Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Finally Winter!

We have snow here, as we should in a Connecticut December. It's snowed a couple of times already, and though today is warm, we should be showered in snow twice this week. So it's time for some winter gardening chores.

* If you have pots of perennials or woodies that didn't get into the ground last autumn, tip them onto their sides; don't leave them standing up. This is a technique my great gardening buddy Paul Young taught me. It prevents the roots from rotting in the inevitable freeze-thaw cycle that the next few months will bring.

* Keep up with your cuttings. Water at least once a week, and watch for signs they need to be repotted. I take coleus cuttings each autumn, and repot at least twice during the cold months, depending on how large I want my potted plants to be when I set them out in late May or early June.

* Start a new gardening diary in January. That's where to assemble a wish list of new plants, seeds, shrubs etc, for 2010, and where to list ways to ease your chores this coming season.

Happy New Gardening Year! The days are growing incrementally longer and before we know it, a new gardening cycle will start.

Friday, December 4, 2009

'Tis a too-warm autumn

Is this going to be another winter like the one several years ago when the hellebores bloomed in January? I'm fearful. There aren't many years when I haven't started the winter compost, put in the pond de-icer or started the birdbath warmer by now. And I know, 'cause I keep copious notes on all things gardening in my yard, and have for nigh onto 30 years.

Spring comes 8 hours earlier every year, the pundits say, and it's borne out by my records.

While it's nice to have these johnny-jump-ups in my yard in December, as well as the salvia 'Victoria' still in bloom and the 'Knockout' roses in the backyard garden, their presence makes me worry what we've done to the planet.