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Seeds of happiness! Joyful planning for spring!

Angela Weaver Flowers Gardening Herbs Preserving

Cold rain and snow and a generous measure of wind to bring in March like a lion are the forecast for today and more this week in Ohio!  Thankfully, the mail brought more seeds for the vegetable, herb and cut flower gardens so it makes the blustery weather seem more bearable!  Ah garden therapy!  Planning for summer blooms in the remaining cold days of winter is a joyful thing to do!  

I was quite excited to receive those beautiful packets of possibilities and hurried to get out my earlier orders so I could spread them all out on the kitchen table near the sliding doors and admire them all while at the same time seeing the wind and rain blowing around outside... my own little way of feeling hopeful and joyous in spite of the weather!  Truthfully, I really didn't think I had a lot of seeds until my husband's reaction made it clear he was concerned where I planned to put them all!  Between our family vegetable garden and a modest expansion for the new fresh cut herb and flower bed, I was able to assure him it wasn't as bad as he thought!  They're small seed packets after all, I told him...

Really, if anything, I only went a bit overboard ordering pumpkin seeds... five pumpkin varieties in pink, white, blue, orange and brown for all colors may mean that a pumpkin patch of their own would be a good idea!  And since all of them are edible varieties known for good flavor, not only will we have plenty of beautiful varieties for display but we will also have plenty of scrumptious pumpkin pulp to use for pies, muffins, soup and so much more this year!  Is there a bad time of year to be wanting pumpkin spice and pumpkin??  I'm looking forward to growing these varieties and taste-testing them too:  Casper (white), Jarrahdale (blue), Moranga (pink), Musquee de Provence (brown orange), and New England Sugar Pie (orange) this year!  Hopefully 2017 is a productive pumpkin season here in Northeast Ohio!

I am also ready to be able to start tilling up the cut flower and herb garden too as soon as the weather permits!  (Rather, I should say I'm ready for my husband to till it up!)  So many herbs and flower varieties that I've been wanting to plant and grow for quite awhile now I'll be able to put into this garden!  For a complete list of the plants and varieties going in this year, check out my Pinterest board of 2017 Garden Plans: vegetables, herbs and flowers.  Herbs can be rather rambunctious and have a habit of not staying in their space and invading their neighbors which was the main reason that my elaborate vision of a proper herb garden kept getting pushed back from year to year.  Knowing my limitations and that maintaining a prim and proper herb garden would likely be more work than I was willing to give to the project, the idea morphed into a more realistic decision just to plant the herbs in rows like a vegetable garden where the invaders could be rototilled under and brought back into conformity without as much toil and trouble.  While I know this is a far better plan, I'm still a little forlorn over the dying vision of what was a quite a stunning herb garden in my mind!  I'm sure that rows of easily maintained fragrant herbs and beautiful edible flowers will be enough to make me give up the dream... for awhile anyways!

As eager as I am to begin playing in the dirt, there is plenty of work to be done until the weather cooperates a bit more.  The chicken coop could use a good cleaning and that will make for some good organic compost to spread over top of the new garden site and let it sit for a bit until it can be mixed in.  And the offerings from our pet rabbits have been layered onto the vegetable garden throughout the winter and are a great all natural fertilizer too!  Plus, inside I still have to finalize the garden layout on paper and decide what seeds will need to be started ahead of time and which ones will just be sown directly into the garden when the time is right...  If I was better at starting seeds on my own, I'd start most of them so they would be healthy little plants and have a jump start on the way to blooming when they were planted, but in the past my seedlings have turned out thin and spindly since I haven't created a good space to start them with proper temperature control and lighting!  I may attempt a tray or two again anyways just to see if I can create a more suitable environment to start them! Thankfully, for the seeds that need starting early that I don't want to leave to chance and my inexperience in seed starting success (ie. all the tomatoes, peppers, and the new purple tomatillos I couldn't resist!) these will be heading to our friends at Klettlinger Greenhouse where Dan and Kate are pros and sprouting big, healthy plants!   Good to have a reliable place to know they're going to be well taken care of and come back ready for planting in the new garden!

So, I guess I should be enjoying these last winter days without weeding and yard work waiting to be done, but who cannot be excited about the coming spring and longer and warmer days?!  I am reminded that to everything there is a season and it will be here soon enough.  For now I'll enjoy excitement of the endless possibilities of what is to come and keep working day by day to plant the vision. May the seeds we plant bloom beautifully...  


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