like retirement. And since we’re going to be starting a family soon, I might have to make a change I really don’t want to.

Now is a time when I could really use some pretty flowers to fiddle around with. I’ll have to settle for working off some frustrations at the gym.

I believe I found the link to Gardeners for the Bay on this blog. I signed up – it’s free, and according to the email I got, you get some cool extra freebies like stickers and (yay!) gardening gloves.

I actually live very, very close to the Patuxent River. So I know I’m well within the watershed area, and try to be conscious.

Here’s the manifesto/pledge, from the website linked above, with my intentions noted:

    As a Gardener for the Bay, I will:
    * Conserve water by diverting runoff downspouts and paved surfaces to rain barrels, rain gardens, or garden beds. Yes! I have a rain barrel, and during the summer I also always keep a bucket under the a/c drip (the amount of water you can get in no time at all from is this astounding. I hate when it rains now and the barrel is already full so I can’t save it!
my rain barrell and shade/water tolerant garden

my rain barrel and shade/water tolerant garden

    * Plant with native, non-invasive species that are adapted to conditions in my area. I certainly try! Before picking ground cover-type plants especially, I check to see if they’re invasive.
    * Enrich my garden beds and lawn naturally with compost, leaf mold, or other organic matter. Got a composter for xmas that I can’t wait to get set up and use!
    * Eliminate my use of toxic chemicals (synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides). I try to do this, and basically only use inrescticides for stupid aphids. I’m going to make it a point to look for more friendly ones this year.
    * Reduce my lawn area by planting native trees and shrubs and enlarging garden beds.OK, so we actually increased the lawn area when we flattened out yard, but we’ve also added a lot more garden space, and I’m sure more will be added. We’ve added lots of native/friendly trees (some planted, some still growing in pots).
    * Encourage other gardeners to join the fight to protect and restore the waterways, farmlands and forests for the Bay Region.Going to send the link to my mom, and I’m posting it here, so I’ll count that 🙂
    * Speak out for decisive action to save the Chesapeake Bay a national treasure.Yes!

I thought I’d duplicate the comment I left on Our Little Acre about this post, since it is something I think about often.

This is a first home for my husband and I, and even if we add on, we know we’ll have to move on eventually, as the house is just very small. We do have almost an acre (Our Little Almost Acre?) though, and we’ve added all the gardens, fixed the lawn, and generally given the house a big dose of love. I even pick some things now based on the fact that they’re easy to care for, in the hopes that when we’re not here in 25 years and we pass by the house, my flowers will still be thriving. I also have a lot of passalongs from my mother, some that started with my grandmothers that will be coming with me whenever we move, as they’re now irreplaceable.

And my parents’ house is much like yours – until college I had lived only there, so the thought of that someday not being my homebase when they are gone just breaks my heart. But when that happens (hopefully a long, long time from now), I will most certainly be clearing those gardens out and taking them with me 🙂

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