Seeds Seeds Seeds! Check out these guys!

 

Aero.jpg
Grow my pretties…. and become pesto!

 

So it’s a weird, yoyo winter. Some days are filled with a foot of snow. Blink, and it’s all melted away. Rinse and repeat. My least favorite time of year, and I don’t even care that my birthday is in a few weeks. (and besides, I probably won’t be here to celebrate it with a cake till after I return from my tropical escape). But that doesn’t mean I can’t do some fun things around the house and dreaming. The thing about winter is it seems like time slows right down. Which is good, I think. I can take the time to read my winter reading queue, play some video games, and gaze longingly through my seed catalogs. But I have seeds now. And I hate that I don’t have any herbs right now. Just some limp things hanging out in the fridge. So I dragged out ye olde Aerogarden. I started my seeds in this little guy back in early January, so today is a bit of a progress of what’s come up so far. I love fresh basil, so it’s basically my tender herb garden.

I’m fascinated with the idea of “space food” (or what I believe to be space food, things grown hydropnically, like this really cool plant tower of hydroponically grown food). But I cautiously don’t believe it works for an Aerogarden, as my tomatoes kept tumbling down and breaking due to lack of space. Every year I try a new type of seed to see how it does in an Aerogarden, and I always come back to “just herbs is ideal.” However, I’d love to try a larger model later down the road, or even a hydroponic grow tower, like this awesome Nutritower! This time around, I’m growing mostly basil (because supermarket stuff is either limp in a package or very unhappy in a pot), Cilantro and Parsley. Gotta have my mains! And I hate buying things that just go icky in the fridge after using once.

The other thing I’m looking for is SEEDS! After not having them for a few years, there is a cry for Carbon Tomatoes, which inspired the seed hunt. So after having found a supplier for these, now I go for the hunt for oddball and tropical seeds, since my business’ backbone is based on unusual tropical acquisitions. I know there are some who play it safe and just stick to the seed racks that they know in grocery or garden shops, but if you venture out to the catalog or website world of seeds, you can find yourself completely dazzled by options in terms of color and variety that you would otherwise never have thought of.

I’ve done a lot of online shopping in my early and current horticultural career, so I’ll recommend a few good places where you can get reliable seeds that will ship.

http://seedrack.com/ – I always have special feelings for this site, as it was my first seed shopping online experience. Lots of really neat tree seeds! I’ve gotten ginkgo seeds as well as other tropical seeds. Some of these seeds you should ensure that you have ideal conditions for germination. This year I will be ordering some carnivorous and cacti/succulent seeds.

Veseys – Oh, what a bounty of beautiful seeds and plants! The majority of my seed selection last year came from Veseys. There is nothing better to do on a winter day than sit by the window with a tea and circle your choices from the catalog. They offer good rates on shipping if you order larger quantities too. I often buddy up my orders with friends so we can get better deals.

Tradewinds – Another really fun website to browse. Though if you see something you want, get it immediately, because they sell out of their neat stuff really quickly. I had an overwhelming success with my Jacaranda seeds that I purchased here as well as my Adeniums. This year I grabbed some Brunfelsia and Hylocereus seeds.

I can’t forget to mention Annapolis Seeds. What an exceptional local seed seller! I’ve bought so many tomato seeds from these people as well as had a tour of their farm. A huge selection of tomato, veggie and grain seeds, and they have also signed the Safe Seed Pledge! Check ’em out, either online or in Nova Scotia garden centers.

Halifax Seed is another really good selection of seeds. Honestly, I just wait till I get to Halifax and just browse their shop. I could spend a good afternoon in there.

These are my go-to favorites for seed sellers. Check them out, I’ve always had a pleasant experience with all of these companies.  I do browse racks in department stores too, but I always crave the oddballs you can’t get easily in the big name racks in these stores. The scour has begun, and the orders go in when I get back home. And then it’s straight to tool maintenance and shop preparation. I’m making steady progress to hopefully sell more in 2017.

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My Big & Small Focuses for the year, and how to maintain focus on a big scale

Another year has passed. I apologize but I must say it. Although the garden was a better show this year than the last, my personal year sucked. I lost someone special to me, I succumbed to major bouts of depression and anxiety at Christmas time. But those feelings are beginning to slip away a little, and I feel that is due to the days becoming longer again. Every fall, as I see my daylight being robbed of me, I feel as though there is not enough to get accomplished. I need to figure out how to hone that and embrace the darkness as my time to retreat inward and plan. I know every summer, while sweating my butt off, I vow to NEVER be sad that I can’t be outside.. because I could finally come in and plan my upcoming moves.

I also took up running back in November. I took home my dad’s treadmill over the fall, and it helped me immensely with my stress. There is something about a run that burns through all the stress. I also lost a bit of fat, gained a bit more energy to get more done, and I don’t want to strangle people as much *smug grin*

But then Christmas comes. And then that gets put on the back burner again.

But now? Now is the time. I drink lots of tea. I think about what I want to do this year. And once I’m done that, we decide what we want to grow and eat.

It may be downsized next year, but this year I decided to focus a little harder on my property via Projects. I will have 3 large focuses, and 5 smaller projects.  This way I won’t flit mindlessly from one place to another without finishing something, however, the large focuses may not become complete this year, especially the circle. This is where I test if my husband is reading. I need your help, manimal! Everyone, ask Manimal how he’s doing as he helps me with my projects! 😉

MY BIG 3 Focuses:
1. Finish the Path to my shop – So that entails sowing seeds and planting the lavender for my lavender hedge on one side, and weeding, mulching and filling in (if needed) my rock garden/daylily bed. We also need to get a path laid over the sunbelt that has sat there for so long. This is a half finished area..but still possibly achievable. The good news is I found a somewhat affordable, easy to maintain option that we’ll be working on this summer, using concrete molds. The affordability of Geek/wish is a wonderful thing!

2. Begin cutting into the turning circle – This is probably going to be 2018’s big project to finish. But I have some shrubs to remove, small trees to fell, and plant a few things that I want to get a head start for next year (like my Pagoda dogwood). 2017 is the official year to begin that. I might even look into powering the area so I can get some nice lighting.

3. Have 2 raised beds built in the veggie garden – Raised beds are soooo much easier to tend. So I’ll be doing that. Hopefully a fresh start will get me ahead of the weeds too. They’re some nasty here. I say two, but I am very receptive to all of them being built. But we all know that money for soil doesn’t grow on trees. So I’ll only build what we can fill, and finish the others in 2018.

 

My 5 Smaller or ongoing minor Projects:

  1. Finish the garden around the deck. This one is almost done too actually. I just need to ensure everything planted will get along fine where it is, and if not, move them, or shuffle them over.
  2. Continue to collect rhododendrons for the forest and plant.
  3. Healing Deck garden (this will be something we will discuss as summer goes on. An Idea I had while spending some time in a hospital garden last fall. We also may be fixing up some of our decks this year. This is mostly going to be a research effort for now, but I think this is the right year to do this.
  4. Continue to poke around and attack the goutweed. Winning the war would be ideal but I’m only a cautious optimist.
  5. I want a path looping through the perimeter of the whole property to create a definite flow. I might explore my options and start a few paths this year. Maybe. Maybe not.

That’s what I’m hoping to get done this year…

The other thing I ask myself is “how can I maintain enough focus to try and give each garden area the attention it requires? How does one budget time in a large property full of gardens? It’s not bomb proof but I do it by breaking it into zones and devoting a week to each zone, but walk every zone every day. Don’t like it? Get rid of it. Run out of things to do in your zone that week? Find new things to change. Stare at it. Make plans. Divisions? Etc. That’s how I do it.  I also walk around either while taking notes in a notebook or jotting them down on my phone’s memo app. It requires a lot of discipline, but if you note all the things you want to do, or thoughts and feelings, it helps you to re-center your focus.

Next week is a break, I’ve got to do some work on the shop. When I’m back I will do a post about my winter tasks, seeds etc. And since it’s been a little mild the last few days, maybe I’ll see if I can cut away some grass in the turning circle. Hope you all had a happy new year, and I hope to have some photos to share next week.