The Potager

The Potager

Monday, March 18, 2013

No peas this weekend

I look forward to Saint Patrick's Day as the beginning of direct sow gardening. I usually plant my peas, spinach, arugula and other cold loving vegetables.  The vegetables may love the cold, but it was bitterly cold this weekend. I had no desire to try and plant anything.
I don't know if you can see it, but that is frozen snow. Hard, icy and cold.  No accumulation, but Saturday's weather was horrid.  My youngest daughter and I checked out Bridal Shower sites for my older daughter's upcoming wedding and then drove up Route 35 to see how the Sandy recovery is going. (Not too well, sadly. There is just so much destruction.)
Sunday was bright and sunny, but bone chilling winds made it a "go out to lunch and browse the book store" kind of day, rather than a play in the dirt kind of day.
So I'm already behind.
Mother Nature, however, keeps perfect time. Gentle reminders that Spring will be here with it's warm plantable days.  And the peas, spinach and arugula will grow if planted one week later.

"Every year it seems to me I hear complaints about spring. 
 It is either "late" or "unusually cold," "abnormally dry"
 or "fantastically wet," 
for no one is ever willing to admit 
that there is no such thing as a normal spring."-  Thalassa Crusso

Monday, March 11, 2013

Philadelphia Flower Show 2013 - Brilliant!

I spent Friday at the Philadelphia Flower Show. The theme this year was Brilliant, and while I thought that would mean English Gardens, it was more a jewel type thing. Slightly disappointed, but the Flower Show is always informative and fun nevertheless.
There were the gates and the walk way with the huge birch trees and Big Ben - all impressive and very British, but I attend the Flower show for inspiration for my garden. I am not recreating scenes from London any time soon.
However there were some lovely plant combinations that were inspiring.  I did notice that they combine flowers that look lovely but could never be planted together, sun loving plants with shade loving plants, spring bloomers along with autumn bloomers. It like those flower garden designs you can get on-line - they are fabulous, but yours will never look like that. There were delphinium every where. I guess they are a British garden staple. I should try them again. The ones I planted last year did not do very well.

I find myself drawn to winding garden paths - I would like to try to make my perennial/herb garden path more intriguing.

I really loved these swimming fish garden sculptures - but at $80.00 a fish, they are never coming to swim amongst my flowers.

I was a bit disappointed that there was not one vegetable garden display. There were lettuces, cabbages and chard amongst the flowers, but no vegetable plots for me to drool over. It is, after all, a Flower Show.
I met my daughter for dinner and she said she was glad I wasn't wearing a silly hat like so many people she had seen while waiting for me. I guess hats are very British too. (And I am sorry for calling your hat silly if this is you....but it is, really.)
I did hear a few interesting lectures and really did thoroughly enjoy myself. And I did come away with some creative ideas that I hope incorporate into the Potager.
The Philadelphia Flower show was great fun - as always.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Let the yard work begin!

Took advantage of the warm weather Sunday to clean up the beds outside my Potager. Ah, it's good to have one job done. A million more to go!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hello Again!

Hello Again....

My Dad has been nagging me to get back to writing on my blog. It has been a while. I apologize.

I can't remember why I stopped writing. I know I took photos between August and October.  I just never sat down to write.

Then Superstorm Sandy hit right at the time I should have been putting my garden to bed. We lost a few weekends cleaning up from that and the 12 inches of snow that followed a week later. ( I also lost all the frozen herbs and produce from my garden during the power failure after Sandy. Knowing what others lost,  this is nothing. I am blessed.)
My beautiful gray cat, Smokey, got sick and died.
Kids moved back home. We are still planning a wedding in the back yard.
The garden was just pushed to the back of my mind.

But here it is, March, and it is time to order seeds. I have spent the weekend going through my seeds and determining what will be planted this year and what needs to be ordered. What new plants will I try this year and which ones will go away as not successful in my Potager.  And which ones that were tried last year without success, will get one more chance to shine in the garden.  So much planning and replanning. I am looking forward to what actually comes to fruition in the Potager!

In the meantime, you may enjoy finding out what happens when a garden is totally ignored in the fall. I did remove the dead plants before Christmas but left a good deal behind apparently. I was a bit surprised to find there were plants growing on a chilly Sunday afternoon.
The raddichio that never turned red last year and never headed is up and heading nicely. It is finally red.

A red cabbage is growing where I never planted red cabbage. And hello - bugs are already eating it? It's barely above freezing here!
This sorry looking brussel sprout plant is producing new sprouts. (And the weeds are growing too!)

The shallots (left) and garlic (right) are coming up.

And the Red Russian and Siberian Kale are living up to their cold loving reputation. These would have done wonderfully if I had a cold frame. This is so on my list for the fall this year.

It's a bit of a mess, but I will get it back into shape. That's what I love about gardening.  Every spring there is a new chance to do it better.

"Gardening is something you learn by doing - and by making mistakes, like cooking, gardening is a constant process of experimentation, repeating the successes and throwing out the failures." - Carol Stocker, American gardening columnist.