Friday, March 31, 2017

New Month, New Beginning

"A gush of bird-song, a patter of dew,
  A cloud, and a rainbow's warning,
  Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue--
  An April day in the morning."
                              ~ Harriet Prescott Spofford

There's an energy about April.  She's breezy, blossoming,  
and budding. We appreciate her gorgeous colors of Spring
and feel rejuvenated with the extra daylight and the fresh
warming air.

No doubt April gets us outdoors; shucking our heavy outer-
wear we explore our yards. We notice the shoots and sprouts 
of  new growth, and begin planning for that garden or flower
bed. We are encouraged to walk or jog, clean out our garages,
even open the windows for a little fresh air.

We can expect the unexpected with April, she's challenging 
and changing. Gifted with beautiful weather one day, the next 
we will be expecting a frost or freeze. April prepares us and 
renews us. Her seasonal position between the old and the new
gives us a promise.... nature's cycle of death and rebirth will
continue. It is never more visible than during this month of 
spring, April's gift.

April brings us:
* April Fools' Day
* National Garden Month
* National Poetry Month
* Autism Awareness
* Easter
* Earth Day
*Arbor Day

Have a great month. Open yourselves to new possibilities!

Visit me on Instagram  dianarn2627

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring's Arrival & A Field Trip

Ok so it didn't come off quite like we expected. Spring's first
day brought us rain, rain and more rain, some wicked sounding 
thunder, and wind with temperatures quite chilly. Just a bit
disappointed, but remember February when we saw temps in
the high 60's? Patterns people, weather patterns. Right now
we have a system giving us cold air but only hanging around
for a few days. It goes back north and then we see warmer
temperatures and some sun. So we're on an upswing, and 
we'll travel around this winding meteorological road until the
the weather settles into a familiar pattern. For all gardeners,
remember your last freeze/frost dates! For my area, it's
May 19th. 

I love the spring.
For every day there's something new
that's come to stay.
Another bud
another bird
another blade
the sun has stirred.

Now about that field trip. I traveled today to a favorite garden
center, and had a fabulous time. Today
was the start of the Perennial Madness sale, check it out on the website. 

Stroll through the greenhouses, view the growing flowers, house-
plants, succulents and so much more. Like garden art, fountains,
sculptures, and fairy gardens? Visit the gift shop and you'll find
all things garden. Especially fun to see is what they can do with
vintage pieces like old radios, a bubblegum machine, and how
about a tea pot. It's amazing and fun. Below are a few examples 
of the fun items they are potting up. 

It was an awesome day, I made some purchases, and asked several 
garden/pruning questions. I was rejuvenated and now I'm excited
to get down and dirty in my own garden. 

Thanks for stopping by...
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

It's Time For Some Yard Work

While there may have been a spring forward, I believe we've 
taken a fall backward. It never pays to trust March. She's 
deceiving. Here's what we do know. March will pass. Our 
invitation of change comes next Monday with the first day
of Spring. It will be a day of balance, equal times of light and 
dark, leading us to our journey of longer daylight hours and
temperatures starting to gradually warmup.

With our steady progression through March what does this
mean for our gardens, flowers and lawns. Proceed with caution,
unless you're in a zone 8 and above it's best not to do any 
outdoor planting. An important *tip*.. know your zones for
growing, plant hardiness, and last frost dates. I'm in a zone
6, lower Ohio. If you're a seasoned gardener or just a flower
planter, preparation and planning is major. It's easy enough
to visit the garden centers and browse the garden catalogs.
Do you have a plan for your garden. Do you have raised beds
or a sectioned off area specific to your needs? Below are two
offerings for a sectioned garden. 
This is a simple plan I came up with for a Herb Garden.

Here is a wonderful Kitchen Garden plan done by Susan Branch,
noted author, blogger, and watercolorist. Read her amazing blog  and click the link Home Sweet Home
and go to How to-Kitchen Garden for the complete post.
Reprinted w/permission from Susan Branch (thank you)

The easiest and best thing you can do right now is maintenance and clean
up. With the mighty March winds, I'm been playing "pick up sticks" in
my yard. *Tip* make sure your yard is not overly wet or saturated. You'll
risk compaction of the soil, and do damage to the turf, allowing the weeds
to gain a foothold. *Tip* thought about pavers or small stepping-stones
as decorative access to your plants or the hoses? This would be an easy 
task to place them now. Ready your tools for gardening.. cleaning and
sharpening a must. Get the lawnmower ready. Leaf clutter is expected
with the winds. I'm always amazed by the yard debris when I do yard
maintenance. *Tip* clean-up around the early-bloomers and perennials
allows for water and air to get to the roots, and allows their beauty to 
show through. Prune now those disease-resistant rose bushes, fruit trees 
and berry bushes. I get a lot of questions about hydrangeas and when to  
prune. *Tip* only prune now those hydrangea that produce blooms on 
new growth, like the Limelight variety. *Tip* if you're still not sure about 
other specific flowering bushes, just Google the name of the plant and ask 
when to prune. You can even find videos to help. Prune what you're 
familiar with. *Tip* from here on out, whenever you purchase any plant 
item, save the tag that gives you specific info on how to care for the plant. 
Keep them in a garden journal or large plastic jar for future reference.
Whew!! I think I've given you enough to begin on your path to sprucing 
up your yard for the next couple weeks. Doing a little now will help 
ease that transition into Spring.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Nature's Next Step

"Springtime is the land awakening.
The March winds are the morning yawn."

I may be jumping the gun a little bit. I'm seeing the signs.
I'm just saying….
I saw two ducks (they were a couple ) in the creek this morning 
and I'm hearing birds singing their sweet notes. Check out my
instagram @dianarn2627 to hear a few notes from a red-winged
blackbird, and to see the ducks swimming happily up the creek. 
Delightful. Have you noticed a few more robins around? They 
are a traditional harbinger of spring. Noticing tree buds, just a 
few, grasses greening up and more rainy mornings. Crocus are 
showing their flower heads and sending out many shoots, and 
the tulip and daffodil leaves are up and rising. My husband 
delights in telling me daily when the sun sets, (as in the days are
getting longer), I try to feign interest (insert smile), but he's right 
by March 31st, sunset will be 7:00 pm. Yes to the sunlight! When 
I see the pussy willows and their puffy flowers (catkins) and hear 
the spring peepers (the chirping tree frogs), I'll know for sure 
spring has arrived. Won't be long.
I'm just saying

Just some March tidbits:
*March was named for the Roman god "Mars."
*March is Red Cross Month (donate blood, take a course).
*Ash Wednesday, ( Lenton season) starts March 1st.
*Daylight Saving Time Begins March 12th.
*St. Patrick's Day (wear some green) March 17th.
*First Day of Spring, March 20th (vernal equinox).

Winds of March, we welcome you,
       There is work for you to do.
Work and play and blow all day,
        Blow the winter cold away.
                                           unknown author

Will the warm temps of February continue? 
March has entered this morning, "in like a lion," with heavy
rain storms, announcing its arrival with gusts of wind roaring
mightly against the windows. I'd say it's making a statement.
Watch the signs of nature.
I'm just saying… 

Thanks for stopping by.
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