Goodbye Winter Hands

Monday was one of those deceptively nice winter days where the sun is shining, the snow is melted, and it looks like the temperature should be about 50 degrees. I decided to go outside and pick up some fallen branches for some friends who need kindling. Turns out it was only 36 degrees, but I wasn't planning to be outside for that long. As I was pulling dead wood out of the shrubs, I noticed there was a lot of grapevine/wisteria climbing the shrubs and trees. So, despite the fact that I was slightly chilly, and had no coat on, I started pulling grapevine off the trees and shrubs. Several hours (and with severely scratched hands) later I decided I'd pulled down as much as possible and went inside. Not knowing what to do with my pile of grapevine, I left it outside. (Mom might want to make wreaths out of them. Now that we have had a snowstorm, it makes for nice winter interest.
Even though all that work made my spring fever go down from 104 to 101, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to move the next day. Surprisingly my fingers were the sorest and stiffest parts of me. I made dinner for my family, and it even hurt to push the buttons on the stove. It has also put a crimp on my knitting - I can only do a few rows without having to stop for a while. Even typing is difficult. So, I've said goodbye to my nice soft, white, unscratched winter hands, and said hello to spring and summer's aches, stiffness, scratches, and short fingernails.

My spring fever is rising again, though. The first order of seeds came today, from Johnny's. I was somewhat surprised that we had only ordered three items; Cilantro, Zinnias, and Snapdragons. It is probably because I am using last year's leftover vegetable seeds. I tested approximately ten seeds of each type for viability, and they all sprouted. At least I get to start some of the seeds soon. Maybe that will help my spring fever.


GTS 2-24-08

Green Thumb Sunday

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday; visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

I started my hot pepper kit this week after reading in several places that starting them two weeks earlier than recommended works out very well.

I planted the Sage Cutting I started a week or so ago. Mom's ivy plant decided to insert itself into the picture, despite the fact that I'm planning to photograph it next week for GTS. I guess it's impatient.
Last but not least, my Mom's Christmas Cactus has a bud:
Happy GTS


Comment Notifications Went To Spam!?!

Ever since I changed my comments to unmoderated I've had trouble keeping up with them. I have trained myself to check my e-mail for the notification from blogger. I have the account set up so that the mail goes to Thunderbird and I don't have to log in all the time. Well, I don't get the spam folder in Thunderbird and all the comments have been going to my spam folder for some reason.

Sorry for not responding to comments, I haven't been ignoring them! I think I'm caught up now, but I'll double check tomorrow.


GTS Photos for 2-18-08

Green Thumb Sunday

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday; visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

I forgot about GTS yesterday, which turned out to be a good thing. Overnight it rained and melted the snow. I found two snowdrops, a hyacinth, and some garlic. Unfortunately the garlic is to small to photograph, and due to the wind snowdrop and hyacinth pictures are sort of fuzzy.
Happy belated GTS!


Seed Orders, Books, & Storms

Mom and I have finally decided what seeds we want to order. Now we just have to order them. We went from the pile on the left with everything we thought we wanted to the pile on the right with what we really wanted. The top list is what we're ordering, and the bottom list is next years wish list.

I found this book at the library. It's been interesting to read. It was written in 1989, and some of the advice seems a little odd to me. For example, the author recommends growing hybrids instead of heirlooms because hybrids are bred to grow faster. While this is true, I'm sure there are plenty of fast-growing heirloom seeds available. Anyway, I'm interested in growing tomatoes inside, along with salad greens, and a few herbs.
Not exactly garden related, but we had another storm on Sunday that was the cause of this 36 car pileup. One person was killed and 24 were injured. I'm glad I wasn't out there. The wind chill was below zero. I was coming home from church, got stuck in the driveway, and had to shovel some snow. I didn't do much, but by the time I got done and parked my car in the garage my hands were red, cold, and numb - and I was wearing my thinsulate gloves, too! Thankfully temperatures are rising, and the wind chill is 11ºF, instead of somewhere below zero. Maybe my grandparents will bring back some sunshine and 80º weather when they get back from their cruise. I'll settle for 60º, though.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day - February

I'm a day late with my GBBD post, however, I did take the pictures yesterday. They just didn't make it to the computer. I don't have anything that's got flowers, so I decided to share some houseplants.
This is my catnip. Mom painted the pot for me - didn't she do a good job? This used to be near the edge of the plant bench, but Callie Cat decided that since I give her a leaf every once in a while, she could help herself whenever she wanted. So I moved it to the back where she hopefully won't get into it.
This is some Lemon Balm I started from Mom's plant. Her plant wasn't doing to well, so I decided to start another plant in case hers dies. It's doing well, although maybe I should have put it in the basement or garage for the winter to give it a dormant period.
I also took a cutting from our Pineapple Sage. It has rooted very quickly, and should be ready for potting up in a few days.
Happy bloom day!


Garden Bloggers Geography Project

Jodi at bloomingwriter started this project to find out where in the world garden bloggers are and what's special about our communities.I live in Rochester, NY, and garden in zone 5. Some fun garden-related events are:
  1. GardenScape. My Grandma and I have been going for a few years. It takes place at the Dome Center, about a 10-minute drive from my house. They have a large arena that is turned into a huge garden. Vendors set up amazing flower arrangements, and it's a great opportunity to find new plants to grow. Last year they even had a waterfall. After you've looked at all the garden displays, you go over to Minett Hall where you can buy plants (Orchids, Cacti, Bamboo, and African Violets, to name a few), garden tools, seeds, jewelry, pictures, stepping stones, and tons of other stuff. There's even a booth just for kids to make projects. And, if you have a lot of money to spend, you could buy a greenhouse or swing set. This is one event I do not want to miss!
  2. The Genesee Region Orchid Society Show and Sale. This event is held downtown at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. It takes a bit longer to get there, but is well worth the drive. I've been going for two years, and done a lot of studying about orchids in between. This year I might even buy one. The first room is full of orchid displays by local growers. The displays are judged the day before and awards are given. There are usually a few workshops about orchid care. After you finish looking at all the orchids, you can go downstairs where local growers sell orchids. There are orchids in bloom, orchids almost ready to bloom, orchids that have just been started, and orchids that smell like chocolate. Some people sell potting mix for orchids, and books on how to grow them. A wonderful event for anyone who likes orchids.
  3. The Lilac Festival. Since the lilac is the official State Bush, it's only fitting to have an annual festival. The local news stations give reports on how well the lilacs are blooming, to help you decide the best time to go. There are musical performances, an arts and crafts show, a parade, events for kids, and even a lilac queen. Last year Martha Stewart came to the festival. It's been a few years since I've gone, but I'm hoping to go this year.
  4. Tinker Nature Park. They have lovely walking trails, and have restored the Tinker homestead. It is also the location of the Hansen Nature Center. They have many fun activities throughout the year.
Some things I would like to do, but haven't:
  • Visit the Butterfly Garden at the Strong Museum; the only year-round indoor butterfly garden in upstate New York.
  • Visit a local farmer's market. I've been reading about these on other blogs, and would love to find one. The only one I currently know of is in a bad part of town. There might be one in Chili, however I need to research some more.
Things to do that are not related to gardening:
  1. Visit the museums mentioned above
  2. Go to the beach - we are right on the edge of lake Ontario, and very close to Charlotte Beach
  3. Visit the Erie Canal. There's a plaza in Pittsford with some wonderful shops and restaurants. You could also go for a cruise on the Sam Patch, ride your bike along the canal, or feed the geese. (Sorry, it's not tuppence a bag anymore.)
  4. Visit the Susan B. Anthony House.
  5. Visit the George Eastman House.
  6. If you like the arts, We have the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Geva Theatre, among other things.
  7. Visit the Seneca Park Zoo. We have 15 of the species survival plan program species at the zoo. (There's a list here.)
These are just a few of the things you can do in Rochester. Rochester has an amazing history. Kodak's corporate headquarters are located here, Frank Lloyd Wright built a house downtown, and Fredrick Douglass started his abolitionist newspaper here, and his house became an underground railroad stop.

If you're ever in Rochester, be sure to check out some of the things I've mentioned.


Blog Makeover Complete (I Hope)

I think I'm done tweaking my blog. This afternoon I decided I wanted 3 columns and made the changes. If anyone is interested, I used the guide here. They also have directions for changing other blogger templates.
I also updated my blogroll. These are some of my favorite blogs to read.

The one thing I would like to change is the second line, below my countdown. I couldn't find where to insert it as html, and put it in as a picture.
Can anyone tell me where to put it in the html?


Green Thumb Sunday 2-10-08

Green Thumb Sunday

Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday; visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

Remember when I was freezing my tomatoes? Well I finally made sauce out of them! I completely forgot about the recipe I was going to try, and just threw herbs into the stock pot. I didn't puree it as much this time, so it's more like marinara sauce.
These are some rose campion plants that I started from seed quite a while ago. I'm planning to plant them this spring.
Happy GTS~


I Voted Today; Did You?

This is a garden blog, and I have no desire to start any political discussions, but today was 'Super Tuesday' and I wanted to encourage people to vote. If your state has not yet voted, please go to the polls and vote when it's your turn.
I especially want to encourage the young people - I've heard that a lot of you don't vote. Your vote is important. Every vote is important. I believe that one of the best ways to bring about change is to exercise my constitutional right to vote.
As I stated above, this is a garden blog, and I don't want to start any political arguments. I'm going to stop there so that I hopefully won't start any arguments.



Blog Makeover

I'm going to be changing the look of my blog in the next day or so. If you have any trouble viewing my blog, please leave a comment, explain the problem, and tell me what browser you're using, and I will do my best to fix the problem.

Update~ Things seem to have gone pretty well. I'm having trouble with the second bar in the header. I couldn't figure out where to insert it in the html, so I added it as a page element. Can anyone tell me where to put it in html and/or how to line them up??

Green Thumb Sunday 2-3-08

Green Thumb Sunday
Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday; visit As the Garden Grows for more information.

I re-potted some plants this week. They weren't doing well, due to over watering. I read that Aloe likes wide, shallow pots, so I put some styrofoam packing peanuts in the bottom of the pot to aid with drainage and take up some extra space. The Mother-In-Law's Tongue needed a few leaves removed, along with some rotten roots.
Happy GTS!