Monday, May 30, 2016

Germinating Seeds

There's a problem with planting 9-year-old bean seeds--they don't germinate very well.

I am an inveterate saver of seeds, and sometimes the seeds are a few years old before i actually get them into the ground. Today i'm replacing them with 6-year-old bean seeds that i've soaked in water for 24 hours. Hmmm. Wonder how they will do?

I love green beans, and i especially love these thin French filet beans. The time for planting seeds of kindness is now. Don't delay!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Protecting Our Seedlings

Yay! It's going to rain this afternoon. Quick! Do some transplanting!

I am transplanting little broccoli and kale seedlings. And, due to my previous experience with those voracious voles, i'm putting a milk carton "collar" around each seedling to protect it from the vole vandals.

When we are planting new habits in our life, we sometimes need to protect ourselves from the outside world. Friends, family, and society are comfortable with us as we are, bad habits and all. If we change, then they might have to change. We want to change, but they probably don't. So we protect ourselves by limiting our exposure to toxic friends and toxic media.

Broccoli seedlings that i planted a month ago are just beginning to "flower" with heads of broccoli.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Stop Transplanting

Summer has arrived. Two weeks early, according to me. This means i have to stop transplanting, unless i am willing to water those transplants every day for 3 or 4 days.  You understand, that left to my own desires, i could transplant a couple dozen plants every day, and thus forget to water. It's a better policy to just stop transplanting.

The arrival of summer also means that all my gardening needs to be done by 9 a.m. I already miss May when i can be out in the garden all day long. Sigh.

The season has changed. Daffodils are dead. The early spring of lettuce green, and the mid-spring of tulips are gone. I'm not sure what happened to late spring, but i call these 80- and 90-degree days "summer." Time to stop playing in the dirt and go play in the water instead.

Our personal seasons change, whether or not we are ready. Right now, my hip flexors have seized up so i have trouble bending over. This is what my grandmother called having a hitch in her git-along. Wait! I still have so much gardening to do. I don't want to slow down! But, for once, the body gives the orders, starting with Ouch! And the mind tries to relax.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Let Them Go

Yesterday i gave a Master Gardener talk at the library. I was prepared to talk about mulch and groundcovers, but after introductions, in which i asked people to say something about the vision for their garden, the subject turned out to be downsizing the garden. Oh, this is hard.

One friend, Dee, who sold her house and extensive gardens last year, moved to a downtown apartment where her gardening is confined to pots on her balcony.  Dee stopped by and saw my gardens for the first time. Tears came to her eyes. At the same time, her voice-of-reason said, "It takes a small army to maintain all these beautiful gardens." Touché!

That small army used to be me. Now it includes a 10-hour-a-week gardener.

We love our gardens. And then the awareness dawns on us: It's time to let them go.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Letting Go

The library is having a plant and book sale on Saturday. I'm dividing perennials and potting them for the sale. Unfortunately, i can't go on Saturday morning because i'm having a day-long retreat here at home with two Dharma friends. Life is so full of wonderful choices, but i simply cannot do everything. Every day i have to simplify my full calendar and let some event or other go.

Letting go of plants. Letting go of plans. Letting go of any sort leads to letting go of self.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Unusual Edging Plants for the Flower Beds

Callisia fragrans or Basket plant

Those houseplants that i took cuttings from in February, rooted in jars, and potted up in March are now ready to go outdoors. Spider plant and Diamond Frost euphorbia edge my white garden. Callisia and geraniums edge another little flower bed. All these annual bedding plants for free.

One of the qualities of loving-kindness is to be frugal. Another pair of loving-kindness qualities is to be contented and easily satisfied.

These free plants certainly meet the frugal qualification. And i am feeling contented with these lovely and unusual edging plants.