Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday's Whimsy~Waiting for Spring!


Like so many other people I'm anticipating Spring! It's been a long, dark dreary wet winter and I'm just over the gloomies. I've begun thinking about what I want to plant and where I want to put things. We rent our home and I don't have an actual garden bed, so I do the container gardening thing. It's very difficult for me to actually get down on the ground and because of that, I work very hard to create a garden oasis on our front deck.

Coming from Arizona where I lived all my life, there was never an opportunity or even a desire to plant anything. Sand, temperatures well over 100 by May and a very different lifestyle just didn't even cause gardening to cross my mind. However, in the past 15 years, there has been a huge change in my life, new experiences and challenges. And each year I've planted something new ... some with better luck at survival than others. It's a learning experience for me.

I don't have even the basic knowledge to start the planting sequence from seeds. Either I don't have the patience or I honestly don't know how to get seeds to grow. I'm going with the last, I don't know how to grow seeds. A great example of this is the Lily of the Valley pips I planted in the fall of 2014, in the place I felt was perfect after all the research was finished. You guessed it, no Lily of the Valley ... not even a small sliver of a leaf has appeared.

The biggest change is going to be the way I do the actual planting. Last year, I had some containers and pots that had been given to me or I picked up pretty inexpensively. they were resin or plastic. This year everything is going to be planted in clay pots. Yes, I have researched the pros and cons of planting in terra cotta, I know I'll have to water more often and I also know they won't stand up to winter temps. I "like" the look of clay posts, to me, it just seems more homey and comfortable.

This year, I want to figure out a way to reduce the mosquito problem we have had every year since we moved to NC. Doesn't matter where we live, the time spent outside is limited because they seem to find me no matter where I am. It's my blood type. Anyway, I've found a covering/carpet/rug for the flooring of the deck. It's not too expensive and it can be rolled up at the end of the season and stored for next year. Since the mosquitoes seem to breed under the deck, I'm hoping by adding this to the citronella plants stationed strategically around the deck I will be able to reduce the attacks from little suckers.

There are also a number of herbs that not only look and smell great, can be and have been used in cooking and Witchy magic that also inhibit the mosquito problem. I LOVE Rosemary, Basil, Lavender, Marigolds and Garlic. I usually have those every year already. This year I'm adding Lemon Thyme, Lemon Balm (great tea) and Lemongrass. It is suggested to also plant Catnip, but there are a number of neighborhood cats that already come around my yard, I don't want anything else that might increase their visits. Seriously, I am NOT a cat person. I don't have cats, don't want cats and respect those who are cat people. They just aren't my cuppa tea.

My goal for this year is to have a small but enjoyable space we can spend time outside in. We took the large pool down and gave it to Tanya to put up at their new place and in that space in the back yard, Jimmy has talked about putting in a small paver patio. So many projects so many ideas ... finding the time to implement them is the biggest challenge. I also want to add more bark mulch to the existing rose beds and clean up the gardenia bushes. Small, little, tiny steps, Vickie. It will happen, just go slowly and be patient ... *sigh*