Friday, February 27, 2009

Blast of Snow

The snowstorm last night dumped six inches of heavy snow. This hung on the trees and weighed down the evergreen branches. While I am ready for spring, I cannot deny that this created a beautiful landscape.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Winter sowing

It is still winter here in Minnesota. In fact, we just go another 4 inches of snow this weekend. I want to start seeds, but indoor planting are still a couple of weeks away.
So I thought I would try my hand at winter sowing. If this works well this method might just solve my limited space for sowing seeds indoors. We had a couple of empty containers, which are turned into mini greenhouses. I planted the following perennials, Blazing Stars, Dianthus, Red Star Columbine, Red Hot Pokers, Bell flowers and Larkspur. I will let you know how this works out.

Mar 3 UPDATE: I WS'ed two more containers- a milk jug with William Guinness Columbine and a 2 liter with Allium. Both were seeds which I had collected.

Monday, February 23, 2009


While hitting a box store this weekend, I found a cyclamen left over from Valentines sale. I could not resist adding it to my indoor plant collection for a mere two dollars. It had a couple yellowing leaves, probably from not being watered in awhile. A blue pot and some water and it was good to go.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Evergreen Propagation

I am trying my hand at evergreen propagation. These are cuttings from several different shrubs in our landscape. They were taken about a week ago. I stripped off the bottom leaves, dipped the ends in water, and then rooting hormone. They were then placed in a damp mixture of coir and perlite. Let's hope they root and I get more plants.

UPDATE: This did not work at all! Not sure what I did wrong?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Forcing lilacs

A couple of weeks ago when the weather was above freezing, Thorny guy trimmed the lilacs and brought in several branches for forcing. The buds have broken and we are seeing green. Lets hope for some flowers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wandering Jew Propagation

This Wandering Jew plant is starting to get tired and leggy, so I took some cuttings. In my experience, this is the easiest plant to propagate.

Just take a 2-3 inch piece, strip off all leaves except the top two and stick in water. In about a week or two you should see roots. After that pot them up.

I like to use Wandering Jew in my containers on the deck. They add a nice contrasting color and are a great trailer. I was amazed to see one in flower at the US botanical garden. It had the tiniest purple flowers. Mine have never flowered, but I do neglect them more than other house plants, so it is no surprise.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A snowy welcome home

After being spoiled by Maryland's sunny weather, I got a Minnesota welcome home. Last night another inch of snow covered the landscape.

In Maryland, snowdrops and crocuses flowers dotted the lawns. Pussy willows were in bud. We also hit the US botanical gardens, where I got my fill of spring bulbs and orchids in bloom. Just enough of a taste of spring to appreciate the white landscape and get through the Minnesota winter.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Barn chickens

On warm weekends, the chickens are let out to explore the barn. They are terrified of the snow and don't venture far. They do like their barn time though. They run and fly around, peck at treats and dirt. They also enjoy sun and dust bathing in the gravel.

It seems like they are keeping up their spirits though the winter, perhaps better than I am. I can not imagine how excited they will be when spring finally rolls around.

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