TGIF – for some

TGIF – for some people.  Since I work in retail, eh, not so much.

Decisions are in progress, I guess.  I believe that I will be continuing with my education and I will be going on to get a Masters Degree in Business with a concentration in Entrepreurship.  Exciting and very scary but I’ve had some great support in making the decision to keep going and considering I may never have another opportunity like this I’m going for it.

Decision number two – for now, we are not moving anywhere.  We are planning a trip to Arizona in the near future.  Our family is in WI, the kids like it here and honestly… so do we.  An idea we have is to possibly spend time there in the lovely winter months.  That will be somewhere in the future though.  For now, school, kids, work, building my business, life, love and all that good stuff.

Plant and seed catalogs have starting arriving and I have been dreaming and drooling over all the pretties.  I may do a bit of winter sowing to start with but I also have about 3 other projects around the house to finish.  A woman’s work is never done.  🙂

For now… a look back at previous gardens to give us something to look forward to.

Macro Monday – Summer Revisited

 

 

 

 

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It’s Macro Monday and I’ve been missing summertime so much, I’ve decided to revisit it.  This little fella is busy pollinating some of my Giant Hyssop flowers.   I’m looking forward to seeing them again this year.

On another note, I’ve opened a new shop on Storenvy.  I sell many of the same items that are currently available in my Etsy Shop  but I’ve also added some of my older items that I no longer create.  I’ve got oodles and oodles of handcrafted jewelry, crocheted and sewn items that are just sitting around longing for a new home.  So far, I’ve added some of my jewelry …. and I’ve DEEPLY discounted it simply because it just needs to go!  Too much stuff, not enough space.  That sort of thing.  So, if you’re looking for some inexpensive handmade jewelry, (or seeds… always seeds ) ,  please visit my new shop.  I’m running a Grand Opening sale too!  I’m offering 25% off your purchase if you use code ‘gosale’ for a limited time.

Thanks for reading – I’ve been rather muddle-minded when it comes to blogging lately and I apologize for my absence.  Hugs to all!  

The Garden So Far

A few photos of how my garden is looking so far.  Been a very busy spring and so far it hasn’t been very warm but we’ve had lots of rain. These photos were taken a couple of weeks ago… toward the end of May.  Since then,  beans and corn have been planted.  Radishes and carrots are growing nicely and I’ve harvested some tasty radishes for lunch.  Today I put in some cabbage, watermelon, cantaloupe and tomato plants.

Blue Potato plants
Blue Potato plants
Cauliflower and Broccoli plants
Cauliflower and Broccoli plants
One of the ladders I have set up for climbing beans.
One of the ladders I have set up for climbing beans.
Onions
Onions
Yellow Potatoes
Yellow Potatoes

Lemon Bars and Little Sprouts

Just finished a batch of gooey lemon bars.  Perfect dessert when you’re wishing for Spring!

Lemon Bars

1 stick butter, softened
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1 C. + 2-1/2 TB. flour
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 C. lemon juice
 
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease 8×8 inch square pan.  In a medium bowl, with wooden spoon,, beat butter and powdered sugar til combined.  Add 1 C. flour and stir til blended.  Pat evenly into bottom of pan.  Bake crust 20 minutes.  In bowl, combine granulated sugar, remaining flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, lemon zest and juice.  Whisk til smooth.  Pour over crust.  Bake 20-25 minutes or til top is firm to the touch.  Remove to wire rack to cool completely.  Dust lightly with more powdered sugar.  Remove from pan and cut into squares.  Makes approx 16 bars.
And… I’ve got little sprouts everywhere!  Starting my plants under lights (peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, hostas, garlic chives and more.  Here’s a couple pics of a little hot pepper and some broccoli babies.

 

Wintersowing and Me

Here’s how I do it….

First you need to do a little research to find out what type of seeds you can wintersow.  If you take a look around www.wintersown.org, Trudi has made lists of seeds for specific zones to use as guidelines.  My method is, “if it’s a perennial, biennial or hardy self-seeding annual in MY zone… I’m going to wintersow it”.  Simple as that.  But everyone’s a little different so  do your research to see what will work for you.

 

First…got my area prepped.  Box of seeds for WS’ing ready.  Permanant markers to mark my containers. Check.  Basin of water. Check.  Basin to hold my mess in with newspaper underneath.  Check (although I know I’m going to make a mess anyway!) Bucket of soil.  Yup.

Get your containers ready.  I use just about any plastic container I can find and cut up but I prefer to use milk jugs, plastic water bottles and pop bottles.  Wash them good. (if using water, milk or pop jugs…throw out the caps.  You don’t need them)  Next, cut them in half with a serated kitchen knife or scissors…whatever works best for you.  Now cut slits in the bottoms of them for drainage.   If using containers like sour cream containers or butter, toss the lids.  You’ll need to cover those with plastic wrap or lg baggies.

Label your containers (unless you like surprises)  I usually label mine in a couple different places…like the side and the bottom just in case some of the lettering fades.  In this case, I’m going to seed a couple of containers of Rudbeckia (black-eyed-susans) “Irish Eyes”.  I also dated these…can’t remember why tho.

Put approx 3″ worth of soil into the containers.  Any less than this will not promote good root growth.  Set your jugs into your ‘mess tray’ and soak the soil really well.   Setting them into the ‘mess tray’ helps them drain also.

Sow your seeds.  I’ve basically thrown these  right on top of the soil and I will press these down into the dirt just a little bit.  Do your research for your particular type of seeds you’re going to sow.  Some seeds need light to germinate and some need to be in the dirt a little further.  The amount of seeds you throw in also depends on the type of seeds you’re sowing and how much YOU want to thin the clumps in the spring.  I’m usually pretty generous with my sowing. 

Snuggle the lid on.  Sometimes I have a bit of trouble getting that lid back on… so I’ll cut a 1-2″ slit in the side to get it to slip back on. (or back IN to the bottom part of the container)  Now we’re just about ready to throw these outside.  (don’t really throw them!)

Got this tray ready to go outside.  Added a couple more containers of BES seeds…think those were “Indian Summer” or something like that. 

Pick a nice place for them to sit during the rest of the winter.   Can you see them?  When I took this picture we had about 6″ of snow so they’re really snuggled in there.  Now…  I actually can’t see them at all because we’ve gotten another 12″ of snow since then.  Which is OK.  The snow on top and dripping into the containers is good!  They need the moisture during the winter.  If it starts to get a little dry where they’re sitting, I’ll usually find some more snow and just throw it on top of them.

  I chose the north side of the house at the edge of the woods.  If you put your little ‘greenhouses’ on the south or east side of your home, they can become too warm in early spring and then sprout too early…so choose someplace on the north side or someplace with just a little shade.  When Spring arrives, your little seeds will sprout at just the right time and you’ll have oodles and oodles of new plants for your garden.   When it gets consistantly warm, take their tops off and treat them as you would any transplant.  Easy as pie!

OK… I’ve covered the wintersowing and now for ME.  😉  I landed a job at a large nursery nearby!  Starting in March, I will be working at Prairie Nursery in Westfield, WI.  Very exciting!  Check out their website if you get a minute.

http://prairienursery.com

And Winter Sowing Begins

Yesterday I started winter sowing my seeds.  It’s been a couple of years since I’ve sown seeds this way and I really can tell that I missed how easy it is to do.  

Anyway, because the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, it’s the perfect time for me to get some seeds started.  Yesterday I planted 19 containers of seeds.  All perennials but there are a couple that are “iffy” for zone 4….but we’ll see how they go.  This is a great way to save A LOT of money on plants that you would otherwise have to buy at the garden center, plus it’s an excellent way to recycle plastic containers.  The only money I have invested so far is the soil I bought at the hardware store.  (and on that note….. why is it that so many retail stores “hide” their potting soil over the winter.  Do they think that just because it’s cold, no one needs soil?  What about people with houseplants?)

Here’s the varieties so far:

(numbers are for my record keeping)

Gaillardia (2)

Sweet William (3)

Fountain Grass – Pennisetum (2)

Giant Purple Hyssop (1)

Blue Balloon Flower (2)

Coneflowers – purple (2)

Bee Balm – red (2)

Achillea Ptarmica – “The Pearl” (2)

Aclepias Tuberosa (3)

We started saving plastic soda and water bottles and unfortunately….. I used them all up already.  I found some old plastic planting pots by my shed and I’m going to devise a cover for them using some plastic.  My only real concern is the critters in the woods getting into the containers but it’s a chance I’ll have to take.  I’ve got my 19 little containers sitting in back, nestled in the snow and waiting for Spring.

I’ve also jumped back into the Garden Web scene.  Right now I’m doing a little trading and finding some great seeds for my yard.  After they’ve grown and produced…then I’ll have more to share with others too.

If you’re interested in learning more about winter sowing, visit this website:  http://wintersown.org