A Welcome Guest in my Seedy Garden

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These are my babies—this year. I am rather proud of them, but I am not always the best mother to my seedlings. With so much going on, and with more kids coming through than ever, it is difficult to keep track of them all. I just hope that many of these can survive their time with me. I really mean to be a good plant mom, but sometimes, it’s so hard when you have so many. Ugh!
The grassy looking seedlings right above this caption are Freesia alba. I cannot wait for these guys to pull through and bloom for me.
My single Espelette Pepper from last winter produced spice and plenty of fertile seeds!
Recently I discovered my secondary asthma has worsened and this frustrates me daily but I am feeling better. Gardening has kept me so happy during the last 6 or 7 years though so I am using it as my secondary medicine and even if the seedlings mean more work, they are so cheerful I just cannot help myself. They need me as I need them.
Seeds: The ORIGINAL Earthmovers. 

(ASTHMA NOTE: You need neither wheezing nor a cough to have asthma though they are the most frequently listed symptoms. You can have a version similar to mine, where slowly, over time, your lungs swell.)

Yes, I grow grass for our cats. Once you rip out the lawn you need to keep them from wandering over to the neighbors’ yards, right?
With my health improving, I am finding that things are returning to normal, but I am significantly more tired from all of the recent garden and house activity. I just hope that my lack of energy and feeling better don’t combine to hurt the plants.

Pregnant Hellebore bloom. I am waiting to harvest the seeds for my ETSY store. They seem to take forever. 

Tonight, after walking the garden circle around the house—just as I was about to enter back into the house by way of the side door—I noticed Mona the cat acting strangely. Staring down at a moving object walking quickly along the ground, she didn’t even notice me as I hurried over to watch with her. I was amazed to find this rather large ground beetle. Mona was surprised too to say the least!

Sometimes we have to wonder where these things come from, but then we need to accept that we don’t need to know everything, and we must let these thoughts go. With my New American Garden design, I am not surprised I am attracting wildlife. When things are left to be part wild, and part planned, and you have plants everywhere, it really becomes a different place. And that different place, well, it takes ALL kinds and I mean all kinds.

In my own life and garden, I will accept that I am not always in control of anything, and that I cannot always do my best in either, and when the unexpected guest or surprise appears, I will stand near these things, watch their multiplicity, and I will take a deep breath to remind me how happy I am to be alive.

I will be the reed of grass humbly dancing in the wind—rather than the mighty oak that cannot withstand the barrage, falling to pieces.

So dance little seedlings and show me that you won’t break in the wind! How else will you begin to thrive if you cannot dance in the wind?

TO BE CONTINUED…

Wow! An Early Spring? Let’s Get Moving!!!

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This past week I purchased a few more houseplants to add to the other 100 or so. I wanted some foliage shock for some of the pictures I post with my vintage planters I sell online in my Etsy store. I think these two are perfect for that job. Don’t you? No one has asked me yet what they are, but I am sure someone will eventually. I am happy to promote houseplants in my store since so many people seem to be rediscovering what fun they can be!
Fittonia argyroneura ‘Red Vein’.
Begonia rex












Last fall when I attended one of the African Violet Society plant sales I bought some leaves too. The first time I bought some, I felt rather silly just purchasing a leaf in a baggie, but now that I have seen how easily they can take root and grow, I feel far less goofy about it. (They do take some time to grow though. This is about 3 or 4 months old.) I plugged in a light with a timer in the basement the the heater has kept them warm all winter. Doing this in a windowsill might not have been as successful in a 100-year-old house.
African Violet ‘Emerald Love’.
Episcia ‘La Soledad Bronze’.

Here is one of the terrarium plants I purchased last fall too. I used a large apple juice glass jug since it seems really difficult to find a big terrarium anywhere that can withstand an accident. With the foster kids running around I needed for it to be as safe as possible. This is an affordable terrarium too. I like it when I can show the kids things they can do with plants that don’t cost a lot.

Begonia partita.
Outside the garden is beginning to grow. I am afraid that if I don’t pay attention right now though, my house will be overrun. Last year I never got around to pruning what needed to be pruned and by the time I did, it was too late to do so. This year, I am going to get on it quickly, nipping it in the bud, so that our house will not be eaten. Since I plan to have more parties this summer, and I’d like to watch some movies out back, I will prune responsibly. Oh, how I cannot wait for warm summer nights!
Dianthus amurensis ‘Siberian Blues’.

This is my precious evergreen Himalayan maidenhair fern. They are difficult to find because they can only be reproduced through division. In zone 8 the make an amazing evergreen ground cover. I cannot wait for the plants I have to spread more.

Adiantum venustum.

A buttercup relative, this springtime harlot will be bursting forth with some waxy yellow blooms soon. After it blooms, all of the plant dies back until next spring but it is really quite shocking while it is up.

Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’.

Oh, what would I do without my Hellebores! They cheer everyone up at this time of the year.

Helleborus with Sword Fern Volunteer.
Helleborus.

This is the absolute best Sedum I have ever found for shade. It is great for covering up bulb foliage too as it dies back just so long as it is not Narcissus foliage.

Sedum makinoi ‘Ogon’.
Helleborus.
Yellow Helleborus.

Maurice the Cat says it all. Currently we have three cats in crisis. They think it is spring because of all of the sunshine we’ve had, and yet the cold outside is telling them otherwise. Having three cats nipping at your heels to go outside with them—like dogs!!—sounds strange, but so it is at this time of the year during a year like this. I am glad that I have them around to nudge me out though since I still am not feeling great.

Red-twigged alpine maple with Camellia ‘Yuletide’ bloom, Maurice the Cat in ecstasy believing spring is springing, and a great clump of Aspidistra.