Oh to live and garden in England where the daffodils are already in bloom. Instead, I’m buried under a foot of snow (which, actually, is less than our norm at this time of year thanks to El Nino) with today anticipated to bring at least 5 inches of snow and a ½ inch of freezing rain. Delightful. At least we pulled out of the sub-zero temperatures we suffered through over the weekend; a high of -22 degrees on Saturday (with a wind chill of around -40) and a positively balmy high of -5 yesterday. It’s so cold the pipes in my mudroom have frozen yet again.
I hate February.
In all honesty, this has been a mild winter for us. We really haven’t experienced much winter-like weather or temps until this month, and we now have less than 4 weeks of winter through which to suffer. Nevertheless, I still hate February. I hate its extreme frigidity, snow, sleet, and freezing rain. This is the month I seem to get the antsiest about getting outside and getting my hands in the dirt.
Although March is still far from pleasant, you can feel spring around the corner. The days grow longer, the sun a tad warmer, the snow and extreme cold begins to subside. More importantly, I start my seedlings inside, beginning the first week of March and ending 3 weeks before outside planting weather (late May up here in the tundra). By the end of April, I have over 300 seedlings happily growing in the comfy confines of the makeshift nursery I’ve assembled in east-facing guest bedroom.
January is tolerable because it’s seed and plant ordering month. Colorful catalogs arrive from all over the U.S. and England. Despite any resolutions I may have made the previous season about curbing the number of vegetables and herbs I will plant this year, or the variety of perennials I will add to the borders, resolution gives way in the face of so many enticing photos and descriptions. How can I resist adding a new variety of rose or two (or in the case of this year, four) when leafing through the latest David Austin catalog? And who in their right mind could resist yet another variety of pole bean from Annie’s Heirloom Seeds when the description speaks of the variety being a tried and true favorite of the grower’s grandmother? Not me.
So, here we are in the middle of the February blahs. But my seed order has been placed (see below) and many more perennials than needed (although really, how does weigh “need”) have been ordered.
2016 Seed Order
Dark opal basil; Genovese basil; German chamomile; Chives; Dukat dill; Borage
Early Wonder beets; Touchstone Gold beets; Bull’s Blood beets; Danvers Half Long carrots; Koralik tomato; Thessaloniki tomato; Marketmore 76 cucumber; Midori Giant soybean; Sugar Baby watermelon; Yellow crooked neck squash; Casper eggplant; Cocozelle di Napoli zucchini; Contender Bush bean; Kentucky Blue pole bean; Catskill Brussel sprouts; Romaine lettuce blend; Purple of Sicily cauliflower; Super Sugar snap peas; Sweet Banana pepper; Golden Bantam sweet corn; Table Queen Acorn squash; Cotton Candy pumpkin; Connecticut Field pumpkin; and Rouge Vif d’Etampes pumpkin
Sunshine Cosmo mix; Blue Victoria salvia; Calendula; Ladybird poppy; Teddy Bear sunflowers; Zinnia; Scarlet runner bean; Autumn Beauty sunflower
I have quite a few varieties of seeds remaining from last year as well—too many to list here.